Tired of the usual hawker centre or coffee shop fare? Then turn your attention to the newly revamped Kopitiam Square in Seng Kang, which has over 50 stalls, ranging from good old zhi char to even mookata, all at at competitive and affordable prices.
Kopitiam Square also features 7 larger ‘restaurant’ concept stalls in the centre of the kopitiam as their anchor tenants to pull in the bigger family crowds.
With the installation of two 14ft industrial fans and construction of 2 passage walkways so diners can get across easily, dining is literally a breeze now.
With rent prices at a more affordable rate, the price of the food has considerably gone down and attracted a significant variety of stalls. This is to target residents living in Seng Kang and Punggol, where the numbers of Housing Development Board (HDB) flats have increased.
Looking to the needs of the residents in the community, the food at Kopitiam Square not only has a wide range, with stalls selling zi char, Hakka cuisine, Mookata and more, but are also affordably priced.
Save even more by using their Kopitiam Card, which gives you 10% off food and beverages from most stalls. For the elderly holding the Senior Citizen Kopitiam Card, it will be 10% off food from most stalls and 30% off beverages from drink stalls (excluding alcoholic drinks).
Kopitiam Square is easily accessible as well, within walking distance of Seng Kang MRT station and close to HDB flats.
With both old and new tenants there, the variety there has increased. Let us take a look at 10 must try dishes from the different stalls.
1. Crystal Hor Fun
This unique noodle dish is named so because of its unique feature – transparent, see-through flat noodles! Smooth and chewy, the Crystal Hor Fun has great texture and will have you slurping it up along with its savoury gravy.
It is also served with some hae bee hiam, or spicy dried shrimp, which adds some spice and umami to the overall flavour. An excellent rendition of the local hor fun.
Stall: Pin Wei Fang Zi Char
2. Mala Hotpot
Choose a minimum of $6 worth of ingredients and the stall will cook up your personalised Mala Hotpot for you, pretty much like yong tau fu style of ordering. Additional ingredients of meats or vegetables can also be added for extra costs per portion.
This mala dish was pretty spicy and not for the faint-hearted, and definitely quite a unique find in a Singapore kopitiam. Those who want to challenge this will find it fragrant and appetising. Pair it with some rice to counter the fiery smell and taste.
Price: $6 – $10
Stall: Lao You Ji
3. Hotplate Saba with Chicken/Pork Set Meal
The Saba (Mackerel) fish was perfectly grilled, with moist flesh beneath a crispy skin. The chicken felt a tad bit dry, but was not oily at all. The portion was generous; a whole large fish spilling out of the hotplate, and the chicken filled the remaining space hotplate. For $6.50, this is quite a steal for coffeeshop Korean food.
Stall: Meogja Korean Cuisine
4. Chicken Rice Set
The chicken rice set was served comprising of steamed kailan with oyster sauce, and the usual soup with a plate of rice and chicken meat on the side. The roast chicken was lean and tender, and not too oily yet still juicy. The garlic rice was fragrant, but I would have preferred it to be oilier/wetter and tastier.
The chicken is the star of this stall’s dish however, and I suggest getting extra servings of it if you are still hungry. Bonus fact: This stall is halal too.
Stall: Chicky Fun
5. Bak Kut Teh
More than once on a rainy day have I thought of a bowl of hot, piping soup to warm me up. Or well, because it is Singapore, I guess it makes me perspire. It’s not often you can find great bak kut teh just around the corner. The Bak Kut Teh at Seng Kee here is hot, fragrant and peppery, delicious even when just eaten with rice.
Expected Damage: $5.80
Stall: Seng Kee Bak Kut Teh
6. Fried Dumplings
More than just boiled herbal soup, this stall also sells other kinds of Shanghainese dishes, like the Ja Jiang Mian (Minced Meat noodles) and fried dumplings we tried. The Minced Meat Noodles was savoury, piled high with vegetables, minced meat, noodles and glorious, glorious gravy. It was bordering on a overload of carbohydrates, but I think the Chinese love their carbs.
I preferred the latter dumpling dish though – a crispy thin layer on the outside, while soft and well seasoned on the inside fried dumplings. Now you know where to satisfy your dumpling craving.
Stall: Wei Xuan Wa Guan Tang – Herbal Soup
7. Glutinous Rice with Lotus Leaf
This simple Dim Sum stall is one of the few outlets that open 24 hours at Kopitiam Square (the other being the drinks stall), with plans for other brands to follow suit once theres a substantial night crowd.
The next time you get a dim sum craving at 2am, no need to rush to Swee Choon – just head down to Kopitiam Square Sengkang to get a quick fix. We tried the Glutinous Rice with Lotus Leaf, sticky, soft and moist with the fragrance from the lotus leaf. Be sure to try their other items as well!
8. Claypot Curry Chicken
Hwee Sao serves generously a huge bowl of curry with chicken and large chunks of potatoes. Just looking at it made me full. Once you start eating however, you might not stop. The curry is heavy on the coconut milk but still balances with the spices in it. Some kinds of curry can become a little too thin, but no need to worry about this one. The chicken is also cooked well, tender and not dry at all.
Expected Damage: $5
Stall: Hwee Sao Claypot
9. Thai Mookata Pot
Compared to other mookata chains, 12_45 does have a slightly limited selection but isn’t that exactly the authentic mookata experience – simple marinated meats and a good meal. The homemade chicken cabbage soup is also really well-done, and 12_45 mookata has really concentrated on getting their basics like the broth right.
Obligatory lard pieces, prawns, sliced pork, pork belly, sliced chicken, sliced fish, hot dog, crabsticks, fish balls, assorted vegetables, golden mushrooms, tang hoon, and an egg. A very generous serving of meats and vegetables for their set platter is sufficient for small eaters to make a complete meal – one of the cheapest mookatas around for its portions.
Price: $32.80 per set for 2-3 pax
Stall: 12_45 Mookata
10. Roasted Duck Rice
Served with some rice and gravy, the roast duck has a marvellous, brown colour, crispy and not fatty. The meat was very tender and lean, and in a mouthful it was crisp and supple all at the same time. We also tried the roast pork, but we much preferred the duck, which exceeded my expectations. Only three dollars and thirty cents for a plate? I am definitely going back for more.
Stall: Fatty Roasted Delights
If you are searching for great variety and cheap, affordable food, look no further. With Thai, Chinese, Korean, etc. cuisines, there is something for everyone here, even a couple of halal food stalls like Chicky Fun or Thai Seafood. If you have a little more to spend, go for the Zi Char or the Mookata.
The standard of the food is not proportionate to the prices either. Affordable and delicious food? Count me in!
Kopitiam Square Sengkang: 10 Sengkang Square, Singapore 544829 | Tel: 6489 4678
*This post was brought to you by Kopitiam [email protected]