Ah Tan Wings - Har Cheong Gai Cutlet @ Yishun Park Hawker Centre

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After hearing so much raves about Ah Tan Wings, I finally had the chance to give them a try at Yishun Park Hawker Centre.

This stall specializes in one of Singaporean's favorite tze char dish - the prawn paste chicken, or better known as har cheong gai which is essentially deep fried chicken marinated in fermented prawn paste.

The menu here is simple.

You can buy the chicken wings ala carte at $1.80 each (minimum two pieces), or as a meal with either two wings (Set A $5.20) or chicken cutlet (Set B $6.80). Both meals come with rice and a sunny side up with cucumbers and half a wedge of lemon.

There is also the basic meal (Set C $3.50) which is similar to Set A but only come with one wing and no fried egg.

51 Noodle House - Japanese Fusion Bak Chor Mee @ Yishun Park Hawker Centre

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During my previous visit to Yishun Park Hawker Centre, I went to the wrong bak chor mee stall therefore, I am back again to look for the correct one called 51 Noodle House.

51 Noodle House is the collaboration between two young hawkers who already have their own respective food stalls at the food centre.

Rather than being business rivals, the two - Henry Yap from Ipoh Curry Noodle (#01-36) and Darren  Teo from Seafood Pirates (#01-35) - teamed up to open another stall offering fusion bak chor mee with a Japanese element to it.

Da San Yuan - Bak Chor Mee @ Yishun Park Hawker Centre

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The purpose of this trip to Yishun Park Hawker Centre is to check out the bak chor mee.

Upon my arrival, I realized that I had forgotten the unit number and name of the stall. I began looking around at the signboards, searching for one that offers the dish. It did not take me long to find it and I promptly ordered a bowl.

After taking a few pictures, I began to dig in eagerly. However, a few mouthfuls later, I started questioning myself the reason for including this stall on my list. Do not get me wrong; the taste is decent but the ingredients are hardly rave-worthy for me.

I took out my list to verify only to discover that... I had actually gone to the wrong stall!

I am supposed to go to 51 Minced Meat Noodle but I had mistaken Da San Yuan for it instead. Well, my bad. I had not expected that there would be more than one bak chor mee stall at the food centre.

Apart from bak chor meeDa San Yuan also sell fish ball noodle, mini pot noodle and laksa.

Seafood Pirates - $3 Oyster Omelette Rice @ Yishun Park Hawker Centre

singapore,food review,review,yishun,seafood soup,oyster omelette rice,seafood pirates,yishun park hawker centre,food,orh luak rice,海盗鲜味

Seafood Pirates is a seafood soup stall run by Darren Teo and a partner. It is one of the more well-known stalls at Yishun Park Hawker Centre with a celebrity status of sorts, having appeared in various news media as well as covered by major food blogs.

In tune with their stall's pirate themed name, their soups are cleverly named as Pirate's Ultimate, Pirate's Signature, Pirate's Treasure and Pirate's Catch.

Each of these are served with a different combination of seafood such as crayfish, prawns, fish, clams, oysters and fish roe ball in a soup base made with fish bones and chicken bones.

As I am having the Ipoh curry noodle from next door, I decided to leave the soup for another visit. Instead, I will have the oyster omelette rice which I decided to takeaway in case I could not finish it (after having the curry noodle).

Yap's Noodle - Ipoh Curry Seafood & Roasted Pork Noodle @ Yishun Park Hawker Centre

curry mee, curry noodle, food, food review, ipoh, ipoh curry noodle, review, singapore, yap's noodle, yishun, yishun park hawker centre, 叶福家乡面, roasted pork,seafood,

Henry Yap, the owner of Yap's Noodle at Yishun Park Hawker Centre hails from the Malaysian town of Ipoh. His stall specializes in dishes from his hometown, particularly curry noodle.

There is quite a variety of curry noodle available on the menu: curry seafood & roasted pork noodle, curry seafood & abalone noodle, curry shredded chicken & roasted pork noodle, curry chicken noodle, curry fish ball noodle and curry noodle (no meat).

I was actually undecided between the curry shredded chicken noodle and the curry seafood & roasted pork noodle. The former is my personal favorite while the latter, I heard, is limited to only fifty bowls per day.

Furthermore, I supposed the one with seafood would appear better on photos therefore, the choice is made.

Nasi Lemak Cabe Ijo @ Yishun Park Hawker Centre

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Singaporean Mohammed Noorman and his Indonesian wife, Puti Andam Dewi Henry are the owners of Nasi Lemak Ayam Taliwang at Yishun Park Hawker Centre.

Just like the marriage of the stall owners, their signature dish - the nasi lemak ayam taliwang which the stall is named after - is a cross-cultural union between nasi lemak and ayam taliwang, an Indonesian spicy grilled chicken dish.

