Xiang Mei Roasted Meat & Chicken Rice - Nanyang Curry Chicken Noodle And Dong Quai Roasted Duck With Char Siu Rice @ 395A Bukit Batok West Ave 5

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This location at Goodview Gardens, 395A Bukit Batok West Ave 5, is actually Xiang Mei Roasted Meat & Chicken Rice's second outlet.

The address leads me to a annex building next to the multi-storey carpark where amenities such as a coffee shop, a clinic, a hair salon, a pet groomer and a Chinese medical hall are housed in.

Do take note that Xiang Mei is not one of the stalls inside the coffee shop but they took up tenancy in one of the shops outside it.

The eatery is not too big but it is clean and brightly lit with good ventilation owing to the tall ceiling. I feel really comfortable dining there.

There is no table service here. You have to place your own order at the counter where a beeper will be given to you after payment. Head back to the counter to collect your food once the device go off.

The original stall is still operating inside the S-11 coffee shop at Bukit Batok Central behind the bus interchange. 

They have been serving roasted duck, char siu (bbq pork), siu yuk (roasted pork) and siu gai (roasted chicken) at this location for the last twenty odd years. 

According to them, they have their beginnings at Bencoolen Street since the 1920s. This makes their brand more than a century old!

Teppan-Man @ 395A Bukit Batok West Ave 5

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Right across the road from Swiss Cottage Secondary School is Goodview Gardens, a HDB estate set on a hillside at Bukit Gombak. 

By the side of the multi-storey carpark is a coffee shop named Eightways Eating House. I am there to check out Teppan-Man, a hawker stall located in this quiet neighborhood serving Japanese fare like Teppanyaki, Donburi and Udon. 

I have come specifically for the Teppanyaki but unlike the usual modus operandi where the chef cooks right in front of you at a long counter and entertain you with some culinary performance, the food here is prepared inside the hawker stall minus all the fanfare. I guess there are limitations when you are operating in a coffee shop.

Uncle Neo Western - Chicken Chop @ 253 Choa Chu Kang Ave 1

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Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have heard of this Uncle Neo Western at 253 Choa Chu Kang Ave 1 numerous times.

It is located inside this coffee shop named 85°C Cafe at Keat Hong Shopping Centre near to the wet market.

According to the people who tried it, they have nothing but good things to say about this old school western food stall managed by an elderly Chinese couple.

I finally found the chance to visit this neighborhood coffee shop yesterday evening.

Bak Chor Mee Fish Ball Noodle @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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It has been a while since my last visit to Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre and it is high time that I return in search of new stalls to try out.

I must say this trip is rather fruitful as there are indeed a number of newly opened stalls (and some closures).

The first stall to catch my eye has a very straightforward name with a clear indication of what they sell - Bak Chor Mee Fishball Noodle.

If it is of any interest to you, this noodle stall occupies the vacanted unit of Tian Tian Porridge, the Cantonese porridge stall with a history of seventy-years. Run by five elderly siblings, they ceased operations last October due to old age.

Cheongfun Noodle @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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Update: Cheongfun Noodle has permanently closed.

Located at the yellow section of Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre, Cheongfun Noodle is one of the newly opened stalls offering Hong Kong-style rice rolls (cheong fun) and ban mian (handmade noodle).

If my intel is correct, the six-months old stall is run by a Mr and Mrs Wong. The husband, a Hong Konger handmade the cheong fun while the wife, a Malaysian, prepares the noodle.

I chanced upon a photo of their chili ban mian dry ($5.30) on social media when they had just opened. It looked so darn good that I decided it is what I will have but you know what they say procrastination did to men?

So, I finally got my ass off the couch and head down to Chinatown. The stall is not hard to find in the maze-liked food centre if you come up by the myCK Department store escalator.

It is the first stall on your left which used to be Lao Ren Jia Roasted.

Shandong Dong Ji La Mian Xiao Long Bao @ Blk 134 Jurong Gateway Road

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Among the four coffee shops in the area, Fu Chan Food Paradise at blk 134 Jurong Gateway Road has got to be the one with the lowest footfall. Or at least that is how it appears to be when I visited at around 10am on a weekday.

I intentionally walk past the other three coffee shops to make a comparison and observed that the environment here is the most conducive for my mental well-being. 

Boisterous activities such as rowdy beer-drinking uncles and kopi auntie shouting drink orders across the coffee shop drains my energy. #introvertwoes

Although there are plenty of indoor and outdoor seats available, patrons are few and seated far from one another with ample personal space.

I thrive in the calming vibes this air-conditioned coffee shop offer that I could sit here all day to recharge myself.

