Hawker Guide: Old Airport Road Food Centre

Looking for one of the best hawker centres in the central region? Here are 10 stalls not to miss in Old Airport Road Food Centre, in the first of our new hawker guides series!

The bustling Old Airport Road Hawker Centre near Dakota and Mountbatten MRT stations is a spot with a lot of history. With over 160 stalls and a history that spans almost 50 years, it's considered one of Singapore largest hawker centres, and also houses many popular and famous stalls. Here are 10 of our favourites!

Holy Grill (#01-27)
Photo by Burppler Potato Tomato

Best known for their perfectly-executed pieces of chicken and lamb chops, Holy Grill is a step up above your typical Western fare eatery. Their meats are plump and juicy, their fish soft and flaky, and their fries crispy but fluffy on the inside. Burppler Hannah Tay tried the Hickory BBQ Chicken ($7) and said "the portions are HUMONGOUS and very tasty. This is like upsized Astons for a cheaper price, and its super worth."

Famous Old Airport Fried Oyster (#01-54)
Photo by Burppler Dave Tan

There's no shortage of fried oysters at Old Airport Road, but with a name like this you can be sure they do damn good ones. From $4, you'll get a hearty oyster omelette filled with egg and flour chunks that are crispier than those you typically find outside. Plus they're not overly starchy and instead chewy and fragrant. Burppler Dave Tan adds that "the oysters were plump and fresh and paired well with the chili sauce."

Freshly Made Cheong Fun (#01-155)
Photo by Burppler Grow Fat and Huat

No prizes for guessing what they sell here - traditional tissue thin rice rolls loaded with shrimp or diced char siew. You can also opt for pork liver, otak otak and century egg filling if you're into more adventurous flavours. The cheong fun here comes fresh and hot with a splash of light soy sauce and sesame oil, with delish sambal chilli at the side! Burppler Andre Teo says the texture "is always silky smooth and there is a nice QQ bite."

Nam Sing Hokkien Fried Mee (#01-32)
Photo by Burppler Lick Screen for Taste

Nam Sing is all about expertly-fried Hokkien Mee (from $4) - theirs is a relatively dry version with yellow noodles and thick bee hoon stir-fried and briefly stewed in rich pork and seafood stock to make things extra savoury and sweet! Burppler Veronica Phua calls this place one of her favourites, saying Nam Sing "has their own style of Fried Hokkien Mee that is only a little bit wet but packs on plenty of wok hei."

Xin Mei Xiang Lor Mee (#01-116)
Photo by Burppler Gerri Lim

If you like lor mee, come to this famous spot (beware the long queues) for rich yellow noodles swimming in a thick savoury, and slightly sweet sauce. This particular store is popular for their generous pulled fish meat topping - we like ours best with a bit of sambal chili and vinegar in the mix. Burppler Cafehoppingkids is a fan of their healthier version "with their use of pan fried fish instead of fried fritters and leaner pork meat."

Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow (#01-12)
Photo by Burppler Peiwen T

As expected of a Michelin Bib Gourmand stall, the queues here are endless, but your patience will be rewarded. This is a relatively healthier version of char kway teow, with a slight char, caramelised sauces and a light savoury aroma of lard. Burpple HungryUnicorn likes how "you could choose between white or black version", and how the "noodles and kway teow texture were both on point!"

Hello Ren Min (#01-44)
Photo by Burppler Siming T

Does craft beer actually go well with local fare? Absolutely! Ren Min (previously 3rd Culture Brewing Co, which has a sister stall at Maxwell Food Centre) serving up to 10 types of craft beer on tap and a whole cooler of bottled beers too, so pay them a visit at the corner of the hawker centre. Expect to find breweries like Sailors Grave, Rocky Ridge Brewing Co, Garage Project as well as some of their own Ren Min beers too!

Roast Paradise (#01-21)
Photo by Burppler Super C

Roast Paradise, which was originally at Old Airport Road in 2015 is a big name for their Kuala Lumpur-style char siew. Think premium cuts of pork and tedious roasting techniques that result in extra tender, flavourful and juicy sweet char siew. Perfect for those who like your meat fatty, Burpple Cory Meilany says "It’s a very fatty char siew meat slices, the meat to fat ratio is heavier on the fat side."

Whitley Road Big Prawn Noodle (#01-98)
Photo by Burppler goodfomoodx

Originally from beneath the Whitley Road flyover, this old stall dishes up a robust pork and prawn noodles with rich umami broth. Choose the big prawns which come halved with shell and head intact, the prawn meat sweet and springy. Add on tender pork ribs, tail and liver for a feast! Burppler Phoebe L tried the Prawn & Pork Ribs Noodles ($4.50) and loves the "intensely-flavoured broth that's lightly spiced, sweet on the aftertaste."

Pasta Risotto (#01-09)
Photo by Burppler Odd py

Risotto in a hawker centre? It's unlikely, but this husband and wife duo is here to change that. As their name suggests, you'll only find pasta and risotto here, at very affordable prices too. Try the Funghi Risotto with Cream Sauce ($6.50) or Carbonara ($6.50), which are crowd favourites. Burppler Odd py tried the latter and says "the aunty always give a lot of bacon! And it's not those kind of cheapo or "fake" bacon which is a plus point!"