The couple had tried ayam taliwang while on honeymoon at Puti's hometown and they liked it so much that they decided to introduce it to Singapore and paired it with Noorman's nasi lemak recipe.

Apart from this, the stall also have nasi lemak ayam balado and nasi lemak ayam cabe ijo.

They are basically the same thing - good old nasi lemak served with grilled chicken leg but are smothered in different types of rempah.

I had the nasi lemak ayam cabe ijo, which is served with grilled chicken leg in green chili rempah.

Bon Appetit - Ke Kou Mian @ Yishun Park Hawker Centre

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Update: Bon Appetit has permanently closed.

What is ke kou mian (可口面)?

I first heard of this dish from a stall named Hai Xian Zhu Zhou (海鲜煮粥) at Blk 163A Gangsa Road (Bukit Panjang) which is pretty close by my place.

Ke kou mian translates to "delicious noodle", or it could simply be referring to the Koka brand of instant noodle that the stall used in the making of this dish. Basically, the stall cook instant noodle with your choice of broth flavor (pork, seafood, spicy, tom yum) and added ingredients like meat and vegetables to it.

I am not too sure if paying a couple of dollars for a bowl of instant noodle which I could easily whip up at home myself is such a good idea therefore, even though this Hai Xian Zhu Zhou is near me, I have not paid them a visit yet.

I think partly, it is also due to their ungodly operating hours from 4am to 2.30pm.

I doubt this ke kou mian stall named Bon Appetit at Yishun Park Hawker Centre is related to Hai Xian Zhu Zhou but since it have a much more normal operating hours, I decided to give them a try.

One Mouth Noodle - Char Siew Wanton Noodle @ Yishun Park Hawker Centre

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From far, you would have thought that this stall at Yishun Park Hawker Centre sells ban mian as the words 手工面 (handmade noodle) took centrestage on the signboard in a very large font size.

However, as soon as you come nearer, you will realize that the stall's real name is the one on the left-hand side in a smaller font that reads 一口麵 (One Mouth Noodle).

But, the biggest surprise is, the stall does not sell ban mian at all. Instead, they sell Hong Kong-styled wanton noodle.

And the best part? The stall owner actually makes his own egg noodle, a skill which he picked up from his father and that is what the "手工面" on the signboard refers to.

Qi Le Chicken Rice @ Blk 744 Yishun Street 72

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Mention chicken rice in Yishun and 925 Chicken Rice near the old bus interchange would come to mind. I had it before but did not find it inspiring enough to want to write about it.

It has been years since then and now I am back on a food trail around Yishun. I thought of looking for another chicken rice stall to try and my search brought me to this chicken rice stall called Qi Le Chicken Rice located inside the S-11 coffee shop near the MRT station.

It is easy to get here: simply exit the MRT station and follow the footpath to the coffee shop. The stall is right in the middle of the coffee shop, partially hidden behind a pillar.

Pak Mandor Nasi Lemak @ Blk 645 Yishun Street 61

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Just a slight distance away from 618 Sim Carrot Cake at blk 645 Yishun Street 61, is a coffeeshop with a very popular Malay Muslim stall named Pak Mandor & Family.

The stall sells mee rebuslontong and nasi lemak however, most customers are there mainly for their coconut rice from what I observed.

The queue was not long but it is very slow-moving as some of the customers in front are buying multiple packs to take away.

You can pick your favorite ingredients ala carte but I simply pointed to the photo on the signboard and told the kak kak that I wanted the same combination which came with coconut rice, a fried chicken wing, a fried kuning fish, an omelette and the usual condiments like peanuts, ikan bilis, cucumber and sambal chili.

I thought a combo like this with both fried fish and fried chicken would have cost at least $4 but no, all these cost a mere $3!

618 Sim Carrot Cake @ Blk 618 Yishun Ring Road

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618 Sim Carrot Cake is located in a quiet neighborhood at Yishun near Khatib MRT Station. The stall sells white carrot cake ($3/$4) while giving customers the option to add prawns ($4.50/$6). They used to sell the black version as well but not anymore.

I ordered the smallest $3 plate and was given a buzzer after I paid up. According to online reviews, I was mentally prepared to wait for up to an hour but all it took was about ten minutes for my buzzer to start vibrating.

I was astonished to see the portion of my $3 carrot cake on the counter, ready for collection. I thought the auntie has made a mistake and had given me the $4 plate instead. I double checked with her and she assured me that it is indeed my order.

The generous portion can actually be shared among two persons which is totally value for money!

Mr Fish - Black Bean Sliced Fish Hor Fun @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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Update: Mr Fish has permanently closed.

This post was initially intended for the black bean sliced fish hor fun from Sun Seng Gourmet's Corner (#02-061) which is located at the far end of Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre.

Unfortunately, the stall was closed when I visited on a Tuesday (their off day is on Sunday and Monday).

