Maxwell Food Centre guide
Working in the CBD doesn’t necessarily mean eating atas salads and sipping on Starbucks all day long. There is plenty of affordable hawker fare around the area in places like Amoy Street Food Centre at Telok Ayer, and of course, Maxwell Food Centre near Tanjong Pagar. As this heritage hawker centre gets busy over lunch, options can be overwhelming, so here’s our list of stalls we think you shouldn’t miss when you’re at Maxwell Food Centre!
Table of Contents
- Maxwell Food Centre guide
- 1. Old Nyonya
- 2. Sisaket Thai Food
- 3. Zhen Zhen Porridge
- 4. Yi Jia Chao Zhou Yu Zhou
- 5. Fish Village
- 6. Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice
- 7. Maxwell Fu Zhou Oyster Cake
- 8. The Green Leaf
- 9. 75 China Street Peanuts Soup
- 10. Taste Of Jiang Nan
- 11. MS Dessert Shop
- 12. Tong Xin Ju Special Shanghai Tim Sum
- 13. China Street Hum Jin Pang
- 14. Fu Shun Jin Ji Shao La Mian Jia
- 15. Hup Kee Wu Xiang Guan Chang
- 16. Jin Hua Fish Head Bee Hoon
- 17. Xing Xing Ondeh Ondeh & Tapioca Cake
- 18. Ye Lai Xiang Tasty Barbecue
- 19. Dan Lao
- 20. Ah Tai Hainanese Chicken Rice
- 21. Fu Ji Fuzhou Fish Ball Wanton Noodles
- 22. Alimama Green Chilli Chicken Rice & Prawn Noodle
- 23. The 1950s Coffee
- 24. Ah Gong Minced Pork Noodle
- 25. Mr Appam
- 26. Hock Lai Seng Teochew Fishball Bak Chor Mee
- What to eat at Maxwell Food Centre
1. Old Nyonya
Around since 1960, Old Nyonya does homely Peranakan dishes. Get your money’s worth and order the Rendang Chicken ($6.50) rice set, which comes with a huge juicy chicken drumstick that’s well-coated in a rich, coconutty sauce, a side of achar, and fried bean curd skin. While I didn’t get to try it, the Laksa ($5) is supposed to be creamier and better than the other options in Maxwell.
Unit number: #01-04
Opening hours: Thurs-Tue 11am to 8:30pm
Tel: 8366 9311
Old Nyonya is not a halal-certified eatery
2. Sisaket Thai Food
Image credit: @mrdidijiak
Sisaket Thai Food does authentic, tasty Thai fare. Their creamy Green Curry Rice ($6/$7) is decadent and rich, and goes perfectly with rice. Another addictive item is their sweet-savoury Phad Thai ($5), full of wok hei, while the Basil Chicken/Beef with Rice ($5.50/$6.50) is fiery hot. If you wish to dine with your family after work, you will be glad to know they also do Thai-style zi char.
Unit number: #01-85
Opening hours: Daily 11:30am to 4pm, 6pm to 8pm
Sisaket Thai Food is not a halal-certified eatery
3. Zhen Zhen Porridge
Image credit: @nusfatclub
Zhen Zhen Porridge has commanded loyal queues for over 20 years with its Cantonese-style chok that boasts a thick and creamy consistency. Despite its popularity and long-standing history, prices are still kept low at $3 for a bowl generously topped with ingredients. Go for their Sliced Fish with Shredded Chicken and Century Egg ($3) to get the best of everything, and top up $0.50 for an extra egg!
Unit number: #01-54
Opening hours: Wed, Fri-Mon 5:30am to 2pm
Zhen Zhen Porridge is not a halal-certified eatery
4. Yi Jia Chao Zhou Yu Zhou
Image credit: @minhizzzle
Directly translated, Yi Jia Chou Zhou Yu Zhou means “one house Teochew fish porridge fish soup”. The stall sees a constantly long queue at lunch hour, and no wonder. Order their Batang Fish ($3) and be treated to a delicate broth boasting chunks of silky smooth fish slices, with firm grains of rince. It’s also topped with fried shallots and fresh coriander for extra fragrance.
Unit number: #01-66
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11am to 7:45pm
Yi Jia Chou Zhou Yu Zhou is not a halal-certified eatery
5. Fish Village
Fish Village is a new stall in Maxwell that serves affordable steamed fish and other seafood. There’s HK-Style Steamed Soon Hock ($23) so you can enjoy restaurant-level fish at wallet-friendly prices, and even Miso Salmon Fish Head ($7), which gets you half a large head. Other dishes here include Thai Sauce Scallops ($14) and more!
