8 TOP HAWKER STALLS TO DISCOVER IN SINGAPORE
Here are some of the best casual dining spots to try out in town, to taste authentic street food specialties where your dollars will go further.
When the Michelin guide debuted in Singapore in 2016, the Lion City became the first city in the world where one could have humble one Michelin-starred meals in hawker stalls, albeit only two of them (Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle and Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle), for as little as $2 then.
In the tire maker’s sophomore edition last year, the same two stalls again hogged the street food limelight in the one-star category. This, despite the city having a bumper crop of about 14,000 hawker stalls serving a diversified array of food ranging from Chinese, Malay, Indian and even Peranakan. The Bib Gourmand list did marginally better, hashing out 17 hawker stalls in both years.
Food lovers deserve to know that Singapore has more than two great Michelin-worthy and 17 Bib Gourmand-rated hawker stalls. So we combed through some of the city’s hot-favourite hawker stalls and here’s our pick of the places you should include in your gastronomic tour of Singapore.
NO. 18 ZION ROAD FRIED KWAY TEOW
Char Kway Teow refers to flat rice noodles and yellow noodles smothered in a dark sweet sauce and fried in a wok with eggs, bean sprouts, fish cake slices, Chinese sausage bits and, in the best stalls, just-cooked cockles and pork lard. This char kway teow from Zion Road Food Centre is suitably dark and wet, and it ranks amongst the city’s best.
No. 18 Zion Road Fried Kway Teow
70 Zion Road 01-17, Zion Riverside Food Centre, Singapore
AH TAI CHICKEN RICE
Singapore’s national dish has its roots in Hainan Island, China. The chicken is poached until just cooked, then steeped in an ice-bath to seal in the chicken’s juice while its rice is sauteed with garlic and ginger, and cooked in chicken stock with chicken fat and pandan leaf. Hawker, Wong Liang Tai, worked as a cook at the renowned Tian Tian Chicken Rice (located just a few stalls away) for over 20 years and he has mastered the art of making the perfect chicken rice dish. Don’t forget to order his chicken gizzards.
Ah Tai Chicken Rice
1 Kadayanallur Street 01-01 Maxwell Food Centre, Singapore
SONG KEE FISHBALL NOODLE
Fishball noodles form the backbone of Singapore’s hawker scene because the options are plentiful. However, not many hawkers still bother to hand-make their fishballs with yellowtail fish. Fishball noodles are served dry in chilli paste or in soup with condiments like fish cake slices, pork lard and bean sprouts. This stall recently returned from hiatus with a spacious coffee shop space in the eastern fringe of Singapore. While its handmade fishballs are great, most foodies come for the excellent handmade fish skin dumplings.
Song Kee Fishball Noodle
28 Tembeling Road, Singapore
SELERA RASA NASI LEMAK
A Malay dish of rice cooked in coconut milk served with fried egg, fresh cucumber slices, fried anchovies with peanuts and sambal chilli. Some hawkers provide an added option of deep-fried chicken and fried kuning fish as sides. There are plentiful nasi lemak stalls to choose from in Singapore, most of which serve coconut milk-scented jasmine rice but this stall at Adam Road Food Centre stands out for its choice of fluffy basmati rice.
Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak2 Adam Rd, #01-02, Adam Road Food Centre, Singapore
ENG’S NOODLES HOUSE
Singapore’s wanton mee arrives as springy egg noodles, usually served dry in chilli paste, with char siew (barbequed pork) slices and green leafy vegetables. The wanton (pork and prawn dumplings) are usually served in a bowl of clear broth. Apart from the dumplings in clear broth, Eng’s deep-fried wontons, served with a mayonnaise dip, are worth an order. Beware of the ultra-spicy “gunpowder” chilli paste.
Eng's Noodles House
287 Tanjong Katong Road, Singapore
(Closed on 28 Feb 2018. Reopening across the road in May 2018)
MR & MRS MOHGAN’S SUPER CRISPY ROTI PRATA
Also referred to as the Indian croissant, roti prata is a South Indian flatbread prepped with flour and ghee and flipped over an oily griddle. Served with a choice of fish or mutton curry, it is crispy and buttery when eaten fresh. This stall by Mr and Mrs Mohgan serves, arguably, the city’s crispiest prata and while it’s tempting to order the egg prata, the plain prata tastes better. Don’t forget to ask for the sambal dip.
Mr & Mrs Mohgan’s Super Crispy Roti Prata
7 Crane Road, Poh Ho Eatery, Singapore
YONG’S TEOCHEW KUEH
A snack usually eaten at breakfast or in between meals, Teochew kuehs are a type of dumpling featuring vegetables (like chive, bamboo shoot or turnip), or even rice, ensconced in a layer of skin made with a different mix of flour. Our favourite hawker, One Kueh At A Time, is scouting for a new location right now (they are the only ones to serve the new-wave beetroot kueh in Singapore) and until they re-open, you can get your fix at this stall that serves excellent quality kueh made with traditional recipes.
Yong's Teochew Kueh
1022 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore
SUNGEI ROAD LAKSA
A Peranakan dish, laksa is actually rice vermicelli served with fish cake slices and bean sprouts in a spices-packed broth enriched with coconut milk. At this iconic stall that started as a pushcart street food vendor at the now-defunct Thieves Market in the 1950s, the broth is still cooked over hot coals as it has been done over the past 60 over years.
Sungei Road Laksa
27 Jalan Berseh 01-100, Singapore