Thankfully, I recalled that Mr Fish (#02-073) which I visited a week ago for its sliced fish bee hoon offered the same dish therefore, I retraced my steps back to the stall.

I have never had had black bean sliced fish hor fun ($5) before therefore I ordered a plate with the purple-haired auntie to try it out.

Mr Fish - Sliced Fish Bee Hoon @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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Update: Mr Fish has permanently closed.

Mr Fish is located at a secluded spot of Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre which could prove to be a little challenging to find however, if you know where Xiu Ji Ikan Bilis Yong Tau Fu is, the stall is just a bit further in.

What brought me here is their fish soup which is purportedly made with no milk added. The creaminess and depth of flavor was achieved through long hours of non stop boiling fried fish bones.

A long waiting time is to be expected during peak hours as each bowl is cooked upon order. I arrived at about half past ten but the stall did not open till slightly after eleven. Even though I was the second customer of the day, my order only came ten minutes after the first customer was served.

Claypot & Cooked Food Kitchen - Serving Cantonese Delights @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

singapore,kailan with oyster sauce,food review,chinatown complex market & food centre,claypot & cooked food kitchen,砂煲小厨,335 smith street,har cheong gai,prawn paste chicken,hawker centre

Update: Claypot & Cooked Food Kitchen is permanently closed.

Claypot & Cooked Food Kitchen at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre specializes in Cantonese-style tze char. The modest menu included their signature claypot pig's liver, har cheong gai, sweet & sour pork, salted fish minced chicken tofu pot, tofu & roasted meat among others.

In the days following up to my visit, I was actually quite looking forward to have their har cheong gai (prawn paste chicken) because honestly, is there anyone who does not like fried chicken?

When the day eventually arrived, I visited the stall with much anticipation but I was taken aback when the lady told me in her heavily Cantonese-accented Mandarin that the har cheong gai is a sauce-less dish which would be too dry to have with rice and refused to process my order.

To be fair, she did not say it outright but I got the signals from her body language. I was waiting for her to give me suggestions on what other dishes to try, however, she turned her back on me, not willing to carry the conversation further.

For a moment, I stood there dumbstruck, trying to comprehend what has just happened. Have I just been told that I am unable to have har cheong gai with rice because it is too dry?

"Huh... then... how?" I asked, totally puzzled by the logic.

"Choose something else" she replied curtly.

I looked up at the signboard and had a quick browse at the menu before I decide to add on a vegetable dish to my fried chicken.

"One kai lan with oyster sauce and one har cheong kai. With rice."

It was only then she picked up the pen and wrote down my order on a piece of paper.

I do not understand what is the issue here with having fried chicken with rice? Is it because I am ordering only one dish therefore she is not too keen in my patronage? I hope that is not her bid to make me spend more because I came alone so how much food can I actually eat?

Ma Li Ya Virgin Chicken @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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Ma Li Ya Virgin Chicken at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre needs no further introduction but, unless you have eaten it before, you would never have guessed that what I had here is a plate of chicken rice because frankly, it does not even remotely resemble one.

It is not my first time having their chicken rice but it is my first time having it there hence I was rather taken aback by the presentation. In the past, my family always chose to pack a bird home for dinner.

Despite having patronized them for years, I did not realize that they actually sell two kinds of chickens with different pricing. There is the Hong Kong-styled soya sauce chicken (half $7/whole $14) and signature soya sauce chicken (half $10/whole $20).

Well, I guess I would not have taken such a close look at their signboard if not for doing this review. In fact, I wonder why it took me so long to write about them?

Chef Sham H.K. Vinegar Trotters @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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I have wanted to try the pig's trotters from Chef Sham H.K. Vinegar Trotters for the longest time, but somehow, I would always ended up having something else while at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre.

On this visit, I made up my mind and marched my way to the stall to order myself a bowl of black vinegar pig's trotters and a bowl of rice.

It was a younger Chinese man who took my order but it was Chef Sham himself who served me. The stall made enough pig's trotters to fill a large vat which could last them probably several days. When an order is received, the trotters would be fished from the vat and transferred to be reheated over a stove in a claypot. 

Ah Hua Assam - Signature Assam Chicken Set @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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Update: Ah Hua Assam has permanently closed.

Ah Hua Assam is a relatively new entrant at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre having set up stall only in August this year. Their main focus are dishes made with their home made assam (tamarind) sauce.

In fact, they were marketing their home made assam sauce in glass bottles online before setting up stall here.

When photos of their enticing dishes served on enamel plates began making their rounds on Instagram, it caught my attention. Wow, that screams nothing but old school therefore, I decided to go check them out at the food centre.

On the menu are their signature assam chicken set, braised chicken set and assam batang fish set. The sets are served with rice, omelette, and your choice of curry vegetable or chap chye.

They also have whole assam fish heads and other add-ons, like home made ngor hiangassam bee hoon, babi pongteh and otak.

