Ever since PM Lee made the announcement to dissolve the Parliament on 23 June 2020, we’ve seen a non-stop deluge of local political news—we are getting ready for General Elections 2020 (GE2020), after all.
One of the hotly-contested GRCs this election season is West Coast GRC, with People’s Action Party (PAP) and Progress Singapore Party (PSP) in the area.
The PAP team includes Minister for Social & Family Development Desmond Lee, Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran, Foo Mee Har, Ang Wei Neng, and Rachel Ong.
On the PSP side of things, we’ll see former PAP veteran Dr Tan Cheng Bock, together with Leong Mun Wai, Hazel Poa, Jeffrey Khoo Poh Tiong, and Nadarajah Loganathan.
It’s shaping up to be a heated battle, especially with more than 140,000 voters within West Coast GRC waiting with bated breath. Dr Tan Cheng Bock used to be MP for Ayer Rajah (merged in West Coast GRC for 26 years, while PAP is fielding a team with two full Ministers.
Campaigning is hungry business, and our writers at SethLui.com are here to sniff out good food for West Coast GRC residents and candidates alike. Here are 10 food places in West Coast GRC that you can try—who knows, those of you living further away just might make a trek to the West for this.
I’m sure fried chicken is always a hit at mealtimes, and Birdfolks at NEWest serves up crispy American-inspired fried chicken with a mix of local spices.
Step into this eatery and the large birdcage is sure to catch your eye. With fairy lights and pastel flowers on vines draped over the structure, it’s a pretty good spot to snap a few photos for the ‘gram.
Lest you think Birdfolks is all flash and no substance, take a bite out of their crispy chicken wings and juicy burgers. They serve up incredibly spicy Hot Devil Wings (S$12.90 for 6pcs, S$24.90 for 12pcs) that goes beyond tongue-tingling. With a special blend of white chilli mixed into the batter, the crispy chicken skin will set your mouth on fire.
Burger lovers can chow down on the unique Hawa Yaki Burger (S$15.90), a cross between teriyaki and Hawaiian flavours. Two sesame-studded buns sandwich a juicy chunk of teriyaki chicken, accompanied by a slice of honeyed pineapple. Pineapple-on-pizza folks, this one’s for you.
NEWest may not be the most accessible of areas, but I’d say making the trip for food is worth it.
2. Boon Lay Power Nasi Lemak
This famous nasi lemak stall needs little introduction, especially for my fellow Westies. I was slightly surprised that Boon Lay Power Nasi Lemak is in West Coast GRC—it’s technically in Jurong West, after all.
Located in Boon Lay Place Food Village, this is possibly the most popular stall. And from the fluffy, fragrant coconut rice to the crispy and juicy chicken, it’s not hard to see why.
For just S$3.50, you can get a plate of nasi lemak with that fluffy coconut rice, crispy chicken wing, a fried egg, ikan bilis, peanuts and sambal chilli. Typical for a nasi lemak dish, but be sure to heap on the sambal chilli when you’re eating—that sweet and spicy punch of flavours goes really well with the rice.
The queue here is legendary, so be prepared to wait—though it’ll be so worth it.
Serving up authentic Peranakan food from the heart, Daisy’s Dream Kitchen at Temasek Club is one of those homely, soulful Peranakan eateries.
Fun fact: the cast of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ actually visited this restaurant for a meal—and Selena Tan (who played Alexandra “Alix” Young-Cheng) is the owner Roy Tan’s sister.
The Babi Buah Keluak (S$18.80) is a must-try; a labour of love and an iconic Peranakan dish, this nutty, earthy number is somewhat of an acquired taste. Paired with melt-in-mouth fatty pork and tangy, spicy gravy, it’s simply delightful.
When you sit down for a meal at Daisy’s Dream Kitchen, you’ll realise that it’s not just about the food. All the dishes on the menu originated from Roy’s grandmother, and so what you’re tasting is the history of Peranakan food culture too.
Daisy’s Dream Kitchen: 131 Rifle Range Road, #01-01, Singapore 588396 | Tel: +65 6779 1781 | Opening Hours: 11am – 9:30pm (Tues to Sun), Closed on Mon | Facebook
I doubt I’ll ever get sick of chowing down on dim sum. There’s just something about the small plates and handcrafted dishes that satisfies my cravings.
For those in the West, you may have heard of Fu Yuan Handmade Dimsum 吉隆坡富园手工点心.包. This hidden gem in Clementi West is a one-man show, with the owner hailing from Malaysia—though he has also travelled all the way to Hong Kong to master the art of pau making.
All the paus here are handmade, including the signature Liu Sha Pau 流沙包 (S$1 each). Surprisingly soft but hefty, biting into it releases a delightful wave of salted egg yolk sauce. And Fu Yuan Handmade Dimsum nailed the consistency of the sauce—thick, luscious with powdery bits of salted egg yolk.
You’ll also have to try their Ji Wo Pau 鸡窝包 (S$4 each). Stuffed with chicken, mushrooms and glutinous rice, this can be a meal on its own.
Us Westies might not have much, but at least we have Fu Yuan Handmade Dimsum.
Fu Yuan Handmade Dimsum 吉隆坡富园手工点心.包: 710 Clementi West Street 2, Singapore 120710 | Opening Hours: 5am – 6pm (Daily)
Another hidden gem in West Coast GRC, Ice Cream Frenzy is tucked away between rows of neighbourhood shophouses and is easily missed.
73-year-old owner Uncle Tom has run this cosy ice cream café for 10 years, so you can be sure that there are some wild and wacky flavours here.
