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

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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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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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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. 

Fei Ye Ye Food Tradition - Soy Sauce Chicken Noodle @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre have no lack of stalls offering soy sauce chicken. Other than Fatty Ox and Liao Fan (Hawker Chan), Fei Ye Ye Food Tradition is another stall here that specialize in soy sauce chicken ($7.50/half, $14/whole).

Apart from soy sauce chicken noodle, they also serve wanton noodle, wanton soup, sui kow (dumpling) noodle, sui kow soup and chicken feet noodle.

Almost every lunar new year, I would head to Fei Ye Ye for their jellyfish yee sang however, I have yet to give their noodles a try. Well, not even once.

Come to think of it, I wonder why?

Since I am currently on a food trail at this food centre, I thought why not take the opportunity to try all the soy sauce chickens here?

Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck & Kway Chap @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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Melvin Chew, second generation owner of Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck & Kway Chap took over reins of the 36 years old business from his father after the elder Chew's demise a few years ago. He now runs the stall with his mother.

Unlike other conventional lor ark (braised duck) stalls which serves either rice or kway chap, Melvin went one step further by injecting Japanese influences into this traditional Teochew dish. Think bento and ramen with lor ark.

Jin Ji does serve their braised ducks the traditional way for the purists, of course, but the new offerings will appeal to the millennials. After all, they are quite Instagram-worthy. 

Tai Wah Cooked Food - Pandan "Butterfly" Bun @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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Tai Wah Cooked Food at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre sells traditional Chinese fried fritters like the youtiao (Chinese cruller), ham chim peng (salted five-spice buns), green bean bun, red bean bun and, the specialty of their stall, the butterfly bun.

I enjoy their fritters as they are hand-made at the stall daily and fried on the spot so it is always fresh and piping hot.

My favorite among all is the butterfly bun but not just any butterfly bun, mind you. Theirs is really unique because it is pandan-flavored. So far, this is the only stall I know that does it this way. 

Fatty Ox HK Kitchen - Beef Brisket Noodle @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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I am not much of a beef person thus, there are some beef dishes that I have not eaten before. Among them, I am particularly curious about the ngau lam (beef brisket).

I heard that the ngau lam at Fatty Ox is one of the best there is in Singapore. Since I am already checking out Fatty Ox for their soy sauce chicken, why not give their ngau lam a try?

That is why, I decided to order a plate of ngau lam with noodle ($4).

I also hear their sui kow (shrimp dumplings) are pretty solid so, I asked to add a couple in as well.

My ngau lam noodle with two pieces of sui kow came up to $5.50.

As this is my first time having ngau lam noodle, I do not know what to expect. In fact, I do not even know which part of the cow ngau lam is!

Fatty Ox HK Kitchen - Soy Sauce Chicken Noodle @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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Soy sauce chicken are a dime a dozen at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre. At last count, there are at least five such stalls here in this food centre and that's not including the lesser known ones.

The most famous one of them all - Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle - is the world's first hawker to be awarded one Michelin star. I was a fan of theirs prior their award days but ever since then, I can only shake my head in disappointment at the outrageous queue.

That is when I decided to seek out the other soy sauce chicken located within the food centre.

Cue Fatty Ox HK Kitchen.

The chef, Mr Cheung, is a Hong Konger who moved to Singapore during the 1980s. In 1986, he started his first stall inside a coffee shop at Pagoda Street. Then, in 1991, he moved to Murray Street and operated there for 16 years. Subsequently, he moved to a coffee shop at North Bridge Road for about two years before settling down at Chinatown Complex.

Maxwell Haha Mee Siam Mee Rebus @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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Reviewing this stall is not part of the plan.

I was actually there at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre for Fatty Ox HK Kitchen's soya sauce chicken noodle but I have forgotten that they are closed on Mondays.

Not wanting to make a wasted trip, I went to the next stall on my list, Tai Wah Cooked Food for their Pandan-flavored "butterfly" but they, too were not opened.