Ah Hor Teochew Kway Teow Mee @ 165 Kitchener Road

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Just across the road from City Square Mall is a coffee shop housing a very popular Teochew noodle stall. 

I have kiv-ed this stall at the same time as the braised duck rice stall because they are categorized under the same area. This noodle stall called Ah Hor Teochew Kway Teow Mee has since moved from the address (12 Verdun Road) recorded in my list.

According to Dr Leslie Tay, the old stall used to be under an elderly man in his 70s who had a penchant for long sleeved shirts with flowery prints.

However, when I was at their new location, the havoc uncle is no where to be seen. Instead, the cooking was done by a middle aged lady with a young man taking orders.

South Buona Vista Road Famous Teochew Boneless Duck Rice - Closing At The End Of November! @ 16 Sam Leong Road

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Update: South Buona Vista Road Famous Teochew Boneless Duck Rice has relocated. The new address has been updated at the bottom of this post.

There is a braised duck rice stall with a rather lengthy name located near Mustafa Centre.

Its owner, Mr Ang Chiap Teck - brother-in-law to the founder of the famous Lim Seng Lee Duck Rice at Buona Vista - set up the business here at Verdun Road in 2013 after Lim Seng Lee closed down during that same year.

As a mark of respect to his brother-in-law who had given him his blessings to revive the 45 years old business, Mr Ang did not continue with the Lim Seng Lee brand. Instead, he named his business South Buona Vista Road Famous Teochew Boneless Duck Rice.

I have kiv-ed this stall for quite a few years now but have never gotten round to paying them a visit.

While getting out of bed one Saturday morning, I suddenly made up my mind not to put it off any longer and took the train to Farrer Park MRT station. Cutting through City Square Mall, I exited the mall and crossed the road to the opposite side where the stall is located inside a coffee shop named Kim San Leng.

There were no customers that Saturday morning so I was able to order a plate of braised duck rice for $4 immediately.

Sky Terrace @ Kampung Admiralty

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In my previous post, I shared about Kampung Admiralty, which is Singapore's very first retirement village. I also roughly talked about the amenities available in this development. In this post, I will share about the Sky Terrace from the eighth to eleventh floor.

The eighth floor is the highest level that the lift will stop at so you have to walk the remaining three floors up. Now, there is really no need to rush back into the lift after learning that you have to walk. Remember this place is built for the elderly in mind?

The only way up is via a gentle slope that is easy on the knees. The slope is also wheelchair friendly so you will find it literally a walk in the park.

You will realize the tranquility at the Sky Terrace is a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle on the lower levels.

The studio apartments where the elderly resides in, overlooks the Sky Terrace.

Singapore's Very First Vertical Kampung @ Kampung Admiralty

Friends of mine would probably know that I am a huge fan of Studio Ghibli's animated feature film Laputa: Castle In The Sky which tells the story of an ancient civilization on a mysterious island that floats in the sky.

We all know that is not quite possible in reality, however, what if I were to tell you that we do have our very own version of Laputa right here in Singapore?

Well, sort of and it is located at Admiralty, to be precise.

Kampung Admiralty is Singapore's very first vertical kampung, a retirement village for the elderly built with every amenity and service they needed all under one roof.

The basement is where the car park, supermarket and a bank are located while retail outlets and a community plaza are on the first floor. A hawker centre occupies the second floor followed by a medical centre on the third and fourth. The sixth and seventh floor comprises of a eldercare centre, a childcare centre, a function hall and a roof garden while the eighth to eleventh floor is the sky terrace.

*There is no mention of the fifth floor and the lift bypasses this level.

Siamkia Thai Cuisine - $2.80 Minced Pork Omelette With Rice @ Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre

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While checking out Kampung Admiralty Food Centre, I chanced upon this Thai food stall called Siamkia Thai Cuisine.

What I like about them is their economical pricing. Their tom yum goong - the priciest item on their menu - is selling for only $6.

However, I decided to have their minced pork omelette (kai jeow moo sab) with rice instead, which happens to be their cheapest dish at only $2.80.

There is nothing more simple and comforting than having an omelette with rice. And not just any omelette mind you, but a Thai one.

San Yi Xuan - Mixed Mushrooms Chicken Rice Served In Bamboo Tube @ Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre

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San Yi Xuan at Kampung Admiralty Food Centre is run by two Chinese nationals offering specialties from Jiangxi, China which is one of the partner's hometown.

Their menu included several rice-based dishes served in bamboo tubes, Chinese soups and grilled fish served with either mala or preserved vegetables.

After a quick browse on the menu, the mixed mushrooms chicken rice served in bamboo tube ($3.50) caught my eyes.

It did not take long for my order to be ready. I was surprised to see a side dish and a bowl of soup all inclusive in the price.

Nasi Ayam Panggang @ Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre

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The Malay and Indian stalls are all located in the same cluster at one side of Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre. 

