Last Updated: February 10, 2020
I’ll just come right out and say it, Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre is not the most accessible or convenient hawker centres out there. Even Commonwealth MRT Station is a good 15-minute walk away. With the heat and humidity, your walk there is going to be sweaty and uncomfortable.
But, I have made that trek myself and I’ve got to say Commonwealth Crescent Market& Food Centre did not disappoint. There are quite a number of hidden gems in there that will make the journey worth your while.
Here are the top 10 stalls you have to try at Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre!
Hong Kee Porridge is practically an institution in Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre. Having been around for four decades, this is where you’ll find good porridge. If you need proof, Hong Kee Porridge has plastered their walls with numerous accolades that are sure to sway any sceptic.
Hong Kee serves Cantonese-style porridge, so expect the porridge to be thick and comforting. Being Cantonese myself, I could never resist Pork Porridge with Century Egg (S$4).
To my absolute delight, Hong Kee is generous with their portions. My bowl of porridge came chock-full of century egg slivers and tender pork slices.
The porridge itself was flavourful with just the right consistency and the pork was also well-seasoned. I also appreciated how liberal Hong Kee was their century eggs; there was at least a whole century egg in porridge. It’s a small detail, but you’d be surprised at how stingy some high-end establishments are with their century egg.
A hearty and satisfying bowl that can surely rival well-known restaurants. If you prefer something a little lighter, other signature items of Hong Kee include their Raw Fish Porridge (S$3) and their Cuttlefish Porridge (S$3).
Hong Kee Porridge: #02-89 | Opening Hours: 6am – 2.30pm (Daily)
Another thing you’ll notice about Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre is that there are lines in front of every stall. So when I saw a line in front of 牛车水阿婆卤鸭, naturally, the Singaporean in me kicked in. If there is a queue, it must be good right?
Well, 牛车水阿婆卤鸭 specialises in Braised Duck Rice (S$3), which is music to my ears because I absolutely adore braised duck. There is just something satisfying about succulent duck pieces atop a steaming portion of white rice doused in a dark and flavourful sauce.
For 牛车水阿婆卤鸭, their braised duck rice came with a good serving of braised duck drizzled in dark soya sauce.
This was not as ‘saucy’ as the braised duck rice I was used to but I would have to say the duck was tender and had a good fat-to-meat ratio. That being said, I would have liked just a little more sauce on my duck rice.
This was by no means a shoddy plate of duck rice, but I did enjoy this plate of duck rice. Certain elements of the plate could have been adjusted to make this a truly phenomenal plate of braised duck.
牛车水阿婆卤鸭: #02-95 | Opening Hours: 9.30am till sold out (Thurs to Tues), Closed on Wed
A real treat for all the burger fiends, Hammee’s is hawker burgers at their best. On the second floor lies Hammee’s that garners a small crowd come lunchtime. Run by a husband and wife team, they peddle good ol’-fashioned burgers.
I highly recommend their Premium Beef Cheeseburger (S$8), which as the name suggests, is your classic beef burger with a delicious glow-up.
Not to mention, this burger looks like it jumped straight from the Krusty Krab right on to our table.
This Krabby Patty impostor was everything it promised it would be. This beef patty is made with a combination of short rib and chuck means a higher fat-to-meat ratio. I think all foodies can attest that fat is where the flavour is. What you get is not only a juicy patty but a downright flavour bomb.
Given the slightly bigger patty and higher fat content, the burger had a great mouthfeel.
This was definitely a heartier burger than the Classic Cheeseburger (S$6). Each chomp was gratifying and reminded me just how good a burger can be.
If cheeseburgers aren’t your thing, then Hammee’s Fried Chicken Burger (S$5.50) is a great alternative. Here, you get a crispy, succulent fried chicken thigh, topped with coleslaw and spicy sauce before being sandwiched in between pillowy buns.
The chicken thigh was crispy to a fault and the coleslaw was sharp and bright. Which provided good contrast to the fried chicken patty.
