In Singapore, there are many hawker stars out there. And indeed, it was the humble Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle stall that certified Singapore’s claim to fame as a food paradise when the folks at Michelin Guide awarded it one Michelin Star. The humble chicken rice stall also enjoys a reputation as being the world’s cheapest Michelin Star meal.
And of course, hawker food is our forte. Not just because it is affordable and delicious, some hawker stalls actually have legacies and queues long enough to rival the most famous restaurant chef here!
To satiate the pickiest eater, here at BeScene we decided to put together an unofficial Michelin Guide – so you don’t feel so sore at losing out on those gala dinner seats!
Prata at Sin Ming Roti Prata Stall
Address: 24 Sin Ming Rd, #01-51, Jin Fa Kopitiam, Singapore 570024
Prata, a flatbread that is deep fried with ghee and eaten with curry, this is a dish that has South Indian origins and is now commonly eaten for breakfast by Singaporeans of all races. Not only that, prata dishes have become so innovative, blending Western flavours such as poached eggs and ham to be a unique dish on its own.
If you’re looking to tuck into delicious prata at hawker prices, Sin Ming Roti Prata stall comes highly recommended. Apparently, many people agree, so expect 15 to 30 minutes wait on weekend mornings.
The good thing is the stall uses a self-service ordering system so you can chill over teh or kopi while you wait. The most famous dish is the coin prata, which is essentially a smaller version of the traditional prata.
He Zhong Carrot Cake at Bukit Timah Market
Address: 51 Upper Bukit Timah Road, #02-185, Singapore 588172
Another favourite breakfast dish, also deep-fried, is the famous carrot cake dish. Not your English carrot cake, but an egg omelette dish to rival that. You can order it white, which means the glutinous flour gets served in its original colour, or dark, which means it gets fried in soy sauce. What makes this dish different is that it is cooked in blocks, rather than scrambled as the meal is usually prepared.
The recipe has been passed down in the family since 1973! I personally have grown up on their food, having carrot cake every Sunday for many years. So if you’re looking for comfort food, try this stall!
Nasi Padang at Warong Nasi Pariaman
Address: 736/738 North Bridge Road, Singapore 198704
Nasi Padang is an authentically Indonesian dish of steamed rice with meat or vegetable dishes. A very popular meal with Singaporeans, each dish has its own unique flavour – that means that if you’re new to the concept of eating Nasi Padang, choose one meat and one vegetable dish.
If you like spicy food, meat dishes like rendang, which is beef cooked in spices or vegetable dishes like sambal goreng, long beans fried with sambal chilli will be complementary to your palate, if not, perhaps ask the server to recommend plainer dishes. One of the dishes should have gravy so you can layer it over your rice.
Many hawker stalls and restaurants offer Nasi Padang, but the one that has the most votes is Warong Nasi Pariaman. This shop has been here since 1948 (older than Singapore!), so if not for the food, you should definitely visit it for a slice of history!
Fried Kway Teow at No. 18 Zion Road Fried Kway Teow
Address: 70 Zion Rd, Singapore 247792 (Zion Road Food Market)
Fried Kway Teow or fried noodles has a pretty impressive history; it is actually stir-fried flat rice noodles with cockles, fish cake and Chinese sausages.
The story goes that it was invented because labourers in Singapore and Malaysia needed a dish that was easy to cook, and satisfying enough so they could gulp it down and work long hours after it. Of course, that may not be an accurate version of its invention, but the dish remains a very proud emblem of industrial spirit.
Although it is high in saturated fat, that does not stop many Singaporeans from eating this greasy wonder. Of course, you want to choose the best fried kway teow to dash your dieting plans – look out for this stall at Zion Road Food Market. How good is this fried kway teow? One reviewer online says this is the fried kway teow that apparently makes all other fried kway pales in comparison. Are you convinced now?
