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Hawker/Kopitiam Eats

Hawker/Kopitiam Eats

As Singaporeans, we just love food, especially when it comes to our hawker/food court/kopitiam fare. A list featuring not only the conventional for the true local, but also for anyone looking for special finds as well.
Xing Wei Chua
Xing Wei Chua
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From Feng Sheng H.K. Roasted Delights; a new stall at Tekka Market that seemingly serves a rendition of Char Siew Rice almost identical to the HK style, coming with fried egg and blanched greens. While the Char Siew (a different cut from their usual Char Siew) tasted a tad generic, it was of a decent cut that was mostly lean yet tender; great for those who don’t particularly like fattier cuts. Added Roast Pork for my order; also on the leaner side but still pretty decent with a crisp skin. Liked how they drizzled a bit of that savoury sauce for flavour, while the chili wasn’t particularly spicy; more of a dried shrimp paste that goes well with the white rice. Wouldn’t mind going for this again.

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From the new branch of Jin Jin Dessert at Tekka Centre, known for its Gangster Ice and Power Chendol. Liked how they were so generous with all the condiments, from the Pandan jelly to the palm seeds. The best part would be the Gula Melaka though; that thick and fudgy sweetness that makes their version stand out — something I would go for again!

From Sin Ma Roasted Delight along MacPherson Road — randomly settled here for lunch but I must say that the Char Siew is actually pretty good. Serving up Malaysian-style roast, I really love how it comes all fatty with a good bite; not totally gelatinous, but absolutely tender with its sweet honey glazing on the exterior. Roast pork was less stellar; crisp skin but on the leaner side, while the noodles come all springy and savoury from the sauce it is tossed in.

(PS: SM Roasted Delights had since moved to Blk 125 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh with effect from 1 September 2018)

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Didn’t have the intention to post this up initially when I took the photo but thought this was actually really delicious. Upping the game from the usual Laksa, the one here comes with an entire Chicken Rendang Laksa drumstick; the chicken rendang is thick and rich, creamy and maintaining its flavour despite being doused in Laksa gravy whilst the meat being tender and falls off the bone easily. Laksa was also absolutely flavourful from the rempah spices and coconut milk that gives it so much flavour; add a dollop of chili for extra spiciness. Pretty value for money at $4.50, and something I would go for again!

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From Thai Ruk Thai, a new stall situated in a coffeeshop at Blk 347 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, which also serves Pig Trotters Rice.

Quite a good bowl of Thai Wanton Mee here; springy noodles laced in a light-tasting savoury sauce which makes it distinctively Thai, while coming with tender yet aptly sweet Char Siew and well-filled wantons. Both fried and soup wantons were good; the former all crisp, while both both carrying a meaty bite. Sprinkle some of that chili flakes on the side at the stall for a spicy kick. This is the smallest portion size available at $4, but those with larger appetites can get more with the $5 and $6 options here; pretty much a hidden find that is not too far away from AMK Hub.

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Not a big lover of Fried Bee Hoon for its always a tad greasy for me but Grandma Mee Siam’s Fried Bee Hoon is pretty decent — liked how they serve Ngoh Hiang platter items alongside so ordered the Ngoh Hiang Roll and Prawn Crackers to go along. The latter was crisp and umami, while the chili carried just the right level of spiciness and twang that makes it so satisfying. Pretty sure this wouldn’t be the last time I am having this!

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Had to try this since I am always around Tekka Centre and people all over actually make their way down just to have it — finally gave it a go after spotting a relatively short queue during lunch hours.

Opted for the smallest bowl ($4; The also have $5 and $6 portions available) and went for both ketchup and chili whilst going for Kway Teow. Must say that the Kway Teow did carry a good hint of savoury, spicy and tangy flavours when tossed around with the sauce, while the prawns were surprisingly fresh. The bowl of noodles also come with pork lard, shallots and spring onions as well. While I am no lover of Prawn Noodles (especially the soup variants) for how the broth tastes, I actually quite like how fresh this was — carrying the natural sweetness of the prawns, the broth was also left void of any unnecessary distractions considering how it did not carry an overwhelming hint of pepper. While I go for Prawn Noodles usually, this might be a bowl that I wouldn’t mind having if there isn’t much of a queue around at Tekka Centre.