This very next stall that I wanted to try, called Uncle Penyet, is located right in this section.

As you can probably guess, the stall sells ayam penyet set ($5.50) but it is not the fried smashed chicken that I am here for because I am more interested in the ayam panggang set (grilled chicken).

When I saw the photos of their ayam panggang set ($5.50), I am sold. Everything about the dish, from the colors to the plating just seems so perfect together.

Chye Lye Ah Ma Mee Sua @ Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre

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Located right next to the lor mee stall at Kampung Admiralty Food Centre is Chye Lye Ah Ma Mee Sua and I am there to try something called the tau chiam ($4.50), a kind of noodle made with soy bean and wheat.

Since I am early, a queue has not formed yet but that does not mean I do not have to wait as the three staff inside were each busy with their own chores. 

The one taking my order is cutting chili while the one at the back is pounding minced pork. As for the one cooking my order, I cannot see what she is doing since she is hidden behind the glass panel all plastered with photographs taken with ministers and famous personalities.

It took about five minutes for my bowl of noodle to be ready.

Ah Choon Traditional Lor Mee @ Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre

ah choon traditional lor mee, food, food centre, food review, kampung admiralty hawker centre, lor mee, review, singapore, social enterprise, 阿春传统卤面,

I have finally paid my first visit to Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre, a social enterprise food centre run by NTUC Foodfare. Simply turn right after exiting the fare gate at Admiralty MRT station and you will see it on your left. It is located on the second level which is accessible by the escalator or lift.

While checking out the stalls, I spotted one serving lor mee, prawn noodle and laksa. My heart is bent on having the lor mee since it is a perennial favorite of mine. Studying the menu, they have fish lor mee ($3.50), chicken cutlet lor mee ($3.50) as well as signature lor mee ($4) but it is the $2.80 traditional lor mee that caught my attention.

I will not delve into the details of what a social enterprise hawker centre is all about but under contract, every stall is required to offer at least one food item at $2.80 to ensure that food is made affordable for everyone.

I decided to have the $4 signature lor mee instead because I knew that the $2.80 version will probably not satisfy me. 

Yong Heng Fried Baby Squid Prawn Mee @ Blk 155 Bukit Batok Street 11

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Just a few stalls down from Tiong Bahru Lor Mee, located within the same coffee shop is Yong Heng Fried Baby Squid Prawn Mee.

I was actually looking for the lor mee stall when I chanced upon this stall selling Hokkien mee. The sight of the three whole squids atop the plate of fried Hokkien mee on the signboard (refer to the last photo below) prompted me to order a medium ($4/$6/$8) plate to try.

When my order was ready, I took a look at my plate longingly but the three squids were no where to be seen. There are only squid rings and if you piece them all together, does not even form the half of one squid, not to mention three.

Oh no.

Have I been taken for a ride? Is this yet another case of "photos are for illustration only"?

When will I stop being gullible?

Tiong Bahru Lor Mee @ Blk 155 Bukit Batok Street 11

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Ever since Uncle Teo's Bukit Purmei Lor Mee closed down three years ago, I have been unable to find another bowl of lor mee that comes anywhere close to his standard.

I might be biased but that is because I have eaten his family's lor mee since his mother's time at the former Seng Poh Road Market.

When I gotten news that his sister is running a lor mee stall at Bukit Batok, I knew I had to go give it a try.

It is self service here so you order, pay and wait to collect your order. I ordered a $4 bowl and opted for bee hoon. Once my order is ready, I helped myself to the black vinegar, chili paste and cut chili padi placed outside the stall.

New Market Teochew Braised Duck Rice @ Alexandra Village Food Centre

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Located along the same row as Xiang Jiang Soya Sauce Chicken at Alexandra Village Food Centre is another famous stall called New Market Teochew Braised Duck Rice.

Run by a husband and wife team, this stall specializes in Teochew braised ducks but they also sell a plethora of other items like braised pork, braised pig's intestines, braised tau kwa, braised hard boiled egg, etc.

As with all popular stalls, a queue is to be expected. The chef seems unperturbed by the long queue as he goes about chopping ingredients at his own pace. I waited in line impatiently for about thirty minutes before it finally reached my turn to order.

I had wanted to order a plate of braised duck rice and add on pig's skin with the lady taking orders but was told that they do not have it and recommended the skin from the pig's head instead.

Even though I eat pig's skin, pig's trotters, pork belly, the liver and even intestines, there are still areas that I do not dare to eat like the ears, nose, tail, heart and in this case, the head.

I declined politely and left the queue with only a plate of braised duck rice ($4) in my hands.

Xiang Jiang Soya Sauce Chicken @ Alexandra Village Food Centre

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As its name implies, Xiang Jiang Soya Sauce Chicken at Alexandra Village Food Centre specializes in soya sauce chicken which you can have with either rice or noodle. For the latter, you have the option of mee kia, mee pok or hor fun.

