Hawker Gems

Hawker Gems

Go local! This list highlights the best of hawker fare, both well-known and unfamiliar, across the island. Eat cheap, but more importantly, eat well!
Jason Wong
Jason Wong

The sotong goreng is a sight to behold - a hulking monstrosity on a stick, featuring a whole squid encased in crunchy, slightly too thick batter. The fact that the squid within was still incredibly tender was impressive. On to the essentials of nasi lemak - I liked the usage of basmati rice as it was light and fluffy, though not as "lemak" as some might prefer it to be, and the generous amount of sweet and spicy chilli was great too. It's the little details that make a dish, and here the humble ikan bilis deserves mention too - freshly fried, delicately crisp and well seasoned with salt. Skip the nondescript begedil if you're thinking of adding extras.

Taste: 3.5/5

Thick, fatty cuts of char siew, plump wantons and springy noodles drowned in a rich sweet and savoury dark sauce differentiates this plate of wanton noodles from the coffee shop norm, and I'm certainly happy about it. Hua Zai has branches in Kimly coffeeshops across the island, and if they all are at this standard, then I'd certainly be impressed.

Taste: 3.5/5

1 Like

I enjoyed my latest meal from Xing Long so much I went straight back and ordered the exact same combination to go.

Always get their otah, as their rendition is smooth and lemak. On hindsight and probably the reason why I enjoyed this iteration more than on my last visit, was because my subconscious selections were more akin to nasi lemak than economic rice. Sayur lodeh, a generous serving of fried chicken wing and a huge ass begedil rounded out my heaving plate.

The 3 types of chilli available are all amazing, from the piquant chicken rice-style chilli sauce, to the sweet and spicy sambal and soy sauce-soaked cut chilli. Mix into the rice, dab onto the ingredients or eat them straight up, each and every way is enjoyable.

Taste: 3.5/5

2 Likes

Succulent and tender, the chicken was imparted a pleasant smokiness from the burnished char on its exterior as well. Together with the flavourful fried rice and refreshing goma-dressed coleslaw, I found this quite a satisfying dinner.

Taste: 3/5

4 Likes

Finally got to try the progenitor of Crave nasi lemak, and it was one of the better ones I’ve had. The basmati rice really makes a difference – light, fluffy and fragrant, pairing perfectly with the sweet and spicy chilli. Freshly fried, the chicken wing was still warm and crispy, making me quite happy we topped up an extra wing and begedil each.

Taste: 3.5/5

1 Like

After having this several times for lunch over the course of a few weeks, I can safely say this is the best amongst the competition in Boat Quay. Disregarding that it’s a different beast from Yan Kee or the current BK Eating House iteration, this is still superior in terms of preparation and taste.

What you’ll get is a solid bowl of chilli and lard tossed noodles of your choice(mee pok, mee kia or my favourite, mee tai mak), smothered in a blanket of pork mince. The small portion comes with 2 pork balls and 2 succulent wantons, as well as a flavourful bowl of cloudy meat broth, and as a whole, was very satisfying, especially since the noodles don’t clump together in one huge mass like Yan Kee’s.

Taste: 3.5/5

5 Likes

No doubt this well-regarded institution makes a very good plate of wanton noodles, with fatty cuts of housemade char siew over firm egg noodles glistening in a sinful mix of lard oil and chilli sauce, and little parcels of hand-wrapped wantons sitting in a flavourful broth. But is it worth waiting at least 20-30 minutes for? Not for me at least.

Taste: 3.5/5

1 Like

Of all the variations of wanton mee, I like the Thai version best. Huay Kwang is a very hidden gem a stone’s throw from Macpherson MRT, serving sublimely addictive Thai-style wanton mee. The heavenly aroma and rich mouthfeel of shallot and lard oil tossed noodles, coupled with tender char siew, freshly blanched greens, and plump boiled as well as fried wantons is a taste sensation that has us dining there at least twice a week. Their wanton soup deserves praise as well, prepared and served with large chunks of soft white radish that lend a natural sweetness to the broth.

Taste: 4/5

6 Likes

The silky, broad folds of rice noodles languishing in a bowl of soy sauce broth(that impressed by being well-balanced and subtle) went perfectly with my plate of fishcake, tofu puffs, egg and pork belly. I was pleasantly surprised by the side of preserved vegetables which deviated from its pungent and sodium-rich norm - it had a sweet and savoury flavour which I quite enjoyed as a foil to the saltier elements.

Siglap Kway Chap
3838 Eating Place
727 E Coast Rd, Singapore 459073

Taste: 3.5/5

3 Likes

By far the best minced meat noodles in Ubi, the ratio of vinegar to chilli sauce and lard oil that slicks the large portion of noodles is almost perfect. The bowl is filled with generous amounts of minced pork, pork balls, braised mushrooms and a crispy dumpling, ensuring post lunch food comas are almost guaranteed.
They also do a very good chicken cutlet noodle which is highly recommended.

Taste: 3.5/5

5 Likes

I saw someone else ahead of the line order this, thought it looked like a killer combination, and it turned out to be so. Give the well seasoned mee pok a good toss together with the minced pork, spring onion and smokey chilli paste before combining it with a mouthful of fatty, charred Brazilian pork belly. I guarantee it’ll make your day.

Taste: 3.5/5

5 Likes

There's usually a little queue on weekend mornings for their quality handmade paus. What I like about Home-make Pau Specialist - a blink and you'll miss it stall in a coffee shop nestled deep within sleepy Dakota estate - is that all their paus are freshly handmade and steamed right before your eyes. Sure, it’s a little small for 70 cents, but the succulent and moist char siew held within the soft and fluffy bun is big on taste.

Taste: 3/5

4 Likes

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