Chomp Chomp Food Centre
by Tan, Bonny
Chomp Chomp Food Centre, originally known as Serangoon Garden Food Centre,1 is a landmark in Serangoon Gardens estate because of the good food offered there.2
In the 1960s, the stalls at Chomp Chomp were originally located opposite the present hawker centre where the bus stop and carpark now stand.3 In 1972, the stalls were moved to its present location and named “Chomp Chomp”.4 As the hawkers gained fame for their varied and tasty dishes, the name became an appropriate onomatopoeia, reflecting the sound of frenzied eating.5
On 1 April 1998, a roof was built for the food centre with the aim of improving hawkers’ businesses and customers’ comfort. Plans for this had been discussed since September 1996 in tandem with discussions of the ownership of stalls.6 The food centre underwent a major renovation as part of the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) Hawker’s Centre Upgrading Programme in September 20037 and reopened on 22 April 2004 after seven months of renovation.8 The new Chomp Chomp had a new roof designed to provide more shelter for dining areas with outdoor seats on a raised timber platform.9 Handicapped-friendly features were also included and its seating capacity was increased by two to 394.10 To date, Chomp Chomp remains a key landmark in Serangoon Gardens because of its tasty food.
Cleanest hawker centre (1990): Voted as the second cleanest hawker centre in a contest organised by The Straits Times.11
Singapore’s OK Awards (2009): Received Singapore’s OK Award from the NEA.12
Favourite hawker centre (2011, 2012, 2013): Voted as Singaporeans’ favourite hawker centre in the City Hawker Food Hunt organised by City Gas and various sponsors.13
Honorary most favourite food centre (2014): Received the award in the City Hawker Food Hunt 2014.14
Chinese names: Tiong tiong, the Teochew equivalent to the Mandarin zhong zhong meaning loyalty and righteousness.15
1. Lim, R. (1996, September 21). Under one roof please, say Chomp Chomp stall-owners. The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. The Janus Education Team. (2015). Heritage journeys: No place like Serangoon Gardens. Singapore: Janus Education Services Pte Ltd, p. 33. (Call no.: RSING 959.5705 HER-[HIS]); Catchy food-centre name not linked to food. (1996, September 21). The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. Ministry of Culture. (1972, May 6). Speech by Mr. L.P. Rodrigo, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs and MP for Serangoon Gardens, at the opening ceremony of the Serangoon Gardens Hawkers’ Centre at the Serangoon Garden Way taxi stand on Saturday, 6th May, 1972 at 7.00 p. m. Retrieved from National Archives of Singapore website: http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline
5. Catchy food-centre name not linked to food. (1996, September 21). The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. Lee, J. (1998, February 9). Chomp Chomp takes shape. The Straits Times, p. 24; Yeow, P.L. (1996, August 5). 480 hawkers get chance to buy stalls from Govt. The Straits Times, p. 20. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Loh, S. (2003, September 19). New Chomp Chomp will be more airy. The Straits Times, p. H11. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Loh, S., Tan, S.Y. & Yong, D. (2004, May 2). Chomp-Hither. The Straits Times, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
9. Loh, S. (2003, September 19). New Chomp Chomp will be more airy. The Straits Times, p. H11 ; Wang, H.F. (2003, September 16). Chomp Chomp takes a break. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
10. Loh, S., Tan, S.Y., & Yong, D. (2004, May 2). Chomp-Hither. The Straits Times, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG ; National Environment Agency (2016). Chomp Chomp Food Centre. Retrieved from National Environment Agency website: http://www.nea.gov.sg/public-health/hawker-centres/the-story-of-hawker-centres-upgrading-programme-(hup)/did-you-know-/chomp-chomp-food-centre
11. Newton voted the cleanest hawker centre. (1990, November 7). The Straits Times, p. 24. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
12. Yong, D. (2009, May 24). Serangoon to be upgraded by 2012. The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
13. Jalelah Abu Baker. (2012, November 5). Chomp Chomp voted favourite hawker centre. The Straits Times, p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; City Gas. (2013). City Hawker Food Hunt 2013 – The Results! Retrieved from City Gas website: http://www.citygas.com.sg/assortedpages/city-hawker-food-hunt-2013-the-results/
14. City Gas. (2014). City Hawker Food Hunt 2014 awards presentations. Retrieved from City Gas website: http://www.citygas.com.sg/city-hawker-food-hunt-2014-awards-presentation/
15. Catchy food-centre name not linked to food. (1996, September 21). The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
The information in this article is valid as at 2016 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.