I went to join in the queue but realized the service is rather slow as there is only one staff inside the stall chopping chicken and preparing the noodles. A lady outside the stall is taking orders and relaying instructions to the man inside.

Even though the queue is not long, it took about 15 minutes for me to reach the lady. I ordered a plate of soya sauce chicken noodle ($4) and added two pieces of sui kow (80¢ each) ala carte.

Love Confectionary @ Blk 122 Bukit Merah Lane 1

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Located right underneath a HDB block at Bukit Merah facing Alexandra Village Food Centre is a traditional bakery with a lovely name called Love Confectionery.

It is so old school you will not find the trendiest of cakes here except some very nostalgic butter cream cakes coated with rainbow sprinklers, chocolate rice, peanut powder and almond flakes.

The bakery opens at 12 noon but on the day of my visit, I was an hour early. With a cup of avocado juice in hand, I waited an hour for them to pull up their shutters.

This bakery bakes some of the freshest butter cream cakes there is. The moment the shop opens, customers began streaming in, grabbing whatever they can lay their hands on. There is simply no opportunity for me to snap any photos of the cakes in the glass cabinet.

With only two trays of every item available, the cakes and pastries here are almost like limited edition. I am not sure if they have more at the back of the shop but from what I found out, they are usually sold out by 2pm.

Poh Cheu - Assorted Flavors Ang Ku Kueh @ Blk 127 Bukit Merah Lane 1

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Poh Cheu is renowned for their ang ku kueh which come in twelve different flavors: black sesame, coffee, coconut, durian, green bean, green tea, mango, peanut, pineapple, red bean, salted bean and yam.

I am honestly quite intrigued by the bold flavors they have come up with for this traditional pastry. What's admirable is that everything from the filling to the skin, is entirely handmade. They have a group of ladies working in the kitchen, kneading and rolling out these babies for us.

I have long heard about Poh Cheu's ang ku kueh and I am glad I finally had the chance to give them a try.

No Name Fish Soup @ Blk 127 Bukit Merah Lane 1

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This KPT Coffee Shop at blk 127 Bukit Merah Lane 1 is truly amazing. With only three food stalls and one drinks stall, it managed to keep afloat despite competition from the nearby Kek Eng Kee and Alexandra Village Food Centre.

From Yang Zhou Fried Hokkien Mee in the previous post, the no name fish soup in this post and the ang ku kueh from Poh Cheu in the upcoming post, all three are popular in their own rights with each drawing a constant queue during their operating hours.

The queue at this fish soup stall, in particular, can stretch all the way out of the coffee shop during lunch hour. One reason for the queue built-up is because every bowl is cooked individually, with only one uncle helming the stove. However, you can see him cooking furiously away non-stop over a roaring fire whose flames envelops the tiny pot bubbling away. 

Yang Zhou Fried Hokkien Mee @ Blk 127 Bukit Merah Lane 1

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For the last 30 years, the owners of Yang Zhou Fried Hokkien Mee have been frying their noodles over a charcoal stove inside a coffee shop at Beo Crescent, effectively drawing long queue of customers everyday.

Two years ago, they relocated to another coffee shop called KPT Coffee Shop at Blk 127 Bukit Merah Lane 1 which, unfortunately, does not allow them to use charcoal anymore.

I am a old school foodie and I am game for anything cooked over a charcoal stove. Although they no longer uses it, I am still tempted to give them a try thanks to the glowing reviews online.

I visited the stall at about ten on a weekday morning with no queue in sight. The stall owner - Uncle Lim - was busy at the back while his wife is seated at the front with the newspapers spread in front of her. I walked up to her and placed an order for a $5 plate.

Sentosa Sandsation 2019 - Star Wars Edition

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R2-D2, BB-8, C-3PO

Fans of STAR WARS rejoice!

For the third consecutive year, Sentosa is hosting Southeast Asia's biggest sand festival "Sentosa Sandsation 2019" and the theme for this year is STAR WARS!

Be enthralled by 20 larger-than-life sand sculptures including YODA, Darth Vadar, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker and many others!

Old Teochew Mee Siam @ Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre

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The husband and wife team behind Old Teochew at Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre serves the Chinese-styled mee siam and satay bee hoon.

I decided to order the mee siam ($3) since I am not too big a fan of satay bee hoon.

After placing my order, the friendly auntie began assembling the ingredients into a plate of bee hoon followed by adding hot broth to it. After checking with me if the sambal is enough, she even took the initiative to help me squeeze the lime so that I do not have to do it myself.

Such motherly love though I am sure she does it for everyone else. This is what I call service with a heart!

Granny's Pancake @ Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre

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Granny's Pancake is a franchise with a number of stalls around Singapore and one of them is located at Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre. Their mee chiang kueh draws a queue whenever I visit the food centre.

