April 1, 2016
I used to be a stranger to Dover and Ghim Moh until I began schooling around the area and at the time, there were only a small handful of food places my friends and I would frequent… Mostly Star Vista or Holland Village where the foods are not entirely economical.
It is for this very reason I’ve decided to compile a list of the best stalls around this precious area for those who school, work or live there.
If I’ve uncovered your secret food haunt, I apologize beforehand and if I have not included that one stall you absolutely love, do let me know! Anyway, here goes…
The name “Wah Chee” has become something most people familiar with the area find solace in simply because beautiful images of fried rice, butter chicken and tasty noodles come to mind. While “Wah Chee” refers to solely this Tze Char stall that sells scrumptious dishes like Butter Chicken Rice ($5), most of us use it to refer to the rest of the stalls too.
That aside, this Wah Chee stall at Dover Court is known best for its Butter Chicken Rice and with very good reason too. The chunks of chicken are covered in a crispy, sweet skin which oozes with juices when consumed, along with the fluffy soft rice. This is definitely one of my favourite dishes at Wah Chee. Other dishes that I really enjoy and are definitely worth a try from this stall are the Hong Kong Fried Noodles and Chicken Fried Rice.
Wah Chee Restaurant: 5 Dover Crescent, Dover Court, #01-02, Singapore 130005 | Monday to Sunday 1100-2330, Closed on Alternate Wednesdays | Tel: 6778 3567 | Closure on the 30th of April
Another favourite of mine from Wah Chee is the Chicken Rice stall. I love taking away the Chicken Rice with Lemon Chicken ($4.50) and being the monster eater that I am, I like to add rice for $0.50.
It is completely worth the price as the rice is very fragrant, the chicken slices are tender and not dry and the Lemon Chicken pieces are gloriously sweet. The simple, clear soup that is served alongside helps to cleanse my palate after I’ve wolfed down the entire dish.
Wah Chee Chicken Rice: 5 Dover Crescent, Dover Court, Singapore 130005 | Monday to Sunday 0900-1600
And now, for a change of scene from the rice dishes at Wah Chee, here is a stall that serves delectable bowls of Mee Pok ($3.50), together with a bowl of steamy soup to help you wash the spices from the bowl of Mee Pok away.
The noodles sold here are springy and they soak up the spicy gravy nicely. Coupled with the substantial serving of fish cake slices, fish balls and meat balls (you can opt to swap out the fish balls for meat balls), the entire dish is simply topnotch.
Wah Chee Mee Pok: 5 Dover Crescent, Dover Court, Singapore 130005
Plated above is a hearty dish comprising of Rendang, Fried egg, Tau Pok and Sambal all piled atop a serving of white, coconut milk rice. Once again, a stall at Wah Chee, a stall definitely worthy of mention.
Sometimes when I feel like I’ve had enough of the Chinese cuisines at Wah Chee, I would opt for the Muslim stall there as the lady serves really delicious plates of Nasi Lemak and the usual array of spicy dishes like Curry Chicken, Rendang soaked in chili sauce, etc.
I would definitely recommend the Otah from this stall too and you can get several to go.
Wah Chee Chicken Rice: 5 Dover Crescent, Dover Court, Singapore 130005
I may seem fanatic about Wah Chee at this point considering how we are five stalls into this guide and still at Wah Chee but I really do believe that the stalls assembled so fortunately at this location deserve the credit coming their way. This Western stall is one other stall at Wah Chee which I fully appreciate mostly because I adore their Fish and Chips ($5) to bits.
Here’s a comparison. When I went to Australia I was told to try their fish and chips as they are supposedly phenomenal there and it is possible I did not patronize the right restaurant but the fish and chips at Wah Chee still remain at the top of my list. Crispy, thick-cut fries, soft fish with a crisp, golden skin and a sweet, sugary bread to bring everything nicely into place.
Wah Chee Western Stall: 5 Dover Crescent, Dover Court, Singapore 130005 | Tuesday to Sunday 0900-2100, Closed on Mondays
I’ve only been to this stall once, when my friends decided it was time for some of us less adventurous fools to try the XO Fish Head Bee Hoon. Having been my first time, I was overwhelmed by the powerful flavours of the broth which was both savoury and heavily infused with alcohol. The soup was tasty, the fish slices were soft and tender and the vermicelli noodles well-cooked.
