13 must-try stalls at Upper Boon Keng Market & Food Centre

It’s somewhat unbelievable how under the radar Upper Boon Keng Market & Food Centre is, considering how many stalls sell above average food here. Although this place already holds a special place in my heart (as I grew up here), every visit here never fails to take me on a trip down memory lane, ending off with a stuffed tummy. 

Without further ado, I give you… 13 must-try stalls that are worth the journey!

1. Soup Kambing Haji M. Abdul Rajak (#01-03) 

Image of bowl of soup in front of stall

Considering how I’ve been patronising this stall since I was a kid, it impresses me how Soup Kambing Haji M. Abdul Rajak has retained its flavour after all these years. Afterall, they’ve been dubbed to sell Singapore’s best sup kambing by many, so who am I to disagree?

Image of menu items

Over here, meat wastage is not an issue as they use every part of it. Order a hot bowl of Sup Campur (S$11 for small, S$14 for medium, S$16 for large) or Sup Otak (S$8.50 for small, S$16 for medium, S$24 for large) for a slurpin’ good time. 

Each order comes with a generous portion of fluffy white bread to soak up all that goodness, with every cut of mutton, from ribs to tendon to tongue to various innards. 

2. APPAM (#01-75) 

Image of APPAM's stall

One will not be able to miss their bright yellow signboard with the words ‘APPAM’ in a contrasting brown colour here. With only S$1 for one appam, you know the light and fluffy (Indian) pancake is the right way to start your day. 

Close up of appam

I know there’s an abundance of places in Singapore that sells appam, but I can safely say the appam stall here sells one of the airiest appams I’ve ever tasted. Besides, it was also loaded with a chock full of peanuts… jackpot! 

3. Hock Huat Fried Kway Teow (#01-37)

Image of Hock Huat Fried Kway Teow's stall

My all-time favourite breakfast meal has got to be the greasy fried kway teow. Of course, I had to head over to Hock Huat Fried Kway Teow (S$3.50) to get myself a plate of messy stir-fried flat rice noodles. 

Do note that there are one or two more stalls 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 char kway teow

Do note that it’s charred to perfection with subtle hints of chilli that will indefinitely punch the back of your throat with each bite. I’m usually not a fan of lap cheong due to its funky aftertaste, but the one here is sweet and crispy.

Not only was the dish extremely affordable, but it was also tasty; it wasn’t oily, making it extremely light and easy to chow down.

4. Zao Dao Shu Shi 早到熟食 (#01-78) 

Image of Zao Dao Shu Shi 早到熟食's stall

One cannot enter Upper Boon Keng Market & Food Centre without joining the snaking queue at the ever-popular Zao Dao Shu Shi 早到熟食. You best believe this stall sells one of the best plates of Wanton Mee I’ve ever tasted in Singapore. That too at only two price options: S$3.50 or S$4.50.

Image of wanton mee

Close up of fried wanton

For S$3.50, you’ll get a bowl of incredibly springy noodles without a strong alkaline aftertaste, melt-in-your-mouth and juicy pork, and crunchy homemade fried wantons.

Remember to pair it with the spicy chilli for an added kick (to wake you up)!

5. YZ Food (#01-79) 

Image of YZ Food's stall

Looking for a quick bite before starting your day? Make your way down to YZ Food for a plate of S$1 Chee Cheong Fun or Yam Cake or add on S$0.20 to get a piping hot bowl of Porridge. They also have an array of other breakfast foods like a Singaporean favourite, Lo Mai Kai (S$1.90) or Char Siew Pau (S$2.70 for three pieces)

If you’re already in the queue for Zao Dao Shu Shi 早到熟食’s wanton mee next door, why not get yourself a plate of Chee Cheong Fun to indulge in while standing in line?

6. HJH Yang Chek Family (#01-26) 

Image of HJH Yang Chek Family's stall

HJH Yang Chek Nasi Rawon & Mee Rebus is another stall within the vicinity that rakes up extremely long queues during the day. Like many of the stalls here, it’s best to drop by early to avoid disappointment.

Image of mee rebus

Known for their Nasi Rawon (S$4.50) and Mee Rebus (S$3.50), I ordered a bowl of the latter to see what the fuss was about. Trust me when I say, I’m rarely blown away by Mee Rebus as their gravy is usually too diluted or not well-cooked for my liking, but, HJH Yang Chek Family truly serves a bowl of above-average Mee Rebus; one of the better ones I’ve tasted in Singapore. Its flavourful and thick gravy wasn’t too cloying and made it easy to go back for more. Bonus: there was a tinge of spiciness from the added chillies, too! 