In fact, I already noticed them during my first visit. It was about 4pm then when most of the other stalls had already closed for the day. Only a handful of stalls like Granny's Pancake are still opened or just opening for dinner service. I was sitting right in front of their stall having my prawn noodle from Prawn Village.

While enjoying my meal, I noticed students from the nearby school coming in twos and threes to buy their mee chiang kueh. That aroused my interest.

Tom's City Zoom Mee Pok Tar @ Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre

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Based on the choice of font used on the signboard, it is quite apparent that this "Tom" behind Tom's City Zoom Mee Pok Tar at Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre is relatively young.

Indeed, when I was queuing for my bowl of noodle, I was served by a lad seemingly in his twenties with a woman whom I assumed to be his mother.

Tom have a pleasant deposition with a great smile and he looks younger than he actually is. He is the one building rapport with customers while assisted by his Mum, working silently by the side.

When the OL (office lady) in front of me walked off with a bowl of mee tai mak in her hands, it reminded me that I have not had one for a long time and I wanted one too. However, I guess Tom misheard me over all that noise at the food centre and gave me mee pok instead.

Guan Kee Fried Kway Teow @ Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre

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Guan Kee Fried Kway Teow is one of those legendary stalls at Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre that commands a long queue of customers who willingly wait in line for a plate of their fried kway teow.

I arrived just a few minutes after they had opened for the day and the queue has already stretched to the stall opposite. I thought I would wait for the queue to clear by taking a walk round the food centre but with each extra round I took, the line only gets longer than before.

I decided to take the plunge and join the queue like everyone else. It was painfully slow but that did not seem to deter the line of people from forming behind me.

After an agonizing thirty minutes later, I finally reached the front of the stall where the uncle could be seen frying behind a glass panel.

63 Laksa - $2 Laksa @ Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre

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If you are wondering why this stall at Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre is called 63 Laksa, here is a clue: it is NOT the stall's unit number.

Well, try pronouncing the numbers 6 and 3 in Hokkien. Do you get it now?

While researching about this stall, I found out that the price of its laksa is a mere $2 however, by the time I finally visited, the price has increased to $2.50. This is what procrastination do to you.

On the day of my visit, I headed straight for the stall to order a bowl of laksa. Placed beside the cauldron of laksa broth are a few porcelain bowls containing thick bee hoon that has been cut short. The shortened thick bee hoon is easier to pick up with the spoon and much more convenient to eat.

The stallholder picked up one of the bowls and scooped boiling laksa broth into it before pouring the broth back into the pot. He repeated this a couple of times more in an unhurried manner.

He is so meticulous that not a drop of the broth splashed anywhere. 

Ghim Moh Carrot Cake @ Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre

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There are two fried carrot cake stalls at Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre and I am undecided which one to patronize. Reading up reviews online at home pushed me into deeper dilemma as both have their fair share of supporters. 

Even on the day of my visit, I am still mulling over it. It was only when I reached there at the food centre that I made up my mind to have Ghim Moh Carrot Cake instead of Hock Soon Carrot Cake.

Reason? I went to the one with the longest queue.

This stall sells both the white and black carrot cake for $2.50, $3, $4 and $5. Now here comes another problem: black or white?

When it reached my turn to order, I queried whether they serve the yuan yang, which is a combo of both the white and black carrot cake on the same plate. To my delight, they said yes. 

Problem solved for $4.

Chuan Kee Boneless Braised Duck Rice @ Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre

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Chuan Kee specializes in braised duck meat and is one of the more popular stalls at Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre. It was included in the Michelin Bib Gourmand for two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019.

Not that the inclusion in the list matters (not to me anyway) because with or without it, Chuan Kee have no lack of customers coming for their signature braised duck. The French tyre simply caused frustration in people who have to cope with the queue they created.

You can have the braised duck with either rice, noodle or porridge in three sizes ($3/$4/$5).

I was actually hesitating whether to give them a try. I mean, I do like braised duck rice but I prefer having it with white rice and a non starchy sauce like what Cai Ji and Ah Xiao are serving.

Despite Chuan Kee serving their braised duck with a dark colored looking rice and starchy sauce which is not really what I like, I still decide to go ahead and ordered for myself the $4 braised duck rice set.

Heavens Appam @ Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre

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Heavens is the name of an Indian breakfast stall serving a very limited menu of thosai, putu mayam and appam at Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre.

What piqued my interest is their unusual name. Why Heavens? Indian food stalls are normally named after the registered owner's name, the kind of food they sell or based on its location.

Of course, I do not speak collectively for all but just sharing my own personal experience with the ones that I have come across with.

Besides, such establishments are usually dominated by a male working environment hence my surprise to discover this stall managed wholly by two ladies.

Furthermore, if you have not already noticed by now that roti prata - quintessentially the representative Indian breakfast choice for many - is not on the menu.

But, roti prata is not why I am here for. What I am really after is their appam which I have not eaten before.

