Last Updated: September 25, 2020
Brace yourself as we head north today to discover all the food spots that give Yishun and Sembawang something to boast about. From traditional hawker favourites to ice cream cafes, there’s always something to eat there any time your hunger pangs strike.
Most of the places in this list are a walkable distance away from Yishun MRT station, so dress cool, come hungry, and let’s start exploring these 20 food spots in Yishun and Sembawang.
North-dwellers and laksa lovers will surely be familiar with 928 Yishun Laksa. Hailed as one of the top must-try laksas in Singapore, be prepared to join a long queue at any time of day. Here, laksa is an all-day affair.
The Laksa (S$2.80 for small) comes in a bowl chock full of ingredients, including chopped bee hoon (rice vermicelli), tau pok (fried puffy beancurd), crabsticks, bean sprouts, cockles and half a boiled egg. Try ordering an extra portion of cockles—they go really well with the mix.
The soup is particularly noteworthy; the coconut milk is distinct enough against the spiciness, resulting in a flavourful and slightly sweet broth. It isn’t the spiciest laksa, tending more towards the milky side.
Ditch the chopsticks; all you need is a spoon to scoop the bite-sized pieces of chopped bee hoon as you slurp everything up. If the hunger pangs are stronger that day, opt for the large size at S$3.30.
928 Yishun Laksa: Blk 928 Yishun Central 1, #01-155, Singapore 760928 | Tel: +65 9731 9586 | Opening Hours: 8.30am – 7pm (Mon to Sat), Closed on Sun
Yishun 925 Chicken Rice has been faithfully dishing out their signature boneless chicken for over 20 years, establishing their place as comfort food for the nearby residents.
Not many places are able to steam their chicken to perfection, but here, you’ll find that the meat is tender and fragrant. Get sharing portions of chicken at S$13 and S$26 for small and large sizes respectively. Alternatively, if you’re dining alone, you can get a single serving at S$4.
After a hot bowl of laksa courtesy of 928 Yishun Laksa, cool off with some desserts at Lit Lit Sin Dessert stall. Hot, cold, sweet or sour—you want it, you got it (yuh).
Bear in mind that the queue gets long here as this is a popular dessert haunt for diners in the area.
One of its most popular offerings is the Chendol (S$1.70). The unassuming plastic container of ice and coconut milk holds a trove of attap seeds (Nipa palm seeds), green jelly, grass jelly and red beans. A dash of condensed milk completes this dessert.
That’s not all; Lit Lit Sin Dessert isn’t just limited to sweets. They also sell Popiah (S$1.60 per roll). This savoury Teochew-style snack is a mixture of stewed turnips rolled in a thin flour skin, like a soft spring roll. It’s most delicious when eaten with brown sweet sauce and spicy chilli sauce.
Lit Lit Sin Dessert: 928 Yishun Central 1, #01-157, Singapore 760928 | Tel: +65 8310 6919 | Opening Hours: 7.30am – 9pm (Wed to Mon), Closed on Tue
Wild Wood Cafe is an obscure space in Wisteria Mall serving all-day breakfasts and savoury waffles.
Start your day with a hearty King’s Breakfast Platter (S$18.80), which includes your choice of signature chicken, toasted bread, mixed salad, sautéed mushrooms, baked beans, meat (turkey bacon, pork bacon, smoked salmon or sausage) and eggs any style.
Wild Wood Cafe also prides themselves in their savoury waffles. The Royale Waffles (S$16.80) includes a generous serving of smoked salmon, sliced avocado and poached eggs alongside thick golden-brown waffles.
The idea of having waffles for breakfast has always sounded very indulgent to me, mainly because they’re so sweet. The Royale Waffles solves that problem with a balance of savoury and sweet so you don’t feel like you’re overloading on sugar.
