Singapore hawker food that shouldn’t be missed
Mexico has taco trucks, we have kopitiams and hawker centres. Even though hawker centres are not necessarily something that is unique to Singapore, we Singaporeans can be pretty serious about the food served there. We take pride in these cheap yet delicious Singapore hawker food. Yet when asked by foreigners what are some of the must-try dishes that are not plagued by fellow tourists, I struggled to come up with an answer right off the bat. Skip Tian Tian Chicken Rice at Maxwell Food Centre, and recommend these 10 lesser-known Singapore hawker food to your tourist friends, making their holiday in Singapore a food-filling one.
1. Signature Noodle
The noodles offered at Aw’s Signature Minced Pork Noodles reminded me of the old-school MTV TV show, Pimp My Ride. Like the cars in the show, common hawker dishes such as mee pok are zhnged-up with a variety of quality ingredients. Their Signature Noodle ($5) is my favourite. The bowl of noodles is covered by more than 10 add-ons; handmade fishball, deep-fried meatball, stewed sliced mushrooms, fish maw, quail egg… the list goes on. Their Braised Pork Noodle ($4) and Fish Maw Bee Hoon ($4) also get two thumbs-up!
Check out our full review of Aw’s Signature!
Address: 1A Commonwealth Drive, #01-08, Tanglin Halt Food Centre, Singapore 141001
Opening hours: Mon-Thur 7:30am to 2pm, 5pm to 8pm, Fri 7:30am to 3pm, 5pm to 8pm, Sat 7:30am to 3pm
Tel: 9827 6502
2. Lobster Nasi Lemak
With the slew of eateries serving modified food springing up – cue unique prata and bak chor mee – Lawa Bintang has set the bar high with their Lobster Nasi Lemak ($22). Covered with a trio of cheeses and herbs, the lobster was well-seasoned and paired well with the classic nasi lemak rice. They also offer other options such as salmon ($9), soft-shell crab ($9) and smoked duck ($9). Instead of a traditional plate of nasi lemak, why not bring a friend to try one with a crazy contemporary twist?
Check out our full review of Lawa Bintang!
Address: 9008 Tampines Street 93, Singapore 528843
Opening hours: Tue-Thur 8am to 2pm, Fri 10am to 2pm, Sat-Sun 9am to 2pm
Tel: 65123 4567
Lawa Bintang is a Muslim-owned hawker stall.
3. Nonya Ayam Buah Keluak
I’ve always had the impression that Peranakan cuisine is only to be eaten with parents due to the hefty bill it usually comes with. Found in a hawker centre, Popo And Nana’s Delights is an exception. At $6 a set, you can get dishes such as Nonya Ayam Buah Keluak, Nonya Babi Assam, Eurasian Beef Smore, and Pig Maw Soup. The food here is hearty and taste like home-cooked meals – definitely a great place to bring a friend who’s visiting Singapore for the first time.
Check out our full review of Popo And Nana’s Delights!
Address: 1 Kadayanallur Street, #01-70, Maxwell Food Centre, Singapore 069184
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11am to 3:30pm
Tel: 9171 0558
4. Crispy Roti Prata
Roti prata always comes to mind when I’m feeling peckish on Saturday mornings. If you’re in the East, be sure to check out Mr and Mrs Mohgan’s Roti Prata. Their Kosong Crispy Prata ($0.90) has a good contrast of crispy and soft textures all in one. When you bite through it, the first sensation is a crunch, then you’re into a soft and moist centre. For a more substantial breakfast, order the Egg Prata ($1.40) instead. It goes well with both Dalcha and Fish Curry.
Check out our full review of Mr and Mrs Mohgan’s Roti Prata!
Address: 7 Crane Road, Singapore 429356
Opening hours: Wed-Mon 6:30am to 12:30pm
Tel: 9794 3124
5. Claypot Hokkien Mee
You can find Hokkien mee at almost all hawker centres in Singapore, but the Claypot Hokkien Mee ($10/$15/$20/$25/$30) from Kim Keat Hokkien Mee truly takes the cake. Served in a clay pot comprising of white and yellow noodles, egg, seafood, sliced pork belly, and deep-fried pork belly. The fried pork belly is a winner for me; it has distinct layers of tender meat, juicy fats, and crispy crackling. Each spoonful also has a strong wok hei fragrance, making it quite simply, moreish.
Check out our full review of Kim Keat Hokkien Mee!
