Move over, Chomp and Old Airport Road Food Centre, because the Simply Her team has found some pretty amazing grub at these under-the-radar spots.
SIMS VISTA MARKET & FOOD CENTRE
49 Sims Place
Jin Feng Fried Bee Hoon & Nasi Lemak Set – Stall #01-22
The nasi lemak (50 cents for each serving of rice) is fragrant and lavished with loads of coconut milk, so it’s no wonder a snaking queue forms daily for it. Select from a mouth-watering array of dishes – fried egg, sambal eggplant and fishcake, to name a few – but don’t miss the succulent chicken thigh cutlet ($1.60) smeared with mayo and dusted with crunchy cereal powder. Yummy! Open Sun-Fri, 6am-1pm (or until sold out).
He Xin Ban Mian Zi Jia – Stall #01-45
We were surprised to hear that the Chicken Chop Noodles ($3.50) are this ban mian stall’s bestseller, but it made sense once we tried it for ourselves. The popcorn chicken is a show-stealer – well-seasoned and deep-fried in an impossibly light, crispy batter, while a bowl of al dente noodles in starchy, savoury gravy plays back-up. Our tip: Have the ban mian ($2.50), whose clear broth is flecked with minced pork, and add a side of the popcorn chicken ($4) to share with your lunch kaki. Open Sun-Fri, 8.30am-7pm.
Golden Barn Confectionary – Stall #01-14
This stall’s fluffy baked goods ($1.30 each) are usually wiped out by 12.30pm, so you have to be early to secure any. About 10 fruity, nutty and chocolate-y muffin varieties are available every day, each boasting a moist, airy crumb. Our pick is the chocolate chip muffin studded with chocolate rice and laced with ripe bananas. Open Sun-Fri, from 6.30am until they are sold out.
SERANGOON GARDEN MARKET & FOOD CENTRE
49A Serangoon Garden Way
Soon Huat Pig’s Organ Soup – Stall 42
The peppery soup ($3.50-$5.50) left us divided – the pungency of the pig liver is distinct – but its intense flavor is certainly the draw for a steady stream of customers, even at the off-peak hour of 3pm. Portions are generous, too – we struggled to finish the bouncy curls of assorted pig organs, but we gleefully headed right back up to the counter for a complimentary second helping of soup. Open Tue-Sun, 9.30am-4pm.
Rolina – Stall 32
These curry puffs stand out for their impressively thin, flaky pastry – we especially loved the unadulterated buttery flavour of the neat row of pleats. A hefty stuffing of diced potatoes stained yellow from spices filled the chicken curry puff ($1.20), and the soft filling packed a robust hit of chilli, which suited our high threshold for spice just fine. Open Tue-Sun, 7.30am-5pm.
TELOK BLANGAH DRIVE FOOD CENTRE
Block 79 Telok Blangah Drive
Shao La – Stall #01-19
Thick slices of lean pork blackened with caramelized sauce or chunky strips of oh-so-juicy pork belly roasted till the skin delivers a snappy crunch? It’s a tough choice, so we picked both! At only $4 for a dish with a mountain of rice, this is one pork party we’ll be returning to, for sure. Open Tue-Sun, 8am-3pm (or until sold out).
Truly Curry Rice – Stall #01-29
It’s a rare sight: two 20 something-year-olds manning a hawker stall. Both ex-traders, one is the daughter of the retired owner and the other, her business partner. Thanks to them, our tummies got to enjoy this family recipe handed down through generations. The curry is made from scratch, and so scrumptious it begs another mouthful with every one taken. They rotate 10-odd ingredients daily, but our must-haves are the incredibly soft stewed vegetables ($1), homemade ngoh hiang ($1.30), and deep-fried pork chop ($1.50). Open daily, 9.45am-1pm (or until sold out).
Yuan Cheng Chai Tow Kway – Stall #01-33
Immaculately fried, the homemade carrot cake is firmly blanketed under crisp, charred egg, but melts the moment you start to chew. We reckon this’ll make a hearty breakfast for early rising families, and there’s even a thoughtful yin-and-yang option ($2.50 or $3) for those who love the white and black versions with equal passion. Open daily, 4am-2pm.
Tian Cheng Fishball Noodle & Laksa – Stall #01-20
Simple, delicious food with a lashing of nostalgia. That’s what the elderly couple here dishes up to the never ending queue we saw during lunch hour. The familiar taste of the ketchup-tinged chilli sauce clinging to the springy ribbons of mee pok ($2.50 or $3) reminds us of recess time in our primary school canteens. Open Tue-Sun, 8.30am-2.30pm.
Know your way around a steamboat? Here’s what NOT to do http://www.thefinder.com.sg/eat-drink/out-about-eats/10-steamboat-don%E2%80%99ts
By Rachel Xie, Simply Her, August 2014