Singapore is no doubt a melting pot of different cultures. This diversity has made the city’s food scene so rich, locals and expats alike are always in for a treat when dining out. One can be sure to be served with a sumptuous and affordable meal in hawker centres spread out across Singapore. If you’re not pressed for time, you may want to withstand the long lines and queue up some of the hawker stalls that offer the best (and some award-winning) dishes to tease your taste and work up your appetite! Here are our recommendations.
1. Hawker Chan
Address: Chinatown 78 Smith Street, Singapore 059872
Opening hours: 11:00 AM to 9:00 AM daily
Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle, or famously known as Hawker Chan, serves the cheapest Michelin awarded meal in Singapore—the Soya Sauce Chicken! Patrons swear by its tender chicken meat that is infused with the flavourful soya sauce. Another loved meal is their Char Siew. Diners have commended this meal for its juicy meat that is packed with a strong and lovely smoky flavour with just the right amount of sweetness.
2. Hoo Kee Bak Chang
Address: #01-18 Amoy Street Food Centre, 7 Maxwell Road Singapore 069111
Opening hours: 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily
Another recipient of the Michelin Bib-Gourmand award is this stall at Amoy Street Food Centre for its famous Bak Chang or rice dumplings. Hoo Kee’s classic bak chang is a flavourful mix of marinated pork, glutinous rice, and sweet chestnuts with a twist of salted duck egg yolk that bursts into a surprising umami flavour upon bite. A number of people have been disappointed not because of the taste of this delicious rice dumpling, but because they are not able to get a hold of one during their visit! Consider yourself lucky if you get to have a taste of Hoo Kee’s bak chang as these dumplings usually sold out early in the day!
3. Jian Bo Shui Kueh
Address: #02-05 Tiong Bahru Market, 30 Seng Poh Road Singapore 168898
Opening hours: 6:00 AM to 10:30 PM daily
Jian Bo’s Shui Kueh goes far back in time. Founded by Mr Wang in 1958, this steamed rice cake has made its residence in the hearts of Singapore locals. The owners of Jian Bo have since committed to only serve the same quality of Shui Kueh and they stay true to their promise up to this day. The steamed rice cakes topped with chye poh (preserved radish) and chilli are made fresh from scratch every single day! Patrons of this delicacy swear by its savoury taste and value for money. Lining up will be a requirement when getting a serving of Shui Kueh, but you actually won’t mind after taking your first bite of it!
4. Nam Sing Hokkien Fried Mee
Address: #01-32 Old Airport Road Food Centre, 51 Old Airport Road Singapore 390051
Opening hours: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Tuesday to Sunday
Old Airport Road Food Centre is one of the favourite hawker centres of Singapore locals to dine in for cheap but definitely good food. Lately, this centre has been gaining the same approval from foreign tourists and expats. Among the 150 food stalls located in this food court, there are a few standouts. Nam Sing Hokkien Fried Mee is one of those. Nam Sing’s Hokkien Fried Mee packs a feast of flavours that would tickle your taste buds to ask for more. What makes this dish, you ask? It is a wonderful mix of rice vermicelli and yellow noodles fried with a serving of egg, prawns, and squid that builds up its stock base. Long lines to this stall will signify that it is open to serve up its famed fried mee. Although opening hours are in place, sometimes the store closes up early so it’s best to check with locals before you drop by and get your noodle fix.
5. Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice
Address: #01-10/11 Maxwell Food Centre, 1 Kadayanalur Street Singapore 069184
Opening hours: 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM Tuesday to Sunday
Ask any Singapore local about where to get the best Hainanese chicken in town and chances are they only have one go-to place — Tian Tian located at Maxwell Food Centre. You may judge Hainanese chicken as bland at first glance, but do not let your sight deceive you. Tian Tian’s Hainanese chicken has been commended by the infamous and late travel culinary expert and chef, Anthony Bourdain, as one of the best he has ever tried. “Fragrant and delicious” are the two words used by Bourdain to describe this seemingly delicate meal. As if one celebrity chef is not enough, Tian Tian has also earned the salute of Gordon Ramsay and the nod of Michelin Bib-Gourmand. If you’d like to grab a meal of this luscious piece of well-poached chicken meat served on top of fragrant white rice plus a swig of its brown sauce, condition your mind to line up because you can be sure there is a queue that snakes up to the stall.