Then, I remembered about this mee siam stall at the row behind Chang Ji Gourmet when I was there to review them. I was actually sitting at the table outside this stall because I wanted to make use of the lights coming from their stall to take photos of the fried bee hoon and peanut porridge.

The stall in question is called Maxwell Haha Mee Siam Mee Rebus and you can probably tell where they were previously located and what they sell. The stall is wholly Chinese owned, selling Chinese-styled mee siam and mee rebus.

Chang Ji Gourmet - $1.20 Porridge & Fried Bee Hoon @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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Chang Ji Gourmet at Chinatown Complex have a very simple menu with just three items: fried bee hoon, fried noodle and peanut porridge.

I have not eaten at this stall before but I did walk past it many times and I am intrigued by its long, snaking queue.

Chang Ji offers a simple, no-frills breakfast at just $1 per serving. Their fried bee hoon and fried noodle come with just bean sprouts and nothing else. They do not even have additional sides that you can add on to your meal so why are they such a hit with customers?

I decided to join the queue on a Saturday morning to find out why.

Woo Ji Cooked Food - $2 Laksa & Prawn Noodle @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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The food centre at Chinatown Complex is like a labyrinth filled with surprises at every turn. I am excited to learn of a stall here that sell laksa and prawn noodle for a mere $2!

The only catch is, you have to come very early for a bowl as they are opened from 6am till they closes at 10am. Yes, only four hours! Very short operating hours I know!

But, what is one to do if you want to have a bowl? Well, you jolly wake up and leave the house when the skies is still dark which is what I did!

There is already a snaking line when I reached the stall Woo Ji Cooked Food at 7am. I cannot decide whether to have laksa or prawn noodle so I ordered both!

Jia Ji Mei Shi @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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After an intensive three-months renovations, Chinatown Complex has finally reopened much to the relief of the stall owners (no income for three months!) and the nearby office workers who had to venture further for their lunches.

Honestly, I do not see any difference with the newly renovated food centre. Illumination within is still as bad as before, throwing people into a dreary mood. Furthermore, seemingly cleaned tables still have stains on them, suggesting half-hearted jobs from the cleaning crew.

The only evident thing I see are the nets put up to keep out the birds.

The very first stall that I cannot wait to revisit is Jia Ji Mei Shi which serves all-day breakfast like chee cheong fun (rice rolls), orh kueh (yam cake), porridge, fried bee hoon and rice dumplings, etc.

This particular stall is one of the more popular ones hence a perpetual queue is to be expected although it is not as terrible as Liao Fan's (Hawker Chan) which is just perpendicular in front to their stall.

Soh Food Stewed Duck @ Empress Road Market & Food Centre

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I just realized that the stalls at Empress Road Market & Food Centre which I have featured on this blog are all located along the same row just next to each other.

The third stall that I wanted to introduce at this food centre is called Soh Food. From its name alone, it might be hard to guess what they sell but their specialty is actually stewed duck.

Do not confuse stewed duck with braised duck because they are not the same even though they may look similar. In fact, I have not heard of stewed duck before and this is definitely my first time having it!

I ordered a stewed duck leg which came with a portion of spinach and two pieces of Chinese mushrooms. You can make it into a meal by having it served with either kway teow or rice.

I opted for rice and my set (see photo above) costs $6.

Happy World Roast @ Empress Road Market & Food Centre

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Happy World Roast at Empress Road Market & Food Centre specializes in Cantonese roast meats. Other than the usual roasts like char siew (bbq pork), siew yoke (roasted pork) and roasted chicken, they also serve Hainanese chicken.

After studying the menu, I decided to go for their char siew and siew yoke set for one person ($6). The set includes a plate of rice drizzled with dark soy, a single portion of char siew and siew yoke served separately, a bowl of stewed cabbage and a bowl of peanut soup.

The reason I chose to have this is because I like stewed cabbage and it is quite unheard of to have a roast stall offering this. Thus, I wanted to check out how this one person char siew and siew yoke set is like.

Ah Wing Wanton Mee @ Empress Road Market & Food Centre

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When I was previously looking up Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre on Google map, I discovered that Empress Road Market & Food Centre (also known as Farrer Road Food Centre) is just a little further up.

