October 31, 2016
While the North-Eastern (Hougang, Sengkang) side of Singapore used to be an area known for its fish ports and pig farms, it has now been transformed into an urban oasis that multi-generational families call home.
An array of park connectors link the various public parks in the area, allowing access to a variety of outdoor activities like cycling, prawning, adventure playgrounds, and many more. It’s no wonder the area is such a popular space for many Singaporeans to flock over the weekends.
Best part of all, the area is also home to many great eateries, restaurants and cafes that will satisfy the tummies of Hougang/Sengkang residents and visitors after a long day of activities.
Being a Houganger myself, I present to you 12 Hawkers to eat at in Hougang and Sengkang that serve up some decent grub for your hungry bellies!
I was surprised to find Fatty Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodle/Carrot Cake in Ci Yuan Community Centre’s Hawker Centre. I reminisced the days of having a plate of oily, greasy yet amazingly delicious Hokkien Mee for many of my late-night supper gatherings back when they were at Simon Road.
Be prepared to wait for at least 15 minutes as the queue does build up at peak periods. Try to sit nearer to the stall to catch your order number when it gets flashed on the counter, that’s when you’ll know your plate is ready for collection.
Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee ($5)
Feeling slightly greedy, I ordered the $5 portion which came with a generous amount of ingredients like squid, prawn and pork belly. The prawns and squid are not overcooked and remain chewy contrasting against the moist noodles that have soaked up the flavourful broth.
I was also surprised to find that the prawns used here are quite decently sized compared to what you get at other Hokkien Mee stalls. Be careful with the use of the chilli here as the heat lingers in your mouth even after eating.
Fatty Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodle/Fried Carrot Cake: Blk 51, Hougang Ave 9, Ci Yuan Community Centre, Singapore 538776| Opening hours: Mon to Fri: 10.30am – 9pm, Sat and Sun: 8.30am – 9pm
Porridge is a staple breakfast dish for Singaporeans, and Sin Heng Kee is the go-to place for a warm comforting bowl of Cantonese-style porridge for Hougang residents. Given how popular they are, Sin Heng Kee has grown from a small stall selling porridge to occupying the entire coffee shop.
Signature Porridge with egg ($5.50)
I’ve been a huge fan of their porridge since my dad bought me my first bowl. The Signature porridge has always been my go-to order as it contains a generous amount of ingredients (pork slices, pig’s intestines, pork meat balls, cuttlefish slices, century egg, fish slices).
Add in a raw egg by the side and garnished with fried shallots, spring onions and a dash of pepper and soy sauce and the porridge is ready for a good mix.
I like how that after so many years, Sin Heng Kee still manages to pull off porridge that has a thick and smooth consistency. The pork slices and balls are well marinated and add a nice dimension of saltiness to the porridge. The egg gives a nice creaminess to the dish, which is what is needed to complete this dish.
Check out its Facebook page first if you’re intending to go down as they will mention their closing days for each month.
Sin Heng Kee Porridge: Blk 685, Hougang Street 61, Singapore 530685 | Facebook | Opening hours: Daily: 7am – 9.30pm
Just across the road from Sin Heng Kee, this coffee shop has it own fair share of hawker stalls that you need to check out, and Hiang Ji Roasted Meat & Noodle House is one of them. How can anyone resist the rows of glistening roasted meats (char siew, pork belly, duck and chicken) that are begging for you to eat them?
Roasted Pork and Char Siew Rice ($4.50)
I love how the char siew here has a nice balance of fat and meat, you can ask for the burnt edges as they tend to be crispier and sweeter. The crisp skin contrasted well against the juicy meats that are well marinated with five spice powder. The sauce that is poured over is savoury, making it a hearty and delectable meal.
Hiang Ji Roasted Meat & Noodle House: Blk 684, Hougang Street 61, #01-967, Singapore 530684| Opening hours: Daily: 9.30am – 9.30pm
Yong Seng Teochew Fishball Mee is my go-to place whenever I have a fishball noodle craving. It’s not surprising that they already have queues forming early in the morning.
