10 Value-For-Money Restaurant Dishes You Can Find At Singapore Hawker Centres

Let’s be honest, I’m not the only one who’s faced the dilemma of eating in a restaurant or hawker centre. If I had a never-ending supply of cash, I’d be dining in the ritziest establishments at every meal, but that couldn’t be farther from reality.

In a bid to reconcile income with expenditure, we often end up choosing to save and dine humbly over splurging on a meal. I know FOMO (fear of missing out) is a real phenomenon, but I don’t think I miss out on much. With so many hawker centres and food courts spread across Singapore with increasingly diverse and modern offerings, it’s not difficult to get the exact same dish at a coffee shop that you would at a restaurant, at a more economical price.

Today, I bridge the gap between a good meal and hefty pricetags. With this list of 10 restaurant dishes that are more worth having at hawker stalls, you can have a good meal without spending extravagantly — because even the most mundane of meals can be an enjoyable experience.

10. Dim Sum

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Dim Sum is a perennial favourite of Singaporeans. You’ll inevitably see someone lamenting about their Dim Sum cravings on social media every now and then. Recurring dim sum cravings mean that its financially unwise and unrealistic to frequent costly fine-dining establishments to get your Dim Sum fix.

That’s why you ought to try Yi Dian Xin Hong Kong Dim Sum! Its items are reasonably priced (starting at $2.00 for Chee Cheong Fun) and of very decent quality. Chef Foong hails from Tung Lok restaurant previously, so you’d know quality is assured for the dim sum dishes.

I really enjoyed my meal there, especially the Crystal Chives Dumplings ($3.00 for three) and Deep Fried Shrimp Dumpling ($3.20 for three).

If you’re looking for an alternative beverage to go with the rich and savoury dim sums, you may want to try pairing it with a can of refreshing Coke zero®!

Yi Dian Xin Hong Kong Dim Sum: 1012 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534750 | Tel: 91685587 | Opening Hours: 7am – 6pm (closed on alternate Tuesdays

9. Curry Rice

Best Curry Rice_ Jurong West Scissors Cut (2 of 2)

I’ve seen several Curry Houses springing up around Singapore, serving the classic combination of spicy curry over fluffy white rice. That’s great to know, but the only problem? A single plate can cut close to $15, which not everyone is willing to fork out that price for a meal.

Close your eyes and picture fragrant white rice drenched in a piquant curry. Add on the crisp bite of a pork cutlet, the golden, running yolk of a sunny side up, and the chilling bite from a can of Coke to balance out the richness and spice. For below $5 (that’s a third of the restaurant price, hello!?), you can get yourself a whole meal at Jurong West 505 Market’s Hainanese Scissors Curry Rice stall.

Doesn’t that sound like an irresistible deal? Stop resisting.

Jurong West Hainanese Scissors Curry Rice: Jurong West 505 Market & Food Centre, 505 Jurong West Street 52, Singapore 640505

8. Crab Beehoon


I love everything about Crab Bee Hoon, from the springy texture of fresh crab meat to the soupy goodness of Bee Hoon soaked in savoury crab stock. All’s well and good except that, with most crab dishes, the ambiguous seasonal-price-per-kg manner of pricing tends to get out of hand.

I’ve been in an unpleasant situation where the cheque came demanding an inordinate amount of money that we didn’t anticipate, stunning everyone and making the meal less pleasant.

That’s where Don Signature Crab comes in. Their Dry/Soup Crab Bee Hoon ($20/30/40-55) is not only delicious and comparable to more expensive restaurants, but it also comes with fixed prices depending on the size of the crab, making seafood a less tricky and a more worth it meal choice.

Don Signature Crab: Block 206 Toa Payoh North, #01-1197, Singapore 310206 | Opens daily: 12 noon – 8:30pm | Tel: +65 9691 6776 | Website

7. Steak


A good cut of steak in restaurants like Morton’s and CUT by Wolfgang Puck will easily set you back by a few hundred dollars. The exorbitant pricetag makes me so indignant that I guess you could say I’ve got beef with how much steak costs.

Still, if you’re open to compromise, you can get yourself a sizzling Black Pepper Ribeye Steak ($15) at Uno Beef House, accompanied by their signature fried potato ball, tomato and baked beans. For a small stall in a coffeeshop, their steak quality is impressive: the gamey flavour is mild, while the cut of meat is tender. I like to pair the juicy, flavoursome cut of beef with the full- flavoured, fizzy ice-cold Coke® for a satisfying and filling meal.

Uno Beef House: 51 Lor 6 Toa Payoh, Singapore 310051 | Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10:30pm (closed on Wednesdays) | Tel: 6259 9837

6. White Bee Hoon

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The uniquely Singaporean White Bee Hoon is quite a popular carb order at many Chinese restaurants, including the White Restaurant – The Original Sembawang White Bee Hoon where most of the dish’s popularity began. However, the long queue and the inflated cost of the dish at restaurants are quite a deterrent to me.