While not the strangest flavour, the D24 Durian (S$6/scoop) is certainly a crowd favourite. All the creamy, intense flavour and fragrance of durian, but with the refreshing coolness of ice cream.
For something truly wild, try the Salted Egg Fish Skin with Caramel (S$5). Yes, you heard right—salted egg fish skin, and there’s even curry leaves for garnish. It’s a combination that works surprisingly well; the savoury notes match creamy caramel sweetness for the perfect blend of flavours.
Drop by this decade-old ice cream café, and let Uncle Tom bring you some whimsical flavours!
Ice Cream Frenzy: 501 West Coast Drive, #01-250, Singapore 120501 | Tel: +65 6778 4498 | Opening Hours: 8am – 11pm (Daily) | Facebook
6. Island Penang Kitchen
Loyal customers of Island Penang Kitchen 南洋槟城茶餐厅 in Clementi will say it serves up the best Asian cuisine. Specialising in Penang dishes, it’s certainly a neighbourhood gem.
If you happen to drop by for a meal, get the Assam Laksa (S$5). One of the mainstays when it comes to Penang cuisine, Assam laksa is a little different from the laksa we usually see in Singapore. It’s made with ikan kembung (mackerel) and Assam (tamarind), for that familiar sour tang.
At Island Penang Kitchen, the Assam laksa comes with soft, plump laksa noodles swimming in a tart and fishy broth. They cut back a little on the sweetness, so it depends on what kind of broth you like.
Island Penang Kitchen 南洋槟城茶餐厅: 721 Clementi West Street 2, #01-126, Singapore 120721 | Tel: +65 6873 0163 | Opening Hours: 11am – 2.30pm & 5pm – 9.30pm (Mon to Fri), 11am – 9.30pm (Sat & Sun) | Facebook
7. Lee Kee 李記
One of our writers deemed the roast meats from Lee Kee 李記 to be “restaurant-quality”, and this roast meat noodle stall in Ayer Rajah Food Centre draws the crowds to prove it.
Serving up noodles with roast meats since 1979, many of their customers are long-time patrons. The Roasted Duck Noodle (S$3/small, S$4/large) comes with curly egg noodles and a separate plate of roast duck. Springy and tender, the egg noodles had a texture similar to kolo mee, and soaked up the incredibly flavourful sauce.
The roast duck is a showstopper—succulent, with a juicy layer of fats between skin and meat, this is what roast duck should taste like. Crispy duck skin completed this reminder of Hong Kong.
Affordable and good quality, you’ll vote for this Lee (Kee) again and again.
Lee Kee 李記: 503 West Coast Drive, Ayer Rajah Food Centre, #01-13, Singapore 120503 | Opening Hours: 8am – 3.30pm (Mon to Sat), Closed on Sun
If there’s a truly Singaporean experience you can’t miss out on, it’s going for prata supper at midnight. And Westies, you can satisfy your late-night supper cravings at Niqqi’s The Cheese Prata Shop.
It’s also near the National University of Singapore (NUS), which means this 24-hour prata shop is a popular supper spot for many students too.
Get Niqqi’s Special Cheese Prata (S$5) when you’re here, and indulge in a prata that’s stuffed with potatoes, eggs and cheese. Mmm, just think about that satisfying cheese pull.
And for those with a sweet tooth, the Tissue Chocolate (S$3.70) is a good bet. The towering confection will have other diners looking at your table in awe. Crisp and brittle with a hint of smoke, it’s like a crispier, flakier version of chocolate crepes.
Supper run before Polling Day, anyone?
Niqqi’s The Cheese Prata Shop: 16 Clementi Road, Singapore 129745 | Tel: +65 6872 2577 | Opening Hours: 24 Hours (Daily)
Bagels are one of those breakfast foods that’s suddenly popular in Singapore. And most bagel shops are open only in the morning, which is mildly disappointing if you’re hit by bagel cravings in the middle of the day.
At Sesame & Bagels in NEWest, a shopping mall near Clementi, you can get bagels all day. Beautifully chic interior with white-washed walls and clean lines aside, this minimalistic space packs a whole lot of bagel goodness.
The Onion Bagel (S$2.50) with Salmon Cream Cheese with Dill (S$5) spread is one that’s worth your calories. Fresh, chunky and creamy, the spread actually comes with a decent amount of actual salmon meat. Black pepper and dill add a refreshing, zesty touch.
Big eaters need to get the Deluxe Sandwich (S$12), which comes with Australian avocadoes, grilled ham slices, cheddar cheese, and a thick slab of egg. It’s the ultimate breakfast sandwich, all tucked into a sturdy bagel.
Who says there’s no good food in the West?
10. W39 Bistro & Bakery
Location-wise, W39 Bistro & Bakery might be a tad obscure with its spot behind Clementi Stadium, but it certainly has its fair share of fans. I remember the last time I wanted to dine there, I had to make a reservation to secure my seat.
Light wood and glass panels dominate the interior, making almost every corner a great photo opportunity. Pop over in the day for a sun-drenched brunch!
Indulge in the usual American-style platters and eggs benedict, or go for W39’s version of local dishes like mee siam and nasi lemak. The must-try dish is the super tender duck leg confit—you can easily pull it apart with a fork.
Those of you with pets, you’ll be happy to know that W39 Bistro & Bakery is certified pet-friendly—so your four-legged furry friends can keep you company during brunch.
Psst, if you want to find out which electoral district you’re in, check out this interactive map—you just have to type in your postal code.
So, now that you have a list of food places to try out in the West, what are you waiting for? The next time you’re in the area, feast to your heart’s content. They don’t say ‘West side, best side’ for nothing!
If you have any food recommendations for us in West Coast GRC, leave a comment and we’ll check it out.