Last Updated: February 28, 2020
There is no end to the feasting when you live in Singapore. From restaurants to pop-ups to hawkers centres, Singapore is our very tasty oyster to explore. Well, any good foodie will tell you that the true feasting happens in hawkers centre and Albert Market Food Centre is one not to be missed.
Located right in the heart of Bugis, this is where you’ll want to be to recharge after prancing around the shopping streets. Here are our recommended 12 stalls for your refuel stop, to ensure you’ll be fully satiated and leave Bugis with a full tummy.
Bai Nian (百年) Niang Dou Fu has earned their reputation as a household name for changing how we enjoy yong tau foo.
With five outlets across the island, Bai Nian Niang Dou Fu has successfully introduced a new way to have yong tau foo. It all stemmed from Bai Nian’s owner, Amy. She wasn’t fond of traditional Hakka-style yong tau foo and felt that the pieces were too big—a few pieces in and she’s full.
Also, Amy felt that there was either too much ground pork incorporated into the dish, or an excessive amount of fish paste is used. So for Bai Nian Niang Dou Fu, they use a mixture of different pastes.
For all the neophytes to Bai Nian Niang Dou Fu, a good set to get you acquainted has to be the Yong Tau Foo Set (S$6.30). This set comes with a bowl of bee hoon with a medley of Bai Nian yong tau foo pieces made from prawn, pork and fish paste.
This, Amy feels, helps to make the dish well-balanced, and it is neither too meaty nor too fishy.
The bee hoon was smooth, slippery and with plenty of bounce, while the soup was full of flavour and paired well with the bee hoon—simple and to the point. I was glad that in reinventing a staple such as yong tau foo, Bai Nian chose not to complicate things.
Well, as for my favourite yong tau foo piece, I have to give it to springy and ever-buoyant prawn piece. Chockful of prawn paste and even some roe, I savoured this one right down to the last bite. Bai Nian’s yong tau foo steers away from convention and it works.
Bai Nian (百年) Niang Dou Fu : #01-106 | Tel: +65 9692 6921 | Opening Hours: 7.30am – 9pm (Daily) | Facebook
A stall that boasts insane queues even before lunchtime is Hock Lee Fishball Noodle 福利鱼圆面. A little bit of a legend in Albert Market & Food Centre, their handmade and springy fishballs are one of the most sought after.
The Dry and Soup versions both come up to S$4 each with a generous serving of those winning fishballs. If you notice, the fishballs are all slightly irregular in shape, but oh-so-bouncy, an indication that they’re handmade.
Have these either with mee kia or mee pok (my favourite) and it will be a satisfying lunch indeed! Head there early if you don’t want to be stuck in the queue or worse, risk them running out.
Hock Lee Fishball Noodle: #01-102 | Opening Hours: 6.30am – 12pm (Tue to Sun), Closed on Mon
Nothing beats a comforting bowl of porridge to chase away those mid-week blues or accompany you when it’s raining cats and dogs. Li Fang Porridge 丽芳粥品 offers all varieties of porridge even a premium Seafood Congee (S$20) with sweet calms, prawns and even a whole crayfish.
However, if you are feeling a little more thrifty, the Mixed Pork Congee (S$5) should satisfy you all the same. This bowl is truly for all the pork lovers out there, with thick slivers of pork liver, offal tubes and tender pork loin slices—it’s a congee fit for a king.
Each bowl comes with a crispy youtiao to tear or dip into your congee, a little detail that is truly appreciated.
Li Fang’s congee is thick and smooth, each spoon feeling like a warm, comforting hug. The pork slices were well-seasoned and succulent, while the offals were cleaned well with no smell to them. Each element was well-executed and tasty.
With so many other types of congee including the all-time-favourite Century Egg & Lean Meat Congee (S$3.50), you’ll know where to head for some soothing congee.
Li Fang Porridge 丽芳粥品: #01-78 | Opening Hours: 7am – 9pm (Daily)
Another stall that garners snaking queues in Albert Market & Food Centre is Ah Seng Bak Chor Mee (亚成潮州肉脞面). Awarded the Michelin Plate, Ah Seng Bak Chor Mee can certainly go head to head with one of the big players in the mee pok realm.
A bowl of mee pok will set you an extremely affordable S$3. It turns out that the owner wants to keep his prices reasonable so that it will be more accessible.
