The Hougang neighbourhood is a blend of nostalgic and modern vibe. Here are 10 hidden gems in the area that only the true locals would tell you about.
Spoiler alert: It’s mostly about the food.
Sin Heng Kee Porridge
You know the porridge stall is doing something right when the entire business can survive just by selling porridge and drinks. Sin Heng Kee has the hottest well-seasoned porridge you would ever get, so great that it’s even enjoyable even without any side dishes. Someone once told me that he bought the porridge for takeaway, cycled home and it’s still piping hot! The coffeeshop is almost always full so make sure you have the time and patience to wait.
Opening Hours: 7am to 9.30pm
Address: Blk 685 Hougang Street 61 #01-150
Tachinomiya is a small late night restaurant and sake bar tucked in a lesser known stretch in Kovan City. They serve affordable Japanese street food and drinks and is the hangout spot for night owls in the vicinity.
Opening Hours: 11am-2.30pm; 5.30pm-12am (Closed on weekends)
Address: Blk 211 Hougang Street 21 #01-285
The Bread Table
The Bread Table is a novelty addition to the well-known food street along Upper Serangoon Road. The aroma of fresh bread is powerful and it’s a great place to enjoy authentic French bread in the heartlands. Do try their cinnamon sticky buns if you drop by!
Opening Hours: 11am-10pm (Tuesday to Friday); 8.30am-10pm (Weekends)
Address: 1010 Upper Serangoon Road Singapore 534748
Blk 322 Hougang Ave 5
It’s where the opposition election fanfare takes place once every four years. The void deck of Blk 322 is a nostalgic place where you can find traditional medicine hall, wet market and provision shops selling vintage candies. At its very core is the community spirit where you find trusting and friendly business owners. Drop by for a travel back in time, to the good old days!
Shunli Mutton Soup
Not many mutton soup businesses can survive because of the problem with their smell. Thankfully, Shunli mutton soup stall has managed to stay in business and serve the customers in Hougang for more than ten years. They serve the traditional mutton soup with medicinal benefits, minus the overpowering smell that some people are afraid of.
Opening Hours: Afternoon onwards
Address: Blk 309 Hougang Avenue 5
Thye Lee Confectionery
If you do a search on traditional Teochew wedding confectionery, Thye Lee is bound to show up in the results. The bakery is run by friendly Teochews who take pride in producing peanut candy and tau sar piah with the authentic savoury flavour. They also accept orders for confectionary boxes that are given according to wedding betrothal custom.
Opening Hours: 8.30am to 6pm
Address: Blk 108 Hougang Avenue 1 #01-1283
The Cocoa Trees Warehouse Outlet
The Cocoa Trees Warehouse Outlet is a hidden gem in plain sight, located in the Defu Lane industrial estate. This is the main office where they often hold chocolate sales and bring in unique brands and flavours not available elsewhere in retail stores. A great shopping spot if you are meeting up with your khakis with a sweet tooth!
Opening Hours: 10am-6pm (Weekdays); 10am-1pm (Saturday)
Address: 103 Defu Lane 10, FNA Group Building, Level 1, Singapore 539223
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(Publisher’s note: It has come to our attention that in our earlier draft, we have provided the wrong operating hours and location for The Cocoa Trees Warehouse Outlet. We have since amended and would like to apologise for the oversight.)
YiLi Pao Pao
Aside from the main outlet in Orchard, the famous Taiwan Shihlin night market desserts stall also has an outlet in Lorong Ah Soo. The outlet is pretty cosy with vibrant décor, suitable for intimate gatherings while enjoying fresh fruit puree desserts sold in generous portions.
Opening Hours: 3pm-9pm (Tuesday-Friday); 12.30pm-9pm (Weekends)
Address: Blk 142 Lorong Ah Soo #01-239
Guan Chun Ding Enterprise
Guan Chun Ding is a biscuit wholesaler where you can find the good old biscuits sold in tin cans and biscuits from brands like Julie’s, Hup Seng and Lee. It’s also the budget-friendly place to buy festive confectionery during Chinese New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival, or if you’re buying in bulk.
It’s also worth mentioning that the store is located next to Soon Soon Lai Eating House, where you can find impressively delicious fried bee hoon, meepok, prawn noodles and prata. They are also cheaper compared to modern day coffeeshops.
Opening Hours: 8am-6pm (Weekdays); 8am-1pm (Weekends)
Address: Blk 32 Defu Lane 10 #01-08 Singapore 539213
Kovan Sports Centre
Kovan Sports Centre is a great place for healthy social gatherings, where you can indulge in unique sporting activities like water soccer, laser tag, archery tag and bubble soccer. There is a bus stop just outside the centre and plenty of parking space in the area, which makes it a great alternative to other central locations.
Opening Hours: 9am-10.30pm
Address: 60 Hougang Street 21
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