7. Xin Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice (#01-20) 

Image of Xin Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice's stall

What’s a trip to a hawker or food centre without indulging in a plate of hearty Chicken Rice? Xin Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice serves up a generous portion of rice and chicken, and has one of the better tasting meats too. 

For only S$3, expect to find a decent plate of steamed or roasted chicken rice coupled with tasty chilli and a side of soup. As a self-proclaimed chicken rice connoisseur, the chicken at Xin Kee’s is juicy and tender, and I also love how their chicken soup comes with sizable cabbage pieces too!

8. Chok Dee Thai Food (#01-65) 

Image of Chok Dee Thai Food's stall

Adding to this list of fantastic food is Chok Dee Thai Food. The unassuming stall is helmed by Thais who readily whip up a mouthwatering storm upon order. If you want to avoid the queue, be sure to drop by earlier to beat the lunch crowd.

If you’re craving a Thai-style Char Kway Teow, order their Pad Thai (S$5) and be prepared to be blown away by its authentic Thai flavours. If you prefer something a little heavier, order a plate of Thai Basil Rice (S$5.50 with a choice of chicken or pork) instead!

9. Geylang Traditional Carrot Cake (#01-21) 

Image of Geylang Traditional Carrot Cake's stall

If you love carrot cake, be sure to get here as early as 7am as Geylang Traditional Carrot Cake usually sells out by 10.30am. Trust me, I’ve been disappointed far too many times this year. Right off the bat, I can assure you that this stall sells one of the best plates of Carrot Cake (S$3/S$4/S$5) I’ve tried in Singapore. 

Image of black carrot cake
Credit

To top it all off, you can also find julienned slices of fresh carrots hidden in their portion of crispy White Carrot Cake, however, I usually go for the Black Carrot Cake when I’m here. Personally, I find the latter tastier and the caramelised bits from the black sauce make the plate exceptional! 

10. Rotitiam (#01-16) 

Image of Rotitiam's stall

There’s also a new mini bakery named Rotitiam now! 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 knew I had to try this stall out. 

Image of cheese bun

From cheese to yam, they have it all. I decided to go for a warm and fluffy piece of Cheese Bun (S$1.30), and boy, did it not disappoint! 

11. Lit Lit Sin Cold & Hot Desserts 日日新冷热甜品 (#01-45)

Image of Lit Lit Sin Cold & Hot Desserts 日日新冷热甜品's stall

I love how desserts can be eaten at any time of the day without any judgement. Lit Lit Sin Cold & Hot Desserts 日日新冷热甜品 offers a wide range of desserts, and also supports a cashless payment system (incredibly convenient for someone like me who always finds herself without cash on hand)! 

Although their desserts here are a tad bit on the sweeter side, I’d recommend you to try their Ice Kacang (S$1.20) and Durian Chendol (S$2)

12. Mohd Ariffin Mohd Rashid Combo House (#01-01) 

Image of Mohd Ariffin Mohd Rashid Combo House's stall

I’ve been visiting Upper Boon Keng Food Centre for many years now and one thing I can vouch for is that Mohd Ariffin Mohd Rashid Combo House still serves up a mean plate of delectable Mamak dishes! 

Mutton Chop (S$7)  is my go-to mamak stall dish, and trust the folks here to whip up a mean plate of it. Besides, nothing beats staring at a greasy plate of red-hued goodness when you’re hungry. Do try their Mee Goreng (S$4.50), Roti John (S$4.50) or famous Combo (S$9) sets if you’re feeling adventurous! 

Remember to request for a non-spicy option if you can’t handle a mouth-numbing spiciness with your meal. 

13. 福興鱼汤 Hock Heng Fish Soup (#01-42) 

Image of 福興鱼汤 Hock Heng Fish Soup's stall

No stranger to the hawker scene is 福興鱼汤 Hock Heng Fish Soup. Truth be told, the snaking queue over here is insane. However, you know a stall sells good food when they’ve managed to rake up long queues from the time they open for the day, right?

Image of a bowl of noodles
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A bowl of Fishball Noodle Dry/Soup here costs S$3 while their Sliced Fish Soup, Seafood Soup, and Fish Head Soup cost S$5. They also sell Seafood Noodle Soup Dry/Soup for S$4 or S$5. So, if you ever find yourself around the area, craving a good bowl of soup, Hock Heng is the place for you.

If you ever find yourself near Upper Boon Keng, head over to Upper Boon Keng Market & Food Centre for a yummy trip!

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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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