How to stretch your S$10 at Upper Boon Keng Market & Food Centre

It all started when I chanced upon a TikTok trend one night. And after hours of browsing through a slew of short clips under the hashtag, ‘#hawkerunder10’, I had to find out for myself. How many hawker dishes can I get under S$10? I got out my crispest S$10 note and made my way down to Upper Boon Keng Market & Food Centre at 10am. 

Image of S$10 note infront of boon keng market

Ah, back at my favourite place. Honestly, the only reason I chose Upper Boon Keng Market & Food Centre was because of their eclectic mix of various dishes. I can only imagine stuffing my face with dishes from various cuisines for breakfast. That’s the dream, right? 

1. APPAM (#01-75) – S$1

Image of appam stall

I started with the cheapest option and got myself a Peanut Appam (S$1). No one will be able to miss their bright yellow signboard with the words ‘APPAM’ in a contrasting brown colour. It was apt that I started out my hunt with a light and fluffy (Indian) pancake. 

Close-up of stall owner preparing appam

For S$1 I wasn’t expecting much, but I was immediately blown away. There’s no doubt that the stalls in Upper Boon Keng Market & Food Centre hold a lot of history.

Close-up of appam

While I don’t know much about this stall, I can safely say that they sell one of the airiest appams I’ve had. Besides, it was also stuffed with a chock full of peanuts… jackpot! 

2. Hock Huat Fried Kway Teow (#01-37) – S$3.50

Image of hock huat stall

Another one of my favourite breakfast meals has got to be the greasy fried kway teow. Of course, I had to head over to Hock Huat Fried Kway Teow to get myself a plate of stir-fried flat rice noodles. 

Do note that there are one or two more stalls at Upper Boon Keng Market & Food Centre selling the same dish here, but the aunty tending to Hock Huat won my heart with the delicious plate of fried kway teow she churns out by the minute. 

Image of fried kway teow

Over here, expect to find a messy plate of fried kway teow that’s charred to perfection with subtle hints of chilli that will indefinitely punch the back of your throat with each bite. Usually, not a fan of lap cheong due to its funky aftertaste, the one at Hock Huat is sweet and crispy. Not only was the dish extremely affordable, but it also wasn’t oily, making it extremely light and easy to chow down. 

I was down to S$5.50 now. Decision, decisions. A nasi padang stall was calling out to me, but the amount I had on hand wasn’t enough. That’s when I saw the light…

3. Zao Dao Shu Shi 早到熟食 (#01-78) – S$3.50

Image of wanton mee stall

Wanton Mee stalls are aplenty over here with fluctuant prices. However, at the ever-popular Zao Dao Shu Shi 早到熟食, there are only two price options: S$3.50 or S$4.50. I opted for the S$3.50 plate. Be sure to get to Upper Boon Keng Market & Food Centre early (before noon) to beat the snaking queue.

Image of wanton mee

For S$3.50, what I saw in front of me was a huge portion of wanton mee. The noodles here are incredibly springy and come without a strong alkaline aftertaste— pair it with the spicy chilli for an added kick (to wake you up).

Close-up of wanton

Additionally, the melt-in-your-mouth pork is juicy and tender while the homemade fried wantons has a soothing ASMR crunch following each bite. 

Two mains in one day, so I was stuffed! But the search continued as I was left with S$2.

4. Rotitiam (#01-16) – S$1.30

Image of rotitiam stall

Alas, I found a mini bakery! While its neighbouring stalls are known for churning out greasy and flavourful breakfast and lunch dishes by the minute, Rotitiam churns out freshly baked bread daily. I took a huge whiff of the enticing yeasty aroma and proceeded to the stall. There, a wide range of bread stood before me, behind clear glass. From cheese to yam, they had it all. 

Image of cheese bun

I chose a warm and fluffy piece of Cheese Bun (S$1.30) to put the end to the search, but I was still left with S$0.70

I had to wash down my meal(s) with something, right? That’s when I walked over to one of the many drink stalls around and got myself a hot cuppa Teh O for exactly S$0.70

I still can’t believe I managed to get five dishes for S$10 at Boon Keng Market & Food Centre. Personally, I didn’t think I’d get more than two dishes and a drink, but the hawker centres on our tiny island never cease to amaze me. To think, if I didn’t get the Cheese Bread, I would have had enough for two drinks, two mains, and one sweet treat; a meal fit for two under S$10. What an amazing experience this was! 

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Upper Boon Keng Market & Food Centre

17 Upper Boon Keng Road, Singapore 380017

Upper Boon Keng Market & Food Centre

17 Upper Boon Keng Road, Singapore 380017

Operating Hours: 7am - 7pm (Daily)

Operating Hours: 7am - 7pm (Daily)

Have an interesting hawker story or good food to share? Email us at [email protected]

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