Johor Kaki Travels for Food

Tony Boey johorkaki@gmail 🇸🇬 Singapore based food history researcher

Prawn & Mee @ Bedok Central 216 • New Gen Hawkers Bridging Traditional & Contemporary with New Twists on an Old Comfort Dish

Prawn_&_Mee_Bedok_Central_216

Back today at Pasar 216 Bedok Central, one of my favourite food centres in Singapore with lots of hawker gems. One of the well established stalls here with a constant queue is Prawn & Mee run by new generation hawkers Gladwin Yap and Raphael Sim who are Culinary Institute of America degree graduates.

Stall name: Prawn & Mee


Address: 216 Bedok North Street 1, stall #01-45, Singapore 460216 (Pasar 216 Bedok Central)


Hours: 9:30am - 2:00pm (Mon off)

Tiong Bahru Jian Bo vs Bedok • Which is the Better Chwee Kueh?

Tiong_Bahru_Jian_Bo_Bedok_Chwee_Kueh

The chwee kueh scene in Singapore is dominated by two large chains - Tiong Bahru Jian Bo and Bedok chwee kueh. There are still a few independent chwee kueh stalls but most are in their last legs (their owners retiring soon).

Tiong Bahru Jian Bo and Bedok franchisee stalls are found in hawker centres across the island, sometimes together in head to head competition. I was at Albert Centre food centre and stumbled upon the competitors together. So, I decided to do a comparison of the two leading chwee kueh brands in Singapore. (Chwee Kueh or Teochew steamed rice cakes is a dish that can be mass produced in a central kitchen, distributed through outlets far and wide, and still taste good.)

MONTI A CASA • Italian Approved Cuisine Delivered to your Home

MONTI_A_CASA

MONTI is one of the most beautiful restaurants in Singapore with a picturesque panoramic view of Marina Bay.

Restaurant name:  Monti @ 1-Pavilion Italian Restaurant & Rooftop Bar


Address: The Fullerton Pavilion, 82 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049327


Nearest MRT: Raffles Place station


Tel: 6535 0724 (reservations required)


Hours: 11:00am - 3:00pm | 5:00pm - 10:30pm (opens at 9:00am on Fri & Sat)

Earth Kitchen Tasty Prawn Noodles @ Level 2 International Plaza • No Frills Traditional Hawker Fare in the Heart of the Financial District


Buddy showed me a simple no frills, little eatery in International Plaza at the heart of Singapore's financial district serving traditional fare at affordable prices.

Stall name: Earth Kitchen Cafe


Address: 10 Anson Rd, International Plaza, unit #02-28, Singapore 079903


Tel: 9071 9177


Hours: 9:00am - 4:00pm (closed at 3pm on Sat | Sun off)

195 Pearl Hill Cafe Upped the Game with Bu Jian Tian Satay • Blown Away by Iberico Pork Belly Satay 珍珠山咖啡栈

195_Pearl_Hill_Cafe

It's been one year since I came to 195 Pearl Hill Cafe at the former Combined Operations Room. A lot happened in a year - Pearl Hill satay set a new satay benchmark for many satay lovers, the legendary wait list ran to over 6 months, and Ah Pui the Tiong Bahru satay man behind Pearl Hill satay left to join Select Group to open a restaurant at Smith Street.

Stall name: 195 Pearl Hill Cafe


Address: 195 Pearl's Hill Terrace, #01-56, Singapore 168976


Ordering number: 9748 9904


Hours: 11:00am - 5:00pm (Sun off)

Four Characteristics of Hawker Culture in Singapore • Multicultural, Urban, Community & Artisanal Hawkers

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In its 2019 submission to the United Nations for inclusion of Singapore hawker culture in the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Singapore highlighted four key characteristics of Hawker Culture in Singapore.

Singapore hawker culture is multicultural in nature, set in an urban setting, hawker centres provide social glue as common eating spaces for Singapore's diverse communities, hawkers and their craft are the lynch pins of Singapore hawker culture. 