Keow Teow Kia - Wine Fragrance Noodle Soup @ Blk 132 Jurong Gateway Road

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Foodclique and Happy Hawker are two longtime coffee shops at blk 132 Jurong Gateway Road. Located side by side, both have been there for as long as I can remember.

A week ago, after having my Hakka yong tau foo at Foodclique, I went over next door to check out Happy Hawker which has changed hands earlier this year. It is currently known as 咖啡仔来了.

Other than the popular braised duck stall at the corner, the remaining stalls at this coffee shop are all new.

Among them is this stall named Keow Teow Kia which specializes in Malaysian-style noodles.

Keow teow refers to kway teow but I wonder why is it spelled as such instead of koay teow like they usually do in Malaysia?

Anyway, on the menu are:
  • keow teow soup ($4.50),
  • dry noodle soup ($4.50),
  • wine fragrance noodle soup ($4.80),
  • bitter gourd minced meat soup with rice/noodle ($5.50),
  • signature soup with rice/noodle ($5.50),
  • salted fish mee tai mak soup ($5), and
  • fish ball soup ($3.80)

Hakka Yong Tau Foo @ Blk 132 Jurong Gateway Road

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Each time I accompany my folks to the nearby bank or CPF Building, we would end up having a meal in this coffee shop at blk 132 Jurong Gateway Road.

Although there are a variety of food options to choose from, they will bypass all the other stalls and head straight for the Hakka yong tau foo stall.

I have been here with them a couple of times but yet to try it. I wonder why they only have eyes for this stall?

I decided to make a lone trip here to try it for myself.

Gu Zao Wei Big Prawn Noodle @ Alexandra Village Food Centre

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Wei Zhong Qi Prawn Noodle (#01-87) and The Old Stall Hokkien Street Prawn Noodle (#01-58) are two pretty well-known prawn noodle stalls at Alexandra Village Food Centre.

I am not sure if this is a new stall or has it always been there but it was only during a recent visit that I discovered the presence of this third prawn noodle stall at the food centre.

Well, fourth actually, if you consider Ming's Prawn Noodle (#01-01) which has relocated to Tan Boon Liat Building.

It had a very generic name though with just the words "古早味" and "big prawn noodle" on the signboard. (refer to the last photo at the bottom of this post)

I am unable to find any information with regards to this stall online therefore, I took it upon myself and submitted it to Google map as Gu Zao Wei Big Prawn Noodle.

It is located along the same row as Dover Road Kai Kee Wanton Noodles (#01-09) and Tiong Bahru Lien Fa Shui Jing Pau (#01-10) facing the car park. 

Zi Jing Cheng Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice @ Alexandra Village Food Centre

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Whenever I visit Alexandra Village Food Centre, I will bypass Zi Jing Cheng Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice for some other stalls. 

Come to think of it, I wonder why the thought of trying their chicken rice has never cross my mind?

I guess I did not see the need to as chicken rice stalls are a dime a dozen in Singapore. 

However, today is the day that the spell will be broken. I have come to the food centre with no concrete plans to try any food in particular and my feet brought me to the front of this stall. 

I like how the pricing is clearly spelled out on the signboard with a whole bird priced at $24 while a serving for one pax is $3.50.

Shi Nian Pig Leg Rice @ Senja Hawker Centre

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I came across Lin Ji Pig Leg Rice (林記猪脚饭) when they first opened at Albert Centre Market & Food Centre. I remember being captivated by the beautifully braised pig legs displayed inside the window. 

When I saw customers carrying away their bowls of pig leg rice with Bai Nian Niang Dou Fu (百年酿豆腐) signature white trays, I realized Lin Ji is by the same people behind the yong tau foo stall which had a outlet at the same food centre as well.

Reasonably priced at $4.90 then, I was eager to have a bowl however, the intimidating queue meant that I can only come back for it another time.

Regrettably four years on, I have yet to try Lin Ji. It was not until recently that I notice a new pig leg rice stall at Senja Hawker Centre with a similar signboard as Lin Ji but bearing the name Shi Nian (石年) instead.

I was contemplating whether to give Shi Nian a try because I thought they are a competitor riding on Lin Ji's fame but as it turns out, it is simply a case of rebranding. The former Lin Ji that I know and Shi Nian are one and the same. I hope.

Heng Gi Goose And Duck Rice @ Senja Hawker Centre

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The braised duck rice from Heng Gi Goose And Duck Rice at Tekka Market & Food Centre was added to my checklist years ago however, I have not gotten the opportunity to cross them out yet.

I do pass by Tekka via the downtown line occasionally but it is impractical to walk out of the station while in the midst of a journey just to try the duck rice there.