XO Fish Head Bee Hoon: Blk 19A Dover Crescent, #01-05, Singapore 131019 | Monday to Sunday 1130-1400, 1700-2300 | Tel: 67783691
As mentioned in a previous Char Siew Guide I’ve written, I love the Char Siew Rice with Roasted Pork ($3.50) at Uncle Louis Hainanese Chicken Rice for its flavour and magnificence.
Apart from the succulent and drenched-in-sauce char siew, the roasted pork’s crispy crackling skin pairs very nicely with the more tender pieces of char siew. And to top things off, the soup that comes along with the dish is very savoury and will definitely help to wash the char siew after-taste away.
If you opt for the Chicken Rice at this stall, you definitely will not be losing out either as their chicken rice is both fragrant and highly sought after.
Uncle Louis Hainanese Chicken Rice: Multi Storey Car Park, 19A Dover Crescent, Singapore 131019 | Monday to Sunday 0800-1730
New Century Cafe, which is a kopitiam located right opposite Ghim Moh Market and Food Centre was teeming with people in the evening. I think most were there for the Tze-Char food stall and the Economical rice stall but regardless, I found divine beauty in this humble plate of Char Kway Teow ($4).
The portions were very generous and since it is tough to find truly good char kway teow stalls in Singapore, I was pleasantly surprised when I dug in to this dish.
The noodles were stir-fried to perfection and filled with the proper amount of fish cakes, chinese sausage, fried egg and more. And just to make the dish more flavourful than it already is, add a few squeezes of the lime to the dish.
New Century Cafe: Blk 19 Ghim Moh Road, Singapore 270019
I am cheating a little by adding this “stall” here but the crispy chicken at this stall is too good to pass up. Located at the basement of Star Vista, sits a very nondescript shop called Xi Men Jie and it sells extremely yummy fried chicken. I usually order the Chicken Cutlet Curry Rice ($6.50) which is a tad bit more expensive than the prices at Hawker centres but it is completely worth the value.
The breaded chunks of chicken are crunchy on the outside and fleshy on the inside. If you fear the chicken will be too dry, get the curry rice to go along with it as the slightly sweetened curry rice pairs very nicely with the Chicken Cutlet.
Xi Men Jie The Tastes of Taiwan: The Star Vista, 1 Vista Exchange Green #B1-04 Singaproe 138617 | Monday to Sunday 1000-2200
Quite unlike what is suggested in the name of this stall, we did not order the XO Fish Head Bee Hoon and instead, went straight for the tze-char dishes. I always found comfort at this food place, not only because the food they serve there is fantastic but because of the fact that it is located at a more obscure place and the environment there is very laid-back.
When my friends and I come to this place, we usually order one egg dish, one vegetable dish (sambal kang kong or kai lan) and two meat dishes. The two meat dishes here are what I find most beautiful. The first, which is pictured above is the Cereal Chicken ($10-S, $12-L) and I love it mostly because the pieces of chicken are very crispy and are splendid when paired with the sweet peppering of sugary cereal bits.
The other meat dish which is the Salted Egg Pork Ribs ($10-S, $12-L) is my absolute favourite. It is hands down the best salted egg pork ribs I have tried so far.
And while it may be true that I have not tried all the salted egg pork ribs in Singapore to give a fair judgement, but I really strongly urge those who appreciate good salted egg pork ribs to visit this place. The succulent, sweet and savoury pieces of meat will briefly make you forget your problems exist.
Dover Village XO Fish Head Bee Hoon: Blk 34, #01-159 Dover Road, Singapore 130034 | Monday to Sunday 1115-1430, 1630-2245 | Tel: 6779 5827
I am venturing just a tad bit further from Ghim Moh and Dover now (Don’t fret, I will get back to Ghim Moh asap) but I thought 363 Katong Laksa would be worth a mention. Located at the quieter end of Holland Village, 363 Katong Laksa serves customers steamy, extremely savoury bowls of laksa whose soup you’ll want to keep slurping.
