Khoon Kee Tasty Prawn Mee @ Redhill Market & Food Centre

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When I was at Redhill Market & Food Centre recently, I noticed quite a queue at Khoon Kee Tasty Prawn Mee. I went home, did a little read up on them and decided to return to give them a try.

There is no queue in front of the stall on my return trip and I was able to place my order immediately.

I had read a couple of reviews that do not recommend the pork ribs so I decided to take heed and order the soup version with only prawns.

One can truly tell the passion the chef had for his craft. Just see how he arranges the prawns in the bowl and the fact that they are only cooked upon order and not in advance.

Redhill Pork Porridge V2.0 - Reopened By Miss Tam Chiak @ Redhill Market & Food Centre

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My last visit to the popular Redhill Porridge at Redhill Market & Food Centre was two years ago. I was taken aback to learn that the owner, Mr Han, has recently retired and the stall already shuttered.

But as stunned as I was by its sudden closure, news of the stall reopening soon reached my ears. The stall has been taken over by a new operator who turned out to be non other than... Miss Tam Chiak!

I thought she was pulling my leg when she informed me about it. She is already juggling multiple roles as a writer, photographer, food stylist, entrepreneur, wife and mother. Now, we can add on "hawker" to that list.

As it turns out, her family used to run a porridge stall so when she learned that the previous owners were bowing out, she seized the opportunity and took over.

A change in ownership bring new changes. The fish option which was previously available has been taken off the menu so this is now solely a pork porridge stall. Also, there is the inevitable price increase but do expect better quality ingredients.

After all, this is a partnership with celebrity chefs Cao Yong and Kenny.

Faith Nasi Lemak, Fried Bee Hoon/Mee @ Redhill Market & Food Centre

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Since I would be dropping by Redhill Market & Food Centre to support the relaunch of Redhill Pork Porridge, I took the opportunity to check out the other stalls which I did not managed to during my last visit two years ago.

What caught my interest is this stall named Faith Nasi Lemak, Fried Bee Hoon/Mee. 

As its name implies, the stall offers nasi lemak and fried bee hoon/mee with a wide array of dishes to choose from.

However, unlike other economical bee hoon stalls where the nasi lemak plays second fiddle, the opposite seemed to be the case here with the coconut rice dish hogging the limelight.

Just take a look at their impressive menu on the signboard:

Set 1) Chicken Cutlet Rice with cabbage and egg ($4) 
Set 2) Sweet & Sour Chicken Rice with cabbage and egg ($4)
Set 3) Chicken Wing Rice with cabbage and egg ($3.80)
Set 4) Fish Fillet Rice with egg, silver fish and peanut ($2.80)
Set 5) Chicken Wing + Luncheon Meat Rice with egg, silver fish and peanut ($4)
Set 6) Chicken Wing + Fish Fillet Rice ($3.80)
Set 7) Chicken Drumstick Rice with egg, silver fish and peanut ($4.70)
Set 8) Curry Chicken Drumstick Rice with cabbage and egg ($4.80)
Set 9) Pork Cutlet Rice with cabbage and egg ($4.80)

That is a grand total of nine different nasi lemak sets with no mention of the bee hoon and mee

I opted for Set 7 that come with a deep fried chicken drumstick, egg, silver fish and peanut.

Gimee Face Noodle House @ Blk 371 Bukit Batok Street 31

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I have not been to this coffee shop at Blk 371 Bukit Batok Street 31 for the last three years since the beginning of the pandemic.

When I finally paid a visit this week, I was surprised to learn that a new noodle stall named Gimee Face Noodle House have taken up space here.

I have heard of the branding before which is a chain co-owned by Tenderfresh’s COO Kelvin Chua and Bakerzin's Daniel Tay.

Stepping foot into the coffee shop, it is not difficult to spot the stall with its eye-catching signboard and impressive menu:

01) Original Pork Noodle ($4.30)
02) Abalone Pork Noodle
03) Spicy Volcano Mee Kia Soup ($7.30)
04) Longevity Mee Sua Dry ($5.30)
05) Mala Spicy Pork Noodle ($5.30)
06) Teochew Fish Ball Noodle ($5.30)
07a) Fragrant Laksa
07b) Fragrant Seafood Laksa
08) Braised Pork Rib Noodle
09) Silky Pork Liver Noodle ($4.30)
10) Fish Ball Kway Teow Soup ($4.30)
11) Homemade Pork Ball Soup ($4.50)
12) Bouncy Fish Ball Soup ($4.30)
13) Heibee Hiam Pork Liver ($4.30)
14) Heibee Hiam Duo Ball ($5.30)

I discovered that menu items #2, #7 and #8 are missing from the signboard. I compared the menu against the one on their Facebook and realized that, perhaps, they do not serve those here at this outlet. 

