Tony Johor Kaki Travels for Food · Heritage · Culture · History

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History of Chinese Migration & Roots of Hawker Food Culture in Singapore


Singapore hawker centres are well known for their delicious melting pot of Malay, Indian, Chinese and other cuisines. In this article, we take a closer look at Chinese migration to Singapore, and the different flavours it brought to our communal dining spaces.

Yuan Lang Soy Sauce Chicken Master @ Chinatown Complex Food Centre 元朗油鸡博士


Ever since buddy Fong told me about Yuan Lang Soy Sauce Chicken Master (stall #02-41), it was at the top of my mind to try the next time I am in Chinatown Complex hawker food centre. Finally did today and I was wowed by the tasty poached kampung chicken.

Angel Horse Teochew Fish Soup @ Albert Market & Food Centre 仙马潮州鱼汤


We were around Albert Food Centre for an errand and so decided to have brunch here. We had Angel Horse Teochew Fish Soup 仙马潮州鱼汤 and enjoyed it. The fish was fresh, flavours were mild and well balanced. It was a tasty, comforting, good value meal which explains the stall's popularity.

Famous Lao Wu Mutton Soup @ Blk 532 Ang Mo Kio 老吴記羊肉


Ah Huat jio (invited) me to join him at Lao Wu Mutton Soup @ 532 Ang Mo Kio which is a stall in Sunday F & B kopitiam. 老吴記's mutton soup is nice - its flavours are mild with neither pungent mutton gaminess nor strong herbal and ginger taste. Hence, it is extremely popular.

Knife Cut Shaved Noodle Shi Xiang Ge @ Bishan Bus Interchange 食香阁.刀削面


Stopped over at Bishan MRT Station while running errands today. Went to the food centre above the bus interchange to look for lunch. It is a small hawker centre with just 10 food stalls. The two stalls with queues were the la mian / shaved noodle stall and the Cantonese roasts stall. This time we opted for Shi Xiang Ge La Mian / Shaved Noodle stall because shaved noodles are rarely found in Singapore hawker centres.

Stall name: Shi Xiang Ge La Mian Shaved Noodles 食香阁

Address: Bishan Street 13, Bishan Bus Interchange, Bishan Cafeteria, Singapore 570514

Nearest MRT station: Bishan

Tel: +65 9151 3586

Hours: 10:30am - 9:30pm (Tues off)

History & Memories of Clifford Pier Singapore


Known to locals in Cantonese as "Hong Tang Mah Tow 紅燈碼頭" or Hokkien as "Ang Teng Beh Tau" which means Red Lantern Harbour, Clifford Pier held many memories for me.

Best Char Siew & Roast Pork in Marsiling Mall & Woodlands by Fu Shi Traditional Roasted. Wanton Mee


Ah Huat owner-chef of Fu Shi Traditional Roasted. Wanton Mee stall at Marsiling Mall food centre is constantly improving his char siew, roast pork belly, roast duck and noodles. They were already very good when I first had them years ago - today, Ah Huat has taken his craft to new heights.

Singapore in the 1850s as seen from Mount Wallich by Percy Carpenter

This painting of Singapore at Sunrise from Mount Wallich was an oil on canvas painted by Percy Carpenter in 1856. The panorama from the peak of Mount Wallich is a wonderful historical artefact in that it provides a glimpse and valuable insights of Singapore in 1856 (164 years ago). 

Singapore had thrived and boomed in less than 40 years after Raffles first stepped foot on Singapore River in 1819. In this short 30 odd years, the population of Singapore exploded grew from around 200 in 1819 to some 81,000 by 1860.

58 Minced Meat Mee 利發肉脞面 PK. Which is the Best Bak Chor Mee at Marketplace @ 58 Upper Changi?


Judging by the queue at The Marketplace @ 58 near Tanah Merah MRT station, most people here are fans of 58 Minced Meat Mee stall. There is another soup bak chor mee stall 利發肉脞面 in
 the same hawker centre. I tried both this morning, one after another. Which is the best?

Sin Huat Eating House Crab Bee Hoon @ Geylang Lor 35. Enigmatic Seafood Shop Draws Dignitaries & Celebrities to Singapore's Red Light District


Sin Huat Eating House and its eccentric owner-chef Danny is a legend and enigma in Singapore's culinary world. Five of us gathered here for a dinner which we knew will be memorable and will add to our own foodie stories.

