Johor Kaki Travels for Food

Tony Boey johorkaki@gmail 🇸🇬 Singapore active senior food, travel & lifestyle diary

Guide to Famous Hawkers & Hidden Gems @ Bendemeer Market & Food Centre

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This is a very busy, gritty old market & food centre at the city fringe with many good hawker stalls. Most of the food stalls serve comfort dishes but there are a few surprising twists to the old school favourites worth checking out.


Bendemeer Market & Food Centre


Address: 29 Bendemeer Road, Singapore 330029


Nearest MRT: At the doorstep of Boon Keng station



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Wan Gui Beverages stall #01-07 is the place to get your gao gao bitter, full body, caffeine fix. See that tall stash of eggs on the right? No, this was not a Covid-19 kiasu stockpile 😂 Wan Gui is famous for their tua tua liap (big), fragrant, soft boiled eggs with dark soy sauce and white pepper. $1 for a pair, it's a steal. Everyone's having them 🥚 🥚


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Min Ji Laksa stall #01-31 serve a simple, popular laksa with moderately rich coconut milk and mild spices topped with blood cockles, tau pok, boiled egg, fish cake slices and chopped curry leaf. Upsize to $4.50, if you like shredded chicken in your laksa. If there's not enough heat for you, add some of their spicy sambal chili. 

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Yong Xiang Carrot Cake stall #01-35 serve Chinese kueh like peng kueh (rice cake), soon kueh (Jicama cake) etc as well as black or white fried carrot cake with eggs. Yong Xiang's signature is roughly chopped up peng kueh or soon kueh which they fry with eggs like they do carrot cake. It's an interesting mix of flavours and textures with the outside well seared (to a slight char). A unique, interesting way to eat kueh, worth a try. Their fried carrot cake is also popular but I haven't tried yet.

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Bendemeer Prawn Noodle stall #01-42 serve an old school, clean tasting, mildly umami savoury flavour prawn (and pork) noodle with fresh little finger size crustaceans.

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Indonesia Curry Rice stall #01-49 is known for their nasi kuning (yellow rice) cooked with fragrant coconut milk and coloured with turmeric spice. Eat with their beef or mutton rendang, assam fish and some leafy greens fried with spices - what more does an unker need? They also have assam fish head, if you are here for a party. It's like a spice themed, affordable chup chai png (economic rice). 

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Toa Payoh 93 Soon Kueh stall #01-52 hand make all their kueh right there at the stall for all to see. The relatively thick skin wrap is soft with a bit of chew to the bite. They also have Hakka suan pan zi or abacus seeds which are very popular. Worth a try as suan pan zi is rarely seen in Singapore hawker centres. (They have another outlet at Geylang Bahru food centre. Not sure if they moved here from Geylang Bahru, or this is a franchise.)

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San Xi Hainanese Chicken Rice stall #01-53 serve tender juicy poached chicken with a jelly (fat) under the skin from dunking in cold water. Chicken cut in large chunks is served on a mound of blanched beansprout and splashed with a sweet savoury sauce and aromatic oil blend. Rice is fragrant but greasy. Eat with savoury sourish spicy hot chili sauce and soup with chicken feet and vegetables. They also have deep fried chicken which seemed very popular (I haven't tried). 
(San Xi have another outlet at Eunos Crescent food centre. Not sure how the two stalls are related.)

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Xiang Ji Gao Dian stall #01-56 often sports the longest queue at this food centre. Opens at around 5am and sold out by 9am - so, their famous tissue thin, silky smooth chee cheong fun with their signature sweet savoury sauce is only for early birds who know their food 🐦 If you are lucky enough to be here before 9am, this is the queue to start you good food diving.

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Singapore Bao stall #01-61 serve no bao (pork bun) but excellent siew mai (pork dumpling) and not-too-bad lo mai gai (glutinous rice with chicken). Took me three visits before I tasted this - first time, food already sold out; second time, I went to check out other stalls and Bao stall closed when I returned 10 minutes later 🤦 ; only got to taste their siew mai and lo mai gai on my third visit. Don't be like Tony. The thing to get here is their table tennis ball size, soft-tender, juicy, sweet savoury siew mai. (It's like a large "open top" pork wanton cooked by steaming.)