Wang Wang Claypot Congee @ Blk 371 Bukit Batok Street 31

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Wang Wang Claypot Congee from the coffee shop at Blk 371 Bukit Batok Street 31, has been faithfully serving the Bukit Gombak neighborhood for as long as I could remember. 

The fact that they managed to come this far speak volumes about their congee. An obvious tell-tale sign of their popularity with the residents here is their worn-out signboard.

I have been a fan for a number of years and I wonder what took me so long to finally do a proper review about them?

What makes the stall stand out, is that they served their congee in claypots. Not many congee places do this and this is exactly what drawn me to them. 

Let us take a look at their menu:

  • Frog Congee ($6)
  • Ginger Onion Frog/Dry Cili Frog ($6.50 for one/$12 for two)
  • Hong Kong Style Congee ($4)
  • Seafood Congee ($4)
  • Scallop with pork/chicken/fish Congee ($4)
  • Sliced Fish/Sliced Fish with Cuttlefish Congee ($3.50/$4)
  • Century Egg Pork/Chicken/Pork Congee ($3.50)
  • Cuttlefish Peanut/Century Egg Congee ($3.50)
  • Pig's Organ Congee ($4)
  • Pig's Liver Pork Congee ($3.50)
  • Century Egg Pig's Liver Congee ($3.50)
  • Shredded Chicken Cuttlefish Congee ($3.50)
  • Peanut Congee ($2.50)
  • Sliced Abalone Congee ($3.50)

Shi Mei Hainanese Chicken Rice - Smoked Duck Rice @ Blk 371 Bukit Batok Street 31

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As its name suggests, Shi Mei Hainanese Chicken Rice is known for their chicken rice, particularly the Hainanese chicken and sesame chicken which I have tried four years ago.

This time, I am back to try their lemon chicken rice.

While in the queue, I noticed a hand-written menu plastered on the wall outside the stall. I had a quick browse and spotted smoked duck rice among the usual menu of chicken and roasts.

I had my very first smoked duck just a couple of months earlier from Chinatown Omelette Chef at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre and I find myself liking it.

Just thinking about it makes my mouth water so I decided to have the smoked duck instead of lemon chicken and ordered a rice set for $4.50.

Fatt Kee Shou Shi @ Albert Centre Market & Food Centre

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Albert Centre Market & Food Centre is not where I consider a comfortable place to have a meal due to the heat and the congesting human traffic in the afternoons. #introvertwoes

I would fatt mang zang whenever I am there (albeit unwillingly) to help the folks with their dried goods shopping on the floor above the food centre.

As such, I was never in the mood to explore the food centre even though we have eaten there a few times before heading upstairs. 

It is time that I give myself a chance to discover what this place has to offer.

I decided to get round the problem of bad ventilation and overcrowding by reaching there real early at 7am on a weekend. The downside is that not many stalls are opened yet.

Fatt Kee Shou Shi is one of the few stalls that are fully operational at that timing.

The stall offers old-school Cantonese style breakfast like char bee hoonchar meechee cheong fun, peanut porridge, yam cake and rice dumplings.

All the items here are priced at $1.20 per serving except $3 for the rice dumplings. Do take note that this is the price for dine-in. There is a different set of pricing for takeaways.

I am full of anticipation for this one as they uses charcoal stove to fry their bee hoon and cook their porridge.

Li Ji Cooked Food - Old School Cantonese Economical Rice @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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While lunching at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre a couple of months back, a particular stall named Li Ji Cooked Food caught my attention.

Although it has yet to open for the day, a queue have already formed in front of the stall. Interestingly, the people in the line are mostly the retirees.

With the unwavering support of so many elderlies, there must be something worth checking out here.

So, here I am, in the queue today, to find out what these people are standing in line for. I learned from the auntie behind me that it is a economical rice (chap chye png) stall serving Cantonese-style dishes.

Although stalls offering Teochew muey are a dime a dozen, it did not occur to me till now that there are actually dialect-specified economical rice stalls around (in this case, a Cantonese one).

The queue stretched all the way to Chang Ji Gourmet on the opposite side. Despite the long line, it cleared fast due to the efficiency of the staff.

