Those who are living in the secluded end of the North-East (Purple) MRT Line—*coughs* Punggol and Sengkang—would certainly agree that Serangoon and Kovan are God-sent locations laced with food joints to enliven this region in Singapore.
Serangoon and Kovan being more mature estates, are naturally filled with old-time hawkers, sprouting cafes and hidden gems, which I find myself frequenting these areas more often to curb my hunger pangs.
Here’s a list of places in Serangoon/Kovan you can mark down in your food hunts for residents living in these areas, and a couple of midnight supper spots to run to if Chomp Chomp is too mainstream.
Starting my list is this extraordinary Truffle Wanton Noodle ($6) from Bee Kee wanton noodle. With each bite, my mind was screaming “Whutttt sorcery is this?!” The wanton noodle surpasses my expectations in every possible way.
The noodles were thoroughly infused in truffle oil, and spritz with yet another dash of truffle oil on top before serving, causing a whiff of aroma to hit your nose when stirring in the noodles. However, after sitting in the truffle oil for awhile, the egg noodle started having a distinctive alkaline taste. So eat up quickly!
Bee Kee Wanton Noodle: 2 Lor Lew Lian, Foodpark, Singapore 531002 | Tel: 9877 3310 | Monday – Friday: 7am – 3pm, Saturday – Sunday: 7am – 4pm
Tucked away from the chaos of Serangoon Central, in a little corner sits a small coffeeshop that houses Lau Wang Claypot Delights.
Frog leg herbal soup (1 frog $8/ 2 frogs $15 /3 frogs $21). The herbs, goji berries, and red dates made the clear broth felt extremely homemade and nourishing to the body. Frogs were also fleshy and chewy with a bounce.
Sesame chicken ($4.80 / $6.80). Cooked in a special black sauce recipe of ginger and spring onion, the “zup” was thick but not overwhelming, you could tell that sesame oil was used generously to cook this dish, instead of just drizzling over just for taste.
Lau Wang Claypot Delights: Blk 264 Serangoon Central Drive, #01-43, Singapore 550264 | Opening hours 10am – 10pm (closed on alternate Mondays)
Chicken murtabak ($8). Albeit a tad expensive, the portion was huge. Chunks of chicken pieces were embedded within the crusty dough, along with onions and spices.
Makes for a good supper spot too as Suriya is open 24 hours daily.
Suriya Curry House: 536 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534551 | Tel: 6285 6442 | Opens Daily 24 hours
Fish ball noodle ($4/$6). Finest Song Kee Fish Ball Noodle is the neighbour of Suriya Curry House, and has seen a change of owner to the cousin of its previous owner. Yet another great spot for night owls as they are opened till 2am. Recipe is slightly not as great as the previous generation, but overall still decent.
Bouncy handmade fish balls, slimy fish dumpling (hee keow), and springy noodles warrant Song Kee the crowd and fame that it truly deserves.
Song Kee Fish Ball Noodle:532 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534547 | Opening Hours: 6pm to 2am (closed on Wednesdays)
Polo pork bun ($6.90). Yearning for a taste of Macau? Tai Lei Loi Kei offers a glimpse of classic dishes and snacks influenced by the Oriental and Portuguese, like the polo pork bun in the picture above.
Greasy pork patty sandwiched between crusty, sweet buns offers a good play of texture and flavours. However, the patty could be a little more tender.
Tai Lei Loi Kei (澳门大利来记猪扒包): 23 Serangoon Central., #B2-15, Nex Shopping Mall, Singapore 556083 | Opens daily 1030am – 1030pm
An advocate of slow-living, The Plain Jane serves up unpretentious swiss rolls, fresh bakes and coffees to enjoy over a girly afternoon date. Don’t miss out on its Original Crème ($4.90) and Meringue Roulade ($5.90/$6.90) for a more unique twist on the classic spongecake. The Thai Milk Tea and Matcha flavours are also hot favorites.
The Plain Jane: Blk 211 Serangoon ave 4, #01-10, Singapore 550211 | Monday – Tuesday, Thursday : 12pm – 8pm, Friday: 12pm – 10pm, Saturday 10am – 10pm, Sunday 10am – 8pm (closed on Wednesday)
Artease was opened a little over a year ago in the heartlands, teasing Seragoon residents who would like to hang out and chill with a little more substantial coffee and sweet treats. Housing a row of seats by the large windows, you would most likely find me typing away on my laptop here.
Chicken roasted pork rice ($4.50). If you love smokey charred meats, Kim Heng will be your next go-to stall for roasted delights.
A line of charcoal roasted meats glistering in rendered fat juices are neatly displayed at the window, tempting you to order and pile everything on your plate.
Kim Heng (HK) Roasted Delights: Blk 214 Serangoon Avenue 4, #01-88, Singapore 550214 | Operating hours: 8.30am – 7pm (Daily)
Marmite Pork Burger ($17). Look no further for a good place to Chillax over a slow Sunday’s brunch, the open-concept cafe is located just opposite Seragoon Gardens Village, which is usually quiet and conducive for a relaxing time away at noon.
Other wacky dishes to try include root beer chicken wings, salted egg mushrooms, and shabu beef poutine.
Chillax Cafe: Serangoon Garden Estates, 28 Maju Avenue, Singapore 556698 | Tel: +65 6244 5529 | Website
Ah Hock is rated as the best hokkien mee stall among regulars at Chomp Chomp Food Centre, it is always seen with a long queue and takes about 30 to 45 minutes for your order to come.
However, if you love lard, then skip the line, you’d be disappointed to know it does not contain lard!