Also, if you noticed, the noodles are prepared to be a little softer than usual to cater to the older folks that frequent his stall. The noodles are by no means mushy at all; they still retained a slight bounce to them. Ah Seng Bak Chor Mee is a little light-handed with the vinegar but it’s still a delicious, slurpable bowl.
Another thing to look out for at Ah Seng Bak Chor Mee is their fish balls. Besides the well-loved fishballs and pork balls, Ah Seng has their own unique Teochew meatball made from a combination of fish and meat.
This is an oddly-shaped meatball that is bigger and lumpier than the rest. Yet, the mixture of fish paste to meat results in extra savoury and distinctive meatball that will keep you coming back for more.
Ah Seng Bak Chor Mee (亚成潮州肉脞面): #01-77 | Tel: +65 83990220 | Opening Hours: 7.30am – 4.30pm (Sun to Fri), Closed on Sat
As one of our national dishes, chicken rice has never been short of controversy. Intense debate has often ensued when deciding which stall serves the best. When I walked up to Tong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice 東風發, I was surprised by the number of accolades that Tong Fatt has accumulated.
It was later that I found out Tong Fatt is one of the better-known chicken rice stalls and even has several branches island-wide.
For someone as finicky as myself, knowing that the chicken is served boneless is like a godsend. Not to mention, Tong Fatt’s Chicken Rice comes up to an affordable S$2.50 or S$3.50, depending on the portion you want.
For me, everything hinges on the rice and Tong Fatt did not disappoint. Their rice was fragrant and not as oily as most stalls serve, a huge plus point if you ask me.
I noticed they only had the steamed variety of chicken and I have to admit I was a little apprehensive about that. The somewhat gelatinous skin on top of the chicken is not something I naturally gravitate towards.
Tong Fatt’s steamed chicken came doused in a generous amount of soya sauce. Silky and tender, I was so pleasantly surprised at the quality of chicken, I even ate the chicken skin. Yup, I’m a changed woman, thanks to Tong Fatt.
It seems like everyone is keeping quiet about Tong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice and if you ever in Bugis, you need to make a pit stop.
Tong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice: #01-57 | Opening Hours: 11am – 8pm (Thur to Tues), Closed on Wed
Angel Horse Teochew Fish Soup (仙马潮州鱼汤) is another stall that is no stranger to crowds in Albert Market & Food Centre. There is just something so comforting and reassuring about fish soup that keeps you coming back for more.
Just like porridge, Fish Soup (S$5) is for rainy days or times when you need something a little healthier come lunchtime. Replete with vegetables and fish, this is the perfect meal for you to bounce back.
As for Angel Horse Teochew Fish Soup (仙马潮州鱼汤), I found the soup a little light for my liking but that’s just because my palate is used to heavier flavours. Either way, I can foresee myself having this steaming bowl when I’ve had one too many servings of fried food.
The Batang was fresh and firm to the bite. There is nothing more off-putting than bad seafood, and since the fish slices are the star of the bowl, I was glad they were of superb quality.
Angel Horse Teochew Fish Soup 仙马潮州鱼汤: #01-95 | Opening Hours: 11am – 10.30pm (Tue to Sun), Closed on Mon
Traditional Wanton Mee 传统云吞面 in Albert Market & Food Centre is still charmingly old-school.
Sometimes, you’ll spot the genial auntie deftly folding wontons in front of the stall. A testament to the handmade quality of the stall, for sure.
Depending on how ravenous you are, you can opt for Wonton Noodles (S$3/S$4) with the addition of shui jiao (dumplings) to really fill your plate. Expect an old-school plate of wonton noodles complete with the striking red char siew pieces. A taste of how wonton mee used to be, this is where you’ll want to go for a little nostalgia.
Traditional Wanton Noodle: #01-118 | Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm (Daily)
With any hawker guide, the stall with the fried carrot cake has to be included. It would just feel like something is missing if there was no chai tow kway at your disposal.
For Guan Kee Fried Carrot Cake 源记正宗菜头粿, this is the place where you can get your fix of those sweet, sticky and charred cubes.
For those that prefer the ‘wetter’ type of chai tow kway, Guan Kee is the way to go. Similarly, like other fried carrot cake stalls, they have varying portions of S$2.50, $3, $4 and $5. I would order the Black version as it’s usually sweeter and comes with better caramelisation and char.
