Singapore Hawker Food


Like in all countries, Singapore also has many varieties of hawker food, adding to the comfortable hotel cuisines. You can find countless hawker food stalls located inside the shops, eating areas and food courts all over the city with reasonable prices and interesting food. The variety of food is actually amazing.

The gastronomic adventure had several of us visiting many parts of the city. We started with breakfast at Chin Mee Chin Coffee & Cake Shop, an old-school kopitiam located in an old shop house.


Chin Mee Chin
204 East Coast Road,
Singapore 428903

Business Hour: 8.30am to 4.00 pm
Closed on Monday

This traditional Chinese confectionery is charming with its defining floor tiles, ceiling fans, marble-top tables and wooden chairs of the earlier years. All these give the place a very ‘old school’ look.

A tempting tea time break in Chin Mee Chin by

Like in all kopitiam, Chin Mee Chin generally serves breakfasts with toast and hot coffee. The toast came slathered in butter and homemade kaya, delicious together with a cup of coffee. Do sample the custard puffs, pies, and varieties of bread, cakes and several other products which were all neatly displayed in the glass counter. All these treats may just look ordinary but they definitely pack a punch! The light breakfast delighted our taste buds, and filled up our tummy before we ventured to the next food outlet.

Chin Mee Chin, a nostalgic, old-school kopitiam by

Nam Sing Hokkien Fried Mee
Old Airport Road Food Court
Singapore 390051

Business Hour : 11am – 8pm (till sold out)

Our next destination was at the Old Airport Road Food Court. We ordered a few of the local delights, and the first dish was the fried Hokkien Mee from Nam SingHokkien Fried Mee stall #01-32.

Fried Hokkien Mee in Old Airport Road Food Court by

Don’t assume that this dish is similar to the Penang Hokkien Mee. The name might sound the same but it is totally different. The owner, Mr Ng dishes out this popular Singapore dish with the yellow noodles fried with egg, prawns and pieces of squid. The noodle was fried moist and served with cut chilies and lime.

Fried Hokkien Mee from Nam Sing by

Other delights that we selected in the food court included several steamed longevity paus with lotus paste filling, and a plate of rojak coupled with fruits, vegetable, and fried crullers all tossed in a shrimp paste sauce sprinkled with crushed peanuts. Besides the rojak, we had a bowl of fish sliced beehoon from stall #01-121. The fish pieces were absolutely fresh, but the creaminess of the milky broth is an acquired taste especially for us Penangites.

Fish Sliced Bee Hoon in milky broth

328 Katong Laksa
216 East Coast Road
Singapore 428914

Business Hour: 8am to 10pm Daily

We savored Singapore’s very own famous 328 Katong Laksa, located in the East Coast Road. The Laksa was served with seafood and topped with chopped Laksa leaves. It tantalized our taste buds with its unique taste and delicious hints of spiciness and creaminess. The difference is apparent in the noodles as well, as Singapore’s Laksa come in shorter strands, to be eaten using a spoon.

Katong Laksa in a bowl of spicy creamy soup by

Tanjong Rhu Pau & Confectionery
7 Jalan Batu
Singapore 431007

Business Hour : 12.30pm – 8pm
Closed on Sunday

Apart from the Laksa, we even sampled the da pau (big pau) from Tanjong Rhu Pau & Confectionery. It was amazing how the ‘pau’ makers skillfully placed the meat filings into each of the mini size ‘pau’. The exterior is soft, fluffy and sweet, while the inside was filled with tasty and juicy meat. Each bite was a delight, and one ‘pau’ is definitely insufficient as it is gone in two to three bites.

Tanjong Rhu Pau & Confectionery with its many outlets_resizeMeat Pau from Tanjong Rhu _resize

Small size da pau


Another day had us setting off early to visit the Bedok Interchange Food Centre.

Bedok Interchange Food Center
207, New Upper Changi Road
Singapore 460207

Bedok Food Court with many stalls selling a variety of food_resize

Bedok Chwee Kueh stall #01-53

In this food court, the first stall that we patronized was the Bedok Chwee Kueh stall #01-53. I joined in the queue with several customers lining up for the rice cakes, topped with chye poh (preserved radish).

This simple snack of rice cake was real cheap, with a few pieces at a dollar. The rice cakes had great smooth texture and perfect eaten with the fried aromatic chye poh and chili sauce.

Chwee Kway stall at Bedok Interchange Food Centre packed jam  with customers by

Chwee Kway stall at Bedok Interchange Food Centre by what2seeonline.comChwee Kway stall at Bedok Interchange Food Centre by

Simple dish of Chwee kway topped with chye poh (preserved radish) by

New World Mutton Soup stall #01-55

We ordered a bowl of mutton soup with ribs and balls from the neighboring New World Mutton Soup stall #01-55. The soup was very aromatic and rich with mutton taste. Other available additional ingredients are the tendon and stomach. Appetizing sides are the kiam chye (salted vegetable) and braised tau kua (beancurd). This Chinese version of mutton soup is hardly found in Penang.