Address: Block 92 Toa Payoh Lorong 4, #01-264, Singapore 310092
Opening hours: Wed-Mon 12pm to 9pm
Tel: 9456 0413
6. Chicken Cutlet
Head on down to 5 Star Corner at Hougang for some cheap and good classic Western food, Singapore-styled. I believe for many of us, our primary and secondary after-school activities probably involved feasting out with friends on Western food that either comes deep-fried or on a sizzling hot plate. The portions here are huge and prices are justified. Get their massive Chicken Cutlet at $6 or Fish & Chips at $6.
Check out our full review of 5 Star Corner!
Address: 805 Hougang Central, #01-116, Food Park, Singapore 530805
Opening hours: Daily 11am to 9pm
7. Mee Siam and Lontong
When asked what are some outstanding food I have tried as a writer at Eatbook, I’ll be sure to bring up Mee Siam ($3) and Lontong ($3) from Jia Xiang. Carbs of the dishes, namely bee hoon and rice cakes, are fully hidden by a myriad of ingredients. The mee siam includes a hard-boiled egg, a thick slice of omelette, chilli done two ways, crisp croutons, ikan bilis, tau kwa, lime, dried shrimps, and spring onions. The lontong features a medley of julienned vegetables such as carrots, yam, and cabbage. Both of which, are delicious to the last drop.
Check out our full review of Jia Xiang!
Address: 85 Redhill Lane, #01-35, Redhill Food Centre, Singapore 150085
Opening hours: Daily 11am to 8pm
8. Satay Bee Hoon
If your friends are fans of both satay and bee hoon, surprise them with a plate of Satay Bee Hoon ($4) from Sin Chew Satay Bee Hoon. This large plate includes sliced pork, prawns, cuttlefish, tau pok, and a bed of bee hoon doused in satay gravy. The gravy was fragrant and thick with the right amount of peanut bits. Alternatively, you can try their Cuttlefish Kang Kong ($4) that comes in a sweet red sauce instead.
Check out our full review of Sin Chew Satay Bee Hoon!
Address: 51 Upper Bukit Timah Road, #02-162, Bukit Timah Market & Food Centre, Singapore 588215
Opening hours: Wed-Thur 5pm to 10:30pm, Sat-Sun 11am to 2:30pm, 5pm to 10pm
Tel: 9826 0782
9. Har Cheong Gai Burger
Introduce har cheong gai to your friends in the form of a burger! Order the Har Cheong Gai Burger ($4) from I Love Burger Lah!, which is located at Ghim Moh Food Centre. The burger is made up of a deep-fried prawn paste patty with BBQ sauce and maple syrup drizzled atop. Order it with an interesting side of fries such as Salted Butterscotch Fries ($4) and Salted Caramel Fries with Himalayan Pink Salt ($4).
Check out our full review of I Love Burger Lah!!
Address: 20 Ghim Moh Road, #01-06, Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre, Singapore 270020
Opening hours: Daily 11am to 8pm
I Love Burger Lah! is a Muslim-owned stall.
10. Soup Bak Chor Mee
Bak chor mee has been the perennial favourite of many Singaporeans for all meals of the day, including supper. However, the traditional Teochew soup version, which Bedok 85 is well-known for, is often missed out. The two stalls, Xing Ji Rou Cuo Mian and Seng Hiang Bak Chor Mee serve a mean bowl for $3 and $2.50 respectively. Their combination of umami-rich meat broth and al dente noodles definitely deserve more recognition.
Check out our full review of Bedok 85 bak chor mee!
Xing Ji Rou Cuo Mian
Address: Blk 85 Bedok North Street 4, #01-07, Fengshan Centre, Singapore 460085
Opening hours: Fri-Wed 2:30pm to 1am
Tel: 9879 4599
Seng Hiang Bak Chor Mee
Address: Blk 85 Bedok North Street 4, #01-05, Fengshan Centre, Singapore 460085
Opening hours: Daily 5pm to 1am
Tel: 9018 9846
Unforgettable hawker food
To get the full Singapore experience, one would have to hang with the locals. Hawker centres are hives of different cuisines, making it the best place to get a feeling of how diverse this little red dot on the world map really is. This list of must-try hawker food is sufficient enough to be a full-day tour itself. Thereafter, plan an outing to these non-touristy cafes in Singapore!
If you have friends who have spent all their money on shopping here, make sure to recommend them to Xian Jin, which serves local dishes such as bak kut teh and minced meat porridge at only $2!