Minced Meat Fish Ball Noodles (Mee Kia) – $3.50
At a super affordable price of $3.50, each bowl is doused in vinegar, lard oil and served with a generous amount of fish balls, meat balls, minced meat, liver slices, fish cake slices, and braised mushrooms. The fish balls are all made by hand to ensure consistency and taste. Not to worry, you won’t be getting any overly salted ingredients here.
Yong Seng Teochew Fishball Mee: Blk 105, Hougang Ave 1, #02-47, Hainanese Village Centre, Singapore 530105 | Opening hours: 6.30am – 3.30pm
My first taste of Rui Heng Braised Duck was when they were located at Block 435 Hougang Ave 8. Although braised duck is the main item on the menu, they serve up a decent plate of kway chap.
Kway Chap Set with Duck ($6)
A Teochew dish containing flat broad rice sheets served on a mix platter of offal (pigs intestines, pig skin) and tau pok, fish cake, braised egg and braised peanuts. You know a stall is serious about it’s offerings when they have three different types of chilli to go with the different ingredients.
The bowl of smooth and silky kway was the perfect staple accompaniment to the ingredients on the platter, which provided a variety of textures and flavours in each bite. Special mention to the tau pok which soaked up all the delicious braised sauce that had the right balance of sweetness and saltiness.
Rui Heng Braised Duck: Block 703, Hougang Ave 2, Singapore 530703 | Opening hours: Weekdays: 10am – 7pm or till sold out, Weekends: 8am – 7pm or till sold out.
If you’re looking for a crispy and gooey oyster omelette, look no further. Located in a discreet coffee shop at Hougang Ave 8, the husband and wife pair work together to serve up a delicious and comforting plate of Char Kway Teow and Fried Oyster. Do expect to wait slightly longer if you’re planning to head down in the evening.
Fried Oyster Omelette ($4)
A tapioca starch mix is poured over a hot griddle to form the crispy exterior, before beaten eggs are added in and mixed in with the crust. The result is an omelette that has a good balance of crispiness and starchiness.
Paired with a generous amount of plump and juicy Korean oysters for that burst of freshness in each bite. Don’t forget to dip into that homemade chilli that is slightly tangy from the limes to cut through the heaviness of the dish.
Hougang Fried Oyster: Blk 435, Hougang Ave 8, Singapore 530435 | Tel: 91110702 | Opening hours: Tues – Sun: 12pm – 9.30pm (Closed on Monday)
Located at the west-end of Sengkang, Jalan Kayu is the ultimate destination for supper lovers in the neighbourhood. Who can resist a good bowl of rich prawn soup and crispy fried prawn fritters in the middle of the night, right?
Pork Ribs and Prawn Noodle (Dry) – $5.80
Blanco Prawn Noodle House offers a few combinations of prawn noodles on their menu. If you’re feeling hungry you can opt for the Jumbo Prawn Noodle ($8.80/$10.80) for more of that crustacean goodness in your life.
I decided on a bowl of prawn noodle (dry) with pork rib. Mix it all up so that the chilli and lard oil coats the entire bowl of ingredients and the noodles. Don’t be shy to ask for more chilli or soup when you place your order.
Blanco Prawn Noodle House: 235 Jalan Kayu, Singapore 799459 | Tel: 68534426 | Opening hours: Mon – Sun (Closed on Tues): 7am – 4.30pm
It can be quite hard to find cheap and good food in Sengkang, but alas Legend may just be able to fill that void. Located at Anchorvale Community Centre, Legend has been serving up zi char dishes at affordable prices to the hungry residents of Sengkang.
Crispy Cereal Tofu ($6)
One of the popular items on their menu, the cereal coating provides a nice fragrance and balances out against the slightly milder flavours of the tofu. Curry leaves and birds eye chilli are added for a hint of spiciness to it.
German Roasted Pork Knuckle ($28.90)
A dish uncommonly found in local zi char stalls, this dish certainly draws in a younger crowd that prefers to enjoy the crisp crackling of the pork knuckle along with a few bottles of craft beer from the bar as well.
