We have come thus far towards the end of Singapore COVID Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) (Phase 2HA). How are you, fellow readers?
As we abide by Phase 2HA’s Safe Management Measures, I admired the resilience of business owners especially the hawkers on how they adapted to the sudden announcement of no dining in their premises and have to turnover within 2 days. Perhaps, the previous Circuit Breaker’s experience had helped them to turn around their physical business to online delivery option easier.
There are many food and beverage retailers managing the hawker centres, food courts and coffee shops in Singapore. One of them is NTUC Foodfare Co-operative Ltd (NTUC Foodfare) which is established in 1995, with the aims to moderate the cost of living in Singapore by providing affordable, tasty and quality cooked food to the community throughout the geographic locations.
Come and show your support for our hawkers by tasting the 15 must try dishes at the 3 chosen NTUC Foodfare locations below:
Watch our very first video by the Youth Team:
Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre
“East side, best side!” It is definitely a biased statement coming from someone who stays in the East. The two-storey high, Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre houses 42 stalls with traditional food and The Fareground situated at the highest level provides young hawkerpreneurs with an opportunity to whip up hipster worthy food. Most importantly, it used to have a live band in the evening for a chill-out session.
Spotted a traditional food stall called Food Fun among the hipster food stalls at The Fareground made us curious and decided to give Food Fun a try.
A silver age lady who believes in lifelong learning decided to give entrepreneurship a try when she decided to take over the stall. She passionately shared that though among her stall were staple food stalls which will be more appealing to the youth crowd, but the public would also like to have small bites too other than staple meals as well.
Hence, she introduced her one and only popiah.
#1 – Popiah
$2.30 for a popiah roll while $4.00 for 2 rolls.
Thin skin with rich ingredients such as chilli sauce, sweet sauce, turnips, eggs, lettuces, crushed peanuts for flavourful popiah. The best point of this popiah is not soggy at all!
#2 – Muah Chee
This is their latest addition when we were at the hawker centre.
Muah Chee in the house.
You will often see this traditional glorious glutinous dough with grounded peanut snack at the Fun Fair (Pasar Malam which Singapore called affectionately) but not many in the hawker centres due to the perception of unprofitability to sell just this snack. However, there are still hawker stalls selling it but not many will sell the sesame muay chee!
Don’t you miss the time walking down in the tentage, searching for traditional food at Pasar Malam? Come lend your support to this wonder stall owner as she started up her business at her silver age if you pass by Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre. Do not just search for staple food, buy a plate of childhood food back home for your family too.
110 Pasir Ris Central, Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre, #02-09, Singapore S519641
Reimondo Seafood congee
This hawker is no stranger to the media as it is widely covered by reputable food bloggers and local news.
Greed causes him to be in and out of prison for 8 years. The love of money caused his downfall and almost took his own life. The pregnancy of his second child was the turning point of his life to be determined to be free from greed and rekindled the falling marriage. Set on the path to having a stable job on his own, Raymond decided to give hawker life a second try and birth Reimondo Seafood Congee. What is amazing was that beyond his hawker life, he is also one of the ISCOS’s Titan Motivators where he shared his life story to people of all walks of lives to especially the youth to encourage them not to walk his path but to strive to do their very best in all areas of their lives.
You will not miss his gigantic menu which features the four specialities:
- Prawn UFO (4 pieces – $4.50)
- Seafood Congee ($6.90/$12.90)
- Tea Smoked Salmon ($9.90)
- Smoked Salmon Flakes and Lala Congee ($3.50).
The team bought Seafood Congee and Prawn UFO for a try!
#3 – Seafood Congee
We bought the $12.90 for sharing.
This huge bowl was filled with an array of seafood with condiments. A generous portion of crab meat was spotted along with scallop, prawn, smoked salmon flakes, dough fritters, preserved radish bits and spring onion.
#4 – Prawn UFO
Prawn UFO with mayonnaise.
This is a perfect match for the congee. The round shape skin with prawn filling in the centre makes it looks like UFO. The mayonnaise complemented the Prawn UFO and brought me back to childhood where my mum and I used to make prawn dumpling and fried them as snacks! A nostalgic moment when I sank my teeth into UFO!
A savoury bowl of congee packed with umami taste while complementing with the Prawn UFO is worth the travel to the East.