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Sze Chuan Assorted Soup stall #01-72 serve fishball and minced meat noodle. The noodles are done soft al dente and tossed in a savoury sweet spicy tangy sauce. The fishballs are soft crunchy with a slight fish sweetness. The stall previously had spicy Sichuan style soups in the menu (but now focus on the more familiar Teochew style fishball noodle), hence the name.

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Xin Lu Teo Chew Fishball Noodle stall #01-74 serve an old school Teochew fishball dish - fishball, noodle, sauce & lard and soup, that's all. No fish cake, meat ball, minced pork, etc. I was a big fan of Xin Lu at the old Margaret Drive Food Centre, so I am glad that one of their affiliated stalls have returned here in Bendemeer. I haven't tasted their noodle though, and will update once I've done that. Tried today - Yes, this stall is run by the founder's daughter. The fishballs were light, not dense, slightly springy and has a slight fish flavour. The sauce was savoury spicy lardy but neither robust nor sharp enough for my tastebuds. The mee pok noodles were done soft al dente whereas I remember they were quite springy soft-chewy at the old Margaret Drive stall. 

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Wah Kee Wanton Noodle stall #01-81 serve soft crunchy egg noodle in a drippy dark savoury sweet sauce topped with sweet savoury well caramelised pork belly char siew. Ask for sambal chili if you like a bit of spicy heat in your noodles.

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Hai Sheng Carrot Cake stall #01-85 is the most popular carrot cake stall at this hawker centre (there are at least three here). Serve both black and white versions. The carrot cake is cubed into dice size, soft-tender, sweet overlaid with flavours from eggs, savoury sauce, chili sauce. There are little crunchy bits of chai poh (preserved turnip) embedded throughout the dish which give it umami flavour and contrasting gritty bite to the soft carrot cake. It's comforting and tasty. Quite greasy but it's not lard (which would have made it perfect).

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Hwa Heng Beef Noodle stall #01-86 is the current incarnation of the legendary Odeon beef noodle stall. (When it later moved to Scotts Picnic Food Court in the 1980s, it was one of my favourite work day lunch picks.) They have "dry" and soup versions which both have a subtle Chinese herb taste and are equally worth trying. The dry version is smothered in a Darth Vader dark, gooey beefy savoury herbal sauce in the Hainanese style. Toppings include beef slices, tendon, tripe and beef balls. Make sure to eat with their signature spicy-sour-umami-salty chili and cincalok sauce. When you arrive at the stall, go get a queue number straightaway to avoid leaving with an empty stomach but full of regret (speaking from experience).

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I missed out your favourite stall(s)? 😤


Don't be mad at me 😱


Give me a shout out in the comments 🙏


I promise you that I will go down to Bendemeer Food Centre again to visit your favourite(s).


I may add the stall(s) to this list. If not, at the very least, I will give a detail response to your recommendation.


Thank you for helping us make this list more helpful for all 🙏🙏


While you are in Bendemeer, you may also want to check out:


Lau Ah Tee Bak Kut Teh, one of the vintage Teochew bak kut teh shops in Singapore 👈 click


HQ of CAN EAT! Hawker Food Facebook group, Blk 44 Bendemeer Prawn Noodle stall 👈 click



Written by Tony Boey on 8 Apr 2021

10 comments:

  1. For all yr hawker ( all centres) reviews, it would be helpful if you could include closing times of stalls & prices ��

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Hannah. I shall include timings as suggested.

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  2. my favourite here is Kolo Mee from the stall One Ton Mee. also the everlasting queue Beef noodle soup at the back. The hainanese curry rice also good.

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  3. Ah Xiao Teochew Braised Duck (related to the Golden Mile FC one).

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    Replies
    1. No good compare to nearby Geylang bahru FC 祝记.

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  4. My fave Toa Payoh Hwa Heng Beef Noodle (now shifted to the back row near Hai Sheng Carrot Cake)!

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  5. Bendemeer Prawn Noodle so so nia. Not worth the q

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  6. The lor mee is nice too! Heng Kee Lor Mee same stretch as the carrot cake.

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  7. The Hai Sheng carrot cake and Wah Kee wanton Mee are not nice. My wife and I tried within the past 1 year.

    ReplyDelete

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