Last Updated: October 2, 2019
There have been many debates about which part of Singapore is truly a haven for foodies and that title of this piece says it all.
The East has always been a treasure trove of delectable eats—need I mention Bedok 85 Food Centre or the myriad of coffee places littered along the green line?
The case is settled, the East is clearly the best. Just so you are thoroughly convinced, East Coast Lagoon Food Village is another reason why the East still reigns as the best place to eat in Singapore.
Situated right along the beach and the cycling path, East Coast Lagoon Food Village is the perfect place to refuel after a long day of frolicking in the sun. Plus, that constant sea breeze ensures you stay cool while you feast on all that the place has to offer. These are my 11 picks from East Coast Lagoon Food Village that just proves that East is the best.
Lagoon Carrot Cake is one of the many famous stalls at East Coast Lagoon Food Village that not only peddles carrot cake but popiah as well. Carrot cake or chai tow kueh has always been a comfort food of mine and Lagoon Carrot Cake’s is one not to be missed.
I ordered both their variations of ‘white’ and ‘black’ carrot cake so that I could try the different styles of carrot cake Lagoon Carrot Cake has to offer. The ‘white’ was Crispy Carrot Cake (S$4/S$5/S$6) that came fried as a whole piece accompanied by two shrimps, one of Lagoon Carrot Cake’s unique touch.
I ordered the S$4 portion and to my utter delight, I received a sizeable portion of carrot cake. As its namesake promised the surface of the carrot cake had an irresistible crunch, contrasted with a soft curd-like centre.
This was their Sweet Delicious Carrot Cake (S$4/S$5/S$6) or better known as ‘black’ carrot cake. Unlike the ‘white’ version, the ‘black’ version is cut up and seasoned with that sticky and sweet dark sauce. With a good amount of wok hei and charring of the radish curds, this truly hit the spot.
Carrot cake is not all Lagoon Carrot Cake is known for; their popiah has been the recipient of many awards and I can see why.
The mang guang (stewed jicama), arguably the most important part of any row of popiah, was cooked till the right texture, taste and proportion. The popiah was not a sopping mess when I reached the end. Each individual element of the popiah shone through and their chilli sure was addictive.
Needless to say, Lagoon Carrot Cake’s many accolades are well-earned and you surely won’t be disappointed.
Lagoon Carrot Cake: #01-40 | Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm (Mon, Wed to Fri), 8.30am – 10pm (Sat, Sun & Publich Holidays), Closed on Tues
With the salty sea breeze in my hair, the only thing that can make it better is a piping hot serving bak kut teh and one from Han Jia Bak Kut Teh no less.
I opted for the Bak Kut Teh set (S$5.50) which came with a bowl of their signature pork ribs, preserved vegetables and a mound of white rice.
When it comes to bak kut teh, a lot hinges on that robust, porky broth. For Han Jia’s Bak Kut Teh, the soup was just the right amount of peppery which I appreciated. As much as I love a peppery broth, there can be too much of a good thing.
I was pretty happy with the generous portion of pork ribs—not to mention, they were fall-off-the-bone tender. The wasn’t much resistance as I separated the meat from the bone, brownie points for sure.
Another item that Han Jia Bak Kut Teh does really well has to be their Braised Pork Trotters (S$9.50 a set). While I didn’t have the fortune (and stomach space) to try their famous tek kar, I heard it’s sticky, fatty and downright satisfying. These pork trotters are definitely on my bucket list.
Han Jia Bak Kut Teh: #01-42 | Tel: +65 6242 9808 | Opening Hours: 11am – 8.30pm (Daily) | Website
It would be remiss if you didn’t have some sort of barbecued food when at East Coast beach and chicken wings from Ah Wee BBQ Chicken are a must-have.
When everything is wrong with world, somehow a plate piled high with barbecued chicken wings make it a little better. These wings come up to S$1.30 with a minimum order of three pieces. A little squeeze of tangy calamansi adds just the right touch of acidity.