I did not realize that Farrer Road is actually so close to the Queenstown and Commonwealth area. I have wanted to check out Empress Road Market & Food Centre since a few years back but shelved the plans as I thought it is rather out of the way.

Now that I know how easy it is to get there from my place, I decided to pay a visit to the food centre even though if it meant I had to take three buses to reach my destination (but it's okay, I love bus rides especially when it's raining and with my ear pods plugged in).

So, what makes me want to come Empress Road Market & Food Centre all these years? It is all because of Ah Wing Wanton Mee!

I once saw a photo of their wanton mee and I was fascinated by their plump wantons and charred char siew that I promised myself I would have a plate of it one of these days. The "one of these days" took a little longer than expected but better late than never, right?

Bee Yee Teochew Famous Fish Ball Kuay Teow Mee @ Blk 117 Commonwealth Drive

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I am done with reviewing the food at Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre but I thought I will give Google photos a final browse just in case I missed out on anything.

And I am glad I did because the photo of a beautiful bowl of Teochew mee pok (flat noodle) caught my attention. It did not look like it came from Huang Da Fu or Hao Hao Noodle House.

I clicked on the photo and it brought me to a Straits Times article about this noodle stall called Bee Yee Teochew Famous Fish Ball Kuay Teow Mee at block 117. Then, it dawned upon me that I have seen that article a long time ago.

That bowl of mee pok with prawn, fish cake, bak chor and pork lard seemed alluring enough for me to want to have a bowl but at that point of time, I still have not figured out how to get to the location thus, the matter was soon forgotten.

Eng Kee Fried Bee Hoon And Chicken Wings @ Blk 117 Commonwealth Crescent

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Eng Kee is a typical economical breakfast stall serving the usual staples like fried bee hoon, fried noodle and fried kway teow with an assortment of sides like fried chicken wings, otah, luncheon meat, ngor hiang, fish cake, fried long beans and stewed cabbages among other things.

Unlike other such economical stalls which closes by noon, Eng Kee starts business from noon onwards till late at night.

I have tried Eng Kee at their Redhill market outlet before and I am now at their main outlet - the birthplace of the fried chicken wings which they are famous for.

I arrived at around 11.30am so I ordered a drink, intending to wait for the stall to open for business  at noon. However, I noticed that by 11.40am, they have already started operations.

By then, a short queue have formed but I did not join in until the queue starts moving.

Henry's Chicken Rice @ Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre

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I have read numerous reviews about Henry's Chicken Rice at Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre just across from Hao Hao Noodle House and I decided to check them out.

I am particularly intrigued by two of the reviews which mentioned about a certain black-faced auntie. Why is she black-faced? I reminded myself not to blindly believe everything that was posted online. Who knows, it might have been a disgruntled customer bad mouthing her?

On the day of my visit, I approached the stall with an open mind. Surely, the auntie will not be black-faced for no rhyme or reason? Her back was facing me when I stood in front of the stall. It was still early so a queue have not build up yet. When she turned around, I have to say, I was taken aback by her expression. Her face was, like they said - black.

Auntie:  要什么?(what you want? what is your order?) 
Me: 烧鸡腿饭,这里吃。(roasted chicken drumstick rice, having here)

She proceeded to prepare my order, placed them on the tray and collected payment without another word, a smile or thank you.

But I did not do anything to make her angry mah. Why is she mad at me? I eventually came to this conclusion: perhaps auntie is naturally poker face lah. Not that she is angry or anything.

Cannot expect people to keep smiling right? Siao meh?

Hao Hao Noodle House Wanton Noodle @ Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre

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Hao Hao Noodle House is another popular noodle stall at Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre.

The stall sells a variety of noodles like wanton noodle, sui kow noodle, Ipoh hor fun, mushroom & chicken feet noodle, and laksa.

Being a fan of wanton noodle ($3), I have to order a plate of my favorite noodle. It is self-service here so you order, make your payment and wait to collect your food.