Unit number: #01-32
Opening hours: Wed-Sun 10am to 8pm, Mon-Tue 10:30am to 8pm
Fish Village is not a halal-certified eatery.
6. Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice
Everyone knows Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice, and for good reason too. They hold a Michelin Bib Gourmand award for their lip-smacking chicken rice, and celebrity chefs such as Gordon Ramsey and the late Anthony Bourdain have eaten here.
Their rice is fragrant, and the chicken is succulent. They are the most popular chicken rice stall in Singapore known to locals and tourists, with branches even in Hong Kong. Even so, prices here start from a friendly $5.
Unit number: #01-10/11
Opening hours: Daily 10am to 7:30pm
Tel: 9691 4852
Tian Tian Chicken Rice is not a halal-certified eatery
7. Maxwell Fu Zhou Oyster Cake
Image credit: @kevinfmlim
Maxwell Fu Zhou Oyster Cake ($2.50) is one of the few stalls serving this soon-to-be-extinct heritage snack. Encased in the golden-brown fried cake are succulent oysters, prawns, and minced meat. Cilantro is also added to cut through any oiliness. The magic of this Fuzhou dish is its batter, which is made of a combination of ground rice and flour, resulting in an airy and crisp bite.
Unit number: #01-06
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 9am to 8pm
Tel: 9344 1296
Maxwell Fu Zhou Oyster Cake is not a halal-certified eatery
8. The Green Leaf
The Green Leaf does comforting Malay dishes such as Mee Rebus (from $3.50) and Laksa ($4.50). Prices are all kept below $5 here, and it is probably the cheapest Malay food stall in Maxwell Food Centre. Come here for their Soto Ayam ($3.50), boasting thick cuts of rice cakes, chunks of marinated fried chicken, and a tantalising sweet broth.
Unit number: #01-100
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 7am to 8pm
The Green Leaf is a Muslim-owned eatery
9. 75 China Street Peanuts Soup
Not to be confused with 75 Ah Balling, 75 China Street Peanuts Soup only serves three things: their best-selling peanut soup, red bean soup, and tau suan, all of which are priced at only $1.20. The stall has been around for more than 70 years, now run by a pair of third-gen husband-and-wife team who make all three desserts from scratch.
Be sure to top up $1.60/$2 for glutinous rice balls filled with either sesame or toasty ground peanut, although these are factory-made.
Unit number: #01-57
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 7:30am to 4pm
Tel: 9877 7557
75 China Street Peanuts Soup is not a halal-certified eatery
10. Taste Of Jiang Nan
Image credit: Joleen Teo
Besides Din Tai Fung-style fried rice, Taste Of Jiang Nan is also known for their sheng jian bao, AKA pan-fried buns. These are sold at three for $4 in their original flavour; otherwise, you could also go for Prawn Fried Bun ($5 for three), or the Curry Fried Bun ($4.50 for three)—whichever you pick, they’re fried to order. They’ve got Xiao Long Bao ($5 for six) too!
Read our Taste of Jiang Nan coverage.
Unit number: #01-62
Opening hours: Daily 11:30am to 3pm, 5pm to 8pm
Tel: 8342 9898
Taste of Jiang Nan is not a halal-certified eatery.
11. MS Dessert Shop
Image credit: @msdessertshop
Another spot for tau suan in Maxwell Food Centre is MS Dessert Shop, a relatively new opening that sells almost everything on their menu for just $1.30. This includes tau suan, bubur terigu, red, and green bean soups. The exception is their Peach Gum Dessert ($2.50), which is also served as a larger bowl than the other desserts.
Unit number: #01-68
Opening hours: Daily 9am to 8:30pm
Tel: 9229 9220
MS Dessert Shop is not a halal-certified eatery
12. Tong Xin Ju Special Shanghai Tim Sum
Fourth-generation owner Sebastian Hu keeps his Shanghainese grandfather’s legendary guo tie recipe alive at Tong Xin Ju Special Shanghai Tim Sum, where the handmade fried dumplings ($4.80 for 8 pieces) steal the show with a special chilli sauce. For the same price, you could get them steamed, too. Have them with Hot & Sour Soup ($4/$5/$6), and Pei Jing Noodle/Hor Fun ($4/$5/$6) for a complete meal.
Read our review of Tong Xin Ju.
Unit number: #01-92
Opening hours: Tue, Thurs-Sun 11:30am to 8:30pm
Tel: 9662 3501
13. China Street Hum Jin Pang
Image credit: @random.mmmusings
At just $1 for six pieces, the dough fritters at China Street Hum Jin Pang are extra affordable. These traditional fried snacks are the only item on the menu here, and come in two variants: Red Bean, and Five Spice Powder. The first is stuffed with a centre of sweet tau sa, while the latter is plain, with a savoury dash of powder to finish.