Reimondo Seafood Congee
110 Pasir Ris Central, Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre, #02-07, Singapore S519641
You will also not miss the big, bright yellow signboard of Daburu as you walk down the lane of the hawker centre. With the colourful menu, one will certainly be attracted to the stall to check it out, just like us.
#5- Champion Chicken Chop Hot Plate
Freshly cooked and served on sizzling hot plate.
We bought the Champion Chicken Chop Hot Plate with mushroom soup ($12.90). Daburu indeed lives up to its name – double when we saw the huge serving of the juicy and tender chicken chop on the sizzling plate. I love the buttered corn which is a good pairing with the greens. Not forgetting the well-cooked tomato-based spaghetti!
The huge serving and affordable price point will be well received not just by the youth crowd but also by the working adults around the area too!
110 Pasir Ris Central, Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre, #02-11, Singapore S519641
Xin Zai Hong Kong Vermicelli Roll
Begin its’ business towards the end of 2020, Xin Zai Hong Kong Vermicelli Roll is bringing you a taste of Hong Kong since the travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore does not come to any fruition.
We tried the signature dish – HK Style Shrimp Rice Roll ($4.80) which the local affectionately called it Chee Cheong Fun.
#6 – HK Style Shrimp Rice Roll
3 rolls of shrimp rice roll costs only $4.80 .
Drenched the soft and springy shrimp rice roll with light soya sauce to get a complete taste of this dish. As you savoured the rice roll, you will notice how generous is the stall owner by giving a full shrimp in the roll. A good alternative for breakfast too.
The next dish was in fact one of the teammates’ cravings, which is ……………….
#7 – HK Curry Fishball
8 pieces of fishball for the price of $3.80.
HK Curry Fishball is what she will always buy at the street food stalls when she travelled to Hong Kong. Hence, trying out this dish indeed allows her to relive her time in Hong Kong. What I will recommend will be to take a bite of the fishball and accompany it with a spoonful of curry sauce to be as realistic an experience as it is for street food. You can also purchase rice or noodles from the stall to serve it as a side dish too.
Come down to have an authentic Hong Kong experience if you miss travelling there!
Xin Zai Hong Kong Vermicelli Roll
110 Pasir Ris Central, Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre, #02-23, Singapore S519641
Heading to the north of Singapore to check out the delicious food offering at the next NTUC Foodfare location.
Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre
Situated near the Admiralty MRT station, Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre is accessible by public transport, though the Eastie in me will take a while to reach there.
With more than 43 hawker stalls and 900 seats available, you will also notice that the walls around Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre showcased the various traditional cuisines in Singapore.
Check out one of the wall displays of the various cuisine which Singapore has such as Hakka, Malays, Indian, etc.
Let’s read on to find out what are some of the traditional cuisines which we had tried.
The House 22
I was greeted by the elderly uncle selling traditional Nonya food which has 4 specialities:
- Nonya Mee Siam ($2.80)
- Mee Rebus ($2.80)
- Mee Soto ($3.00)
- Lotong ($3.00)
The House 22 also have another auntie sharing the stall with this uncle is selling Chwee kueh (steamed rice cake served with preserved radish) and Soon Kueh (steamed dumpling bamboo shoot cake) which are both Teochew cuisine where it involved using little usage of oil and cooking method such as stir-fry, steaming, poaching and braising to preserve the flavour of the ingredients.
The Peranakan cuisine has Chinese ingredients which have a strong Malay and Indonesian influences. Hence, we decided to try the Nonya Mee Siam.
#8 – Nonya Mee Siam
A portion just nice for 1.
The watery gravy of this Nonya Mee Siam is slightly on the sour and sweet side which is different from the usual Malay’s cuisine which is other than sour and sweet, it is also rather spicy and thick of the gravy. Overall, it is still worth the try if you are around this area if you want to have a break from the usual lunch meal.
The House 22
676 Woodlands Drive 71, Level 2, #02-29, Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre, Singapore 730676
Day Night Herbal Soup
One of the comforting food that I will go to if I felt like being healthy while eating Chinese cuisine.
#9 – Chicken and Mushroom Rice
$2.80 for a comfort bowl of happiness.
The Chicken and Mushroom Rice were steamed using less oil, moderate amounts of condiments which persevere the natural flavours of the ingredients.
Served piping hot from the steamer, this hearty chicken and mushroom rice makes a good Cantonese cuisine.
