Cheap cai png stalls all around Singapore
My love for cai png was born out of necessity. It is affordable, has a wide variety and can be found at almost everywhere in Singapore. Even though our city has been ranked the most expensive to live in for four years in a row, eating out doesn’t always have to burn a hole in your pocket. Dotted around our city, here is a list of seven stalls that allow you to get a balanced meal at just $2.50 or less.
1. Chwee Hua Mixed Vegetable Rice
Look for the uncle wearing a baseball cap and you’ve reached Chwee Hua Mixed Vegetable Rice. Having operated the stall for more than 10 years, he has kept the prices down for his frequent customers. Two vegetables and a meat dish with rice sets you back only $2.50. Upon request, you can ask for two vegetables and two meat dishes at smaller portions for the same price as well.
If you are feeling generous, try their two signature dishes – vinegar trotters ($1.50) and sweet and spicy clams ($2). The vinegar trotters have an appetising and tart sauce that is to-die-for when poured over rice, and the sizes of the clams are huge considering the price.
Address: Block 221B Boon Lay Place, #01-154, Boon Lay Place Food Village, Singapore 642221
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 5pm to 9pm
2. Yi Fa Mixed Vegetable Rice Porridge
The queue at Yi Fa Mixed Vegetable Rice Porridge never gets too long as the young and energetic group of men that operate this stall works fast. Two vegetables and one meat dish costs only $2.30. However, do keep your eyes peeled for any pieces of meat in the vegetable dishes – those would be considered a meat dish as well. They have all the “must-haves” of cai png – sweet and sour pork and fish, steamed egg, and even pork liver. The sweet and sour dishes are coated generously with sauce and the steamed egg is extremely soft and almost collapses upon touch. Portions are great for the price and would leave a hungry man totally satisfied.
Address: Block 21 Lorong 7 Toa Payoh, #01-298, Singapore 310021
Opening hours: Daily 9am to 8pm
3. Lai Heng Economical Mixed Vegetable Rice
Here at Lai Heng Mixed Vegetable Rice, rice with two vegetables and a meat dish only costs $2.20, and two vegetables and two meat dishes is just $2.50. We recommend the diced chicken with chilli peppers. The chicken is tender and the spiciness is extremely mild but it still adds a small kick to each spoonful. Be prepared to queue when you visit. I’ve never walked past this stall without seeing a line already formed.
Address: 22 Toa Payoh Lorong 7, #01-07, Kim Keat Palm Market and Food Centre, Singapore 310022
Opening hours: Sun-Fri 6am to 8pm
VI will draw you in with its bright, royal blue signboard. Cheaper than meals in school, a plate here gives you any three items with rice for just $2. If you want a more protein-filled meal, go ahead and order three meats – it is still $2. However, take note that the portions can be slightly smaller than other cai png stalls’.
The tofu was appetising as it had a contrasting texture – firm on the outside and soft on the inside. We also had ma you ji (braised sesame chicken) that lacked the aromatic flavour of sesame. The rice was soft and clumped together. Regardless, I left feeling satisfied, having spent only $2 for the meal.
Address: 531A Upper Cross Street, #02-06, Hong Lim Food Centre and Market Singapore 051531
Opening hours: Daily 9am to 2pm
5. Guan Chun Seng Mixed Vegetable Rice
Guan Chun Seng Mixed Vegetable Rice was dimly lit when we found it. Operated by three elderly ladies, this place sells homely fare like braised tofu, stir-fried bitter gourd, soya sauce ginger chicken wings and steamed egg with minced meat. The cabbage served here is a slippery pile of goodness. Unlike many other cai png stalls, it is not overcooked. It is wilted but slightly crunchy and caramelised as well. Do take note that it left a greasy trail on the plate though!
Address: 665 Buffalo Road, #01-267, Tekka Food Centre, Singapore 210665
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 12pm to 4pm
6. Welcome Food
I would say Welcome Food is the most aesthetically pleasing cai png stall of the bunch. Instead of the common white fluorescent light used by many hawker stalls, the rows of food in this stall glistened under a soft orange glow. Whipped up daily by an amicable auntie, the dishes here also tasted like they were cooked at home, with lots of love. Two vegetables and one meat dish costs $2.30 or $2.50, depending on the type of meat chosen. We highly recommend the sliced potatoes. Even though they were sliced pretty thickly, every bite was savoury and soft.
Address: 347 Jurong East Avenue 1, #01-216, Yuhua Market and Hawker Centre, Singapore 600347
Opening hours: Sat-Thur 7am to 9pm
7. Chao Yang Teo Chew Porridge and Mixed Vegetable Rice
Here at Chao Yang, two vegetables and one meat dish sets you back $2.50 as well. They have the usual cai png dishes, but I would suggest skipping the sweet and sour pork. It tastes more like just straight up ketchup than the sweet and sour sauce we are used to. Pick safer and more common dishes like braised tau kwa or curry instead.
Address: 347 Jurong East Avenue 1, #01-173, Yuhua Market and Hawker Centre, Singapore 600347
Opening hours: Daily 10:30am to 7pm
Feast on the array of dishes
Never get bored with these seven cheap cai png stalls. With at least 10 dishes at each stall, how many different combinations can you get? You do the math. If you have not armed yourself with cai png hacks, check out these tips to maximise your cai png buck and head on down to one! For more cheap hawker food to survive the days before pay day, check out these cheap Bukit Timah food that cost $5 or less or these cheap food at Pasir Ris that even army boys can feast on every day.