Tiong Bahru food
From its vinyl shops to indie boutiques, Tiong Bahru is a treasure trove for hipsters, and a favourite haunt for local artists and creatives alike. By now, famous cafés like Tiong Bahru Bakery, Plain Vanilla, and Forty Hands have made a name for themselves in the famous Tiong Bahru district.
As one of Singapore’s oldest neighbourhood, Tiong Bahru holds more than just your pretty café nosh. Today, we bring you through 14 Tiong Bahru food gems in this famous district.
1. Tow Kwar Pop
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Meticulously grilled to crisp perfection, Tiong Bahru Market’s Tow Kwar Pop is a Singapore-style rojak that is unique in its own right.
This crispy stuffed tau pok is hand grilled over charcoal, and tossed with fish crackers and a generous mix of fresh apples, shredded papaya, and thinly sliced turnips. Paired with an intense and addictive shrimp paste, this dish is served with crunchy bean sprouts and sliced cucumber. You can get a small set of Tow Kwar Pop ($3), or go for the full Rojak set ($4/$5) to get the best taste of this dangerously addictive street snack.
Address: 30 Seng Poh Road, #02-06, Tiong Bahru Market, Singapore 168898
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 7am to 5:30pm
2. Hwa Yuen Porridge
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This Mixed Pig Intestine Porridge ($4) from Hwa Yuen Porridge is to die for. The porridge is cooked down to a delightful and savoury consistency, much like Crystal Jade’s famous century egg porridge.
We also recommend the Deep Fried Pig Intestine Porridge ($5/$7) that gives a tantalising crunch against the smooth congee. It is definitely worth the calories.
Address: 30 Seng Poh Road, #02-74, Tiong Bahru Market, Singapore 168898
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 7am to 3pm
3. Leung Sang Hong Kong Pastries
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There is nothing more classic than the Egg Tarts ($1.80) at Leung San Hong Pastries.
At this old-school confectionery, you can choose between their famous Hong Kong-style egg tart, and its Western counterpart. The former has an amazing buttery flaky pastry encasing a molten yellow custard, while the Western-style egg tart comes in a harder, sturdier shell.
There are also a wide variety of pastries baked in-house, including the Roasted Chicken Polo Bun ($1.50) and Salted Egg Lotus Seed Paste Pastry ($1.80)
Read our guide to traditional egg tarts in Singapore.
Address: 18 Jalan Membina, #01-06, Singapore 164018
Opening hours: Daily 7:30am to 7:30pm
Tel: 6271 6056
4. Min Nan Prawn Mee
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If you are a frequent customer of Tiong Bahru Market, Min Nan Prawn Mee should be no stranger to you. Sporting a routinely long queue, this stall has been a strong favourite amongst locals. Opt for the Pork Rib Prawn Noodle (from $5) to get a heap of prawns with perfectly cooked pork ribs that are spot-on tender and meaty. For this dish, expect a light-tasting broth with notes of prawn, pork ribs and spices.
Check out our guide to the best prawn mee in Singapore.
Address: 30 Seng Poh Road, #02-31, Tiong Bahru Market, Singapore 168898
Opening hours: Sat-Mon, Thurs 9am to 3pm, Tue-Wed, Fri 8am to 2:30pm
5. Chuan Kee Seafood
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Chuan Kee Seafood boasts one of the best zi char in Tiong Bahru, where their drunken prawns, venison meat, and live seafood are definitely a cut above your average zi char stall.
Some of their customers’ go-to dishes are the Sweet & Sour Lychee with Pork ($10) and Duck Wrapped in Lotus Leaf ($28). For those with a lighter palate, their Signature Homemade Beancurd ($10) is a hot favourite to complement the strong flavours.
Address: 1091A Lower Delta Road, Singapore 169207
Opening hours: Daily 12pm to 10:30pm
Tel: 9878 9924
6. Jian Bo Shui Kueh
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With over 50 years of history, Jian Bo Shui Kueh is one of the most renowned chwee kueh stalls in Singapore. The couple that runs the stall wake up at 6am daily to cook and prepare both the chilli and chye poh mix, all to top the freshly steamed kueh. Prices start at $2.80 for five. They also sell chee cheong fun, and steamed yam cake too.
Address: 30 Seng Poh Road, #02-05, Tiong Bahru Market, Singapore 168898
Opening hours: Daily 6:30am to 9pm
7. Skirt & Dirt
Skirt & Dirt rides on the wave of gourmet burgers in hawker centres. The stall’s speciality is one-of-a-kind, though, as they sell Cheese Skirt Burger ($6.80), where a juicy beef patty meets a crispy cheddar cheese skirt.
Apart from the burger, carb up with their Cheese Dirt Fries ($4), which sees the same cheese skirt heaped on top of fries, finished with bacon, jalapenos and relish.
Read our Skirt & Dirt review.