Day Night Herbal Soup
676 Woodlands Drive 71, Level 2, #02-08, Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre, Singapore 730676
What will come to your mind when people asked you about Indian cuisine in Singapore?
Probably, Roti Prata, Masala Chicken, Indian Rojaks and many more.
Naan, a soft and chewy leavened flatbread that originated from northern India will not be common to come to your mind. Hence, that is why worth the try at Best Zaika.
#10 – Naan
Naan is so versatile that it can be filled with various ingredients such as garlic, cheese, masala, tandoori, butter, etc.
I bought the plain naan ($1.00) and garlic naan ($1.50) which I have chosen fish curry sauce as the accompanied sauce instead of the usual yogurt sauce and spicy hummus. The naan is not too difficult to tear apart, love it with the tasty fish curry sauce.
676 Woodlands Drive 71, Level 2, #02-36, Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre, Singapore 730676
Father and Son Carrot Cake 父子档
You must be wondering where is Mother and Daughter in Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre and why is Father and Son appearing here as well as in Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre?
I have no idea too but perhaps they decided to bear the Father and Son’s branding instead? Oh well, what matters most is the carrot cake that we bought from this stall.
#11 – Carrot Cake
Black or white carrot cake? Which is your go-to?
$2.50 for a plate of carrot cake is a steal especially when all the food prices are rising. Not forgetting them having mixed carrot cake which consists of the white carrot cake and black carrot cake which not many hawker stalls will sell as it is rather troublesome to cook it. It will be filling for someone with a smaller appetite
Sadly, I did not get to meet the hunky son helping out in this stall but the food is still good! Probably you can head down to Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre to catch a glimpse of this hunk who is contributing his part to preserve the Teochew cuisine by being a hawkerpreneur along with his family (dad, mother and sister).
Father and Son Carrot Cake 父子档
676 Woodlands Drive 71, Level 2, #02-18, Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre, Singapore 730676
Kampung Admiralty is the first development in Singapore which integrate housing for the elderly with a wide range of social, healthcare, commercial and retail facilities for the community.
The fun fact is that it houses the Co-operative brands of NTUC Social Enterprise, namely NTUC Health which is the first Active Ageing Hub in Singapore, NTUC First Campus’s my first skool, NTUC Foodfare and NTUC FairPrice. This not just cater to the ageing population but also enable the three-generation to live together with such convenient facilities for both the young and aged.
After a hearty lunch in the hawker centre, how about taking a lift up to observe natures at the World Building of the Year 2018 at the World Architecture Festival’s Community Garden which consist of 18 species of a local fruit tree which resemble the kampung day.
Take a walk down the community garden to see the greenery scene.
Beatiful flowers blooming in this garden. Check out more when you are here!
Lastly, we are travelling to the West of Singapore in search of affordable and delicious food there.
Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre
Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre is the pioneer hawker centre which is managed by NTUC Foodfare. It houses 28 food stalls, and each stall has one best price dish for everyone so that none will be deprived of food choices.
Here are the 4 selected food from this hawker centre:
Saamsudeen Roti Prata
Have you tried frying the frozen prata you bought from the supermarket and it still will not be as tasty and the handmade version which you purchased from the stall? Nothing beat handmade food, hence this is one of the first few dishes I bought after the lifting of Circuit Breaker in 2020.
#12 – Murtabak
Murtabak is an Indian Muslim dish that is made of a thin dough that was filled with onion, chosen meat of your choice, Indian flavours, spices and egg. Just imagine roti prata being stuff with all the ingredients mentioned!
My intern cannot wait to dig into this huge piece of beef murtabak.
Look at the huge portion of the beef murtabak ($6) that I was sharing with my intern on our first meet up ever since our Work From Home arrangement in the organization! What is murtabak without the accompanying sauce? I love how thick the gravy of the curry sauce in Saamsudeen which paired so well with the Murtabak.
Saamsudden Roti Prata
2 Bukit Panjang Ring Rd, #01-04, Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre and Market, Singapore 67994,
Habib Sahra Indian Muslim Food
I have not eaten Indian Rojak since aged, hence I did not hesitate to order it despite that it is filled with deep-fried ingredients with spicy-sweet sauce.
#13 – Indian Rojak
It is a vast difference from the Chinese Rojak where it is made of cut off fruits, vegetable, dough fritters with shrimp paste. Indian Rojak can be taken as the main dish while Chinese Rojak is mainly served as a side dish.
Indian rojak in a takeaway style!