Ah Hock Fried Hokkien Mee: 20 Kensington Park Road, #01-27, Singapore 557269 | Opening hours: 530pm – 12am (closed alternate Tuesdays)
Located in the second most popular hawker centres to eat in Serangoon Gardens, Soon Huat touts a long line of queue for its pig’s organ soup. Slices of tomatoes in the soup, adds a tangy taste to the salted vegetable broth.
See also: 10 Best Pig’s Organ Soup in Singapore
Soon Huat Pig’s Organ Soup: 49A Serangoon Garden Way, #01-42 Serangoon Garden Market, Singapore 555945 | Tuesday – Sunday: 930am – 4pm
Beef thick bee hoon soup ($4/$5). Known for it’s beef kway teow, the stall had already ran out of kway teow by the time I reached. Nonetheless, the bowl of beef noodle is one of the best I’ve eaten thus far!
The rich, cloudy broth was filled with sweetness from boiling the beef bones and meats, which was also peppery from the spices infused in it. The vinaigrette chilli was tangy and goes well with the fresh beef slices. True story, I slurp down every bit, right up to the last drop of soup. Yums.
Cheng Kee Beef Kway Teow: Blk 203 Hougang Street 21, Wong Poh Kopitiam, Singapore 530203 | Monday – Sunday: 930am – 5pm (Closed on Friday)
Fried hokkien prawn mee ($4/$5/$6/$8/$10). An old stall that brings back nostalgia to many who grew up eating it, Simon road fried hokkien mee is nestled in a quaint coffeeshop of Kovan.
Instead of using the usual thick bee hoon, Simon road hokkien mee uses the thin bee hoon to soak up the prawn soup stock, making it drier as you chow through the plate. It was laced with an ample portion of sotong and pork, along with three prawns so each mouth is accompanied with ingredients.
Simon Road Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodles: Blk 210 Hougang St 21, Gourmet Street (伙食街 ),
Singapore 530210 | Opening hours: 11am – 10pm (closed on Mondays & Tuesdays) | Facebook
Chicken, mutton satay ($0.60 each, minimum 10 sticks). If your mouth’s itching for a light snack to go along with the above mentioned Simon road hokkien mee, located just beside it, you can get sticks of chicken, mutton and pork.
These glistening skewered meats are tender and infused in lemongrass, coriander and other spices. Its peanut sauce was paste-like with bits of crushed peanuts, which reminded me of a slightly watery version of peanut butter, but I reckon could be less oily.
Chong Pang Huat: Blk 210 Hougang St 21, Gourmet Street (伙食街 ), Singapore 530210 | Opening hours: 12pm – 1030pm (closed on Mondays)
Spicy lechon with rice ($10). A Cebuano street food, Wawa Lechon and Grill closely replicates the taste of the classic dish, by slow roasting their hogs whole, along with lemongrass, spices stuffed within.
Located beside the famous Punggol Nasi Lemak, it is a mouth-watering cuisine to try for when you’re starving and the queue at the nasi lemak stall is far too long. The skin is crisps and meat is fragrantly tender.
Wawa’s Lechon and Grill: 973 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534725 | Tel: 8233 7569 | Monday – Friday: 5pm – 11pm , Saturday – Sunday: 12pm – 11pm | Facebook
A very popular Chinese-style nasi lemak, you can customise your own plate and pile it up with your favourite ingredients like fried chicken wings, fish fillet, otah, long beans, and more.
Be sure to bring along more cash as it is way more pricey as compared to other nasi lemak alternatives.
Ponggol Nasi Lemak: 965 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534721 | Operating hours: 5.30pm – 2.30am (closed on Thursday)
Yi Dian Xin is a fuss-free and cheap hawker dim sum. Located along the popular midnight supper spot of Upper Serangoon, it can be slightly tricky spotting it from the massive crowds patronising Heng Long Teochew Porridge right beside it.
Chef Foong hails from Tung Lok restaurant previously, so you’d know quality is assured for the dim sum dishes. Some items to try include steam carrot cake ($2.60), and salted egg custard bun ($3).
Yi Dian Xin Hong Kong Dim Sum: 1012 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534752 | Tel: 91685587 | Opens Daily 7am – 6pm (closed on alternate Tuesdays)
Boasting a large variety of comforting dishes, just like those eaten at home, some of the ingredients you can slurp up with your teochew mui include spicy minced pork, salted egg, braised duck, fish cake and cabbage (高麗菜), topped with braised sauce (卤汁). A popular midnight supper spot for the Serangooners.
Expected damage: $15-$20 for two pax
Heng Long Teochew Porridge: 1006, Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534744 | Opening hours: 6pm to 4am (daily)
Qi Wei Ji Bao is the ultimate comfort food for a cold rainy night or a great supper spot on cheat days. The Spicy chicken hotpot ($24.90) is a personal favourite, although slightly salty to eat the gravy alone, it goes really well with a fluffy bowl of rice.
The pot chicken is thoroughly infused in the zup along with onions green peppers, leek, dried chilli and garlic, you can choose the intensity of spiciness, and add on other side ingredients for $3.80 each.
Qi Wei Ji Bao: 973 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534725 | Tel: +65 8444 7113 | Monday – Sunday : 5pm – 3am
Pork knuckles ($10). Knuckles Bistro is a great guys/girls’ night out for affordable German pork knuckles and beer.
For just $10, you’d get a good serving of crispy pork knuckle, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. Complete you meal with a pint of beer from $6 to $10.
Knuckles Bistro: Block 212, Hougang Street 21 #01-33, Singapore 530212 | Opening hours: 530pm – 11pm (closed on Mondays)
Feel free to share with us other places to eat in Serangoon and Kovan.