Nasi Lemak Ayam Taliwang @ Yishun Park • Famous Lombok Specialty now in Singapore

Nasi_Lemak_Ayam_Taliwang

The first time I had ayam taliwang was in Lombok island back in 2014. Had it again in 2019 in Batam island. This is my third ayam taliwang - right here in Singapore at Yishun Park Hawker Centre. All three ayam taliwang tasted quite different 🤔

Stall name: Nasi Lemak Ayam Taliwang


Address: 51 Yishun Ave 11, stall #01-33, Singapore 768867 (Yishun Park Hawker Centre)


Tel: 8750 5240


Hours: 7:00am - 6:00pm (Ayam taliwang available from 8:30am | Monday off)

Green Chili Chicken Rice @ Sims Vista Hawker Centre • Surprise Bonus of Red Sambal 🌶

Green_Chili_Chicken_Rice_Sims_Vista

Finally came to try the famous green chili chicken rice at Sims Vista hawker centre. The queue was at least 10 deep despite social distancing measures (only takeaway or max 2 persons per table allowed).

Stall name: Green Chili Chicken Rice


Address: 49 Sims Place, Singapore 380049 (stall #01-09, Sims Vista Market & Food Centre)


Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Aljunied station


Hours: 10:30am - 1:30pm (Fri off)

Hokkien Street Bak Kut Teh @ Hong Lim Food Centre • Menu & Food Review 福建街肉骨茶

Hokkien_Street_Bak_Kut_Teh_Hong_Lim_福建街肉骨茶

Singapore bak kut teh is synonymous with the cloudy-clear, peppery soup type commonly called Teochew bak kut teh. There are a handful of Hokkien bak kut teh stalls which sport a dark soup of herbs and black soy sauce but these are the last remnants from the Hokkien BKT heyday of 1960s Singapore.

Stall name: Hokkien Street Bak Kut Teh 福建街肉骨茶


Address: 531A Upper Cross Street, stall #01-66, Singapore 051531 (inside Hong Lim Food Centre)


Hours: 8:00am - 7:00pm

Joo Chiat Place Fried Kway Teow • Best Char Kway Teow in the East? 如切坊炒粿条

Joo_Chiat_Place_Fried_Kway_Teow

You know, these days with unabating Covid numbers, I won't go out unless I really have to. Today, despite my cardiac rehab appointment (after my operation in July) and the blistering hot weather, buddy insisted that I really must try 
Joo Chiat Place Fried Kway Teow. "Old school, lah", "peel their own see hum, lah", "powerful wok hei, lah", "hidden gem, lah", "underrated, lah" aiyah I go pay the stall a visit at his insistence 🙄 My annual char kway teow quota is two (plus one), so I am CKT miserly 😂

Stall name: Joo Chiat Place Fried Kway Teow 如切坊炒粿条


Address: 59 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427783 (stall inside Dong Cheng Eatery directly across the road from Guan Hoe Soon Peranakan restaurant)


Hours: 11:00am - 8:00pm (Weds off)

Taman Jurong Feng Zhen Fish Lor Mee • West is Best? Or Best in the West? 鳳珍鹵麵

Taman_Jurong_Feng_Zhen_Lor_Mee

Stalking Taman Jurong Food Centre, it was obvious that Feng Zhen Lor Mee on level 3 is one of the most popular stalls here judging by the constant queue. I am told that the queue pre-Covid was much longer as busloads of Malaysians would drop by for the famous fish lor mee here. Nowadays, waiting time is within 15 minutes.

Stall name: Feng Zhen Lor Mee 鳳珍鹵麵


Address: Taman Jurong Food Centre, stall #03-146, 3 Yung Sheng Road, Singapore 618499


Hours: 5:00am - 3:00pm (Sun & Mon off)

Bak Kee Satay Bee Hoon @ Redhill • Famous Stall Serves Vanishing Singapore Hawker Dish Since 1960s

Bak_Kee_Satay_Bee_Hoon_Redhill

Satay bee hoon, not a pretty looking dish, is an invented in Singapore dish reflecting our combined Malay / Indonesian, Indian and Chinese heritage. There are not many stalls left serving satay bee hoon - one of the most popular is Bak Kee Teochew Satay Bee Hoon in Redhill Food Centre.