For extra novelty, you can even fry these hum jin pang yourself!
Unit number: #01-28
Opening hours: Daily 3pm to 8pm
China Street Hum Jin Pang is not a halal-certified eatery
14. Fu Shun Jin Ji Shao La Mian Jia
Image credit: @rollingape_
This roast meat specialist is popular for its outstanding char siew, siew yoke and roast duck, served with rice or QQ Hong Kong-style noodles (from $3.50). The queue at Fu Shun Jin Ji Shao La Mian Jia usually starts forming before they open for the day at noon, so go early!
Unit number: #01-71
Opening hours: Daily 11:30am to 8pm
Fu Shun Jin Ji Shao La Mian Jia is not a halal-certified eatery
15. Hup Kee Wu Xiang Guan Chang
Image credit: @jiamtaorotee
Another heritage stall that has been around since before the 1940s, Hup Kee Wu Xiang Guan Chang is one of the only Hokkien ngoh hiang stalls still standing. Unlike the more common Teochew-style ngoh hiang, Hokkien ngoh hiang has no mashed yam in the meat rolls, or prawn fritters. Not all of these ngoh hiang are handmade in the stall, but prices start from a very affordable $0.50 per piece.
Unit number: #01-97
Opening hours: Thurs-Tue 11:30am to 6pm
Tel: 8113 7015
Hup Kee Wu Xiang Guan Chang is not a halal-certified eatery
16. Jin Hua Fish Head Bee Hoon
Image credit: @bittersweet.verve
Prices at Jin Hua Fish Head Bee Hoon start from $5 for Cantonese-style fish soup that’s rich with flavour. For extra creaminess, ask them to add evaporated milk to your bowl of soup! You can choose between sliced and fried fish pieces, although I personally prefer the latter. Have it as is, or with your choice of rice or noodles.
Unit number: #01-77
Opening hours: Fri-Wed 11:15am to 7:30pm
Jin Hua Fish Head Bee Hoon is not a halal-certified eatery
17. Xing Xing Ondeh Ondeh & Tapioca Cake
Image credit: @vanessa_kou
Xing Xing Ondeh Ondeh & Tapioca Cake, AKA Heng Heng Ondeh Ondeh & Tapioca Cake, has been in business in Maxwell Food Centre for more than 40 years, selling traditional homemade kueh that are often sold out before the stall closes. They’re most well-known for their ondeh ondeh ($3.20), with an oozy gula melaka centre and coated with fresh grated coconut, although their selection of other kueh is also stellar.
Unit number: #01-31
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 7am to 1pm
Tel: 9730 2833
Xing Xing Ondeh Ondeh & Tapioca Cake is not a halal-certified eatery
18. Ye Lai Xiang Tasty Barbecue
Come to Ye Lai Xiang Tasty Barbecue for old-school Hainanese-Western food (from $9) the way it was first introduced to Singaporeans back in the 1970s. The meats—choose from chicken, pork, fish, lamb, or beef—here are served with the same signature brown sauce that was first created by the late Chef Leong while he was Head Chef in the British Navy. Each set comes with sides of crinkle-cut fries and a soft white bun, while baked beans only come with selected items on the menu.
Read our Ye Lai Xiang Tasty Barbecue review!
Unit number: #01-94
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 12pm to 2:30pm, 6pm to 8pm
Ye Lai Xiang Tasty Barbecue is not a halal-certified eatery.
19. Dan Lao
You’d expect nothing less than great scrambled eggs at Dan Lao, where the chefs are formerly from famous LA food truck Eggslut‘s offshoot in Singapore. They’re also much more wallet-friendly, and come with an Asian slant here: think Tomato ($4.50), Luncheon Meat ($5), or our favourite Chicken Cutlet ($6) and Char Siew ($6) with scrambled eggs on rice.
Read our Danlao review!
Unit number: #01-73
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11am to 8pm, Sat 11am to 3pm
Tel: 8830 8355
Dan Lao is not a halal-certified eatery.
20. Ah Tai Hainanese Chicken Rice
Just two stalls down from the famous Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice is Ah Tai Hainanese Chicken Rice, run by Wong Liang Tai, who was head cook at Tian Tian for more than 20 years. The queues here are considerably shorter, although Ah Tai has its fair share of fans as well. We tried both the stalls in Maxwell Food Centre, and prefer the steamed chicken here! In the spirit of competition, a plate of chicken rice here also starts from $5.