While it is better known for its laksa, I also really love the “Nasi Lemak” they sell and I put it in inverted commas because it is not the traditional Nasi Lemak sold at Muslim stalls. You get to pick your ingredients on a monitor outside and the chicken comes diced up and extremely crispy, alongside a flavourful slice of fried egg.
363 Katong Laksa: Holland Village, 29B Lorong Liput, Singapore 277740 | Monday to Sunday 0800-2200
On rainy days, apart from fish soups, I like to indulge myself in hot servings of Bak Kut Teh. One place in particular has become one of my favourites and that is at the coffee shop at Blk 43 Holland Drive. For a mere price of $4.50, you can get yourself a nice, hot bowl of broth and generous, meaty portions of pork ribs.
The meat tears easily and the soup is extremely savoury and while it may not look the most appetizing, I can assure you that I always leave warm and happy, especially since I pay so little for so much.
Bak Kut Teh Stall: Coffee Shop at Blk 43, Blk 43 Holland Drive, Singapore 270043 | Monday to Sunday 0700-0000
Now we finally come to the legendary Ghim Moh Market which has been undergoing several bouts of shifts and reconstruction works recently. Now that it has finally settled back at its old location, Ghim Moh Market’s most adored stalls are back in business and up and running as usual. One of these stalls include Chuan Kee Boneless Braised Duck whose Braised Duck Rice with Toufu ($3.50) works wonders for me.
The sauced up pieces of duck are so tender, and while the serving is slightly small compared to the portion of rice, it does not matter because the entire dish is very tasty. Order the duck rice with toufu and occasionally dunk your pieces of duck into the chili sauce to reach maximum contentment level.
Chuan Kee Boneless Braised Duck : 20 Ghim Moh Rd, Ghim Moh Market and Food Centre, #01-04 | Monday to Sunday 1000-2000
I patronized this stall for two reasons: There was a long queue leading to it and I was down with a flu and was craving something hot and soup-y.
I was not disappointed to say the least. I’m not sure if the Fish Soup ($4.50) tasted better because I was sick and the soup was just perfectly warm or if it really is delicious but I loved how the slices of fish in the soup were soft and tender and the softened vegetables helped to balance out the flavours of this seemingly simple soup.
Ghim Moh Fish Soup: 20 Ghim Moh Rd, Ghim Moh Market and Food Centre, #01-08 | Monday to Sunday 0800-2000, Closed first Monday of the month
The chicken rice sold at any Tong Fong Fatt stall will surely satisfy your every taste bud and/ or craving. The stall at Ghim Moh Market is no different. The chicken is generously slathered in sweet and savoury soya sauce, the rice is deliciously fragrant and apart from the pure scrumptious nature of this dish, there is absolutely no hassle with chicken bones.
Tong Fong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice: 20 Ghim Moh Rd, Ghim Moh Market and Food Centre, #01-24 | Monday to Sunday 1000-2100
Sometimes I evaluate the success of a hawker stall by the length of their opening hours. The longer it is, the less successful and vice versa. Of course, this theory is false but either way, while this Kway Teow stall is not open very often, the plates of Char Kway Teow ($3) they serve up are impeccable. I had to queue for approximately 40 minutes and there were still no complaints on my end so I suppose you can use that as a good gauge.
Packed with flavours, stuffed with the usual cockles and pork lard, and cooked with a savoury dark and sweet sauce, this plate of Char Kway Teow will definitely leave you contented.
Guan Kee Fried Kway Teow: 20 Ghim Moh Rd, Ghim Moh Market and Food Centre, #01-19 | Tuesday to Saturday, Closed on Monday, Thursday, Sunday and Public Holidays
And so, we’ve come to the end of this list. These stalls are the ones I’ve visited before are where I’ve enjoyed some of the best-made local dishes so far.
It may be that I have a very blatant soft spot for many of these food spots but I believe my taste buds are not completely defunct and I hope many of you residing in or have second homes around the area will appreciate this area food guide!
Related Guide: Best Foods To Eat in Bukit Timah & Holland