Ghim Moh Chwee Kueh @ Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre

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Mention Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre and Ghim Moh Chwee Kueh is bound to come to mind.

Sixty years into the business, Mr Lee began helping his mother peddle chwee kueh from a push cart outside Alexandra Hospital in 1959.

Now, a permanent fixture at the food centre since its opening in the 1970s, he and his wife has been selling chwee kueh to a faithful following with a sixty year old recipe that was passed down by his mother.

Prawn Village @ Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre

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Update: Prawn Village has permanently closed.

I have been meaning to visit Prawn Village when they were at Golden Mile Food Centre but procrastination has gotten the better of me and before I knew it, they had relocated to Ghim Moh Food Centre.

Well, not that it is a bad thing since Ghim Moh is actually much nearer for me. However, they have recently switched their operating hours from 9am - 5pm to 4pm - 9pm instead which makes it harder for me to have a bowl since I usually have dinner at home.

As fate would have it, I had a doctor's appointment in the afternoon and there is a direct bus that goes to Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre. By the time I arrived at the food centre, it was almost opening time. So, it was kind of like the stars aligned for me to finally have a bowl!

The last time I came to Ghim Moh Food Centre must have been at least fifteen years ago. When I reached there, I am surprised to find the food centre deserted and void of people. I asked a passing cleaner why is this so and he explains that the majority of stalls here closes for the day after the office lunch crowd has subside with only a handful remaining opened for dinner service.

Weng Kiang Kee's Triple Egg Porridge @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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Weng Kiang Kee Porridge is just next door to Fatty Ox at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre. I have been to Fatty Ox a couple of times but I have not noticed Weng Kiang Kee Porridge there before.

There were a couple of customers sitting around in front of the stall, waiting for their orders thus I decided to join them to see what the hype was all about.

The stall adopts an electronic queue system. When an order is placed, you will be given a number tag which you have to wait for the corresponding number to flash on the screen in order to collect your porridge. 

Babas Peranakan - Peranakan Chap Chye Png @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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Update: Babas Peranakan has permanently closed.

Economical rice, or more commonly known as chap chye png (mixed rice) is no stranger to most of us here. But have you heard of one that specializes in Peranakan dishes?

Today, I am going to introduce Babas Peranakan - a Peranakan food stall located in Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre.

Peranakan cuisine are usually found in restaurants but to have one in a food centre is hard to come by.

Some of the dishes I saw on display included vegetable curry, chicken curry, assam fish, fried mackerel steak, otah and fried long beans among others.

The variety of dishes is quite limited compared to a regular chap chye png stall but that is only because one person is cooking in this space constrained kitchen. However, you can be assured of the consistency and quality of the food delivered.

I ordered a plate of rice and picked chicken curry, bitter gourd yong tau fu and chap chye. I also asked for curry sauce to be splashed over the rice. The bill came up to $5.

Happies Bak Kut Teh By DFTBA Kitchen - Hawkepreneur With A Heart @ Chinatown Complex market & Food Centre

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Update: Happies Bak Kut Teh has permanently closed.

While waiting in line for my porridge and fried bee hoon from Chang Ji Gourmet, the Doraemon decal on the shutters of Happies Bak Kut Teh caught my eyes.

After some googling, I found out that the stall owner Connie Chan, is a fan of this anime character. If you check out their Instagram account, they occasionally have Doraemon's merchandise available for sale.

I myself is a fan of the robotic cat from the future hence my particular interest in this bak kut teh stall at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre.

Tian Tian Porridge @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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Update: Tian Tian Porridge has permanently closed.

After having my chee cheong fun at Duo Ji, I walked past Tian Tian Porridge which is managed by a couple of old folks. I find myself unable to walk away without having a bowl because I have the tendency to patronize a stall if the stall owner is an elderly. It does not matter if the food is good or not as my main reason is to support them.

As its name implies, Tian Tian Porridge serves porridge and they only have two options available so you can have either fish or pork.

I ordered a $4 bowl of pork porridge and the auntie told me to take a seat. I sat at the table nearest to the stall so she did not have to walk too far to deliver my order. I collected my bowl and moved to another table out of sight from the stall to take my photos in peace as I feel stressed out with people watching me taking photos of my food.

The perks of visiting the food centre early is that there is virtually no crowd at all.

Duo Ji Famous Chee Cheong Fun @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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This is actually an accidental find.

I was walking through the food centre when I stumble across this particular section where all the stalls have yet to open except this one.

It was quite early then, around 7am. The place was dark and the only lights available came from this stall. There were no customers so I walked up to see what they have to offer. Apparently, they sell chee cheong fun (rice rolls) and yam cake ($1.50/$2/$3).

Perhaps, it is a psychological thing; the morning was chilly and having piping hot chee cheong fun that is freshly out from the steamers seemed like the ideal thing to do. I decided to order a $2 plate to try.