I was watching the chef blanch my noodles when he suddenly toss them high into the air and catching it deftly in his ladle with precision. That was totally unanticipated! I thought such flying acts could only be found in Malaysia.

Huang Da Fu Minced Meat Noodle @ Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre

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Huang Da Fu is one of the more popular noodle stall at Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre. 

Run by a young couple, the stall serves minced meat noodle (bak chor mee) that come in three sizes ($2.70/$3.50/$4.50).

Their cheapest bowl, at $2.70, is the most affordable I have ever seen. I think bak chor mee at most places starts from $3. I decided to go for the medium bowl and the lady who took my order suggests adding on their delicious fish dumplings (4 pieces for $1).

After collecting payment, the guy immediately gets to work; blanching the noodles and putting the bowl together.

牛車水阿婆鹵鴨 @ Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre

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I am not a duck person but I am a convert after discovering Cai Ji's braised duck from Seah Im Food Centre a couple of years ago. Now, whenever I come across a braised duck stall at any food centre, I would be most willing to give it a try.

During my first visit to Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre, I noticed there is a braised duck stall called 牛車水阿婆鹵鴨 located near the escalator. Although there is a perpetual queue in front of the stall, it gets cleared pretty fast. I made a mental note to give it a try during my next visit.

On my second visit, I came up from the escalator and was elated to see no one in the queue. The stall owner was sitting outside the stall, taking a break.

I immediately walk up to her and ordered a plate of braised duck rice ($3).

Hong Kee Porridge @ Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre

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In my previous post, I was at Commonwealth Crescent Food Centre for the fried chicken burger from Hammee's. Because there are other orders before mine, I was told to pick up my burger in ten minutes time.

Instead of whiling away that ten minutes, I decided to order a bowl of pork porridge from Hong Kee Porridge as there is no queue.

The plan was to leisurely sip on, and savor my porridge while waiting for my burger. However, plans often do not work out the way you intended. The lack of a physical queue does not mean there is no queue at all. You place your order, let the uncle know where you are sitting and the auntie will bring the porridge to your table.

So now you know, the queue here is actually invisible. It took quite a while but when my pork porridge finally reached me, there is just mere minutes left to collect my burger. I gulped through my bowl of hot porridge with no leisure to speak of and needless to say, I did not get to enjoy or savor its flavor.

By the time I am done with the porridge, I am still late for my burger by five minutes. As such, I decided to make a return trip for the pork porridge again, to give it a fair review.

Hammee's Fried Chicken Burger @ Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre

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This week, I decided to check out Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre because there is a new hipster burger joint that I wanted to try. I like hipster joints like this because they offer artisanal burgers at food centre prices. What's not to like?

I believe you should have seen them on social media by now. Yes, I am talking about Hammee's who opened their stall at the food centre above the market six months ago.

Previously selling seafood white bee hoon, the young couple made a complete switch-over to selling handcrafted burgers. There are currently three offerings on their menu: Premium Beef Cheeseburger ($8), Classic Beef Cheeseburger ($6) and Fried Chicken Burger ($5.50).

All the burgers come included with shoestring fries. I decided to go for the fried chicken burger which is available in either original or spicy. As the burgers are only made upon order, I was told to pick mine up in ten minutes.

Guan Kee Wanton Noodle @ Geylang East Market & Food Centre

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By the time I am done with my fried Hokkien mee at Geylang East Market & Food Centre, the rain has eased a little but still showed no signs of stopping anytime soon. Now, what do you do when you are stuck at the food centre? Well, you eat some more!

According to my compiled list of the must-eats here, the wanton noodle from Guan Kee Wanton Noodle is another popular choice with the foodies. Being an ardent fan of wanton noodle, I had to order a plate ($3) to try.

Ming Yun Famous Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodle @ Geylang East Market & Food Centre

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After a visit to Certis Cisco Centre at Paya Lebar, I decided to check out the nearby Geylang East Market & Food Centre for my late breakfast.

Due to it being my first time in this area, I had a bit of trouble locating it.

It doesn't help that I was caught in a heavy downpour that morning. Even though I had with me an umbrella, I was completely drenched.

