Oct 06 2011

Singapore’s best heartland hawker centres: Part 2

Published by at 1:56 pm under Singapore hawker dishes

Today I continue the two-part post encouraging visitors to get away from the city centre to explore the residential areas of Singapore and taste the fantastic hawker food. The money you’ll save on meals will cover the MRT fare to get here – I promise!

In case you missed part one, it’s here.

Stingray: fun to scuba-dive with and fun to eat.

Chomp Chomp Food Centre: Bright and boisterous, Chomp Chomp is one of the few heartland hawker centres that does most of its business after dark. Reserve a table Singapore-style with a packet of tissues, then join the queue for the famous barbecue stingray from Chomp Chomp Seafood (Stall #1) – if you like it spicy, ask for extra sambal. Also worth the wait are the S$1 chicken wings from Stall #3, Hokkien-style prawn noodles from Stall #27, and popiah (similar to a fresh springroll) from Stall #19. Tiger beer with ice cubes is the drink of choice.

20 Kensington Park Road, most stalls open from 17:00 – 00:00

Suggested pairing: Chomp Chomp is a five-minute taxi ride from Ang Mo Kio MRT station. Come for a laid-back meal and a few beers after spending the day at the Singapore Zoo.

Pasir Panjang Food Centre:  This west coast hawker centre is just as famous as Newton Circus for its seafood, but you won’t find any touts or tour buses here.  Hua Kee (Stall #10/11/12) has the biggest selection with grilled stingray, prawns, fish and cockles, but neighbouring Stall #14 has better prices for Sri Lankan crab in your choice of sauce. If you’re not in the mood for seafood, there’s satay, fried carrot cake, roti prata, and good Thai food. The seafood stalls stay open later than the others.

121 Pasir Panjang Road, hours vary by stall from 10:00 – 00:00.

Suggested pairing: With the opening of the Pasir Panjang MRT station on October 8, getting to Pasir Panjang Food Centre is a breeze. From here it’s just one stop to bizarre (and free!) Haw Par Villa for a crash course in Chinese mythology.

Nasi lemak: breakfast of champions.

Adam Road Food Centre:  The curries, briyani and other spicy dishes from Adam Road Food Centre rival anything you find in Little India, but most diners come for the famous nasi lemak. Stall #2 sells many consider the best nasi lemak in all of Singapore and this meal of coconut rice, fried chicken, fish cake, anchovies and spicy sambal packs enough calories to get you through the day. If the queue seems absurdly long try the nasi lemak from the copycat stalls (it’s almost as good) or the Indian-style rojak (Stall #5), mutton soup (Stall #10), or one of the many fried noodle stalls. Wash it down with a steaming cup of teh halia (gingermilk  tea) from Stall #15 – they’re open 24 hours.

2 Adam Road, some stalls open 24 hours.

 Suggested pairing: Explore the lush Botanic Gardens in the coolness of the early morning, then head to Adam Road Food Centre for breakfast. It’s a five-minute walk from the new Botanic Gardens MRT station at the northern part of the park.

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