 New World Mutton Soup stall_resize


IMG_1091_resize IMG_1093_resize

Song Zhou Luo Bo Gao stall #01-18

At Song Zhou Luo Bo Gao stall #01-18, a long line of customers were seen waiting for their fried carrot cake (rice flour cake). They have both the black and white version with the option of adding-on prawns and squid.

We had the white version, fried flavorfully with egg, garlic and chye poh (preserved radish). The carrot cake was soft and yet it has a bite to it.

Song Zhou Luo Bo Gao by

A basic plate of fried carrot cake with egg, garlic and chye poh (preserved radish) by

Changi Village Market and Food Center
2 Changi Village Road
Singapore 500002

Business Hour : 11am – 11pm Daily

We moved on to Changi Village Market and Food Center. Beef lovers should not miss out the beef noodles from theChangi Beef Kway Teow Mee stall #01-19.

Changi Beef Kway Teow Mee, a popular stall in the food court by

The dry kway teow with a Teochew touch was served with shreds of kiam chye (salted vegetable) in thick beef-rich gravy. The noodles come together with a bowl of sweet flavorful soup with beef balls and tender pieces of beef.

The texture of the thick gravy is quite similar to the Penang ‘Lor Mee’. The bowl of kway teow was greatly enhanced with the cincalok sauce and lime, something pleasingly different from the usual condiment. Absolutely tasty!

Changi Beef Kway Teow by

Soup with mixture of beef ingredients from Changi Beef Kway Teow stall by

A stroll at Changi Point Coastal Walk had us stopping by an ice-cream cart. We were delighted to sample the wafer ice-cream and roti ice cream (ice-cream wrapped in colorfully patterned bread). We devoured these childhood snack with pleasure.

Cart selling ice cream at Changi Point Coastal Walk by

Roti Ice-cream at Changi Point Coastal Walk by what2seeonline.comWafer ice-cream at Changi Point Coastal Walk by

The surroundings of Changi Point Coastal Walk by

The serene view at the Changi Point Coastal Walk

Beach Road Prawn Noodle House
370 East Coast Road
Singapore 428981

Business Hour : 8am – 4pm
Closed on Tuesday

The next stop was at the Beach Road Prawn Noodle House where we settled down for the Prawn Mee. The flavor of the broth is very light, without much of the prawn flavor as compared to Penang’s Hokkien Prawn Mee.

This particular dish disappointed me as it did not stack up against our Penang’s very own Hokkien Mee. That was until I was introduced to the boss and he generously prepared another bowl for us. It came with wild tiger prawns instead. This time around, the soup was much savory, enriched with sweetness from the prawn. With this I conclude that the personal preparation by the hawker himself instead of his helpers really make a difference in the dish!

Besides the prawn mee, customers can opt for the pork rib mee or pork tail mee.

Beach Road Prawn Noodle House  by Beach Road Prawn Noodle House  by

Two bowls of prawn mee with different types of prawn

Good Morning Nanyang Cafe
133 New Bridge Road
#03-01 Chinatown Point
Singapore 059413

Monday – Friday 8.00am – 8.30pm
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday 10.30am – 8.30pm

From Beach Road Prawn Noodle House, we headed towards Good Morning Nanyang Café in Chinatown Point. This popular kopitiam was packed with stream of customers waiting for a seat. The kopitiam’s menu has a variety of beverages and food, ranging from black coffee, teh C (tea with evaporated milk) to Dinosaur (iced Milo) and toast.

Good Morning Nanyang Cafe at Chinatown Point by

Check out the orange ciabatta with freshly made custardy kaya filling, which was indeed unique. The lightly toasted ciabiatta had a refreshing hint of citrus and went well with the homemade pandan flavored Kaya spread.

Great combo of hot tea and toast at Good Morning Nanyang Cafe by Orange ciabatta with freshly made custardy kaya filling at Good Morning Nanyang Cafe by

Tong Fong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice
Maxwell Road Food Centre

Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays

As night fall over the Lion City, we headed to Maxwell Road Food Center, which is reputedly one of the oldest food courts in Singapore. Located nearby Chinatown, this food court has over 100 stalls. There are two popular chicken rice stall. We started off with the steamed chicken from the Tong Fong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice stall.

The plate of chicken and a serving of rice were served with a bowl of soup accompanied with chili sauce, minced ginger and the surprising oyster sauce. The oyster sauce is very Cantonese as most aficionados would know; it is not a common condiment in Malaysia chicken rice stalls. The texture of the chicken was good and best taken with the aromatic rice and the condiments.

