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Wait For Eat: Local Legends Worth the Queue

Some say follow the heart. We say follow the queue.

They say patience is a virtue, a virtue Singaporeans have in spades — but only when it comes to food. What’s the longest you’ve waited in line for food? 15 minutes? An hour? My personal record stands at three full hours, proudly achieved for the Melaka-famous satay celup. It was worth it, although I can’t confidently say it wasn't the prolonged anticipation that made those skewers doused in nutty gravy seem so delicious… Nah! Deep down, in our true Singaporean cores, we believe that long, snaking queues are the surest indication that the food is good. After all, long before food reviews took over the internet, The Queue was our guiding light to places worth their salt. And one thing hasn’t changed over time — we’re still more than willing to wait (or is it just cos we fomo?) for the good stuff!

With the arrival of Singapore’s 53rd birthday, get in line and celebrate our strange national sport of Goodfoodqueuing — strong legs and full phone battery for entertainment required. Here are some of our favourite local fare worth the queue, plus some tips to help you along.


Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle (Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre)

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Photo by Burppler Muriel A

Average wait time: 45 mins

This hawker stall earned its Michelin star thanks to its silky smooth soya sauce chicken, and rightfully so. We particularly enjoy the Char Siew ($7) and Soy Sauce Chicken Noodles ($2.50). Yes, $2.50. Should the sight of the queue simply make you lose your appetite, leg on over to Fatty Ox (#02-84) or Maria Virgin (#02-189) — no stars here but tasty chicken they do serve.


Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles

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Photo by Burppler The choyalicious :)

Average wait time: 40 mins

The queue for this vinegar-laden bak chor mee with perfectly cooked liver is certainly a force to be reckoned with. Eat a heavy breakfast, have a snack and come at off-peak hours — 4:30pm has proven to be a sweet spot (~20 minutes).


Bai Nian Niang Dou Fu (Albert Centre Market & Food Centre)

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Photo by Burppler Mel Wong

Average wait time: 25 mins

Superbly bouncy homemade prawn balls and light tofu puffs in clean, flavourful soup — it’s hard to find a better bowl of YTF. If the lines at this central branch are a tad too long, bat for the shorter queues at their stalls in People’s Park Food Centre and Viva Business Park.


New Lucky Claypot Rice (Holland Drive Market & Food Centre)

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Photo by Burppler AC Chan

Average queue time: 35 mins

Here’s what getting lucky looks like in our books: tender, juicy chicken, umami lup cheong and salted fish atop smoky, charred rice. These claypots are for sharing, perfect for family meals. Pro-tip from Burppler AC Chan: call an hour ahead to place your order and cut the waiting time to 10 mins!


Zhong Yu Yuan Wei Wanton Noodle and Min Nan Pork Ribs Prawn Noodles (Tiong Bahru Market)

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Photo by Burppler Leonard Chan

Average wait time: 30 mins

Made from the prized armpit cut of pork, the luscious char siew is what you’re after. There’s an express line for the elderly, pregnant ladies and those with hungry kids in tow. You can queue for this, AND order neighbouring Min Nan’s super shiok dry prawn noodles while you wait. Score!


Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice (Golden Mile Food Centre)

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Photo by Burppler Dex Neo

Average wait time: 20 mins

This Golden Mile favourite has a reputation amongst office workers in the area for their supple, moist chicken — steamed and roasted alike. But, there’s always an annoying queue that confuses your weak, hungry, I’ve-only-got-an-hour-for-lunch mind. Eyes on the chicken rice prize, Burpplers — stay strong and get chicken two ways (Yuan Yang, from $6.50) to make your wait worthwhile.


Piao Ji and Han Kee (Amoy Street Food Centre)

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Photos by Burppler Veronica Phua

Average wait time: 35 mins

As far as fish soups go, these two stalls are at the top of their game. Loyal customer, Burppler Veronica Phua, prefers Piao Ji’s for their condiments and toppings, but declares both to serve delicious soups with fresh, sizeable fish slices. The waiting time is similar, so we say divide and conquer to order both and let us know which one’s your winner!


No Name Hainanese Curry Rice (Beo Crescent)

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Photo by Burppler Jonathan Lim

Average wait time: 35 mins

This nameless shop is marked by long lines of people with the slightly-crazed “i-want-my-curry-rice-now” look in their eyes. The Burpple community nods to their rich, thick curry gravy and super crispy pork chop as what to come for. Arrive early — they open at 7am! — to skip the wait.


Mr and Mrs Mohgan's Super Crispy Roti Prata

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Photo by Burppler M *

Average wait time: 45 mins

This family-run stall relies on just one dish to attract the crowds — yes, the humble roti prata. With fresh, handmade and crisp prata waiting at the end, this wait for this comes at no surprise. Burppler YY shares an insider tip for surviving the suspense: “The queue numbers go up to 50 before restarting!” They close once they sell out, so go extra early.


With your new knowledge on which local legends are absolutely worth getting in line for, go on and practice the art of Goodfoodqueuing!