Chomp Chomp

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Chomp Chomp in 2019. Photo from Singapore Property Launch.

Chomp Chomp is a popular food centre in the Serangoon Gardens estate. Officially opened in 1972, the food centre's name was derived from the Teochew term, Tiong Tiong, which means loyalty and righteousness.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

A dozen boys from Serangoon Gardens Secondary School helping to put up the original Chomp Chomp signboard. Photo from National Archives Singapore.
The infrastructure of Chomp Chomp before it opened for operations in 1972. Photo from National Archives Singapore.

Opening[edit | edit source]

Chomp Chomp was part of a larger redevelopment plan for the Serangoon Gardens estate. This plan to upgrade the Serangoon Garden circus area involved members of the community. On 4 May 1972, 12 boys from Serangoon Garden Secondary School participated in putting up the Chomp Chomp signboard.[2] Then Minister for Law and National Development, Mr E. W. Barker opened Chomp Chomp Food Centre on 7 May 1972 after 18 months of planning and construction.[3][4]


When Chomp Chomp Food Centre was first opened, it accommodated the street hawkers that previously set up their businesses at the Serangoon Garden Circus bus bay.[5][6] According to reports, the food centre cost S$95,000 to build[7] and was equipped with facilities such as cleaning equipment and lighting. However, seating areas had not been built and the stall renters had to provide their own tables and chairs.

Rising popularity[edit | edit source]

Chomp Chomp Food Centre was extremely popular when it first opened, attracting customers from the nearby cinema and schools. However, the popularity of Chomp Chomp led to some complaints by residents pertaining to traffic congestion and safety.[8][9] It was reported that parking fees had been implemented by the Urban Redevelopment Authority at Chomp Chomp food centre in February 1984 due to past cases of indiscriminate parking.[10]

Renovations[edit | edit source]

In 1996, the Stall Ownership Scheme was implemented by the government, allowing most of the stall renters to buy and gain ownership of their stalls.[11] Chomp Chomp had a few renovations over the years since then. In 1998, the Environment Ministry paid for a roof to be set up over the food centre.[12] In September 2003, the centre went through a 6-month-long renovation that cost $1.4 million and was paid for by the National Environment Agency.[13][14] During the renovation, changes such as replacing the old roof and toilets were made. In January 2017, Chomp Chomp closed for a two-month renovation.[15] One of the changes made was to increase the number of fans in the food centre to provide better airflow and ventilation.

Present day[edit | edit source]

In 2018, Chomp Chomp received its highest successful bid for a hawker stall at S$10,028.[16] According to reports, the average bidding price for a stall at Chomp Chop was an estimated S$2,000.[17] However, due to unknown reasons, the bidder decided to cancel the agreement right after she had signed it.

Chomp Chomp also became one of the ten hawker centres in Singapore to adopt an e-payments system in 2019.[18]

Awards[edit | edit source]

Chomp Chomp has received multiple awards over the years. In a competition organised by The Straits Times in 1990, Chomp Chomp won second place in the cleanest hawker centre competition.[19] In the City Hawker Food Hunt organised by City Gas and their sponsors, Chomp Chomp food centre was awarded the title of ‘Singaporeans’ favourite hawker centre’ in 2011, 2012 and 2013.[20] As a result of the consecutive wins, it was awarded the ‘Honorary most favourite food centre’ in 2014.

References / Citations[edit | edit source]

  1. "Heritage of our hawker centres". National Environment Agency. Updated March 19, 2019. Accessed on 7 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.nea.gov.sg/our-services/hawker-management/programmes-and-grants/heritage-of-our-hawker-centres
  2. "Snacks at 'Chomp Chomp' soon for residents". The Straits Times. May 4, 1972. Accessed on 4 July 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  3. "Snacks at 'Chomp Chomp' soon for residents". The Straits Times. May 4, 1972. Accessed on 4 July 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  4. "Pusat penjaja Chomp Chomp". Berita Harian. May 4, 1972. Accessed on 4 July 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  5. "Snacks at 'Chomp Chomp' soon for residents". The Straits Times. May 4, 1972. Accessed on 4 July 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  6. "Chomp Chomp Food Centre". Roots. Updated February 12, 2018. Accessed on 7 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://roots.sg/learn/stories/Hawker-Centres/Chomp-Chomp-Food-Centre
  7. "Snacks at 'Chomp Chomp' soon for residents". The Straits Times. May 4, 1972. Accessed on 4 July 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  8. "Walmer Drive may become impassable to the smallest car". Singapore Monitor. March 14, 1984. Accessed on 4 July 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  9. "Zebra crossing adequate". New Paper. April 10, 1989. Accessed on 4 July 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  10. "Pay to park before a bite". The Straits Times. February 14, 1984. Accessed on 4 July 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  11. "HAWKERS BUY STALLS". The Straits Times. October 17, 1996. Accessed on 4 July 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  12. Sim, Bryna. "Saving icons of Singapore". Asia One. April 8, 2014. Accessed on 7 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.asiaone.com/singapore/saving-icons-singapore
  13. Loh, Sherwin. "New Chomp Chomp will be more airy". The Straits Times. September 19, 2003. Accessed on 4 July 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  14. Wang, Hui Fen. "CHOMP CHOMP TAKES A BREAK". The Straits Times. September 16, 2003. Accessed on 4 July 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  15. Tan, Cheryl. "Chomp Chomp: newly renovated with better ventilation & same old good food at Serangoon Gardens". Sethlui. Updated June 10, 2017. Accessed on 7 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://sethlui.com/chomp-chomp-singapore/
  16. Lee, Jan. Toh, Ting Wei. ‘Woman bids record $10k rental for Chomp Chomp stall’. The Straits Times. August 30, 2018. Accessed on 7 June 2019. Accessed from: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/environment/woman-bids-record-10k-rental-for-chomp-chomp-stall
  17. Lee, Jan. Toh, Ting Wei. ‘Woman bids record $10k rental for Chomp Chomp stall’. The Straits Times. August 30, 2018. Accessed on 7 June 2019. Accessed from: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/environment/woman-bids-record-10k-rental-for-chomp-chomp-stall
  18. "More than 500 food stalls at hawker centres, coffee shops have adopted e-payments". Channel News Asia. June 29, 2019. Accessed on 4 July 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  19. "Newton's the cleanest". The Straits Times. November 7, 1990. Accessed on 4 July 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  20. National Heritage Board. "CHOMP CHOMP FOOD CENTRE". Roots.sg. Accessed on 4 July 2019. Retrieved from: https://roots.sg/learn/stories/Hawker-Centres/Chomp-Chomp-Food-Centre