Wild Wood Cafe: 598 Yishun Ring Road, Wisteria Mall, #01-51/52, Singapore 768698 | Tel: +65 8769 2069 | Opening Hours: 11.30am – 8.30pm (Tue to Fri), 10am – 9.30pm (Sat & Sun), Closed on Mon | Facebook | Instagram
Coba Coba is a cafe serving homely and affordable nasi ambeng (an Indonesian dish served with rice and an assortment of sides). Their name refers to the Indonesian phrase ‘try try’ that is used endearingly by elders to coax the young to try unfamiliar food. Already, the place evokes such a strong feeling of family and home.
The Deluxe Nasi Ambeng (S$32.90 for two pax) comes with 14 different ingredients on a generous platter, making for a great sharing meal. Some of the highlights on this dish are the sambal goreng (fried tofu, tempeh and long beans in spicy coconut sauce) as well as the beef rendang, which is tender and flavourful.
If you prefer something smaller, they also serve noodles, such as the Mee Rebus (an Indonesian noodle soup dish) for S$3, which would be more suited for single diners.
For all the croissants and pancakes we hanker for, sometimes we just want to circle back to the old-school bakeries. This is where Hao Bang General Wholesale Trading has your back.
Situated across Block 928, this bakery sells breads, butter cakes and muffins (S$1 per piece) that will induce fond memories of childhood. The Banana Cake (S$4 for a box) is a reliable snack, with its comforting aroma and soft texture.
Writing about this now has me wanting to head over to get some for myself.
Hao Bang General Wholesale Trading: Blk 925 Yishun Central 1, #01-241, Singapore 760928 | Tel: +65 6755 1673 | Opening Hours: 8am – 9pm (Daily)
Thailand Street Food at Junction 9 Shopping Mall is the place to go for some tasty and authentic Thai cuisine without breaking the bank.
For a light bite, try the Pandan Chicken (S$7 for four pieces). These savoury morsels are wrapped in pandan leaves by hand before being fried to a crispy exterior.
Of course, you’d probably be hungrier than that. From the mains, try out the Tom Yam Fried Rice (S$6 for small, S$9 for large) for a smoky, tangy meal. Though lighter on the spice, it’s no less fragrant. You can also choose between chicken, pork or seafood for this dish.
Now with four outlets to boast, Baker’s Brew Studio established its beginnings at Jalan Tampang, Sembawang, offering baking classes and delicious cakes.
For a local slant to your dessert, try the Ondeh Ondeh Cake (S$7.50 per slice, S$58 per 6” whole) for a beautifully intricate indulgence made of moist pandan sponge cake, grated coconut, gula melaka, and coconut swiss meringue buttercream.
In fact, I have fond memories of celebrating my birthday with a slice of Ondeh Ondeh Cake this year, which makes this cake all the more special.
For a more floral flavour, go for the Roasted Pistachio nd Rose Cake (S$7.80 per slice, S$68 per 6” whole). This cake offers a delightful contrast of flavours, from the crushed pistachios to the soft rose petals. On top of that, it’s quite the looker of a cake.
Right next to Baker’s Brew Studio, Sembawang Traditional Claypot Rice serves up its signature fragrant claypot rice and popular bee hoon dishes.
The Traditional Claypot Rice (S$8.80 for small, S$18.80 for medium, S$19.80 for large) features a sizzling bowl of chicken, mushroom and chinese sausage that pair comfortingly well with the charred rice drizzled in black soy sauce and oil.
If noodles are more of your thang, there’s also the LaLa Bee Hoon (S$5.80 for small, S$9.80 for large) for a homely dish of clams with noodles.
White Restaurant, probably most famous for their white bee hoon, has also expanded since its early beginnings at Sembawang. Now with six outlets, they’ve definitely made themselves more accessible to those in the east and west.
A small plate of Original White Beehoon is yours at S$6, with a flavourful wok hei depth and smooth, slightly starchy gravy. Though it may be less endowed in colour, the aromas and textures make up for it.
Supplement your meal with a side of crispy and juicy Hei Zhor (meat and seafood roll) at S$13.80 (small).
