11 Malaysian-style food places in Singapore to enjoy without having to cross the border

While the only physical connection between Malaysia and Singapore may be a single (or double) bridge, many Singaporeans still brave the insane crowds and cross the causeway to indulge in Malaysian delicacies from our neighbouring country.

Whether it’s laksa, bak kut teh, or the renowned wanton mee, both nations vie for culinary supremacy. Recently, numerous Malaysian hawkers have chosen to establish their presence here, infusing their local flavour into Singapore’s food scene.

Fortunately, we no longer need passports or endure lengthy checkpoint queues to relish Malaysian cuisine. Hence, I’ve scoured the city to compile a list of 11 Malaysian-style food places in Singapore to enjoy without having to cross the border.

1. Pangkor Island Nasi Lemak

malaysian-style stalls - pangkor island nasi lemak

Before Pangkor Island Nasi Lemak at Bukit Canberra Hawker Centre was opened to the public, it was a humble home-based business operated by Christine, a native lady from Pangkor Island who is half Peranakan.

Alongside her husband, an ex-pastry chef of 30 years, they now run this unique nasi lemak hawker stall selling recipes passed down from Christine’s grandmother, who sold coconut rice herself back in 1948.

malaysian-style stalls - pangkor island nasi lemak dishes

Whenever I visit, the Nyonya Nasi Lemak Lemon Satay Fish Set (S$7.90) is definitely a dish I have to order. Unlike our local satay, this fish tastes just like the satay fish snack that I used to enjoy as a kid.

To suit the local Singaporean palate, Christine has adjusted the taste to be less spicy and more fragrant with over 8 types of spices in the mix. The fish is tangy, savoury, slightly spicy and goes very well with the raw shallots on top. The coconut rice gets its natural blue hue from authentic blue pea flowers, while the sambal’s ikan bilis comes straight from Pangkor Island.

If you don’t like fish, you can try the Nyonya Nasi Lemak Lemongrass Chicken Set (S$7.90), Nyonya Nasi Lemak Turmeric Chicken Set (S$6.90) or Nyonya Nasi Lemak Sambal Prawn (S$3.30).

We also tried the Pangkor Ngoh Hiang (S$3.50 for 2 rolls) which was flavoured with five spice powder from Penang, minced pork and water chestnuts; an absolute delight.

21 Canberra Link, #01-17, Singapore 756973
Tue to Sun: 8.30am – 7pm
Closed on Mon

2. Tracy’s Sarawak Kitchen

malaysian-style stalls - Tracy sarawak kitchen stall

Numerous food stalls selling Sarawak fare feature ubiquitous options like kolo mee and kampua noodles. If you’re looking for something more exclusive, visit Tracy’s Sarawak Kitchen.

Tracy, a Sarawak native with 17 years in the construction industry, now owns a modest kopitiam stall at Geylang and has also recently launched a dine-in eatery at Serangoon Gardens.

malaysian-style stalls - Tracy sarawak kitchen food

One of my favourite dishes to have here is the Money Cai Longevity Noodles (S$6.50). Strands of mee sua are stir-fried with egg and ma ni cai (sweet leaf), resulting in the transfer of natural chlorophyll to the noodles and imparting a subtle green hue to them. A showering of pork lard is then scattered on top which transforms the dish into a drool-worthy sight.

For something tangier, try the Tomato Kuey Teow (S$6.50) adorned with pork slices, fish cake, char siew and fresh prawns doused in a tomato gravy which is equal parts sweet and sour.

The stall also offers an authentic and robust Sarawak Laksa (S$6.50) which features a generous heap of bee hoon, drenched in flavourful gravy and adorned with egg shreds, peeled prawns, tau geh and fresh coriander.

90 Lorong 25A Geylang, Singapore 388265
+65 8863 5836
Tue to Fri: 10am – 8pm
Sat & Sun: 9am – 7pm
Closed on Mon

1 Maju Avenue, myVillage, #B1-K1 to K5, Singapore 556679
+65 8863 5836

Daily: 9am – 9pm
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3. Lucky Seafood Catering

malaysian-style stalls - curry chee cheong fun stall

After my regular nighttime jog with my buddy some time back, he introduced me to Lucky Seafood Catering along Geylang Lorong 17. This place is located at a kopitiam and serves an array of handmade yong tau foo ingredients.