Heng Ji Chicken Rice @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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What I really looked forward to the most while growing up during the early 1980s, was my family's occasional weekend trip to Chinatown.

What it meant, was that Dad has received his paycheck and we are in for a treat as we would head to Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre for dinner at Heng Ji Chicken Rice.

Dining out was a luxury for us then as Singapore was in a state of recession at that point of time. Dad was fortunate to have kept his job but he worked such long hours that sometimes, I do not get to see him for days especially when he have to work OT through the nights and for that pittance of a salary, money was never enough.

As such, I truly appreciate the times when we could actually sit down as a family to have a meal together.

Facebook memories recently reminded me that my last visit there was some 10 years ago.

To be honest, we stopped patronizing Heng Ji for a period of time due to the discovery of Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle which is the "new kid on the block" then. 

I remember walking past Liao Fan one day, completely mesmerized by the beautiful soy-glazed birds hanging on the racks. Compared to the paler looking ones at Heng Ji, Liao Fan's chickens looked like a million dollars.

But, we too have stopped going to Liao Fan (now rebranded as Hawker Chan) after they received the prestigious tyre award. The queue was already bad enough during their pre-award days. Needless to say, it got worst after that.

We have since found a new darling where a whole bird costs only $12 (now $15 due to the chicken crisis).

Run Ji Cooked Food - Old School Braised Duck Rice @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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Run Ji Cooked Food has been at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre for a very long time. Based on its name alone, it is not quite telling what the stall sells.

They serve braised duck rice here which I have always been wanting to try however, I would always end up having "the usuals" out of habit whenever I visit the food centre.

This review is made up of the experiences from two visits. During the first one, I ordered a plate of braised duck rice ($4) and added on pig's skin ($1) but right after taking ONE photo, my camera ran out of juice.

I visited the stall again, a week later just before the lunch crowd descend upon the food centre.

I made the same order of braised duck rice with pig's skin. Both visits, the lady running the stall checked if I wanted the duck breast or duck thigh of which I requested for the latter.

POH - Chye Poh Hor @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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When I was at Empress Road Market & Food Centre three years ago, I had wanted to try the stall named POH, which serves chye poh hor (菜莆河).

Alas, the four trips that I made to the food centre would always end in disappointment as the stall was perpetually closed each time. I later learned that the stall has shuttered for good.

Fast forward to a few days back, I was at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre when I noticed a new stall along the same row as Chef Sham

Somehow, the familiarity of the stall - from the menu to its name, reminded me very much of the old "POH".

As it turns out, it is indeed them! Fans would be elated to know that after taking a three years break, their favorite stall has made a comeback at a new location!

They are marked as permanently closed at their previous location on Google. Because they are still new at their current place, they are not visible on Google at the point of writing. I have already made a submission so hopefully, by the time you read this review, their new status would have already been updated.

Yan Ji Steamed Pot Rice & Soups @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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I am not entirely sure if Yan Ji Steamed Pot Rice at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre is a new stall but I do not recall seeing it during my previous visits to the food centre (or maybe I was just not paying enough attention).

I tried searching online but could not find anything about it so, I took the liberty to submit the stall's information to Google. I am now awaiting for their approval (Okay, it has gone 'live' now).

The stall is located at the yellow section where the cluster of stalls serving Chinese soups are congregated. 

Chinatown Omelette Chef - Smoked Duck Omelette with Pasta @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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Uncle Francis Lai and Auntie Doreen are the happy faces behind Omelette Chef at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre.

The husband and wife team used to operate a Cantonese soup stall named Grand Stewed Herbal Soup (豪华滋补炖汤) however, as age catches on, decided to switch to selling something that is easier on their backs while also leaving them more time with family.

As the name implies, their current specialty is omelette which you can have with your choice of topping such as Hawaiian ham, diced chicken, smoked duck, cheese, prawn, mushroom and pork sausage.

More flavors like chicken satay, chicken floss and otah are later added to the menu.

Apart from the omelette, you also have a choice of either Japanese rice or pasta drizzled with mushroom sauce and a side of corn and lettuce.

Reasonably priced at $5 for all the different sets, it seems like a complete meal in itself with protein, carbohydrates and fiber all accounted for!

Alimama Green Chili Chicken Rice & Prawn Noodle @ Maxwell Food Centre

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While researching on what to have at Maxwell Food Centre, I came across this stall called Alimama Green Chili Chicken Rice that serve Indonesian fare such as nasi ayam pangang (grilled chicken rice) and nasi ikan bakari (grilled fish rice).