These wings were sticky, sweet and savoury, making this is a situation I wouldn’t mind getting my hands dirty for. Not to mention, the fact that there were cooked over charcoal adds an irresistible smokiness to these babies.
To really enhance your experience, I’d say hit it with some calamansi lime and a smidge of Ah Hwee’s winning chilli and you’ll never want for anything else. The acid and tanginess from the lime cuts through the richness and fattiness while the chilli gives it that spicy kick.
Ah Hwee BBQ Chicken: #01-14 | Tel: +65 9837 5172 | Opening Hours: 2.30pm – 10pm (Tues to Sun) Closed on Mon | Facebook
Now, with so many BBQ chicken wings stalls at East Coast Lagoon Village, it felt incumbent for the foodie in me that I include another barbecued chicken wing stall. I decided on Chong Pang Huat BBQ Chicken seeing as it also has many accolades.
These Chicken Wings came up to S$1.40 per wing, so they were a little pricier. The honeyed wings from Chong Pang were just a little punchier and juicer than those for Ah Hwee.
Don’t get me wrong, the chicken wings from both stalls were delicious in their own way but if I had to choose, I would go for the wings at Chong Pang Huat. The wings at Chong Pang Huat had a better marinade and I preferred the cook on them.
Chong Pang Huat BBQ Chicken: #01-18 | Opening Hours: 4pm – 12am (Daily) | Facebook
If there is a guilty pleasure that I occasionally (okay, more than occasionally) indulge in, it has to be oyster omelette. Song Kee Fried Oyster is where you’ll want to treat yourself. They offer both Oyster Egg (S$6/S$8/S$10) and Fried Oyster (S$4/S$6/S$8). At first glance, both of these items look pretty similar.
After a quick chat with the uncle, he explained to me quite simply that there are actually two different types of oyster omelettes you can have.
A little bit of starch is added to when preparing Fried Oyster or Orh Jian so you get those nice crispy edges which provide good textural contrast to the oysters. For the Oyster Egg, no starch is added so you get the appreciate the fluffy texture of the eggs along with the oysters.
It really is down to personal preference, so have your oyster omelette whichever way you like.
I’m firmly in the Orh Jian camp and those crispy edges just made it all the more a treat. As promised the omelette had crispy starchy bits and had good wok hei.
I was a little wary as this method can some times result in an overcooked oyster but this one was still tender and fresh. Let me tell you, there is nothing worse than a bad oyster.
As someone who needs their chilli with everything, Song Kee’s chilli did not disappoint. The chilli was piquant with a healthy kick that enhanced the overall flavour of the Fried Oyster—an absolute winner in my book.
Song Kee Fried Oyster: #01-15 | Opening Hours: 1pm – 1am (Daily)
Not to be confused with Cheok Kee Duck Rice, this is Zuo Ji Duck Rice and judging from the queue and accolades they do pretty well for themselves as well.
I ordered their Braised Duck Rice (S$3.50), which comes with a portion of signature duck drizzled with Zuo Ji’s savoury duck sauce.
I can’t tell you how much I adore duck, and much more, braised duck. Zuo Ji does live up to its name of having a flavourful and sumptuous duck.
However, I found the duck a little dry for my liking, it could be the fact that I was served duck breast. Duck breast tends to dry out quite easily but a drizzle of the sauce did remedy this.
Another famous dish on Zuo Ji’s menu was their Duck Porridge (S$3.50). It did feel a little odd having porridge at the end of the day as I normally associate porridge as a breakfast or dim sum item.
This hearty bowl of porridge did not disappoint, with good texture to the rice and a ladle of their signature dark sauce coupled with tender pieces of duck (different cuts I assume), this one hit the spot. This is would be perfect to dabao on a rainy day.
Zuo Ji Duck Rice: #01-29 | Opening Hours: 11am – 7.30pm (Mon to Fri), 9.30am – 7. 30pm (Sat & Sun)
Choon Hiang is somewhat of an institution in East Coast Lagoon Food Village, having been around for 40 years, you’ll know you’re getting the good stuff.