Stall name: Bak Kee Teochew Satay Bee Hoon 峇记潮洲沙嗲米粉


Address: 85 Redhill Lane, stall #01-40, Singapore 150085 (inside Bukit Merah Food Centre)


Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Redhill station


Hours: 5:30am - 4:00pm (Weds off)

Seri Muslim Food @ 399 Food Court • Taman Jurong Shopping Centre • Hidden Gem Nasi Lemak Better than Some Famous Brands

Seri_Muslim_Food_399_Food_Court_Taman_Jurong

Stumbled upon this queue inside 399 Food Court while stalking Taman Jurong Shopping Centre for good food. Not sure what the stall was about but I quickly got in line anyway, before the queue got longer 😱

Stall name: Seri Muslim Food 


Address: 399 Food Court, 399 Yung Sheng Road, Singapore 610399 (inside Taman Jurong Shopping Centre)


Hours: 9:30am - 9:00pm

MadASS @ Raffles Place Change Alley • Menu & Food Review • Rebel Against Unhealthy Fast Food

MadASS_Raffles_Place_Change_Alley

You know, in the heart of the busy Central Business District, it is a challenge to get an affordable quick bite. So, we often ended up with BFF - not best friends forever but unhealthy Big Fast Food. 

A new little eatery, MadASS just launched a Gourmet Social Movement - a rebellion against unhealthy fast food. Launched by the folks behind Mad About Sucre, MadASS stands for Mad About Sucre Social. It serves tasty, healthy meals at affordable plus prices in Change Alley Mall, the iconic core of Singapore's CBD.

Restaurant name: MadASS


Address: 01-11, Change Alley Mall, 30 Raffles Place, 048622 (inside Chevron House)


Tel: 8764 9818


Hours: 11:00am - 9:00pm (Sat & Sun off)

Taman Jurong Chwee Kueh 水粿 • Freshly Made Artisanal Teochew Rice Cakes by Octogenarian Hawker Master

Taman_Jurong_Chwee_Kueh_水粿

Stumbled upon the famous Taman Jurong chwee kueh stall - I read about this stall many times but this was my first time here. The stall doesn't really have a name - the signboard simply states 
水粿 (Chinese for chwee kueh), the humble Teochew dish which uncle Peng Ah Bah has been making and selling for the past 30 years.

Stall name: 水粿


Address: Stall #02-67, Taman Jurong Market and Food Centre, 3 Yung Sheng Road, Singapore 618499


Hours: 6:00am - 1:00pm

Ng Kee Teochew Fish Ball Kuay Teow Mee @ Taman Jurong • 1 Hour Invisible Queue 黄记潮州鱼圆粿条面

Ng_Kee_Teochew_Fishball_Noodle

This week's hawker centre stalking target is Taman Jurong Market & Food Centre. I was zeroing in on 
Ng Kee Teochew Fish Ball Kuay Teow Mee which was recommended to me a few years back 😅 I finally made it today (Jurong a bit far for me lah 😅 ). But, my attitude in life is "better late than never" 😂 

Stall name: Ng Kee Teochew Fish Ball Kuay Teow Mee 黄记潮州鱼圆粿条面


Address: Stall #02-64, Taman Jurong Market and Food Centre, 3 Yung Sheng Road, Singapore 618499


Hours: 6:00am - 2:00pm (Sat, Sun, Mon off)

Evolution of Singapore Hawkers • From Plying the Streets to Hawkerpreneurs

Tanglin_Halt

The hawker profession in Singapore went through three distinct stages, from plying the streets to running a hawker centre stall to being an entrepreneur, dubbed h
awkerpreneur.

Ah Tee Ko Ko Mee @ Kelantan Lane • Old School Nostalgic Sauce Noodle 亞弟叩叩面

Ah_Tee_Ko_Ko_Mee_Kelantan_Lane_亞弟叩叩面

Ko Ko Mee actually isn't a type of noodle dish. It refers to the knocking sound hawkers make when they strike a broad flat strip of bamboo with a bamboo stick. When I was a child in 1960s Singapore, the ko ko sound made by noodle sellers can be heard all day. 