Though they have sprouted across the island, there’s always a sense of nostalgia dining at the OG outlet, where they first started. If you live near or have the time to spare, I’d recommend making the trip to Sembawang for the experience.
White Restaurant: 22 Jalan Tampang (opposite Sembawang Shopping Centre), Singapore 758966 | Tel: +65 6257 2002 | Opening Hours: 9.30am – 9.45pm (Thu to Tue), Closed on Wed | Other outlets | Facebook | Instagram | Website
Who doesn’t love a nice cafe to chill out over ice cream? It’s true when they say that there’s a second stomach for dessert.
Holy Cow Creamery offers a wide range of ice cream and sorbet flavours. Of course, ice cream isn’t complete without a carb, which in this case, is their Charcoal Waffles (S$6).
The best thing about these waffles is that they remain fluffy on the inside even as the edges crisp up. That’s one of the hallmarks of a good waffle. Pair that with some of their premium ice cream flavours, such as the Rocher and Chocolate (S$4 for single scoop, S$7.50 for double scoop). I love the camaraderie of sharing ice cream on waffles with a friend.
Holy Cow Creamery: 292 Yishun Street 22, #01-291, Singapore 760292 | Opening Hours: 11.30am – 10pm (Sun to Thu), 11.30am – 11pm (Fri & Sat) | Facebook
You may wonder why we’re including Fragrance in this list. Though there are multiple Fragrance outlets across Singapore, this Chong Pang branch sells a wide range of dried plums and fruits, biscuits, chips and sweets that you won’t find in other places. Prices go by the gram, starting from S$20 a bucket.
Of course, you can still find your classic Bak Kwa (barbecued sweet meat) starting from S$14 per 500g here.
Rows of red-lid containers line one side of the stall, immediately evoking nostalgia with the sight of traditional biscuits and cookies on display.
Bei Sheng Taste of Thailand is a zi char (cook and fry) place that sells Thai-Chinese cuisine. They’re often packed with customers and long queues.
Some of the most popular dishes here are the Thai Deep Fried Fish Delight ($18 for small) and Pineapple Fried Rice ($4 for small). The fish, though fried till crispy on the outside, retains its tenderness and moisture on the inside.
Loved for their consistent quality and affordability, it’s no wonder that people flock here on the daily.
Bei Sheng Taste of Thailand: Blk 701A, Yishun Ave 5, #01-01, Singapore 761701 | Tel: +65 6756 4883 | Opening Hours: 11.30am – 2pm & 5.30am – 10pm (Wed to Mon), Closed on Tue | Facebook
Chong Pang Nasi Lemak is the place to go to satisfy the late-night rumbles.
For S$5.20, enjoy your customised Nasi Lemak with your choice of four sides on fragrant coconut rice. Whatever sides you pick, don’t leave out the juicy, crispy chicken wing, which is arguably one of their most unrivalled strengths.
If you’re feeling more restrained, go with three sides for S$4.90 instead. After all, we all like to comfort ourselves with a modicum of restraint while indulging on supper.
Seoul Kitchen is one of the gems of the north, with fried chicken in multiple deep, tantalising flavours.
Enjoy the Crunch Fried Chicken (S$19.90) for the ultimate Korean-style crispy fried chicken. You’d be spoilt for choice by their multitude of flavours too, such as Korean Sweet Soy Chicken and Fried Chicken With Korean Spicy Sauce.
If you’d like to try everything, opt for the Original Combo Chicken Wing for S$39.90 for a mix of three flavours (fried, spicy and sweet soy) to satiate your curiosity.
Seoul Kitchen: 435 Sembawang Road, Singapore 758398 | Tel: +65 6483 0818 | Opening Hours: 11.30am – 11pm (Daily) | Facebook
Whether you’re here for a quick ice-cream stop or an indulgent waffle sesh, The Daily Scoop has something for you. Their huge display of ice cream flavours will compel you to return to try them all out.
Some of their cult-favourites are the Kookie Monster and Simply Chocolate. Get a single scoop for S$3.80 or pair your favourite two flavours together for a S$6.80 double scoop.