Choon Hiang is helmed by self-taught Aunty Mui Mui and her daughter front the stall and serves favourites such as Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee (S$4/S$5/S$8) and Fried Kway Teow (S$4/S$5).
What makes a good plate of Hokkien mee has to be the way it catches that temperamental wok hei; the better Hokkien mee, the more skilled the cook. Trust me when I say that a good plate is hard to come by and I was impressed with the one from Choon Hiang.
The Hokkien mee was more of the ‘wet’ variety but still possessed that characteristic wok hei that made slurping the noodles oh-so-satisfying.
You’ll find that the noodles have soaked up the stock quite nicely which gave that lip-smacking goodness that makes every calorie worth it.
Choon Hiang: #01-46 | Opening Hours: 12pm – 10.30pm (Daily) | Facebook
Haron Satay 55 needs no introduction; out of the entire row of satay stalls, this is the only one you have to concern yourself with.
Each stick will set you back about S$0.70 and if you know your satay a good mix, a medley of Chicken and Mutton is mandatory.
The marinade on satay was a little sweeter and complex than your garden variety satay. Haron Satay 55 was also pretty heavy-handed with their lemongrass which I liked, as it complemented the peanutty gravy very well.
My only gripe with Haron Satay 55 was that their ketupat was the frozen sort which was a little disappointing. Nevertheless, Haron Satay 55 is still winning in the satay department.
Haron Satay 55: #01-55 | Opening Hours: 2pm – 11pm (Tues to Sun), Closed on Mon | Facebook
When at East Coast Lagoon Food Village, you have to include some seafood to your already very full table. One of my dining companions was insistent on having sambal stingray, which I agreed was essential to our East Coast experience.
With a name like Stingray Forever BBQ Seafood, the sambal stingray better be good.
Aptly named Hottest Stingray (S$12/S$15/S$24), Stingray Forever’s one came wrapped in a banana leaf and smothered with a glorious amount of sambal.
Flaky, soft and covered with a liberal amount of sambal; this was dangerously addictive. Don’t forget about the cincalok (fermented prawn sauce), to get those umami flavours going.
Stingray Forever BBQ Seafood: #01-43 | Opening Hours: 4pm – 11.30pm (Daily)| Facebook
Hwa Kee BBQ Pork Noodles is where you’ll get your wanton noodle fix. At Hwa Kee, they do something a little different where they spoon a ladle of char siew sauce over their Wanton Noodles (S$4/S$5/S$6).
Hwa Kee barbecues their char siew on-site, which is of the sweeter variety. Hwa Kee even has a special machine to ensure each char siew gets those ragged edges each and every time.
Hwa Kee BBQ Pork Noodles: #01-45 | Opening Hours: 5pm – 12am (Mon to Sat), 12pm – 12am (Sun)
Any mention Lagoon Chicken Curry Puff and you’ll get nostalgic sighs from those familiar these golden ingots.
These Chicken Curry Puffs (S$1.50 each) were crispy, flaky and stuffed to the point of bursting. Not to mention, the curry in these puff packed a punch and the generous amount of potatoes is just the icing on the cake.
The perfect snack on the go, you’ll be gravitating to these every time you head to East Coast Lagoon Food Village.
Lagoon Chicken Curry Puff: #01-28 |Opening Hours: 1pm – 9pm (Tues to Sun), Closed on Mon
As Singapore’s only hawker centre by the beach, this is probably the only hawker centre people aren’t complaining about the heat.
With an excellent variety of stalls and relaxed atmosphere, it’s no wonder East Coast Lagoon Food Village is a popular haunt on the weekend. The East is truly a foodie paradise.
Our Rating: 5 / 5
East Coast Lagoon Food Village
1220 East Coast Parkway, Singapore 468960
1220 East Coast Parkway, Singapore 468960