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

Cross Culture · Food · Research 🇸🇬 Tony Boey johorkaki@gmail

Best of KOVAN 209 Food Centre · Heartland Hawker Haven with Kampong Spirit

KOVAN_209_Food_Centre

Folks who live near Kovan 209 Market & Food Centre are blessed with a market with fresh produce and a hawker centre with many food stalls. 
No national champion stalls here but lots of tasty comfort dishes at reasonable prices. Many of the stalls are decades old brands run by veteran hawkers or their second and third generations. I have been to Kovan 209 food centre many times in the past 30 years and these are the stalls that I have tried and like. Nothing mind blowing but the vibes of the place and comforting food here evoke a certain happiness and contentment of home.

Kovan 209 Market & Food Centre


Address: 209 Hougang Street 21, Singapore 530209


Nearest MRT: Doorstep of Kovan station



KOVAN_209_Food_Centre

Fa Ji Minced Meat Fishball Noodle 发记 stall #01-05 🕑 8am - 7pm (Weds off) is most popular of the three bak chor mee / fishball noodle / laksa / curry mee stalls at Kovan 209. It serves soft al dente noodles enveloped in robust, old school savoury, spicy, lardy, tangy slick. No gimmicks, it builds a loyal following with comforting, familiar pleasure, yeah...., like an old habit or affordable addiction. I tried also their curry steamed chicken noodle - the curry was alright but the chicken lacked taste.

KOVAN_209_Food_Centre

Fatt Soon Kueh 
发笋粿 stall #01-17 🕑 7am - 6pm (Mon off) serves traditional Teochew kueh all freshly handmade at the stall. Popular choices are png kueh (rice cake), ku chye kueh (chive) and soon kueh (jicama or mang kuang). Fatt Soon Kueh's kueh skin are thin, stretchy, tender-chewy and hold the fillings well without breaking. The most popular is soon kueh with soft, sweet-savoury stewed jicama, while my personal favourite is ku chye kueh with stir fried chives. Eat with dribbles of chili sauce, sweet-savoury soy sauce and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

KOVAN_209_Food_Centre

O Kee O 记 
stall #01-32 🕑 9am - 8pm (daily) took over the space once occupied by Bedok Cooked Food which also sold roast pork and duck. O Kee is a new kid in the Kovan block but is actually a Cantonese roast veteran. Their main outlet is in People's Park Centre and they are involved in the roast business for nearly a century, so their roasts have the old school flavours even though not the juiciest nor most tender.

KOVAN_209_Food_Centre

Yam Mee Teochew Fishball Noodles 炎成潮州鱼丸面 stall #01-35 🕑 7am - 9pm (Mon off) which occupies two stall spaces, is one of three popular bak chor mee / fishball noodle stalls at Kovan 209. The noodles, fishball, fish cake, fish dumpling, pork ball all seemed generic but were generously portioned in the bowl. The thick sauce is savoury-spicy and lardy in the old way. Yam Mee, yummee or not? Well, they have a lot of loyal fans queuing up everyday 😁

KOVAN_209_Food_Centre

Hajjah Mariam Muslim Food stall #01-53 🕑 8am - 1pm (Mon & Fri off) is well known for its nasi lemak sets and is popular for Malay staples like mee rebus, mee siam, lontong and soto. Their nasi lemak sets comes with fried fish and / or chicken wing, and their savoury spicy sambal is a winner with their many fans. The batter was crisp-chewy, the chicken wing meat doesn't have much flavour, the ikan kuning fish meat also lacked flavour. The rice was chewy with taste of salt and coconut milk. 

KOVAN_209_Food_Centre

Hussain Muslim Food stall #01-54 🕑 6am - 8pm (daily) is right beside Hajjah Mariam Muslim Food and both stalls have a similar menu of nasi lemak and Malay staples. I tried their soto ayam and it was pretty enjoyable. The soup was thick, rich with flavours and it came with a whole piece of chicken wing. Shall try their nasi lemak next time.

KOVAN_209_Food_Centre

Ah Hui Big Prawn Noodle, Long House 阿辉大虾面 stall #01-59 🕑 8am - 2pm (Mon off) is an old brand founded in the now demolished Long House food centre along Thomson Road. Ah Hui Big Prawn Noodle's main stall is now in Balestier Market and this stall at Kovan is a branch (which used to be run by the founder Tan Ah Hui). Ah Hui's signature is fresh big prawns blanched in their savoury, slightly herbal soup served up in noodles mixed with a savoury spicy sauce and lard. They also have pork ribs and tails. Old school spicy sauce prawn mee with pork. 

KOVAN_209_Food_Centre

Yi Shi Jia Wanton Mee 
益食家云吞面 stall #01-57 🕑 8am - 4pm (Mon off) is one of the wanton mee stalls at Kovan 209 with a constant queue. I haven't tried their claim to fame which is ketchup wanton mee. I tried their chili sauce wanton mee which turned out quite likeable. The noodles were generic and well coated with a mild savoury-spicy sauce. The noodles were crunchy, tasted savoury-spicy because of the sauce. The char siew slices were thin, lean and dry. The best thing at Yi Shi Jia is their wantons served in a good pork soup. The wantons were quite big, wrapped in silky smooth skin with generous well seasoned minced pork filling.

KOVAN_209_Food_Centre

51 Ming Fa Wanton Egg Noodle stall #01-64 🕑 7am - 1pm (Mon & Tues off) is the other wanton mee with the most passionate fans at Kovan 209. 51 Ming Fa's secret weapon is their sambal blended with lard to envelope the noodles with umami savoury spiciness. 51 Ming Fa's arsenal includes a big gun - their signature 5 Tastes Noodles which is topped with 
shredded chicken, stewed mushroom, char siew, prawns, and wantons. Char siew is the dry and lean type, and wantons were just average though I like it that they were infused with old school sesame oil flavour.

via GIPHY

Your favourite stall(s) not on this list? 😤


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First_Street_Teochew_Fish_Soup

Not in Kovan 209 hawker centre but just 10 minutes walk away is First Street Teochew Soup, one of the most famous fish soup shops in Singapore 🕐 9am - 3pm (Mon off). They use lots of powdered tee poh (dried sole fish) in their umami-savoury sweet fish soup. For a lot of people, that's win already lor.



       
                     
             
             
               
               
             
           
           
           
                                                                                                                                                                         
           
             
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            A post shared by Tony Boey Johor Kaki (@johorkaki)          

       
     
         
  
Written by Tony Boey on 25 Jul 2022

3 comments:

  1. Unfortunately they have closed the car park to build BTO. No need for that in my view and affecting customers and thr stall holders. Anyway how l many flats can u build while the car park had been there for years

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes yes the large carpark in front of Kovan 209 market and food centre has closed for BTO construction. It has affected the business of all the market and food stalls there. There is a multi storey carpark across the road from Macdonald's. Better still, the hawker centre is at the doorstep of Kovan MRT station. Can take MRT there like me 😬 Please continue to support the hawkers of Kovan 209 (by Tony)

      Delete
  2. I like this post as you were honest and published what you enjoyed and what wasn’t up yr alley. Keep it up on such fair postings!

    ReplyDelete

I share hoping that everyone will have a good time but your experience may differ from mine. I love to know how you enjoyed yourself or if you didn't. All comments with genuine identities are published.