Mee Siam at Enyyah Enak
Address: 50 Jurong West Street 61, Singapore 648202 (Jurong West Hawker Centre)
Since we’re talking noodle dishes, then we can’t dismiss Mee Siam, or “Siamese noodle” in Malay. Mee Siam is thin, rice vermicelli noodles served in spicy, sour gravy. It is usually topped with bean sprouts, shrimps, egg and fried bean curd.
This stall is halal certified, so for those who are looking for hearty halal food, their bowl of Mee Siam is definitely going to be sedap enough to thrill your tummies!
Indian Rojak at Abdhus Salam Rojak
Address: Blk 503, West Coast Drive, Singapore 139956 (Ayer Rajah Food Centre)
Apart from mains like rice and noodles, if you’re just looking for some midnight supper grazing, we’ve got the best pick for you. Indian rojak! This dish is an assortment of potatoes, eggs, beancurd, and prawns fried in batter, served with a sweet and spicy chilli sauce.
Usually ordered for sharing, this stall sells such good Indian rojak, you might want to eat it all on your own. The recipe has been passed down from father to son. This is how you know it is good!
Satay at Haron Satay
Address: East Coast Lagoon, Singapore 468960
Speaking of late night grazing, how about satay for your midnight cravings? Satay is seasoned, skewered and grilled meat commonly found in this part of Southeast Asia. Their satay is cooked over a charcoal grill, and the meat is marinated before it is grilled. Haron Satay in East Coast Park even has a social media presence with people leaving raving reviews. So you know where to pop by for satay cravings.
Western food at Fish and Chicks
Address: 531 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10, Singapore 560531
And what happens if you’re craving for some good steak or a nice plate of fish and chips? Well, our hawker centres offer everything – so give this up-and-coming stall your money to try out their Western culinary delights. The young founders of this Western food stall aren’t just serving up steak or fish and chips, they are infusing Asian flavours with the Western food here.
On the menu: Tomyum pasta, Boston lobster with mentaiko sauce, fish and chips in salted egg yolk flavour are just some of the items. The kitchen has a zi char chef to prepare the food, so your typical Western food is now cooked Asian-wok style, and sauces are created from scratch, giving it more oomph.
By the way, if you are into the salted egg yolk craze, this humble stall is also the first to introduce salted egg yolk to the Singapore food scene.
Four Seasons Cendol at Toa Payoh
Address: 210 Lor 8 Toa Payoh, #01-07, Singapore 310210
Before there were gelato ice cream and acai bowls, our little chendol was the late night / hot afternoon dessert of choice. Chendol is an iced sweet dessert that contains droplets of worm-like green rice flour jelly, coconut milk and palm sugar syrup.
Get your dessert fix at Four Seasons Cendol at Toa Payoh Lorong 8 Market. The first thing you will see displayed proudly on the storefront is the photo of our Emeritus Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, who is apparently a fan. Besides that, the chendol promises to be syrupy sweet enough for your sugar fix.
Craft Beer at 3rd Culture Brewing Co.
Address: 1 Kadayanallur Street, Singapore 069184 (Maxwell Food Centre)
This is not food, but hey – since this is the unofficial Michelin Guide, it wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t show you the surprising side of Singapore’s hawker centres.
Yes, craft beer outlets can be found in our hawker centres! Craft beer is essentially home-brewed beer or beer made by a small brewery. Prices at 3rd Culture start cheap: think $9 for a 12oz pint of beer.
It may be warm because of the lack of aircon at Maxwell Food Centre, but on the upside, you’ll have your selection of excellent and cheap barbecued, fried chicken or even a plate of char kway teow to go with your beer! Hipsters, rejoice – this is where you can sit and think those deep thoughts.
And there you have it – ten different options to tickle your taste buds. This is just scratching the surface, though. With so many excellent hawker food stalls out there, a Michelin Guide is not enough to gather all of them, but we hope this starter guide was enough to get you hungry and start eating!
This article originally appeared on BeScene SG.
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