The stall is not difficult to locate as it is right next to Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice.

What caught my eye at Alimama, is item number one on their signboard - the green chili chicken rice ($6.50).

This dish is something new to me hence I am eager to try it out. I had expected it to be a Halal stall but on the contrary, it is not as they also serve prawn noodle with pork ribs, pig's skin and intestine.

Ah Gong Minced Meat Noodle - $2.50 Claypot Bak Chor Mee @ Maxwell Food Centre

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Update: Ah Gong Minced Meat Noodle has permanently closed.

Madam Chow has been a hawker at Maxwell Food Centre for the past five years but business has not always been rosy due to the construction of the Thomson-East Coast Line in the area. 

As the proverb goes, it never rains but it pours. Her business was dealt a further blow when the pandemic struck. Footfall to the food centre fell drastically as dine-in restrictions were imposed.

Not one to admit defeat, Madam Chow turned to selling claypot bak chor mee (she was selling something else before that) thus, Ah Gong Minced Meat Noodle was born. 

Sisaket Thai Food - Basil Chicken, Green Mango Salad & Tom Yum Soup @ Maxwell Food Centre

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I am exploring Maxwell Food Centre this week and after walking through the rows of food stalls several times, I still could not make up my mind as I am bored with having the usual local fare. 

Eventually, I narrowed down my choice to a stall named Sisaket Thai Food. Well, Thai cuisine sounds good to me as I have been yearning for something more exotic lately to arouse my already dormant taste buds.

A search online revealed that the stall is started by a Thai national, Ms Viparat Saibua who owns two other locations at Telok Blangah and Bukit Merah.

As I stood in front of the stall studying the menu, I was impressed to hear a staff (or perhaps it is lao ban niang herself) conversing in fluent Mandarin with a customer. 

I ordered the basil chicken with rice ($5) and topped up $2.50 for a green mango salad and a bowl of tom yum soup which is pretty worthwhile.

I actually preferred pork but there are only chicken and beef options. In fact, there are no signs of any pork dishes on the menu. I am not particularly sure if the stall is Muslim-friendly but I did not notice any Halal certification.

Wei Jia Ban Mian Fish Soup - Chicken Cutlet Noodle @ Blk 443 Clementi Ave 3

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Wei Jia Ban Mian Fish Soup is located inside the same coffee shop as Wan Jia Xiao Guan Zi at Blk 443 Clementi Ave 3 behind Clementi Mall. In case you are wondering, no, the two stalls are unrelated.

The stall offer variations of handmade noodle such as ban mianu mianmee hoon kway, koka noodle, ee-meebee hoon/mee sua, tom yum noodle, dumpling soup, dumpling noodle dry/soup, qq noodle, chicken/pork cutlet noodle, kimchi noodle, steamed dumpling and fried dumpling. 

Strangely, there is no sign of fish soup on the menu. Perhaps they used to serve it but not anymore? Or maybe it is a off-the-menu item which you have to ask for? 

I do not have the answer.

Wan Jia Xiao Guan Zi - Roùjiámó @ Blk 443 Clementi Ave 3

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Update: Wan Jia Xiao Guan Zi has permanently closed.

Roùjiāmó (肉夹馍) is a meat sandwich that has been around for the last 2,000 years.

From my understanding, it is a specialty of ShaanxiXi'An - one of the oldest city in China.

The name, roùjiāmó literally means "meat giap bun" but if you had not already noticed, the reality is quite the opposite whereby its "bun giap meat" (mójiāroù/馍夹肉) instead.

So, how did that come about? One explanation is, its original name was actually 肉夹馍, which means "meat giap within bun" however for some reason, the "" was omitted hence, it became 肉夹馍. 

Another reasoning was 馍夹肉 sounds a lot like 么夹肉, meaning there is "no meat". Nobody would want to buy a bun with no meat so they rearranged the sequence of the words by putting the roù (肉) in front to emphasize on the presence of meat.

It is my first time trying this and I am going to visit a stall named Xiao Guan Zi (小馆子) located inside Food Loft coffee shop at Blk 443 Clementi Ave 3. It is the coffee shop behind the bus interchange where Sheng Yi Fa Lor Mee and Ann Chin Popiah are.

This stall does not have any media presence but that is exactly the aim of this blog which is to seek out the lesser known stalls and give them some exposure. Even though I do not have a big following or the influence to do so, I just do what I can to the best of my ability.