With the wind threatening to wrench the umbrella out of my hands, I tightened my grip on it with one hand while the other held on to my phone for directions from google map.

I eventually found the food centre behind some shop houses which is almost impossible to spot from the main road. Feeling cold and uncomfortable with wet clothes sticking to my skin, I make a beeline for the shelter, grateful for the respite from the rain.

I have done my due diligence the night before and had a rough idea of what the food centre has to offer. I have my eyes set on the hokkien mee ($4/$5/$6) from Ming Yun Famous Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodle. 

Xiao Yang Guo Kui - Flatbread With A Thousand Years History Arrived In Singapore!

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Forgive the hand model, k? Don't let the fur get to you.

When I first heard of Xiao Yang Guo Kui (小杨锅盔), I was bewildered as its name does not make any sense nor give me an idea of what the product really is.

After some googling, however, I found out that this naan look-alike flatbread is called a guo kui (锅盔) while Xiao Yang Guo Kui (小杨锅盔) is the brand name which brought this chain to Singapore. 

Xiao Yang Guo Kui has got absolutely nothing to do with Yang Guo of The Condor Heroes fame from Louis Cha's novel. However, it does have an impressive history dating back to the Three Kingdoms.

Wow. Imagine having the same thing as Liu Bei and Zhuge Liang?

Word has it that a soldier used his helmet (kui) as a wok (guo) to cook some flour over a fire and voila, the guo kui is born. For the next thousand of years, this staple army provision has evolved into a popular traditional street snack for the masses in China.

Soon Heng Hot & Cold Desserts @ Tanglin Halt Food Centre

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As its name implies, Soon Heng Hot & Cold Desserts at Tanglin Halt Food Centre serves a selection of hot and cold Chinese desserts.

What I find amazing about this stall is that most of their desserts costs only a dollar per bowl! Yes! ONE DOLLAR!

That is the charm with food centres found at the older estates. Food prices are usually kept low so that the lower income and elderly could afford it.

I am totally spoilt for choice here but I decided to order the lian zi suan, ice kachang and tau suan.

Queenstown Lontong Mee Soto @ Tanglin Halt Food Centre

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After trying the mee rebus from Queenstown Lontong at Tanglin Halt Food Centre, I could not stop thinking about their mee soto. After all, it is my ultimate favorite Malay noodle dish.

I decided not to have anymore naggy feelings about it so I returned to the food centre and ordered myself a bowl of mee soto ($3) with the same nice kakak inside the stall. A cheerful stall owner versus a grumpy one really makes a difference to my mood.

As the kakak busied herself with my order, I saw a fresh batch of chicken wings frying in the wok and was so tempted to get one but I opt for the begedil ($1) instead.

Queenstown Lontong Mee Rebus @ Tanglin Halt Food Centre

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While doing my research about Tanglin Halt Food Centre, I learned about the wonderful mee rebus from Queenstown Lontong. To be honest, it was a photo of the noodle dish that caught my attention.

To verify if the mee rebus was really as good as what the reviews claimed to be, I decided that a visit to the stall is in order!

On the day of my visit, the two ladies from the stall were amiable and full of smiles. It made my trip  a welcoming one.

Just like any Malay stalls, they serve typical breakfast such as nasi lemak, lontong, mee rebusmee siam, mee soto and soto ayam. Every dish costs a standard $3.

I was initially undecided between having mee rebus or mee soto but I eventually caved in to the former.

Hakka Thunder Tea Rice @ Tanglin Halt Food Centre

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The thunder tea rice stall at Tanglin Halt Food Centre is one of the more popular options that draw a perpetual queue during lunch hour.

When I was there, customers were already crowding in front of the stall waiting for them to open for business at 11am.

As the opening hour neared, the crowd automatically formed a line in a orderly manner. While standing in the queue, I observed that the stall owner is working inside the stall without switching on the lights.

Makes one wonder how does he see in the dark?