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From Apollo Nasi Lemak; a new hole-in-the-wall Nasi Lemak stall with a dine-in area situated at Paya Lebar Square. While most of the offerings here on the menu are seemingly familiar to other Nasi Lemak joints, the Galaxy Set is the full-works here that sees Chicken Wing , Lobster Tail, Egg, Ikan Bilis, Peanut, Sambal and Japanese Cucumber coming all on a single plate.

Set B consists of chicken wing, sunny side-up, Ikan Bilis, peanuts, sambal and Japanese Cucumber. The Nasi Lemak rice itself was actually pretty decent — moist, fluffy and soft without resorting into a mush; the rice also carried a light hint of coconut-y fragrance as well that doesn’t overwhelm the palate. The chicken wing comes all crisp on the exterior with tender meat that came off the bone easily; the juices all locked in within. Ikan Bilis retained its crispness, while the sambal was of a good balance of sweetness and spiciness, carrying a substantial kick. Mackerel Otah was also delicious; soft without being overly dry, the flavours of the spices were evident whilst being of reasonable spiciness — wouldn’t even mind having it alone. A respectable dining option in the mall that I wouldn’t mind going for again.

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From SG Braised Rice at Food Opera ION Orchard; the stall is by the same folks behind Thai Village Restaurant and serves braised rice with a variety of different condiments; think fried chicken to fish maw and even pan-fried unagi.

I am usually one who doesn’t get very impressed with the stalls that food courts have to offer, but I must say that SG Braised Rice is perhaps one that changed my perception quite a fair bit. The braised sauce is pretty similar to a good Hor Fun gravy, providing the white rice some flavour especially when mixed with the sauce. Fried chicken was crisp on the exterior and succulent inside, while the braised sauce also comes with a decent portion of greens, mushrooms and seafood; the greens providing a crunch, while the mushrooms giving a good chew whilst carrying an earthy flavour. Seafood includes fresh shrimp, but what’s pretty impressive was getting a rather plump scallop alongside. One of the better options around Food Opera ION Orchard, and perhaps one of the few food court stalls that I would seriously not mind going for again.

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Didn’t really have a clue what I would like to eat for lunch but fried rice and a fried chicken cutlet pretty much seemed like what I was craving for. The plate for fried rice tasted rather old-school; a simple wok-fry of egg and other ingredients without the crab sticks in today’s tzechar variant — comes with a distinct smokiness as well whilst not being overly savoury. Thought they could have sliced the fried chicken cutlet a little thicker for more bite and texture; was quite stumped by how auntie managed to slice the chicken cutlet so thinly as though she was slicing up sashimi — pretty cray knife skills over there especially for something fried. One of the slightly more pricier options at Tekka at $4 (there is also a larger $5 portion available), but I would say it’s a pretty decent eat for those who are looking for something comforting.

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From Alishan Curry Rice at the newly renovated Food Republic Wisma Atria. Quite impressed by how the Cheesy Curry Pork Cutlet here is being fried freshly upon order (at least for mine), coming with braised vegetables and sunny side-up. For the most part, the entire dish was pretty average; the braised vegetables being slightly better than the other components — the sunny side-up being overdone with a solid yolk and prepared in bulk being stacked up behind the display counter. The Curry also barely carried much flavour; somewhat more similar to Japanese Curry with a spicier kick. The Cheesy Pork Cutlet was the highlight however; served hot, it was crisp on the outside while not too dry nor stodgy — stuffed with enough mozzarella that’s all string and stretchy within though mostly ended up as a pool on the plate for how they slice it up before serving. Would really have liked it if the Cheesy Pork Cutlet was served as western fare — that itself was pretty on point I would say.

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From Nam Kheng Delights at Chinatown Complex Market; I don't seem to have much liking for Glutinous Rice but I seemed to prefer those that are actually wok-fried rather than steamed. Here, the Glutinous Rice is not too sticky; every grain distinguishable on its own with enough bite without reducing into a mush. The flavours of the spice were also rather light; clean-tasting and in no way clouding the tastebuds. Really quite enjoyed this despite being not the Glutinous Rice lover.

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Up, down and everywhere around for food.

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