To my surprise, they opened a stall at the new Senja Hawker Centre which is so much more accessible to me now. I know I have run out of excuses putting off what I needed to do eons ago.

Amoy Street Lor Mee @ Senja Hawker Centre

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Bukit Panjang welcomed its second hawker centre - Senja Hawker Center six months ago on 11th December 2022. 

With 28 food stalls and 580 seats, the hawker centre features a rooftop garden and a underground car park. Due to the high ceiling and numerous huge fans, the place is kept well-ventilated. Illumination is also optimal.

The tables are comfortably spaced apart due to the huge size area. In fact, it has the potential to add a lot more tables to fully utilize the space if needed. 

I actually visited the new hawker centre twice in January this year when they had just opened for a month. Understandably, the place was packed and those who knew me, knows that I hate crowded places. I left without having anything but I made a mental note of the stalls to try.

Super Shiok Nasi Lemak @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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During my previous visit to Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre, this stall named Super Shiok Nasi Lemak located beside Heng Ji Chicken Rice caught my attention when I saw several young Muslim ladies in hijab queuing for its nasi lemak.

Judging by their DSLRs, heavy makeup and big sunglasses, my guess is that they are probably tourists.

At that time, the operators inside the stall were Chinese therefore, it aroused my curiosity. I did not see any halal cert displayed although it is stated on the signboard that they uses halal ingredients.

Fast forward to this visit, I still did not see any halal certification but the people inside the stall now is a Malay guy and a older lady wearing the hijab.

Da Jia Shi - Deep-Fried Intestines Porridge @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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Da Jia Shi at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre is very low profile without much social media presence. Managed by one elderly lady, the stall does not attract a lot of attention and is known only to their regulars.

Illuminated by a couple of fluorescent lights, the dim and unattractive store front did not give me the urge to want to check them out despite the numerous times that I walked past over the years. 

I had no idea what they sell even though the photos of their menu is plastered on the glass window. 

I only realize this is a porridge stall after someone posted about it on my social media timeline. 

Hawker Chan - Soya Sauce Chicken Drumstick Noodle @ Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

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Hawker Chan was formerly known as Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodles

Located at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre, this hawker stall propelled to international stardom when it received a One MICHELIN Star in 2016.

I would usually pack a bird home for dinner together with some of their very nice char siew every couple of months but all that change after they clinched the prestigious award. 

They were already very popular during their pre-award days, with a perpetual queue forming round the perimeter of the stall. The queue situation worsens after their win.

At times, I wonder is the award really a blessing or a curse?

Ga-Hock Roasted Meats - Wanton Noodle @ 794 Upper Bukit Timah Road

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Taking up the prime spot at Ga-Hock Eating House is Ga-Hock Roasted Meats.

You will not miss the stall if you are coming from the main road.

I heard the roast meats here are fantastic so I ordered a plate of wanton noodle ($4) to try. There is no one before me and I got my order in under five minutes.

I let out a little gasp when I saw the staff ladle some dark sauce into the plate but I am too late to stop him and the deed is done. 

Honestly, I am not a fan of such dark sauced noodle.

Ga-Hock Fried Fritters @ 794 Upper Bukit Timah

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Located at a corner within Ga-Hock Eating House is a stall named 乡村小吃 (no anglicised name). In the morning, the stall specializes in fried fritters and mee siam but come evening, it transforms into a satay and otah stall named Carol Satay & Otah.

I happened to walk past the stall one morning when I was there to check out the roti prata and I saw these beautiful darlings on display behind the glass window.

The temptation is too strong to resist therefore I ordered a silverfish fritter and a prawn fritter to try. Oyster fritter, minced meat fritter and vegetable fritter are also available.

Ga-Hock Roti Prata @ 794 Upper Bukit Timah

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Ga-Hock Eating House is a modest coffee shop sharing the same building as Bukit Panjang Hokkien Kong Huay at this stretch of old shop houses along Upper Bukit Timah Road.

I have lived in the vicinity for about 30 years now but I'm totally oblivious to its existence.

To think that I have been taking the bus to school via this route for eight consecutive years (three years primary and five years secondary) yet I have never noticed!

I only found out recently when I come across people talking about it on Facebook. It piqued my interest to come check it out. 

The very first thing you would see, when you reach here, is the roasted meat stall right at the entrance. Walk past it and you will find yourself flanked on both sides by the beverage stall, a noodle stall, a snack stall, a tze char stall and a roti prata stall.

The premise is so cramp, there is no space for even one table. The seating arrangements are all at the back behind the building under the huge Bodhi tree. Do not worry, though, as you will be protected from the elements under a zinc roof. 

I am awed by the laid-back vibes here which is reminiscent of a dai pai dong in Malaysia.