Ruyi Yuan Vegetarian Bee Hoon @ Blk 46-1 Tanglin Halt

food, food review, review, ruyi yuan, ruyi yuan vegetarian, singapore, tanglin halt, vegetarian, 如意园, 如意园素食, 素食,

Ruyi Yuan Vegetarian is well-known for her snaking queue which can extend all the way out of the coffeeshop. I decided to visit the stall at 6.30am on a Saturday morning to avoid the crowd because with lesser people around, I feel less stressful about taking photos.

When I arrived, there is no line at all. I marched right up to the stall and ordered two sets; one to have there and one for takeaway.

Over here, you have the option to add "lor" (gravy) to your bee hoon. I love having lor in my bee hoon but not many places offer this. I am grateful this is one of the very few places that did. For the takeaway pack, the lady even gave me a big packet of lor packed separately.

Tanglin Halt Roti Prata @ Blk 49 Tanglin Halt

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What caught my attention at this prata stall was the coffeeshop's name "Peking Room" which sounded a lot more like a nightspot than a coffeeshop to me. The prata stall itself is called Tanglin Halt Roti Prata though part of its name was obscured by a piece of newspaper cutting.

When I arrived on a Saturday morning, the chilly breeze and crisp air makes it most comfortable to be seated on the outdoor alfresco area under the canopy. With no queue in sight, I approached the stall and ordered two plain pratas for myself.

There was already a stack of made-in-advanced pratas behind the glass window and the staff picked two pieces onto my plate. I requested for a saucer of fish curry to go with my breakfast.

Tian Xiang Wanton Noodle @ Tanglin Halt Food Centre

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Apart from the drinks stalls at Tanglin Halt Food Centre, Tian Xiang Wanton Noodle is one of the earliest stalls to open for business every morning.

I have read numerous good reviews about their wanton noodle so I decided to give them a try. I arrived just slightly after 7am - their stipulated opening hour and there is just one customer before me.

The stall offers both wanton and sui kow noodle at the same price of $3 and $3.50.

Tong Kee Chicken Rice @ Tanglin Halt Food Centre

food, food review, review, singapore, tanglin halt, tanglin halt food centre, tong kee chicken rice, 東記雞飯, tong kee,chicken rice

While researching about the food available in the Tanglin Halt area near Commonwealth MRT Station, the names - Tanglin Halt Market and Tanglin Halt Food Centre constantly turn up and I was left confused, wondering if they were referring to the same place?

Only after paying a visit to the neighborhood did I realize that Tanglin Halt Market and Tanglin Halt Food Centre are two different hawker centres barely a minute's walk from each other.

The confusion arise because some reviewers from burpple have wrongly geo-tagged the food stalls from the market under the food centre.

To add on to the initial confusion, the address for the food centre varies from 1A to 3A Commonwealth Drive.

As it turns out, the food centre is comprised of three octagonal buildings hence each building will have its own block number and so does the food stalls under each block.

Compared to Tanglin Halt Market, Tanglin Halt Food Centre is considerably quieter as the stalls here open for business much later. The air-circulation is good here due to the high ceiling and proximity between the tables are quite spacious.

The first stall I am going to visit here is Tong Kee Chiken Rice which is previously from Margaret Drive. This stall specializes in roasted chicken so you will not be able to find the poached variety here.

Tanglin Halt Delicious Duck Noodle @ Tanglin Halt Market

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While queuing for Wei Yi Laksa, I noticed that Tanglin Halt Delicious Duck Noodle two units down is another one of the stalls here that open for business during the wee hours at Tanglin Halt Market.

By "wee hours", I really meant 5.30am! One can only wonder how early our hawkers have to be at their stall to prepare everything just so we could have breakfast the moment we opened our eyes. Their dedication to their craft is what makes them truly deserving of our respect!

Just like the queue at Wei Yi Laksa, a comparable line has also formed in front of the duck noodle stall. Unfortunately, there is only so much food I could fill my stomach with so I have to make a return trip for the duck noodle on another day.

Due to the Lunar New Year, I could only make my way down after the festivities have ended. This time, I arrived much later than the previous visit but there is still a snaking queue in front of the stall at 10am. Fortunately, the queue cleared quite fast.