Unit number: #01-07
Opening hours: Wed-Mon 11am to 7:30pm
Tel: 8137 6559
Ah Tai Hainanese Chicken Rice is not a halal-certified eatery
21. Fu Ji Fuzhou Fish Ball Wanton Noodles
Image credit: Royal Pears
Fu Ji Fuzhou Fish Ball Wanton Noodles is a long-time tenant at Maxwell Food Centre, with a history of more than 30 years. They’re known for their Spinach Mee ($4/$5/$6), which comes with super springy, jade-coloured egg noodles, wonton, and char siew. Their other claim to fame is Fu Zhou Fishball Rou Yan Soup ($5/$7), which comes with meat-filled fishballs. Get both wonton and Fuzhou fishballs in the Fu Zhou Fishball Wanton Mee ($4/$5/$7).
Unit number: #01-06
Opening hours: Sun-Fri 11:30am to 9pm
Tel: 9388 5723
Fu Ji Fuzhou Fish Ball Wanton Noodles is not a halal-certified eatery
22. Alimama Green Chilli Chicken Rice & Prawn Noodle
Image credit: @chiaksimi
Serving up authentic Indonesian nasi ayam panggang is Alimama Green Chilli Chicken Rice & Prawn Noodle, whose signature dish is their Green Chilli Chicken Rice ($7.50). Each portion of this comes with a whole chicken leg, re-fried to order, topped with house-made green sambal. There’s also Grilled Chicken Rice ($7.50), and Big Prawn with Lala Noodle ($5/$8), which you can have with soup, or dry.
Unit number: #01-09
Opening hours: Daily 11am to 8:30pm
Tel: 8484 3944
Alimama Green Chilli Chicken Rice & Prawn Noodle is not a halal-certified eatery
23. The 1950s Coffee
The main branch of The 1950s Coffee is located at Chinatown Complex, and has even won a mention in the Singapore edition of the Michelin Guide—we even found they had the best kopi around. Here at Maxwell Food Centre, they’re open every day of the week. Go for the Iced Kopi ($1.70), which has a perfect ice-to-coffee ratio, or our writer’s personal pick, Kopi C Siew Dai ($1.30).
Unit number: #01-90
Opening hours: Daily 7am to 5pm
The 1950s Coffee is not a halal-certified eatery
24. Ah Gong Minced Pork Noodle
Get $2.50 claypot bak chor mee and more at Ah Gong Minced Pork Noodles, where the portions are huge and the house-made sambal is super spicy. Self-taught hawker Elin Chow mans this stall, and makes her own dumplings and meatballs by hand, with no MSG. We loved the super smooth mee kia here, and the generous portions! If you want more than just minced meat in your noodles, go for Signature Bak Chor Mee, which is priced at an affordable $4.50.
Read our Ah Gong Minced Pork Noodles review.
Unit number: #01-02
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 8am to 2pm, 5pm to 7:30pm
Tel: 9234 4445
Ah Gong Minced Pork Noodle is not a halal-certified eatery
25. Mr Appam
Head to Mr Appam to try the South Indian pancake that’s made with fermented rice batter, and find yourself surprised by the sight of Vietnamese lady Nguyen Thi Kieu Hanh churning them out. The Original Appam ($3 for two pieces) is their most basic version, while Princess Appam ($3.30 each) sees the addition of egg and cheese. Then, there’s Pandan Brown Sugar Coconut Appam ($2.80 each), which we enjoyed.
Unit number: #01-99
Opening hours: Wed-Fri 10am to 6pm, Sat-Mon 8am to 8pm
Mr Appam is not a halal-certified eatery
26. Hock Lai Seng Teochew Fishball Bak Chor Mee
Image credit: @tamkokseng
You may have heard of Ah Ter Teochew Fishball Noodles, but head to Maxwell Food Centre, and you’ll find his grandson behind the stove at Hock Lai Seng Teochew Fishball Bak Chor Mee. A bowl of Fishball Bak Chor Mee here is priced from $4.50 for the most basic option. P.S.: if you’re ordering this dry, it’s tossed with ketchup too for a tangy-sweet finish!
Unit number: #01-26
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 7am to 4:30pm, Sat 7am to 3pm
Hock Lai Seng Teochew Fishball Bak Chor Mee is not a halal-certified eatery
What to eat at Maxwell Food Centre
Traditional or newfangled, there’s something in Maxwell Food Centre to tickle your food fancy. With its sprawling aisles and numerous stalls, there’s something for any kind of diet.
While you’re here, check out our Spicy Wife review for Malaysian-style nasi lemak with fried chicken in Telok Ayer. Otherwise, read our J2 Famous Crispy Curry Puffs review if you’re up for Michelin-approved puffs in the CBD.
Address: 1 Kadayanallur Street, Singapore 069184
Nearest MRT stations: Telok Ayer and Chinatown
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