Legend (Anchorvale Community Club): 59 Anchorvale Road, Anchorvale Community Club, Singapore 544965 | Tel: 67021359 | Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 9am – 12am
Residents of Sengkang rejoice! The famous Char Kway Teow from Armenian Street has now relocated to Anchorvale Link. A pity that the stall no longer gets the amount of customers it used to get back when it was at the corner of Armenian and Loke Yew street. The stall also cooks up a decent carrot cake too!
Fried Kway Teow ($3)
I must admit that the Char Kway Teow here is really on point. Uncle Tan still makes the pork lard daily which is key to making a good plate of Char Kway Teow. The plate also contains generous amounts of fish cake, lap cheong, cockles and bean sprouts that has bits of egg mixed into the noodles. Each bite was so sinful but worth the calories anyway!
Armenian Street Fried Kway Teow: Blk 303, Anchorvale Link, Singapore 540303 | Operating hours: 11.30am – 7.30pm
It’s rare to find a hawker stall serving gourmet Western dishes in the heartlands. The dedicated team at Flambe incorporates a lot of fusion elements in their dishes and places extra attention to their ingredients, with chilled beef that is imported from Australia.
Chicken Wings ($4 for 2), Marmite Chicken Wings ($5 for 2)
I must admit these are the best chicken wings I have ever tasted. Soaked in a brine solution for over 10 hours, the chicken remains moist on the inside even after frying. The exterior coating is light and crisp, no surprise given that the batter is a recipe made from four different types of flour.
If you’re like your wings flavoured, they serve a marmite version which provides a nice salty-sweet tinge with each bite.
Grilled Salmon ($12.90)
A French inspired dish, perfectly grilled Norwegian Salmon is topped with roasted buckwheat and served on a bed of boiled potatoes, leeks, onions, garlic, compressed lemon and mushroom reduction sauce.
Upon cutting into the salmon, the flesh falls apart revealing a pinkish orange hue. The texture is enhanced by the contrasting textures from the crunchy buckwheat, soft boiled potatoes and velvety mix of onions, leeks, garlic and compressed lemon. A definite must try when you’re in Sengkang!
Flambe: Blk 267 Compassvale Link, #01-02, Happy Hakwers, Singapore 540267 | Facebook | Opening hours: 11.30am – 10.30pm
If you’re into a good bowl of fish ball noodles, this is a place you definitely need to check out. If you’re not a fan of fish balls try out their signature Sarawak Kolo Mee instead which has thick cuts of char siew and minced meat.
Fish Ball Noodle ($3.50)
Each bowl of noodles comes with four huge fish balls that are super bouncy and chewy. Give the bowl a good mix to coat each ball with the chilli, vinegar and lard oil. The thick fish cake slices provide a nice contrasting texture against the fish balls and springy thin (mee kia) noodles.
Hup Kah Noodle House: Blk 437 Fernvale Road, Kopitiam, Singapore 790437 (Fernvale LRT)| Opening hours: Daily: 7am – 9pm
Walking along Jalan Kayu, I noticed a queue outside this stall that sells only otah. Standing in the queue I was greeted by the fragrant aroma produced by the grilling of the banana leaves and the spiced fish paste in it.
Chilli Otar ($0.60 per piece)
An easy to eat snack on, the otar has the right balance of spiciness and each bite allows you to taste the small chunks of fish meat. I couldn’t resist and might have ordered more that I could eat.
Hiang Soon (Otar) Food Catering: 261 Jalan Kayu, Singapore 799490| Tel: 64833808| Opening hours: Daily: 8am – 6pm
If you’re not an adventurous person, not to worry, there are plenty of amazing food choices in Hougang and Sengkang that you won’t mind travelling the distance for. It’s always an additional excuse to check out the area as well. Once you’re done with all the dishes, take a romantic stroll along the Sengkang riverside for a cooling evening walk.
Related guide: 10 Places To Eat In Little India