I ordered a large bowl of dry duck noodle ($3/$4/$5). Unlike other Teochew braised duck noodle stalls that offer only bee hoon, yellow noodle and kway teow, this stall also have mee kia and mee pok.

Wei Yi Laksa @ Tanglin Halt Market

food, food review, laksa, prawn noodle review, singapore, tanglin halt, tanglin halt market, wei yi, wei yi laksa, 唯一辣沙,辣沙, 叻沙

This week, I am checking out Tanglin Halt Market where a row of hawker stalls share the same building as the wet market.

Some of the hawker stalls here open for business as early as 5am and Wei Yi Laksa & Prawn Noodle is one of them. I thought that there would not be much of a crowd when I arrived at 6 in the morning however, there are already a number of retirees starting their day over a cup of coffee and laksa.

At that ungodly hour, a line has already formed in front of the stall and I am number six in the queue.

As its name suggests, the stall sells both laksa and prawn noodle although they are more popular for the former. For the laksa, you can select from six different combinations of chicken, prawns, cockles and tau pok.

Too bad there isn't any option without tau pok since I am not too fond of it.

I decided to go for option number 5 ($5) that consisted of everything they have but, there was a mixed up and I received option number 6 which came without prawns.

Economic Food Wah Kueh @ Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre

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I was having porridge in front of a random stall at Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre when out of the corner of my eyes, I caught sight of the word "wah kueh" among the list of food items they sell.

I doubt the younger generation would know what "wah kueh" really is because it is a fast disappearing snack rarely found nowadays.

This rice pudding of Hokkien origins is made by steaming the rice mixture in bowls. The word "bowl" in Hokkien is pronounced as "wah" hence the name, wah kueh, which roughly translates as bowl cake.

During my younger days, I have been hearing Mum reminiscing about this elderly gentleman who peddles his wah kueh from a basket at Hoy Fatt Road where my family used to stay during the 1970s.

I was only born after we moved away to another estate. Needless to say, I never quite got the chance to eat this.

Ivan's Fried Intestines Porridge @ Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre

 food, food review, havelock road, havelock road cooked food centre, ivan's porridge, porridge, review, singapore, 憶華園粥品, fried intestine porridge,炸肠粥

Remember the time I had fish porridge at Ivan's Porridge at Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre? I could not stop thinking about the fried intestines porridge that I saw on the menu so I have decided to make a return visit for just that.

I have eaten boiled and braised intestines before but having it fried is still my very first time. The humble offal often plays second fiddle to the other ingredients like minced pork and pork slices however, at this stall, the intestine is the star taking centrestage as the sole ingredient!

Honestly, intestine porridge is quite uncommon to me as its not available at any of my regular porridge stalls. The most I get is two or three pieces of it in mixed pork porridge and that is about it.

I placed an order for a bowl of fried intestine porridge ($3.50) and added an egg (50¢) with the "havoc" auntie.

Meng Kee Fried Kway Teow @ Blk 22 Havelock Road

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Right next to the entrance of the open air car park to Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre is a nondescript HDB coffee shop.

Every time I walked past it to get to the food centre, I see only a handful of customers around. Due to the lack of crowd here, I did not think much of the coffee shop and what it may have to offer.

Well, until one day when I saw someone having a mean-looking plate of char kway teow there. 

That prompted me to take a look inside the premises where Meng Kee Fried Kway Teow is located.

Soon Heng Hong Kong Style Charcoal Roast @ Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre

char siew, food, food review, havelock road, havelock road cooked food centre, review, siew yok, singapore, sio bak, soon heng hong kong style charcoal roast, 順興港式炭燒燒臘

Soon Heng Hong Kong Style Charcoal Roast at Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre serves the usual roasts like char siew, roasted pork (siew yok/sio bak), roasted duck and roasted chicken.

As I was craving for roasted pork, I ordered the char siew and roasted pork combo with rice ($4). While the auntie was preparing my order, my gaze fell upon the rolls of pig's skin in the window. How could I resist the temptation not to get some?

The overall cost came up to $5 so that makes the pig's skin only a dollar.

