Located in the financial district of the city, you can find high-end restaurants; you can also find cheaper alternatives such as the food courts and cafes. I am fortunate to be able to find affordable, yet delicious food in the central business district of Singapore.
There is a cafe called Old Chang Kee at the Golden Shoe Complex where you can have good food at affordable prices. It started its business selling fritters such as curry puffs, fish balls, squid, yam cakes and many more. The business slowly evolved to offer more food options such as catering and lunch bento sets for working professionals. Started from a small stall in a coffeeshop, Old Chang Kee has amassed 80 outlets around Singapore for more than 50 years.
My first meal at Old Chang Kee @ Golden Shoe Complex was the Sesame Chicken with steamed white rice. It was my colleague who brought us to the cafe for lunch. I had the curry chicken with french loaves, Beef Stew and finally Chicken Chop with steamed rice at subsequent visits.
Each meal cost SGD4.90, which was very affordable in the city centre. At SGD10, 6.80, you could have a set with main and a can drink. At some places, a similar meal might cost more than SGD10.
The chicken chop was one of the best mains offered at the cafe. The chicken fillet was succulent and the outer layer was crispy. The tomato with mixed vegetables sauce was a little sour yet still enjoyable. What I did not like about the chop was that it had an oily aftertaste. After a couple of mouthfuls, the chicken chop gave me a greasy sick feeling that you could not eat it anymore. The tomato sauce was not able to mask that greasy sick feeling. (Food rating: 2.5/5)
Beef Stew with mini baguettes / french loaves was served differently from the menu. The menu displayed a bread bowls with the beef stew. However, I was served with a plate of beef stews and two loaves of mini baguettes. The beef stew was diluted and the beef chunks was tough. Only the carrots and potatoes in the stew tasted the best. As for the mini baguettes, it had an unpleasant flavour which you know that it was not freshly prepared or baked. Despite the stale bread taste, the crew staff baked the baguettes very well. The crust was crispy and the inside was soft and porous. (Food rating: 2/5)
Curry Chicken with steamed rice was a very popular dish at Old Chang Kee. It is always sold out despite our multiple trips to the cafe. Being able to have a plate of curry chicken with steamed rice was like striking lottery. Just like a Nonya style Curry Chicken, the gravy was rich with coconut milk. The chicken was tender and in huge chunks. I ordered the curry chicken with steamed rice at that time. The rich aromatic fragrance from the curry was alluring. Without hesitation, I drizzled the gravy into the rice and mixed them together. The spicy curry and the rice were scrumptious. The chicken chunks were tender. And then, I finally understood why they were always sold out. (Food rating: 4/5)
Sesame Oil Chicken with steamed rice is a homely cooked food that was also one of the staple food for new mothers. A simple dish, the sesame oil chicken was cooked with shiitake mushrooms, sesame oil and ginger. The dish was diluted, which I felt that it could be richer, and less spicy from the ginger strips. The small precious portion of the acah (or spicy preserved cucumber with carrots) was priceless. The achar definitely whetted my appetite. (Food rating: 3.5/5)
Address: Golden Shoe Complex, 50 Market Street, #01-27, Singapore 048940
Stuffness Level (How full you are): 4/5 for each main