Stall name: Ah Tee Ko Ko Mee 亞弟叩叩面


Address: Blk 27 Jalan Berseh, Gourmet Street coffee shop, Singapore 200027


Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Jalan Besar station


Hours: 5:30am - 1:30pm (Sun off)

632 Yishun Chef Kin HK Wanton Mee • Is it Worth the 2 Hour Queue?

632_Yishun_Chef_Kin_HK_Wanton_Mee

Recently, a wanton mee stall at block 632 in Yishun took the social media world by storm with two hour queues for their authentic Hong Kong style duck egg noodles. Its main selling point is owner chef Kin was formerly with the Crystal Jade chain of restaurants. As a wanton mee lover, I was curious and eager to give it a try.

Stall name: Chef Kin HK Wanton Mee


Address: Blk 632, Yishun Street 61, Singapore 760632


Nearest MRT: 15 minutes walk from Khatib station


Hours: 7:00am - 8:00pm

What is Unique about Singapore Hawker Centre Culture?

Singapore_Hawker_Centre_Culture

In 2018, when Singapore submitted its hawker culture for inclusion in the 
UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, murmurs were heard questioning "What is so Unique about Singapore Hawker Culture"? Afterall, all of Singapore's Southeast Asian neighbours have vibrant street hawker cultures. Every countryman or woman can rightfully argue that their own country's hawkers are the best, so why is Singapore jumping the gun on UNESCO recognition? Malaysia even proposed a joint submission.

I shall try to answer that question from my own perspective as a Singaporean who also loves the street food of neighbouring countries.

Can Singapore Hawker Culture Survive?

Singapore_Hawker_Culture

The future of Singapore's UNESCO recognised hawker culture is sometimes doubted and often debated. There are factors for and against its survival - it is good that the issue is often spotlighted, suggestions voiced, solutions implemented and the public engaged.

As Singaporeans are passionate about their hawker food, everyone has opinions on both sides of the fence. The picture is not all doom and gloom. In fact, I am pretty optimistic.

The Fortune Cookie Restaurant 🥠 Muslim Owned HALAL Chinese - Western Fusion @ Kampong Glam

Fortune_Cookie_Kampong_Glam

Today's lunch at The Fortune Cookie at the historic Kampong Glam 
🥠 TFC serves interesting Halal Chinese & Western fusion dishes. 

Restaurant name: The Fortune Cookie


Address: 11 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199432 (in Kampong Glam)


Nearest MRT: Bugis station


Tel: +65 9009 7345


Hours: 11:00am - 11:00pm daily

Pang's Hakka Noodles @ Sprout Hub. The Best Hakka Mee in Singapore? 小彭客家面

Pang's_Hakka_Noodles_小彭客家面

As chef Benny slurped up his noodles noisily across the table, I can smell the aroma of the blend of lard, shallot oil and juices from sautéed pork which transported me straight to Seremban, home of my favourite Hakka noodles. Thanks to chef Pang, now we can have it right here in Singapore. Better still, chef Pang's version comes with delicious accompanying yong tau foo and soups.

Stall name: Pang's Hakka Noodles 小彭客家面


Address: 102 Henderson Rd, Singapore 159562 (inside Sprout Hub)


Hours: 10:30am - 7:00pm

Kheng Fatt Hainanese Beef Noodles @ Golden Mile Food Centre 瓊发海南牛肉粉

Kheng_Fatt_Hainanese_Beef_Noodles_Golden_Mile

Went to Golden Mile Food Centre for lunch after my medical appointment. Famous, old school 
Kheng Fatt Hainanese Beef Noodles (established 1978) just opened for the day, so I settled for it.

Stall name: Kheng Fatt Hainanese Beef Noodles 瓊发海南牛肉粉


Address: Golden Mile Food Centre, 505 Beach Road, stall #01-89, Singapore 199583


Hours: 11:30am - 7:30pm (Weds off)

HQ Italia Pizza Addiction 🇮🇹 Unofficial Embassy of Italy & One of Our Makan Hideouts

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You know, all of us have one or a few makan hangouts hideouts which is known among our kakis and not much other people. I share one of these with you - HQ Italia at the roof top of Oxley Bizhub 2 in Kampong Ubi.