Guan Kee Fried Carrot Cake: #01-59 | Opening Hours: 7am – 6pm (Tue, Wed, Fri & Sat), Closed on Mon, Thu & Sun
Fortune Food 富城食品 is one of those stalls that have almost reached a ubiquitous status in the world of hawker centres. Here, you can find little snacks such as Popiah (S$1.80), Kueh Pie Tee (S$3.50) and even Muah Chee (S$2.50), for whenever you are feeling a tad peckish.
My ultimate go-to has to be the popiah, conveniently wrapped like a burrito and cut like sushi. It’s truly the best of both worlds, inexpensive and full of ingredients, you can even make a meal out of this.
Fortune Food 富城食品: #01-08 | Opening Hours: 8am – 8pm (Daily)
Fatt Kee at Albert Market & Food Centre is a no-frills hawker stall peddling light breakfast food such as chee cheong fun and carrot cake.
Fatt Kee is still charmingly old school, and the uncle at the stall uses a pair of shiny metal scissors to cut up the silky sheets of chee cheong fun, while in the corner was a giant pot of congee sitting above a charcoal fire.
We’ll start with their Chee Cheong Fun, which came up to a very affordable S$1 for a plate. Fatt Kee is quite flexible with their Chee Cheong Fun; customers before me opted for theirs drizzled with soy sauce and oil. Their usual came with a spoonful of sweet red sauce and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
Another breakfast item you can’t miss has to be Yam Cake (S$1). Again, Fatt Kee was all about efficiency and this cake was also cut up with those shiny scissors and drizzled with the same sweet sauce.
Fatt Kee will give you a glimpse into what our hawker culture looked like in the ’90s. It was heartwarming and nostalgic, to say the least.
Fatt Kee: #01-89 | Opening Hours: 7.30am – 12.30pm (Tue to Sun), Closed on Mon
One of the best parts of hawker centres has to be the fact that you can have your entire meal there. After a hearty meal, you need to have desserts to finish it off and Rochor Soya Bean 梧槽豆花水 is a good bet.
Only peddling simple desserts such as Bean Curd (S$1) and Grass Jelly (S$1), this beats all the elaborate plates of cake and pastries that are sometimes mediocre at best.
A sucker for the classic soya beancurd, I make it a point to order it any time I see it. This one from Rochor Soya Bean, however, was not as smooth as I liked it to be. I would suggest a little shot of syrup for the hardcore sweet tooths for this can be a little bland.
Either way, this is a straightforward dessert that is sure to soothe even the most trying of days.
Rochor Soya Bean 梧槽豆花水: #01-89 | Opening Hours: 9 am – 8pm (Wed to Mon), Closed on Tue
Here is one that hits home, right at the corner of Albert Market & Food Centre is Dessert Station 甜品赞.
This where you can find all sorts of traditional desserts such as the archetypal desserts such as Glutinous Rice Ball w/Peanut Soup (S$2.20) or better known as ‘Ah Bo Ling’, Green Bean Soup (S$1.50) and Black Glutinous (S$1.50) for starters.
These desserts are mostly served warm, so they’re best on a cool rainy day. But, of course, they are good anytime as long as you have the stomach space.
For a bowl of Ah Bo Ling, you get four round glutinous balls filled with sesame and peanuts floating in mildly sweet peanut soup.
I’m more of the sesame persuasion when it comes to my glutinous rice balls. Warm and oh-so-comforting, this just brings back memories of stuffing my face when I was a kid.
A little more underrated dessert has to be the Black Glutinous Rice or Pulut Hitam. This glutinous rice dessert is usually drizzled with salted coconut milk, which—if you know me—is just divine.
The nutty and fragrant glutinous rice makes for a rather starchy and filling dessert, so I suggest you make space for this one.
Tian Pin Zan Dessert Station: #01-89 | Opening Hours: 7am – 10pm (Daily)
Albert Market & Food Centre is one of those hawker centres that we’ve been sleeping on. With so many stellar stalls that pepper the hawker centre and proximity to Bugis, it doesn’t get any better than this.
Head over to Albert Market & Food Centre and tell us what your go-to stalls are!
Our Rating: 5 / 5
Albert Market & Food Centre
70 Queen Street, Singapore 180270
70 Queen Street, Singapore 180270