Address: 30 Seng Poh Road, #02-66, Singapore 168898
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 11:30am to 8pm
Tel: 8434 0119
Image credit: @thefudgybrownie
TIANN’S offers a specially curated menu for the health-conscious, providing gluten-free, sugar-free, and keto diet-friendly food options. Order their signature waffles if you don’t know where to start. The TIANN’S Waffles are priced at $24+, and are made with a secret mix of almond, chia seeds, coconut, eggs, and rice. You can choose two toppings, including fresh mozzarella, scrambled eggs, and smoked trout.
Apart from the above, they have all-day breakfast that you can build on, as well as healthy mains that span different cuisines. These include Grandma’s Bibimbap ($23+), which you can zhng up by adding Italian White Tuna ($6.50+) or Spicy Pork Bulgogi ($16+), and KFC ($33+), the cafe’s healthier take on Korean fried chicken with housemade gochujang, and served with rice cakes.
Address: 71 Seng Poh Road, #01-35, Singapore 16007
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 8am to 5pm
Tel: 6222 1369
9. Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice
70-odd years of making homely plates of curry rice for the masses is what gives Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice its cred. The stall draws long queues in the Tiong Bahru ‘hood for their curry-drenched rice, which starts at $0.50, beckoning to be dressed up with ingredients such as pork chop, pork belly, chap chye, and more, all from $2.
Do note that the stal is slated to move to Tiong Bahru Market Food Centre (#02-67/68) from 18 March 2022.
Read our Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice review.
Address: #02-67/68 Tiong Bahru Food Centre, Singapore 160071
Opening hours: Fri-Wed 8am to 2:45pm
Tel: 6225 3762
10. Por Kee Eating House
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Feel transported to the outdoor zi char eateries in Johor Bahru at Por Kee Eating House, an old school eatery that has been around since 1996. Some tout the eatery to have the best zi char fare in Singapore, and loyal customers keep the place packed all through the week.
Specials you can’t miss are their Crispy Deep Fried Chicken (from $18++), cooked till the skin is crackling, as well as their Champagne Long Ribs (from $11++), generously sized with a sticky, finger-lickin’ glaze.
Address: 69 Seng Poh Lane, #01-02, Singapore 160069
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 11am to 2:30pm, 5pm to 11pm
Tel: 6221 0582
11. Old Tiong Bahru Bak Kut Teh
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Just across the sprawl of Tiong Bahru Market is Old Tiong Bahru Bak Kut Teh, which sells Teochew-style BKT. Their clear, peppery broth is served with a generous amount of ribs, and you can add on to your meal with servings of youtiao, braised bittergourd, and other sides. Do note that prices here can be a touch steep, with a bowl of BKT setting you back $9.
Read our guide for more bak kut teh options in Singapore.
Address: 58 Seng Poh Road, #01-31, Singapore 160058
Opening hours: Sun 7am to 8pm, Tue-Sat 7am to 9pm
Tel: 6233 3075
12. Starter Lab
Standing out from the slew of typical cafes in Tiong Bahru is Starter Lab, a famous sourdough-focused bakery that hails from Bali. Their move to Singapore was met with much excitement, as their store would not only sell loaves, but also various bakes and dine-in treats made with freshly-baked bread.
Their Rosie Mascarpone is one of the most popular items. Priced at $16, you get toast slices slathered with mascarpone cheese, topped with roasted pistachios, and drizzled with honey. Otherwise, try The OG ($19), a grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with three different types of cheese.
Address: 721 Havelock Road, Singapore 169645
Opening hours: Wed-Mon 8:30am to 5pm
Tel: 9839 0408
13. Tongue Tip Lanzhou Beef Noodles
For halal-certified Chinese la mian, check out Tongue Tip Lanzhou Beef Noodles at Tiong Bahru Plaza. The casual restaurant offers legit Lanzhou noodles in the form of their Signature Beef Noodles ($10.90+), which comes with a sweet and savoury broth, tender beef shank, and refreshing radish slices. Make your meal complete by topping up $4+ to any bowl for a set, which comes with a braised egg, side dish, and beverage.
Read our Tongue Tip Lanzhou Beef Noodles review!
Address: 302 Tiong Bahru Road, #02-107/187, Tiong Bahru Plaza, Singapore 168732
Opening hours: Daily 11am to 9:30pm
14. Old Shifu Charcoal Porridge
Located next to Tiong Bahru Market, Old Shifu Charcoal Porridge dishes out traditional charcoal-cooked porridge with assorted toppings. A must-try is the Li Wan Boat Porridge ($6), a hearty and flavourful bowl comprising cuttlefish, fish, prawns, pork slices and more. Opt for extra You Tiao ($2) to go with your porridge; these deep-fried doughnut chunks feature a crispy exterior with a fluffy, web-like dough. Plus point: the eatery is air-conditioned, so you can dine in comfort!
Read our Old Shifu Charcoal Porridge review here!
Address: 58 Seng Poh Road, #01-17, Singapore 160058
Opening hours: Daily 7am to 2:30pm, 5pm to 9:30pm
Tel: 8201 8668
What to eat in Tiong Bahru
Take the East-West line down to these Tiong Bahru food places, and take a walk down memory lane on the heritage trails while you’re at it!
This article was originally written on 18 December 2018.