That wasn’t the best part— the menu features options of noodles to pair with your yong tau foo including Penang Assam Laksa (S$6), Hakka Bak Chor Mee (S$3) and even house-made Dry Tossed Lai Fen (S$3). Having tried it once, I became an instant fan, solidifying my decision to feature them in this list.

Upon my recent return, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the yong tau foo items are now neatly housed in a modern chiller with glass doors— a significant improvement from the previous setup where the items were exposed.

malaysian-style stalls - curry chee cheong fun and ytf

I took ingredients like Century Egg (S$1.50), Eggplant (S$1), Tau Kwa (S$1) and Bitter Gourd (S$1), and ordered Curry Chee Cheong Fun with Pig’s Skin (S$3.50) to go with it.

The Malaysian-style gravy is creamy and rich and the sheets of chee cheong fun soak up all the spicy curry goodness. The pieces of pig’s skin remind me of a chewier version of tau pok. The yong tau foo ingredients are either deep-fried or served in soup, depending on their suitability.

134 Sims Avenue, Singapore 387456
+65 8404 9266
Daily: 11am – 11.30pm

4. Good Year Seafood Village

malaysian-style stalls - good year seafood village

Good Year Seafood Village at 15 Tampines Avenue has been serving Malaysian-style zi char for the past 17 years in a rustic, old-school restaurant setting. The eatery gets its daily supply of fish from a nearby fish farm that delivers fresh fish whenever the restaurant needs it.

malaysian-style stalls - good year seafood village food

Our Assam Style Sea Bass (seasonal price) weighed about 900g and it cost us S$38. Served atop 2 mini flames, the dish retained its piping-hot freshness throughout the meal. The whole sea bass, bathed in a flavourful orange assam gravy, showcased a medley of vegetables such as lady’s finger, petai, eggplant, tomato wedges, and pineapple cubes.

The Marmite Chicken (S$15) is one of my favourites. The pieces of fried chicken are coated with a layer of caramelised marmite glaze. It’s served with roasted garlic and onions, then garnished with curry leaves and sliced bird’s eye chilli.

Can’t decide between crispy noodles or hor fun? Why not have both with the Big Prawn Yin Yang (S$13)? It features a blend of crispy bee hoon and hor fun, generously drenched in a rich, eggy gravy and crowned with big prawns.

15 Tampines Avenue, Singapore 529788
+65 9642 5800
Daily: 11am – 10pm
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5. Ge Bi Lao Wang Bak Kut Teh

malaysian-style stalls - ge bi lao wang stall

If you lean towards Malaysian herbal bak kut teh rather than our local white pepper version, then Ge Bi Lao Wang Bak Kut Teh is a must-visit. This kopitiam stall located at 121 Geylang East Central is run by a friend duo, Sky and Hang, who hail from Johor Bahru.

When I inquired about the style of their bak kut teh, Sky mentioned that it follows a JB-style rather than the Klang variety.

malaysian-style stalls - ge bi lao wang dishes

We decided to give the Bak Kut Teh (S$7.50) a try, and I started by sampling the broth. It displayed a well-balanced combination of savoury and herbal notes, avoiding the bitterness that sometimes overwhelms the flavour in other establishments. Sky mentioned that the soup is simmered for over 4 hours.

The meat was unbelievably tender, practically melting in my mouth— don’t even get me started. Now, all you have to do is order a bowl of Yam Rice (S$1), and you’re all set.

The Dry Bak Kut Teh (S$8.50) had loads of shredded dried cuttlefish which injected a robust umami flavour. The bed of pork ribs and pork belly were garnished with lady’s finger and dried chillies. The delectable meat had a caramelised, sweet and savoury combination.

You can also find Pork Trotter (S$7.50), Dark Sauce Pork Belly (S$5.50) and even indulge in some additional sides like You Tiao (S$1.30) and Salted Vegetable (S$2).

