food

9 Stalls At Hong Lim Market & Food Centre To Brave The Lunch Crowd For

Last Updated: September 1, 2017

Written by Simon Koh

Located just beside Chinatown Point, Hong Lim Market & Food Centre is more accessible than ever with the implementation of the Downtown Line.

With a slew of established crowd favourites and even a Michelin Bib Gourmand awardee, here are nine stalls in Hong Lim Market & Food Centre you’ve gotta try.

1. Ji Ji Wonton Noodle Specialist (#02-48)

A favourite amongst the lunch crowd, Ji Ji Wonton Noodle Specialist has been serving up delicious and affordable wonton noodles for years now.

While the wonton noodles here start as low as $3, we decided to go big with the $5 portion.

The result was a generous portion of noodles tossed in a fragrant oil and black sauce with tender char siew. The wontons here were huge, well-marinated and came with small shrimp as well.

The stall owner let us in on a little secret: the meat pork filling is made with lean fat containing only 2% fat, whereas other places use as much as 60% fat. Indeed, each bite was smooth and there were no chewy lumps of fat at all.

2. Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa (#02-66)

Having received a Michelin Bib Gourmand award in 2017, we were very excited to try Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa and were surprised to find that aside from laksa, they sell mee rebus as well as this interesting dish called fruit juice mee siam.

The most noticeable thing about the laksa ($3) here has to be its broth; it is milder and less cloying than say, the Katong laksa-style which features a much more lemak-filled gravy.

Aside from this, the cockles were decently fresh as well. If you’re craving laksa but worried about your calorie intake, you know where to go now.

3. Heng Kee Curry Chicken Bee Hoon Mee (#01-58)

Embroiled in a rivalry with another curry chicken noodle stall on the second floor, many consider Heng Kee Curry Chicken Bee Hoon Mee to be the original hawker of the ‘Heng’ name.

At only $4 a bowl, it arrived with a heap of ingredients. While I’ve heard accounts of the broth here being less rich than its rival above, I actually found it to be satisfyingly thick without being jelak. In fact, it was addictive.

However, it turned out that it was this thick because I visited when they were about to close for the day, which meant that their gravy had been greatly reduced. So fair warning, if you prefer thick curry, try to visit when they’re closing.

The noodles here are nothing to shout but the generous serving of chicken slices, despite its dry appearance, was actually decently moist and tender. The potatoes, having been slow-cooked for hours, were extremely soft as well.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even add-on a serving of chicken feet ($2 for five pieces). Braised till extremely tender, this is available only from 12pm onwards.

4. Black N Gold Coffee Stop (#02-41)

Helmed by a young hawker and her mother, Black N Gold Coffee Stop serves an array of coffee such as espresso and cappuccino as well as a series of cold brew floral teas at very affordable prices.

We tried the Rosy Afternoon ($2) as well as Mint Soother ($2) and were delighted by the refreshing floral notes with each sip. More importantly, it actually went well with the hearty hawker fare we had on the day.

Definitely, a welcome break from good ol’ sugarcane juice, especially for those looking to cut down on their sugar since very little of it is used.

5.  Tuck Kee (Ipoh) Sar Hor Fun (#02-40)

Located just beside the cold brew floral tea stall is another stall well-loved by many: Tuck Kee (Ipoh) Sar Hor Fun. Serving up delectable hor fun at affordable prices, you can the prawn-topping options start at $5 while the crayfish-prawn option will only set you back $8.

The thing that struck us first was how large the prawns were in our Crayfish Prawn Hor Fun ($8). Sweet with a light crunch, they were also halved to make it a little easier to eat.

The crayfish here was well-executed as well, with the entirety of its flesh falling off the shell with no trouble at all. But most impressive of all was the seafood stock used here, which had an intense and savoury aroma from the seafood stock.

6. Granny’s Pancake (#02-39)

Opening from 7am till they sell out, Granny’s Pancake sells affordable ban chang kueh and has a pretty group of loyal customers as well. When we reached around 1.45pm, they were already down to their last three pancakes.

The Peanut Pancake ($0.80) was fluffy and slightly moist while the amount of peanut fillings were decent for its price too. Just be sure to get there early or you might not get your preferred filling!

7. Tai Wah Pork Noodle (#02-16)

Related to the Michelin-starred Hill Street Tai Wah Pork Noodles, the Tai Wah Pork Noodle at Hong Lim Market & Food Centre is probably the closest you can get to the Michelin-starred taste sans the insane queue.

While the smallest serving of ba chor mee ($5) may seem a little steep, keep in mind that you are paying a premium for a bump in quality compared to your run-of-the-mill BCM stall.

The noodles here were springy and well-coated in the fragrant soy-vinegar sauce base. The slivers of pork liver were soft and tender as well.

The meaty dumplings, while an uncommon topping in BCM, was a welcome one with its well-marinated minced pork. The only gripe I have was the toughness of the pork slices; it came either overcooked, really lean or a combination of both.

Otherwise, it was still a great bowl of noodles.

8. Ma Bo Lor Mee (#02-34)

With several branches around Singapore, Ma Bo Lor Mee prides itself on serving great tasting and affordable lor mee to the masses. With the smallest potion going at just $2.50, we were certainly convinced.

While most of the ingredients here such as the noodles and toppings seem pretty average and common, what makes it stand out from the rest is the taste of its broth.

Thinner than most places with a pleasantly faint herbal aftertaste, my dining partner said this is the taste that she remembers from her childhood. While I can’t corroborate that, I will say that it really was a pretty good bowl of lor mee.

While you’re here, don’t forget to add-on fried fish ($1 for 3 pieces), which are freshly fried to achieve a warm and crunchy exterior.

9. Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee (#02-17)

Outram Park Char Kway Teow 1

Credit

With seemingly never-ending queues that can keep you waiting for as long as 90 minutes, Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee is one stall you can’t use the ‘I’ll-wait-till-the-queue-gets-shorter’ approach, because people will keep piling on and on till way behind the stall, even until 4pm.

Outram Park Char Kway Teow 5

The char kway teow ($3) boasts a sweet and savoury noodles fried with an intensely aromatic wok hei as well as a generous amount of cockles. The renditon of this dish here is noticeably wetter as well.

If time is not a factor for you, this stall is a definite must-try!


Aside from these stalls, Hong Lim Market & Food Centre still has many more great and affordable hawker stalls. If you haven’t been here for a meal yet, you’re truly missing out.

Expected damage: $2 – $8 per pax

Hong Lim Market & Food Centre: 31A Upper Cross Street, Singapore 051531

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