Since I’m not a White Bee Hoon purist, I am quite ambivalent about the authenticity of the dish, preferring to have my White Bee Hoon at a humble coffee shop near home. I find it much more worthwhile, considering what I save in time and money.

Hualong Fishhead Steamboat, located at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, serves a great rendition of the dish. There is a substantial amount of liao in the dish and the umami flavour is imbued into the Bee Hoon strands, though the noodles are slightly on the drier side.

Hualong Fishhead Steamboat: 347 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, #01-2142, Singapore 560347 | Tel: 64572275 / 96965663 | Opening Hours: Daily 11:30am -2:30pm, 4:30pm – 11:30pm 

5. Fish Head Curry

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Located within walking distance from our office, Ocean Fish Head Curry’s spicy stew gives other costly restaurants a run for their money. $25 will get you a very substantial (might I even say huge?) claypot of curry, complete with pineapple, okra and half the head of a large sea bream. My four colleagues and I had a go at this and there was still quite a bit leftover. That amounts to $5 a person!

The Fish Head Curry seamlessly combines the creamy flavour of coconut, subtle sweetness from pineapple chunks, and distinct heat from chillies into a flavoursome gravy, best ladled over white rice. The chilling bite from a can of ice-cold Coke® is the perfect accompaniment to the meal, complementing the kick from all the spices.

Ocean Fish Head Curry: Blk 92, Toa Payoh Lor 4, #01-264, Singapore 310092 | Tel: 62522168 | Opening Hours: Daily 11am – 9pm

4. Suckling Pig

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Suckling Pig is a luxurious platter of roasted pork, more commonly found at Chinese wedding banquets than anywhere close to the everyday dining table. This is because suckling pig is quite a costly dish order, and therefore it is reserved only for special occasions… Or so it used to be.

At Jia Le Hong Kong Roasted Food, a serving of suckling pig and rice comes up to $8, which is very affordable for its quality and taste. The suckling pig’s skin is roasted to a gorgeous red crackle, while the meat underneath is covered in a light sheen of oil, staying tender and soft.

The heady flavours of the pork go unbelievably well with a cold, refreshing glass of Coke light®.

Jiale (H.K.) Roasted Food: 383 Upper Aljunied Road, Singapore 367868 | Tel:9765 3779 | Website | Opening Hours: Daily 10am – 8pm

3. Chilli Crab

Chilli Crab is such an iconic Singaporean dish that it is recreated by dozens of chefs hailing from the fanciest restaurants to the most casual zi char joints. Like I mentioned before, paying-per-kilogram of crab can inflate costs quite a bit, especially in finer well-established seafood restaurants.

Thankfully, you can savour the same great sweet and spicy flavour of the chilli gravy and tender crab meat for a more reasonable cost at Kek Eng Kee. What’s more, you can balance the heat with a fizzy can of ice-cold Coke®. Mmm!

Kek Eng Kee: 124 Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-136, Singapore 150124 | Tel: 6272 1038 | Opening Hours: Daily 12 noon – 2:30pm, 5pm – 10pm

2. Porridge

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Porridge is one of my all-time favourite foods. Specialty porridge restaurants do exist and though they jazz up their offerings with luxurious ingredients and complex pairings like lobster, abalone and such. To me, porridge is best enjoyed in its truest form — humble, homely, and simple — so I can’t really rationalise unloading a large amount of money in exchange for a bowl.

At Ah Chiang’s Porridge, the porridge comes warm and steamy, basically the ideal rainy day food. The porridge is smooth and tasty on its own, but the pepper and soya sauce add extra flavour; to complement this, I complete the meal an ice-cold can of Coke light®. Nice!

Ah Chiang’s Porridge: 65 Tiong Poh Road, Singapore 160065 | Tel: 6557 0084 | Opening Hours: 6am – 11pm (closed on Mondays | Facebook

1. Peking Duck

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Wrapped in a delicate crepe, Crisp Peking duck skin, tender flesh and sweet hoisin sauce makes a really delicious eat. Perfecting the Peking duck requires much technique, so it’s more commonly served in more uppity establishments.

Now, Majestic Peking Duck resolves the problem of accessibility by offering a very affordable 5-star restaurant quality Peking duck platter, costing just $24! Savoured alongside a glass of great-tasting Coke®, this meal is practically sublime.

Majestic Peking Duck : Makansutra Gluttons Bay, 8 Raffles Avenue, 
The Esplanade | Opening Hours: Monday-Thursday 5pm to 2am, Friday-Saturday 5pm-3am, Sunday 4pm-1am

*This article is brought to you in partnership with Coca-Cola®, the opinions are of the writer’s own