Geylang food places to check out
We’ve all seen Geylang supper guides featuring 126 Dim Sum and frog porridge spots. But there’s a whole uncharted territory that hasn’t been covered – lunch and dinner time in the red light district. Compared to the bustling scene at night, Geylang is like a ghost town in the day. Here’s a guide for people who want to explore this treasure trove of food haunts that is Geylang but don’t want to squeeze through the insane crowds at night.
1. Penang Seafood Restaurant
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If you love Penang food like we do, head down to Penang Seafood Restaurant and try their Assam Laksa ($5.20). The tangy fish gravy starts off with an explosive burst of flavour and mellows into a mild heat that will leave you wanting more. The contrast of the potent shrimp paste, tender mackerel, refreshing pineapples and sour tamarind creates a wonderful equilibrium of flavours and textures that’s quite difficult to achieve.
Address: 32 Aljunied Road, Singapore 389817
Opening hours: Daily 11am to 12am
2. BBQ Box
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If you’re new to the world of Chinese barbecue skewers, there’s no better place to get acquainted than BBQ Box. They offer a huge variety of meats from chicken wings to pork intestines and beef tendon. These meats are seasoned with a spicy Chinese spice rub, skewered, before they are grilled to perfection over a charcoal fire. Other classic skewers you shouldn’t miss out on include enoki mushrooms, mantou, and asparagus. Each skewer costs between $1 and $3, so feast away on these affordable skewers and wash everything down with a bottle of Tsingtao!
Address: 103 Geylang Road, Singapore 389212
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 2pm to 2am, Sun 2pm to 12am
Tel: 9234 8659
3. The Skewer Bar
If you’re on the search for good yakitori, look no further than The Skewer Bar. Located at a corner of a kopitiam, this quiet joint is jam-packed with customers daily. The menu is extensive, with items such as Prawn ‘Red Leg’ Sea Prawn ($2.10) and Chicken MidJoint ($1.20). They also have non-skewered dishes such as Oysters ($11 for three pieces) and – our favourite – Grilled Seabass with Chilli Sauce ($22).
Address: 489 Geylang Road, Lorong 27, Singapore 389448
Opening hours: Mon-Thur 6:30pm to 1:30am, Fri-Sun 6:30pm to 2:30am
Tel: 9642 0837
4. Leong Kee (Klang) Bak Kut Teh
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There are two kinds of people in the world: people who love the peppery style of Teochew bak kut teh, and people who love Malaysia’s herbal version. If you’re a fan of Klang bak kut teh, Leong Kee Bak Kut Teh ($6) is a must-try. The soup is full of aromatic herbal notes, and the pork ribs are fork tender and well infused with earthy flavours.
For greater satisfaction, pile on the beancurd skin and get ready to sweat it out over this robust pork stock. Leong Kee also does a mean pig’s trotter ($6), so brace yourself for a porky feast if you happen to find yourself on this side of Geylang.
Address: 251 Geylang Road, Singapore 389309
Opening hours: Daily 11am to 12am
5. Swee Guan Hokkien Mee
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Opened in 1968, Swee Guan Hokkien Mee – or better known as Geylang Lorong 29 Hokkien mee – serves one of the best hae mee I’ve ever tried. Prepared the traditional way over a charcoal fire, the noodles are laced with a wok hei aroma. Plus, they are pretty generous with the ingredients, and the prawns are juicy and crunchy. A wait is, of course, necessary, as this spot is really famous.
Address: 549 Geylang Road (Lorong 29), Singapore 389504
Opening hours: Thur-Sun 5pm to 11pm
6. Mongkok Dim Sum
Open 24 hours, Mongkok Dim Sum is my go-to supper joint when I was living in the East. On the menu are an array of dishes, priced at an average of $5. An interesting dish to order is their 3 Yolk Crab Porridge ($9), which can easily satisfy the bellies of three to four people. Their Custard Bun ($4.20) is done right too, and a pool of smooth, runny custard spilled out as we broke open the pillowy bao.
Address: 214 Geylang Road, Singapore 389274
Opening hours: Daily 24 hours
7. Geylang Claypot Rice
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There’s a reason why Geylang Claypot Rice commands a long queue. The wait for their Signature Claypot Rice ($14 for two, $25 for four, $35 for six people) can range anywhere from 25 minutes to an hour, and the owners advise customers to call ahead to make their orders. It might feel like a great deal of effort just for a meal, but it’ll all be worth it once you mix that fluffy, charred rice up and pop a piece of succulent chicken into your mouth.
Address: 639 Geylang Road, Singapore 389570
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 11:30am to 2:30pm, 5pm to 11:30pm
Tel: 6744 4574
8. Koung’s Wanton Mee
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A taxi driver was the one who introduced me to Koung’s Wanton Mee. And you know you can trust a cabbie’s food recommendation. Around since 1964, the humble stall roasts their char siew in a charcoal oven, which boast a good ratio of fats to tender meat. The egg noodles were firm too, and glistened with their house-made chilli sauce that packed a fiery punch!
Address: 205 Sims Avenue, Singapore 387506
Opening hours: Daily 8am to 8pm
Tel: 6748 0305
9. Hong Qin Fish & Duck Porridge
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$6 at Hong Qin Fish & Duck Porridge will get you a liberal amount of flavourful pork trotters. The meat could have been more tender, but the sauce was not cloying or salty. Their fish soup ($5) fared much better, with the clear savoury broth and generous slices of fresh fish. Although Piao Ji Fish Soup still ranks first in our hearts, this is an alternative that doesn’t involve a 30-minute wait!
Address: 134 Geylang East Avenue 1, #01-217, Singapore 380134
Opening hours: Daily 5:45am to 3:30pm
10. L32 Handmade Noodles
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Foodies seeking one of the best ban mian in Singapore must head down to L32 Handmade Noodles. You can immediately taste the difference once you take a bite of their firm yet bouncy noodles – it is world’s apart from the factory-made noodles most stalls use. The broth is also not at all oily, and the ingredients they use are of superb quality. This bowl of ultimate comfort food is definitely worth battling the heat for!
Address: 558 Geylang Road, Lorong 32, Singapore 389527
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 11:30am to 9:30pm
Tel: 9770 2829
Geylang food stalls worth visiting
With all the good food available in Geylang, it’s no wonder people from all over Singapore would take the train down for a feast. Tell us in the comments section below where your favourite food spots in Geylang are!