It would be remiss not to include hawker staple, Bak Chor Mee, on the list. Here at Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre, Huang Da Fu 黄大福 is where you’ll satisfy your cravings.
Huang Da Fu is run by a young couple serving bak chor mee starting from only S$2.70. I don’t know about you, but at S$2.70, it’s definitely a steal.
Feeling a bit peckish that day, I went for the S$3.50 portion. If you like Bak Chor Mee, you’re definitely in for a treat. Huang Da Fu is very liberal with their toppings which makes this bowl even more worth it.
There was a mountain of tender pork slices coupled with thick liver slices, followed by a heaping spoonful of minced pork. Quite the sight for sore eyes.
I ordered mee kia for my noodles and they were a little softer than I would have liked. I usually like my noodles a little al dente but that’s just me.
However, the chilli supplied just enough heat and tang which will agree with all Bak Chor Mee lovers. It’s not the best bak chor mee I’ve had but their portion size and price definitely worth a visit.
Plus, they open from 12am, so if you’re in need for some supper you know where to go!
Huang Da Fu 黄大福: #02-94 | Opening Hours: 12am – 8pm (Daily)
Jian Kang Noodles is where you’ll find another hawker favourite, wanton noodles. Here at Jian Kang Noodles, you’ll find old school wanton noodles that are supposedly healthier.
Quite the purist, I went with a humble plate of Wantan Noodles (S$3.50) which also came with a bowl of wanton‘s.
True enough, I did notice a larger serving of vegetables on my plate on wanton mee. I was a little apprehensive about the char siew as they were a little leaner and paler than usual.
My fears were unfounded; the char siew was surprisingly moist and tender. A definite brownie point for me.
But what was really impressive, were the wanton‘s. The wanton‘s were silky and supple and were near-perfect.
Jian Kang Noodles: #02-77 | Opening Hours: 7am – 2pm (Thurs to Tues), Closed on Wed
Not to be confused with the famous Sin Kee Chicken Rice, Seng Kee Chicken Rice is not as well-known but they can definitely hold their own.
I ordered their Roasted Chicken Rice (S$2.50/S$3) and I have to say it was quite delicious. The rice was rich and aromatic while the chicken was smooth and tender. I can see why the stall garners quite a formidable queue when lunchtime rolls around.
If you are feeling a little indulgent, Seng Kee Chicken Rice also has Chicken Laksa (S$3) which is a favourite amongst their regulars.
Seng Kee Chicken Rice: #02-78 | Opening Hours: 7.45 am till sold out (Tues to Thurs, Sat & Sun), Closed on Mon & Fri
If you need your carrot cake fix, 亮亮 Liang Liang Fried Carrot Cake has got you covered. I could never resist a plate of chai tow kway, with its crispy eggy edges accompanied by soft radish curds. That’s a perfect breakfast right there.
Besides carrot cake, 亮亮 Liang Liang Fried Carrot Cake also offers Fried Oysters (S$3/S$5) and Oyster Omelette (S$5/S$8).
For good measure, I ordered both the White (S$2.50) and Black (S$2.50) versions. Each plate had a decent portion of carrot cake and a good dollop of chilli.
You can’t really go wrong with carrot cake and 亮亮 Liang Liang Fried Carrot Cake did not disappoint. The carrot cake was fried well and had good wok hei. Usually, I would prefer the Black carrot cake but here I actually preferred White instead.
A simple, no-frills carrot cake that will make a good midday snack or breakfast.
亮亮 Liang Liang Fried Carrot Cake: #02-69 | Opening Hours: 9am – 1pm (Wed to Sun), Closed on Mon & Tues
Tucked at the back of Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre is where you’ll find Selera Tiga Puteri. This is where you’ll get a hearty selection of Malay dishes such as Nasi Lemak (S$3.50), Lontong (S$3), Mee Siam (S$3).
I went for their Mee Siam and Nasi Lemak seeing as those were my usual go-to’s.