Zheng Nasi Lemak @ Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre

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That piece of luncheon meat is a dead giveaway but if you can't already tell, Zheng Nasi Lemak at Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre is wholly Chinese owned therefore tak Halal.

I have walked past this stall numerous times during my last few visits and I finally decided to try them out this round. They have six different sets for easy ordering. I chose set number one ($4) which comes with a drumstick, luncheon meat and fried egg on top of rice, sambal chili and cucumber.

The rice is nicely perfumed with the coconut milk aroma but the texture is a tad dry and not fluffy enough. I do like it though for its saltish undertones.

Eng Huat Fishball Mee @ Havelock Road Cook Food Centre

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This visit to Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre is to try the fishball noodles at Eng Huat Fishball Mee.

When I arrived at the food centre, there are only four persons in front of the stall. I joined the queue totally unprepared for the long wait.

I turned to look inside the stall and I saw the uncle taking order, cooking, collecting payment, slicing fish cakes, washing, chopping spring onions all at the same time with no helper. 

It is a one-man show. That explains the slow moving queue!
.

IAAI Malay Food Mee Siam @ Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre

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I have a funny encounter with the nenek of IAAI Malay Food at Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre.

It all started when I ordered a bowl of mee siam with her at the stall. I spoke to her in English but she replied to me in Malay which I did not understand.

I simply smile and nodded at her words. After I received my bowl, I chose a table in front of the stall and started snapping away with my camera.

Then, I heard nenek giggling. I turned to look at her and she gave me two thumbs-up with a big grin on her face. I gave her two thumbs-up in return.

She came to my table with a packet of assam in her hands and began telling me what I believed to be how she used it in the mee siam I was having. I wished I understood what she said so I could put in the extra info here.

After finishing my food, I walked up to nenek to tell her that her mee siam is "sedap" and ordered another round of mee siam and mee rebus to take away for the folks at home. Then, I finally understood why she keep talking to me in Malay - she thought that I am a Indonesian tourist because I was taking photos.

But why Indonesian of all places? Well, technically she isn't wrong as I do have some Indonesian blood in me though I cannot speak a word of it to save my life.

I bade farewell to nenek and she was still grinning from ear to ear.

Guang Fa Laksa @ Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre

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The uncle behind Guang Fa Laksa at Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre is real friendly but oddly quiet who uses the thumbs-up sign to acknowledge you.

You have to specify if you want cockles because if you don't, you will not be given any and there will be a difference in pricing. The price for laksa without cockles is $2.50 and $3 while with cockles is $3 and $4 respectively.

What is laksa without cockles? Without a doubt, I had to order a bowl with the shellfish.

Ivan's Porridge @ Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre


During my second visit to Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre, Ivan's Porridge was on the agenda.

I am there to try the boneless fish belly porridge which is highly recommended online but after scrutinizing the menu, I realize that it was no longer available. Perhaps it is an off-the-menu item but I did not ask so I decided to settle for the sliced fish porridge instead.

I placed my order with the auntie who had a punk hairstyle. To my surprise, she is actually quite polite and soft-spoken despite her "havoc" appearance. I was told to take a seat while my order will be delivered to me shortly.

Covent Garden Prawn Noodle @ Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre

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When I was researching about Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre, the prawn noodles of Covent Garden Prawn Noodle caught my attention.

Their noodles in the photos seemed so old school and alluring. I guess it's rightly so as the proprietor is a pair of elderly couple.

I have the tendency to patronize elderly hawkers because I choose to believe that they still make food out of passion like the good old days with a well-guarded recipe without cutting corners.

I hope to have a chance to taste such traditional flavors while I still can before their craft disappears with their demise. Also, consider it my way of supporting them to make a living.

The stall is closed for three days a week so I suppose they are not running the business out of necessity but rather, to keep themselves occupied. Of course, this is only speculation on my part.

I made it a point to arrive at the food centre before noon and there were only three customers in front of me. However, the waiting time still took a while despite everyone ordering single bowls.

The wait is due to the senior proprietor preparing orders in their own unhurried way so, do have a little patience to wait in line.