The ultimate indulgence here, though, is a single scoop of ice cream perched atop their warm, fluffy Waffle for S$7.80. To me, The Daily Scoop’s waffles are the best, and no one can convince me otherwise.
The Daily Scoop: 369 Sembawang Road, Sembawang Cottage, #01-05, Singapore 758382 | Tel: +65 6754 1233 | Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon to Thu), 11am – 10.30pm (Fri & Sat), 2pm – 10pm (Sun) | Other outlets | Facebook | Instagram | Website
Located a three-minute walk from Yishun MRT station, Old World Bak Kut Teh is a stall in Hiap Hoe Eating House serving traditional Teochew-style pork ribs soup and its famous fried porridge.
Even if you’re not a big fan of the peppery pork ribs broth, give Old World Bak Kut Teh a try for their Mixed Pig’s Organ Fried Porridge (S$5). Fragrant and smoky, this humble-looking dish will bowl you over with the feeling of home in each spoonful. This is the dish you’ll remember of all their offerings.
Of course, you probably want to hear about their bak kut teh too. The Pork Ribs Soup (S$6) boasts the most tender slices of pork that I’ve ever tasted. Swimming in a deliciously peppery broth, this is also a dish that is hard-to-miss.
First opened at Northpoint City in Singapore, the Korean pizza chain Pizza Maru has since sprouted in other parts of the island following their popular reception.
With their trademark pizza dough made with green tea and 12 kinds of cereals, Pizza Maru morphs the traditional Italian dish into something uniquely Korean. Their pizzas are fluffy, and hold a wealth of toppings.
The Real BBQ Chicago (S$26.90 for regular 9”) features a mind-boggling combination of savoury cheese, chicken, mushroom, onion and sweet honey, almond flakes and icing sugar. Though overall an acquired taste, Pizza Maru definitely breaks the bounds of food combinations as we know them.
Wash that all down with a cleansing Grape Fruit Soda Mocktail (S$10.90 for sharing).
Pizza Maru: 930 Yishun Avenue 2, Northpoint City (South Wing), #B1-192/193, Singapore 769098 | Tel: +65 6254 4307 | Opening Hours: 11.30am – 10pm (Daily) | Other outlets | Facebook | Instagram | Website
Stans of black carrot cake will be disappointed to know that 618 Sim Carrot Cake only serves white carrot cake. Meanwhile, inside, I’m smugly grinning.
Treat yourself with a hearty plate of White Carrot Cake (starting from S$3), with the option to add on prawns (from S$4.50). The chye poh (preserved radish), prawns and chives fried together with the mix adds more fragrance and crunch to the entire experience.
With generous portions enough for sharing, this fried carrot cake definitely counts as a crowd-pleaser. To the fans of black carrot cake, don’t hang back. Come and give this a try; you just might like it.
618 Sim Carrot Cake: 618 Yishun Ring Road, Fujo Eating House, #01-3230, Singapore 760618 | Opening Hours: 7am – 2pm (Wed to Mon), Closed on Tue | Facebook
With a modern take on traditional min jiang kueh (traditional thick pancake with fillings), Munchi Delights reinvents these chewy, airy pancakes in flavours such as charcoal and matcha (ground green tea leaf powder). For S$1.20, try the Matcha Pancake With Peanut for a throwback to childhood.
Whatever flavour you pick, their pancakes retain the airy, chewy consistency that makes min jiang kueh so iconic and satisfying. For a further break from tradition, they also have fillings such as Belgian Chocolate (S$1.80 per slice).
You can also find them at Ah Lock & Co. at Guoco Tower as part of their collaboration with Ah Lock Tofu, another hawker stall.
So there we have it—20 places to go in the Yishun and Sembawang area for a wide array of well-loved cuisines, for any time of day. As I was compiling this list, I got increasingly jealous of all the food up north that would require me to take (at least) an hour-long MRT ride. I think I’m going to need two full days to satisfy my cravings now.
How long would it take to work your way through this list?