121 Geylang East Central, #01-90, Singapore 380121
Daily: 11am – 8.30pm

Hong Soon Pork Soup Noodles (鸿顺猪肉粉): Hidden gem serves up comforting bowls of KL-style pork noodles loaded with ingredients

6. Hui Wei Chilli Ban Mian

malaysian-style stalls - hui wei noodles stall

Do you love the fiery heat coming from a bowl of chilli ban mian? If you enjoy the burn, you should perhaps check out Hui Wei Chilli Ban Mian at Geylang Bahru Market and Food Centre. The business, operating since 1996, crafts fresh ban mian in-house at the shop. It also received the Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2023.

malaysian-style stalls - hui wei noodles

The Signature Chilli Ban Mian (S$5 for small, S$7 for large) features noodles topped with 2 meatballs, minced pork, pork lard, ikan bilis, and a poached egg, served alongside their spicy yet fragrant chilli paste. Prepare to break into a sweat, but trust me, it’s well-worth the experience.

The Signature Chilli Ban Mian also comes with a bowl of soup at the side which is thick and slightly peppery.

Of course, if you prefer non-spicy dishes, there are several other options available like Sliced Fish Soup (S$5/S$7), Abalone Clam La Mian (S$6/S$8) and Meatball Handmade Noodle (S$5/S$7).

69 Geylang Bahru, #01-58, Singapore 330069
Sat to Thu: 11am – 9.30pm
Closed on Fri

7. [CLOSED] Ipoh Qunkee Biscuits & Bakery

malaysian-style stalls - ipoh qunkee

Naturally, I’ve included a pastry shop for those craving a delightful breakfast or high tea treat. Ipoh Qunkee Biscuits & Bakery is an old-school confectionery in Ipoh, Malaysia since 1975, and have just opened their very first overseas outlet at Space @ Kovan on 11 Nov 2023.

Their range of pastries are freshly baked in-store. You can get your hands on the flaky Portuguese Tart (S$2.50 for 1, S$14 for 6) or buttery Hong Kong Egg Tart (S$2.20 for 1, S$12 for 6).

malaysian-style stalls - ipoh qunkee snacks

If you’re seeking something more traditional, then get the Ipoh Husband Biscuit (S$1.50 for 1, S$8 for 6), Ipoh Bean Paste Wedding Biscuit (S$2.20 for 1) or the Ipoh Nan Ru Biscuit (S$1.50 for 1, S$8 for 6).

My personal favourite is the Kaya Puff (S$1.30) which has an aromatic, coconutty filling paired with a crispy, light crust. The mini shop offers a selection of must-try flavoured tarts, including Bamboo Charcoal Cheese Tart (S$2.60) and Matcha Red Bean Tart (S$2.60)— pre-order to ensure availability.

Besides baked goods, the stall has an assortment of packaged Malaysian biscuits (snacks I usually buy at a coach stopover) like Qunkee Ear Biscuit (S$3.50), Ipoh Original Chicken Biscuits (S$4.50) and Ipoh Coconut Cookies (S$3.90).

9 Yio Chu Kang Road, Space @ Kovan, #01-18 , Singapore 545523
+65 9182 4768
Tue to Sun: 9am – 5pm
Closed on Mon
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8. [CLOSED] Penang Taste

malaysian-style stalls - penang taste stall

Tucked behind the taxi stand at Sultan Plaza is Sultan’s Kitchen Food Court, featuring a stall with a vibrant yellow display named Penang Taste. The chef, Cindy, a native Penangite, originally co-established the stall with her elder sister, Celine, who unfortunately had to step down due to health issues.

With a menu boasting around 10 Penang dishes, I couldn’t resist trying the Signature Penang Char Kway Teow priced at S$6.

malaysian-style stalls - penang taste char kway teow

With the option to include a sunny-side up for an extra S$1, I happily opted in, bringing the total to S$7. Underneath the sunny-side up, a mound of reddish pho-like kway teow was adorned with Chinese sausage, tau geh, 2 plump prawns, green onion shoots, egg, and a few pork lard pieces.