Restaurant name: HQ Italia Pizza Addiction 🇮🇹


Address: Oxley Bizhub 2, 62 Ubi Rd 1, #11-19, Singapore 408734


Tel: 9383 2649


Nearest MRT: Tai Seng station


Hours: 11:30am - 9:30pm (Sun off)

Guan Hoe Soon Peranakan Restaurant @ Joo Chiat Place. Singapore's Oldest Nyonya Restaurant

Guan_Hoe_Soon_Peranakan_Restaurant_Joo_Chiat_Place

Established in 1953, Guan Hoe Soon is one of the oldest and most famous Peranakan restaurants in Singapore, so was I extremely excited about going there for lunch.

Restaurant name: Guan Hoe Soon Restaurant


Address: 38 & 40 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427764


Tel: +65 6344 2761


Hours: 11:00am - 3:00pm | 5:30pm - 9:00pm

Lao Huang Hakka Niang Tou Fu. Yong Tau Foo Stuffed with Porky Goodness @ North Bridge Road Food Centre

Lao_Huang_Hakka_Niang_Tou_Fu

Stumbled upon Lao Huang Hakka Niang Tou Fu stall at North Bridge Road hawker centre and was excited to see that they use pork fillings for their yong tau foo. They also have Hakka style noodles, so yeah, this will be my brekky this morning 😄

Stall name: Lao Huang Hakka Niang Tou Fu 老黄客家酿豆腐


Address: North Bridge Road Market & Food Centre, 861 North Bridge Rd, #01-108, Singapore 198783


Tel: 9652 0395 (Jimmy)


Hours: 7:30am - 1:00pm (Thurs, Fri, Mon off)

Rong Ji Chicken Rice • Porridge 🐔 Longstanding Easties' Favourite @ Dunman Food Centre

Rong_Ji_Chicken_Rice_Porridge_Dunman_Food_Centre

As a chicken and porridge lover, I was very excited when I stumbled upon 
Rong Ji Chicken Rice & Porridge while stalking Dunman Food Centre. So, I quickly joined the line of five people (at 10am on a Monday).

Stall name: Rong Ji Chicken Rice • Porridge 榮記鶏飯 • 粥


Address: Stall #02-13, Dunman Food Centre, 271 Onan Road, Singapore 424768


Hours: 6:00am - 3:00pm (Weds off)

Geylang Serai Chee Kong. Much Loved Cheng Tng in the Malay Heartland of Singapore

Geylang_Serai_Chee_Kong_Cheng_Tng

You know, the first time I tasted Geylang Serai Chee Kong's cheng tng, it was free of charge 😄 I was sharing a table with a Malay uncle and naturally, we had an unker to unker talk about what to eat. He went to buy cheng tng, and belanja (Malay for treat) me one 😄 The kampong spirit is alive and well in Geylang Serai 💪 

Pakcik was one of Geylang Serai Chee Kong's many life long fans. Now, they added this Chinese unker.

Stall name: Geylang Serai Chee Kong Cheng Tng 清汤


Address: 1 Geylang Serai, #02-149 Geylang Serai Market and Food Centre, Singapore 402001


Hours: 10:00am - 4:00pm (Mon off)

Kansas City Style Smoked BBQ Feast by Chef Jimmy of Smoke House by Esseplore

Smoke_House_Esseplore

I have always wanted to try the much acclaimed cooking of smoked BBQ meats maestro, chef Jimmy Cheang. 
Now that chef Jimmy joined Esseplore, we can order his smoked meats online and have it delivered to enjoy in the comfort of our own homes. We just had a selection of Kansas City style smoked BBQ feast and loved it.

History of Pasar Geylang Serai Market. Enduring Heart of Malay Life & Culture in Singapore

History_Pasar_Geylang_Serai_Market

Geylang Serai Market and Food Centre is a hawker centre with one of the longest history in Singapore. Its roots go back to the 1920s, starting life as a street market and then a makeshift hawker shelter in Geylang Serai.

Geylang Serai Market and Food Centre


Address: 1 Geylang Serai, Singapore 402001