The guy taking my order seems like a Malaysian but the lady who prepared my order is a bona fide Chinese National. All it took her was just about a minute or so to assemble my roùjiāmó ($4), put it into a paper sleeve and handed over the counter to me in a basket.

Xin Peng La Mian Xiao Long Bao @ Blk 442 Clementi Ave 3

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Ask anyone for food suggestions at Clementi and chances are, the majority would direct you towards Clementi 448 Market & Food Centre

However, apart from the food centre, there are quite a number of coffee shops in the vicinity which are worthy of a visit too.

Bgain 442 Eating House - the coffee shop within the closest proximity, is located just across the food centre at blk 442. 

Xin Peng La Mian Xiao Long Bao is one of the more notable stall here and as its name imply, offers a variety of la mian and xiao long bao.

For la mian, they have:
  • fried bean sauce la mian (aka zha jiang mian)
  • dumpling la mian (soup/dry)
  • five spices beef la mian soup
  • chicken chop/pork chop la mian (soup/dry)
  • vegetable meat wanton la mian (soup/dry)
  • preserved vegetable shredded meat la mian (soup/dry)
  • vegetable meat wanton soup
  • spicy shredded chicken la mian soup
As for dumplings, they have:
  • Shanghai xiao long bao
  • Shandong dumpling
  • Shandong fried dumpling
  • red oil wanton
Frozen dumplings are also available at $12 for 30 pieces. That is good news for your hotpot party!

After a quick scan of the menu, I was impressed by how affordably priced the food here are.

I got greedy and decided to order the dumpling la mian dry ($4.50) and a steamer of xiao long bao ($4.50 for 6 pieces). 

Tiong Bahru Hainanese Chicken Rice @ Blk 177 Bukit Batok West Ave 8

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On my third visit to Get Together Coffee Shop at block 177 Bukit Batok West Ave 8, I headed straight for the chicken rice stall called Tiong Bahru Hainanese Chicken Rice.

I must admit that I have never heard of them before but from what I found out prior to my visit, they have been awarded the Michelin Bib Gourmand for six consecutive years and the owner, Mr Cheong Weng Wah, learned the craft from a Mandarin Hotel chef.

While reading up about them, I also found out something very interesting; they have been aggressively opening one new outlet every month since last November.

It first started with Tampines (11/11/21) followed by Marsiling (12/12/21), then Ang Mo Kio (6/1/22), and now, Bukit Batok (10/2/22). By the time you read this review, they would have already opened their fifth outlet at Clementi (9/3/22)!

Jiak Song Mee Hoon Kway @ Blk 177 Bukit Batok West Ave 8

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Another stall that I so desperately wanted to patronize from Get Together Coffee Shop at block 177 Bukit Batok West Ave 8 is Jiak Song Mee Hoon Kway.

The person behind the stall needs no further introduction. He is non other than Aaron Wong of MasterChef Singapore fame.

A professional photographer and diver, Aaron decided to venture into the hawker scene by selling his favorite hawker food - mee hoon kway!

Since opening his flagship stall at Telok Blangah two years ago, you can now find more outlets at Bedok, Toa Payoh, Tampines, Queen Street (Bugis), Jurong West, and now, Bukit Batok.

Chef Kin HK Wanton Noodle @ Blk 177 Bukit Batok West Ave 8

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From this month (10 February 2022) onwards, residents of Bukit Batok will have more food options to explore following the opening of a new coffee shop at block 177 Bukit Batok West Ave 8.

What makes this coffee shop stand out among the others in the neighborhood is that several 'branded' hawker stalls can all be found under one roof here.

Some of the big names that took up space in this coffee shop named Get Together Coffee Shop included:

  • Chef Kin HK Wanton Noodle,
  • Chef Wei HK Cheong Fun,
  • Jiak Song,
  • Rong Cheng Rou Gu Cha,
  • Nam Sing Hokkien Fried Mee, and
  • Tiong Bahru Hainanese Chicken Rice

There is also a nasi lemak stall, a western food stall, a vegetarian stall, and the beverage stall.

As I googled for the location, I realized it is the old site of the coffee shop where I used to have vegetarian food with my classmates after school when we need to stay back for ECA. 

Of course, it is not the same dingy coffee shop anymore but one that is newly renovated and probably under new management.

The very first stall that caught my interest is Chef Kin HK Wanton Noodle.