The menu also boasts other Malaysian dishes including Penang Mui Fan (S$6), Penang Hokkien Char (S$6) and Penang Pork Trotter Noodle (S$15.80 for 1, S$19.80 for 2).

100 Jalan Sultan, Sultan Plaza 01-06/07 Sultan’s Kitchen, 199001
+65 8850 8605
Daily: 10am – 7pm
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9. [CLOSED] Mai Mian Zi

malaysian-style stalls - mai mian zi

Jia Cheng, an ex-chef from Jumbo Seafood runs Mai Mian Zi at 340 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1. Hailing from Ipoh himself, he imports the yee mee from his hometown, and serves the noodles in claypots.

The stock for the noodles is boiled from pork bones, 2 whole chickens, pig trotters and ikan bilis for at least 6 hours until all the natural collagen is extracted, making the soup thick and naturally creamy without the addition of milk.

malaysian-style stalls - ipoh yee mee

We tried the Signature Claypot Noodle (S$6.30) which has yee mee doused in broth and filled with minced pork clusters, one prawn, snakehead slices, sliced cabbage and a raw egg is cracked atop before serving.

The soup was clean tasting and light and the egg helped make the noodles richer. The seafood was also fresh. You can also get a plate of Mai Mian Zi Crispy Roll (S$4 for 5 pieces) which absorbs the flavourful gravy like a sponge.

The menu also has other options like Sliced Abalone Claypot Noodle (S$4.30) and La La Claypot Noodle (S$4.80).

340 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Teck Ghee Court, #01-1697, Singapore 560340
+65 9445 5503
Daily: 10am – 9pm
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10. Yong Nian Claypot Chicken Rice

malaysian-style stalls - yong nian stall front

Nestled within the industrial estate in Bukit Merah lies Rong Fa Food Court, a kopitiam that houses Yong Nian Claypot Chicken Rice. The stall is manned by Reiko, who started the business in 2017 at Clementi after finding Singapore’s claypot rice lacking in the authentic taste she was accustomed to.

The claypots used are from Taiping, her hometown in Malaysia, while the soya sauce is specially imported from Hong Kong.

malaysian-style stalls - claypot rice

The Claypot Chicken Rice (S$7.30) is generously drizzled with soy sauce just before serving. Crowned with savoury chicken and indulgent lap cheong, the dish boasts delightfully smokey burnt edges on the rice.

The Claypot Noodles (S$7.30) emanates a robust herbal aroma, distinctly different from the rice. The initial sip of the soup packs a punch to your taste buds, mildly spicy and peppery all at once. It showcases a more unrestrained flavour compared to the nuanced notes of the claypot rice.

201 Henderson Road, Apex@Henderson, #01-18, Singapore 159545
+65 8133 0032
Mon to Fri: 10am – 3pm
Closed on Sat & Sun

11. [CLOSED] Wang Cai Ipoh Curry Mee

malaysian-style stalls - wang cai curry mee stall

Unlike local curries, the version from Ipoh is much lighter but infused with rich and aromatic spices. If you’re around Telok Blangah street 32, check out Wang Cai Ipoh Curry Mee located at Coffee & Tea coffeeshop on the second storey.

malaysian-style stalls - wang cai curry mee

The Ipoh Curry Noodles (S$4.50-S$6.50) has yellow noodles served together with pieces of roasted pork, char siew slices and tau pok drenched in curry gravy, then garnished with mint leaves.

The Malaysian-style broth is fragrant and slightly peppery while the pieces of meat that are soaked in that robust gravy are tender and delicious. For those who dislike soupy dishes, there’s also the Ipoh Dry Curry Mee (S$4.50-S$6.50).

If you’re looking for something that tastes closer to home, get the Curry Chicken Rice (S$5.50) which features chunky pieces of chicken with potatoes and served with plain rice. The Shredded Chicken Hor Fun (S$3.50) is also available for those seeking something light and simple.

Telok Blangah Street 32, #02-01 78A, Singapore 101078
+65 9777 7822
Tue to Sun: 7.30am – 8pm
Closed on Mon
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New in town: House of Malaysia — Penang prawn mee, KL chilli ban mee, Malacca curry laksa & $1 drink promos