Guide: 5 Must-Try Food In One of Singapore's Most-Awarded Hawker Centres
Dec 03, 2019

Guide: 5 Must-Try Food In One of Singapore's Most-Awarded Hawker Centres

Do you love hawker centres in Singapore? Check out this article and taste the must-try food products now. Read on to know more about them.

In busy downtown Singapore lies one of the city’s most-awarded hawker centres. It’s where 13 hawker stalls in Golden Mile Food Centre earned the prestigious City Hawker Food Hunt accolade, the longest-running hawker food contest island-wide. The multi-storey outdoor eating place has a lively mix of Malaysian, Indian and Chinese food that’s injected with Singaporean flavour, including five featured stalls from slippery spicy curry mee, to ice cold grass jelly.

1. Wedang, B1-19

 

Tahu goreng, or fried beancurd is what Wedang does best. The thick slab of tofu, deep-fried outside and soft inside, is a regular side in Malay cuisine. Since helming the stall in 2005, owner-chef Mr Azman Kamis makes the dish using fresh tofu daily, and coats it with an appetite-opening sweet peanut gravy. Its portion might be too much for one person, so it’s best shared and paired with white rice. If you prefer spicier, ask for more chili padi to be added to the gravy. The dish is one of their best-sellers out of a total of five offerings that include the ever-popular satay, or grilled chicken and beef skewers with a nutty dip. In 2016, the humble stall caught the attention of Michelin inspectors, who awarded them a Bib Gourmand, an accolade given to eateries that offer “good quality, good value cooking”.

Prices range from SGD 3.

Opening hours: 12pm - 3.30pm and 5pm - 7pm, daily. Closed on Mondays.

2. Da Po Hainanese Chicken Rice and Curry Chicken Noodles, B1-53

 

You might be familiar with curry, but have you heard of curry mee? Well, for over three decades now, this stall has been selling one of the city’s cult favourites, that is yellow noodles in a bowl of soupy curry. Think of it as curry, but lighter, almost like a soup, and eaten not with rice or bread but noodles. The curry gravy is mildly spicy and coconuty with a trace of sweetness. In a spoon, you scoop up chewy yellow noodles, cubes of potatoes, tender chicken chunks and tau pok, or soft tofu skin, the same one found in laksa –another of Singapore’s heritage noodle dishes. The same stall also boasts a plate of lean, juicy, fat-fragrant Hainanese chicken rice, or what’s considered the king of Singapore’s hawker food. We recommend both.

A bowl of curry mee starts from SGD 5.

Opening hours: 10.30am – 5.30pm, daily. Closed on Mondays.

3. Ah Xiao Teochew Braised Duck, B1-43

 

The food here is light and uncomplicated, trademark elements of Teochew cuisine. A full platter includes herbal braised eggs, soft tofu slices and tau pok, or tofu skin and thinly-sliced duck. But go beyond lean meat and add some juicy pork belly to your order too. Poured all over it is a deep herbal gravy that is not too salty or sweet. While most of Teochew food is pleasant, there’s spice here that comes in a saliva-stimulating house-made chili dip, a tangy blend of chili padi, vinegar and garlic that you can have as much of. Order with a plate of white rice or a warm kway chap soup, that is broad flat white noodles in a light herbal soy sauce broth. It goes down smooth and like typical Teochew style, comes in small servings, but you may opt for bigger portions. Second-generation hawker Rui Hai took over his parent’s duck stall over 10 years ago, and by many indications, the business is still doing well. The best one is how early he closes for business each day, about 20 ducks are prepared daily and by mid-afternoon, are sold out.

 

A basic plate of braised duck rice starts from SGD 3.

Opening hours: 9.30am – 7.30pm, daily. Closed on Thursdays.

4. Golden Mile Special Yong Tau Foo, B1-44

 

Most of this stall’s yong tau foo items are stuffed with yellowtail fish. The choice of fish, a naturally oily and buttery fish similar to mackerel, perfectly complements both plain and strong flavours in majority of its offerings like fishcake, bittergourd and tofu skin, which is deep-fried to a chewy crisp. The fish paste is made in-house too, then stuffed into various root vegetables, like brinjal, lady fingers and capsicums. Apart from the usual, pick out chunky rectangular tofu, it’s exceptional and when blanched in hot soup, unusually soft and clean-tasting. A minimum of seven pieces must be selected, with bee hoon as the only noodle offered. Have it with savoury soup or dry, topped with a thick reddish-brown fermented bean curd gravy that leans towards the sweeter side.

Go early, by 2pm, the shop closes for the day.

SGD 50 cents per piece, a minimum order of seven pieces is required.

Opening hours: 9.45am - 2pm, daily. Closed on Sunday.

Zhao An Granny Grass Jelly, 01-58

 

 

Had a heavy meal? Now take a walk up to second level of the hawker centre and sit down for an ice cold (or hot) bowl of chin chow as it’s known locally, or sweetened black jelly. The jelly’s texture is smooth, and has an aromatic, floral fragrance. The original recipe was created years ago by granny when she ran the street stall, and calls for the traditional Chinese sweet soup dessert to be made by hand. Since 1996, her grandson who now runs the stall, has largely kept to the recipe book, only adding more grass jelly for a more satisfying chew. Pick from four traditional toppings of longan, nata de coco, attap chee or chewy palm seeds and sea coconuts. Or get it as a drink.

From SGD 1.50

Opening hours: 11.30am – 7.30pm, daily. 11.30 – 6.30pm, Tuesday and Saturday.

 

The multi-storey hawker centre is surrounded by the city’s landmarks such as Golden Mile Tower, that holds a historic movie theatre, The Projector, on the 5thfloor. In its heyday, it made up a part of Golden Theatre, the biggest cinema in Singapore and Malaysia. Now, it’s often the first theatre in the city to bring in overseas screenings and is frequented mostly by the younger crowd.

Right beside it is Golden Mile Complex, a multi-storey building of mainly Thai and Vietnamese eateries. You know it’s authentic when you enter and the air smells like a brew of Thai spices, Vietnamese herbs and other scents unfamiliar to Singapore hawker centres. 

Stalls there sell classic Thai dishes like basil pork and tom yum soup, to mookata. That’s Thai hot plate that you first oil with a piece of lard, before slapping on pieces of meat and seafood and watch the whole thing sizzle. Golden Mile Complex opens till late, and really is its own little Vietnam and Thailand.

Golden Mile Food Centre is featured as part of the recent Singapore Tourism Board’s annual local food festival, the Singapore Food Festival. And these time-tested stalls remain open for your stomachs and votes -support your favourite hawkers at www.cityhawkerfoodhunt.com.

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