I chose a variety of choices such as fried prawn fritters, fried veggie dough, tofu, fish cake and more. However, I was surprised to see onion, cucumber and green chilli which add to the crunchiness of the Indian rojak.
How do you eat Indian Rojak? Do you dip it with the sauce in a separate bowl or will you drenched the sweet and spicy sauce to the food itself and mixed it before eating it? Let me know in the comment box below!
Habib Sahra Indian Muslim Food
2 Bukit Panjang Ring Rd, #01-05, Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre and Market, Singapore 67994,
Ming Xin Gourmet
I was really looking forward to Ming Xin Gourmet because of its Braised Pork Rice and Chicken Chop Curry Rice. It reminded me of my travelling trip to Taiwan in February 2020. Totally missing the solo YOLO trip that I did.
#14 – Mixed Vegetable Rice
Unfortunately, the hawker centre was in cleaning mode the day before my visit. Therefore, when I visited on the next day in the early afternoon, the stall owner did not have much turnover time to prepare for the above two items.
That gave me a chance to have my own creation! I have chosen chicken chop, egg and vegetable with the braised sauce since the curry sauce is unavailable. I guess this is considered Chicken Chop Braised Rice – Esther’s version.
This Chicken Chop Braised Rice costs $3.30. The chicken is crispy and tender too! I guess if I happened to be in the West, I will definitely travel to the hawker centre to try the dish that I really wanted to!
Ming Xin Gourmet
2 Bukit Panjang Ring Rd, #01-25, Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre and Market, Singapore 67994,
There is always room for desserts, isn’t it?
This is not your typical desserts found in hawker centres, but Taiwanese style desserts which usually found in independent store or shopping malls.
#15 – Pudding
Like Pudding has a variety of puddings to choose from the menu. You can choose either to have the pudding itself ($2 onwards) or add toppings such as red beans, taro balls, sweet potato balls, grass jelly and many more ($3-4)!
Grass jelly and mango pudding in such a cute cup.
We bought the mango pudding with topping to try! Small but mighty and packed with generous toppings made my trip from the East to the West so worth it.
Given the modest price point as compared to the Taiwanese desserts chain, I will surely buy it frequently if I lived near the hawker centre and when I have my craving for sweets desserts! Hence, I even bought another serving straight after this try!
They also have local desserts such as red bean soup, chendol, ice kacang and more!
2 Bukit Panjang Ring Rd, #01-15, Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre and Market, Singapore 67994,
The Rice Garden
What is common among the three hawker centres is they have Rice Garden which is a social outreach programme that aims to serve food to the community to promote affordable and healthy nutritious meals.
Rice Garden @ Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre
The stall owners are just like any stall owners other than they bear the Rice Garden’s name in their business. Come and support them!
Clear Your Own Tray and Crockery
Today is the day where National Environment Agency’s Tray Return Programme kicks in. All the diners are required to clear their own tables entirely on their own including tray, crockery, and litters such as shells, bones, tissues, straws, canned drink, etc that you used. The enforcement will start on 1 September 2021. If you do not abide by the rule after being issued a written warning, the offenders may face a $300 fine for their second offence and thereafter, composition or court fines.
How will you not be attracted to return your tray and crockery to the conveyor belts with such beautiful wall design at Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre?
The usual intentional effort to return your own tray and crockery via the designated tray return station at Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre.
Fortunately, there are many visual banners and stickers to remind diners at the NTUC Foodfare hawker centres throughout recent years to educate and inculcate the public to practice public hygiene. There are plenty of manual and automated tray returning stations set in place so that everyone can plays a part to maintain the cleanliness standard and public hygiene in Singapore.
We are all steward of the resources given to us.
The elderly cleaners will not lose their job if we are considerate to return our own tray and crockery to reduce the risk of disease transmission. In fact, this will reduce their workload and allowing them to focus on wiping and sanitising the tables while sorting out the dirty crockery at the tray returning stations too. If you can do it during your school days at the school canteens, what about doing it at fast food chains, hawker centres, coffee shops, and food courts NOW?
Though we are not able to dine in on 1 June 2021, but when we are able to, please remember to play a part to contribute to the community by clearing your own tray and crockery. A small step to change this habit must begin with you! As you model the way for the young to see, they will follow suit and it will eventually become a lifestyle instead of an enforcement order.
Stay home, stay safe and we will overcome COVID-19 together as a nation!