Chicken Rice at Tong Fong Fatt in Maxwell Road Food Centre by Chicken Rice at Tong Fong Fatt in Maxwell Road Food Centre by

Chicken Rice at Tong Fong Fatt in Maxwell Road Food Centre by

Hum Jin Pang
Stall 28
Maxwell Road Food Centre

Business Hour: 1.30pm-8pm

This food court has a stall which is famed for its Hum Jin Pang. A few small pieces of salted or sweet tau sar cost only a dollar. The popularity of this snack draws in a long queue. The most interesting part was having the customers queuing up, frying the savory snack themselves (DIY) using a giant pair of wooden chopsticks.

Hum Jin Pang at Maxwell Road Food Centre by

Hum Jin Pang at Maxwell Road Food Centre by what2seeonline.comHum Jin Pang at Maxwell Road Food Centre by

We left the food court munching on the simple snack. A short walk leads us to Chinatown, a place with hive of activities with lively atmosphere and street culture. The brightly lit place was packed with shops and arrays of stalls. Visitors can buy anything, from clothing, shoes, costume jewelry, trinkets, bags, stationary items to souvenirs.

Singapore Chinatown by

The place was packed with stalls selling excellent array of Chinese fare and surprisingly, German fare too.

Erlich’s Wuerstelstand
Chinatown Night Market
3 Trengganu Street

Business Hour : 3pm to 11pm Daily

We came across an Austrian at work in his food stall in the middle of Chinatown. Erich has been selling gourmet delights for years and has since appeared in many dailies and even on television, as seen on the cuttings displayed in the stall. We ended up buying some grilled German sausages and cured meat from the array of international gourmet products.

Singapore Chinatown Night Market  by what2seeonline.comErich has been selling gourmet delights for years in Singapore Chinatown Night Market  by

Mei Heong Yuen
65-67 Temple Street

Business Hour : Monday – Friday 10:30 am –  8pm
Saturday & Sunday 10:30 am – 10pm

Along the way, we stopped by at Mei Heong Yuen, the place that guarantees sweet sensation. This double storey shop lot was crowded, packed with customers waiting in line for a seat.

Have dessert before retiring for the night at Mei Heong Yuen by

The menu featured a wide array of traditional Chinese desserts and snow ice, for just a couple of dollars each. We had the mango snow ice, mango sago with pomelo and the macha snow ice with red beans.

Among the best cold item was the mango sago with pomelo. The chilled bowl of thick mango puree with shaved ice was topped with chunky pieces of mango cubes and pomelo sacs. I thoroughly enjoyed the combination taste of the sweet mango and the slightly sour pomelo.

Macha snow ice with red beans_resize Mango sago with pomelo_resize Refreshing mango snow ice _resize

The traditional Chinese desserts Ohr Nee was just as delicious. This warm dessert of smooth creamy yam paste was served with pieces of pumpkin and gingko nuts (pak kor).

Smooth creamy yam paste with pieces of pumpkin and gingko (pak kor)_resize

It was truly an enjoyable visit to Chinatown, the place with sights and tastes of the local culture. We wandered through the wonders of Chinatown and slowly took in the beautiful architecture and ambience.

An old shoplot magnificiently refurnished_resize

Well maintained building in Chinatown_resize

To sum it all up, my trip to Singapore was simply satisfying, trying out all the food in different parts of the Lion City. I have the desire to do it all over again and definitely will be bringing a big appetite!

Other interesting food places in Singapore :

Chin Huat Live Seafood Restaurant

Geylang Lor 29 Fried Hokkien Mee

Cugini Trattoria Pizzeria

Clifford at The Fullerton Bay Hotel


P.S. Cafe @Dempsey Hill

Imperial Treasure @ION

For readers who wish to expand their knowledge of Singapore food places and its history, I highly recommend the book titled “The End of Char Kway Teow” by food writer Dr Leslie Tay. My Singaporean food blogger friend had just launched his first book on 18th December 2010.

Based on his award winning food blog, the book is essentially a celebration of the Singaporean Hawker Heritage, and contained interview stories of him with the hawkers.

ieat-book by

The book has gorgeous full page and centre spread photos of hawker food that captures the allure of the simple hawker fare. It is organized by chapters which highlight each of the hawker food, followed by a selection of the best places to eat them. There is even a section of hawker stories, with the rich history behind the unique foods that define the Singaporean identity!

The book, priced at $26.15 plus GST, is supported by the National Heritage Board and the foreword is written by well known gourmand, Peter A Knipp. Outside of Singapore, it can be purchased at and the profits are donated towards the Sandakan School Building project.

* This is a reproduction of my article published in New Straits Times


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