Mr Biryani Firetop Claypot Dhum Biryani @ AXA Tower Basement


Today, four of us went to try Mr Biryani's Firetop Claypot Dhum Biryani set at their AXA Tower outlet. The set comes with a claypot of biryani, 2 starters and 2 side dishes for $88+. The biryani and dishes were packed full of flavours and aroma. All four of us guys were fully stuffed and talked about skipping our next meal 😄

Wildfire Burgers @ NAFA Bencoolen Street. Gourmet Burgers & Surprise Fried Chicken


After hearing so many makan buddies raved about Wildfire Burgers @ NAFA, I was very curious to try it - finally had the chance today as we were nearby at Bugis Junction / National Library. We enjoyed the Wildfire burgers and also especially love their fried chicken.

Under Rated Ice Kacang Gula Melaka of Chinatown 雪花飛昌記冷熱甜品


The three 雪花飛 traditional dessert stalls in Chinatown Complex food centre enjoy the love and loyalty of their multi-generational fans. But, as the Chow brothers get older, their legacy is fading. Their signature Ice Kacang Gula Melaka may vanish from Singapore's hawker scene when they retire. Sadly, it may not be missed by the newer generations as 雪花飛's Ice Kacang Gula Melaka is relatively under rated and under the social media radar.

A Nice Meal @ Jew Kit Sembawang. More than Hainanese Chicken Rice


Bumped into Ah Huat at a hawker centre and we chatted over kopi. The topic inevitably centred around what else? New places to eat which we uncovered recently. Ah Huat suggested that I check out Jew Kit Hainanese Chicken Rice at Sembawang Shopping Centre. He has been there several times and he liked it.

Ellice Handy My Favourite Recipes ● Observations from the First Singapore Food Cookbook


The cookbook My Favourite Recipes by Ellice Handy is a legend among Singapore chefs and home cooking enthusiasts. First published in 1952, most have read or at least heard about it. I recently borrowed a copy from the National Library, the eleventh edition published in 2012.

Was Singapore Just a Fishing Village before Raffles?


Raffles and his role in Singapore history loom large in public consciousness. However, the history of Singapore as a trading hub did not start with Raffles in 1819. There is ample evidence that a kingdom of Singapura and thriving sea port existed over 500 years before Raffles stepped foot on Singapore.

History of Raffles Statues in Singapore


Most visitors to Singapore River would see this statue of Raffles at the spot where he first stepped foot on Singapore in 1819.

Jing Ji Fish Ball Noodles. 40 Year Stalwart of Sembawang Hills Food Centre


I've been wanting to tick Jing Ji Fish Ball Noodles off my eat-list since Matt pointed out the Sembawang Hills Food Centre stall to me nearly a year ago. Finally got to try it this morning after a few visits (say until macam like people trying for a baby like that... 🤔 ).

Cavenagh Bridge. A National Monument of Singapore


Cavenagh Bridge is my favourite bridge on Singapore River as I feel it is the prettiest and it has an interesting history.

Soon Heng Pork Noodles. Soup Bak Chor Mee in Chinatown @ Neil Road & Keong Siak Road


If you follow my blog you will know that I am fascinated by the story of Singapore's unique soupy type bak chor mee (minced pork noodle 肉脞麵). I am visiting all the soup bak chor mee stalls one by one, and today I am at Soon Heng Pork Noodles at Neil Road in Chinatown.

Makan House by Ollella. Indonesian Classics & Kueh @ 454 Race Course Road


Most Indonesian kueh lovers in Singapore know Ollella but I just realised that they have a nice little diner tucked away at 454 Race Course Road named Makan House by Ollella. Located about 7-8 minutes walk from Boon Keng MRT station, now I know another delicious Indonesian classics & kueh hang out at the city fringe.

Michin Korean BBQ & Hotpot near Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre in Toa Payoh


We went to Michin Korean BBQ & Hotpot at Toa Payoh block 18 near Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre. Truth be told, I am not naturally attracted to table top BBQ & Hotpot buffets but it turned out that we all enjoyed ourselves. At this price point, we are pleased with the quality and taste of Michin's food.