For Mee Siam everything hinges on that gravy; it has to be sweet and tangy at the same time. The gravy has to strike a careful balance to keep you coming back for more.
This Mee Siam delivered on all counts, but would I say this is the best Mee Siam I’ve ever had? Hard to say, but this one is pretty good.
Nasi Lemak has always been a comfort food of mine, so I do have high expectations when it comes to a plate of Nasi Lemak.
For this plate, each element was well-executed. The rice was coconutty and rich, the chicken crispy and juicy. The chilli was sweet but punchy and all in all, an excellent plate of Nasi Lemak.
Selera Tiga Puteri: #02-65 | Opening Hours: 7am – 3pm (Sat to Thurs), Closed on Fri
With my penchant for sweets, I could hardly complete this list without includes desserts.
They are, after all, the best part of any meal. I do have a huge sweet tooth but with the current influx of ice cream and cake chains, it can be overwhelming. It’s times like these that I yearn for something a little more traditional and old-school.
Xi Le Ting 喜樂亭 does exactly that, with servings of old-school desserts such as Cheng Tng (S$1), Green Bean Soup (S$1) and Sweet Wheat Porridge (S$1).
Another charming thing about Xi Le Ting 喜樂亭 is that it is managed by a sweet granny that has been doing this for more than 50 years.
I ordered two of the more popular items, namely the Sweet Wheat Porridge and Cheng Tng.
The Cheng Tng was not overly sweet and had all the goodies such as longan, barley and white fungus. A cooling dessert if you need to beat the heat.
But the real winner of the Xi Le Ting 喜樂亭 has to be their Sweet Wheat Porridge. Each spoonful was fragrant and coconutty, while the sweet wheat still had a good bite to them.
The fact that each bowl is only S$1 is quite astounding and you get so much bang for your buck. For a good dose of nostalgia, you have to give Xi Le Ting a try. Do note for takeaway, it will be S$1.20 a bowl but that’s still pretty inexpensive compared to how much we are willing to pay for ice cream these days.
Xi Le Ting 喜樂亭: #02-93 | Opening Hours: 11am – 5pm (Tues, Thurs to Sun), Closed on Mon and Wed
ASiP Drinks might look like your average drinks stall but it is anything but. Run by Aunty Mei and her husband, Uncle Gin, ASip Drink is where you can find vibrant cold-pressed juices. Healthy and tastes good? Seems like it’s too good to be true!
Now, you might be thinking, “What’s the big deal about cold-pressed juices and aren’t they the same as regular juices?”. Well, cold-pressed means there is no heat involved. So that means the vitamins and nutrients from the fruits and vegetables are not lost during the juicing process.
A favourite of Aunty Mei’s regulars has earned the nickname Aircon (S$2.50) (left in photo). It features mint, cucumber, and lime. Aunty Mei’s customers even jokingly remarked, “Yeah it’s like having aircon inside (your lungs)!”
Aunty Mei playfully reminded us that Singapore is such a hot country, and we would need Aircon everywhere. True to its name, Aircon was extremely refreshing.
We also got the ever-popular ABC Yakult (S$3.30). ASiP Drinks never misses a beat on incorporating health into every cup.
We recommend that you try every layer on its own first; don’t stir!
ASiP Fresh Cold Press Juice: #02-85 | Tel: +65 9452 6777 | Opening Hours: 10.30am – 8.30pm (Daily)
Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre certainly did not disappoint. With a good variety of hawker stalls at your disposal, it was a paradise for this foodie right here. Nearly every stall was a hidden gem that I was admittedly, slightly unwilling to share. Only slightly, I assure you.
While Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre is a little more low-key than the other famous hawker centres such as Bedok 85 or ABC Brickworks, but you can bet I’ll be back for more.
Our Rating: 4 / 5
Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre
31 Commonwealth Crescent, Singapore 149644
31 Commonwealth Crescent, Singapore 149644