Singapore is known to be a food paradise since it offers so many cuisines on a tiny little island. And whenever we think about having some good food, most of us would gravitate towards fine dining restaurants or cafes in the central part of Singapore, partially also because they’re way more convenient.
Today, we’re not going to be talking about those restaurants. Instead, we’re going to be putting the spotlight on hidden gems in the heartlands. That’s right, we’re talking about places that are certainly worth the travel, and if you’re lucky, it might even just be a stone’s throw away from where you reside!
1. The Plain Jane
Fans of fluffy Swiss roll cakes can head to The Plain Jane, a cafe underneath an HDB block, for a quick fix. Their signatures include the Yuzu Swiss Roll, Chocolate Swiss Roll, and Earl Grey Swiss Roll. Take a bite of any of this and feel the richness of the cream coat your entire mouth.
The flavours are strong but not overwhelming, making it the perfect dessert to go with a cup of coffee.
Address: 211 Serangoon Avenue 4, #01-10, Singapore 550211
Opening hours: 12pm to 6pm (Wed – Fri) | 10am to 6pm (Sat & Sun)
2. Lit Lit Sin Dessert
While we may all love fancy cakes and desserts, many of us still have a special spot in our hearts for traditional desserts such as ice kachang. One good place that you can enjoy such desserts is Lit Lit Sin Dessert,
The Peanut Ice Kachang is one of the most raved desserts on the menu. It features a bowl of finely shaved ice (the ones that will melt instantly in your mouth) topped with a generous serving of ground peanuts, jelly, corn kernels, atap chee, and large red beans. This is the perfect dessert to cool you down after a hot day.
Address: 928 Yishun Central 1, #01-157, Singapore 760928
Opening hours: 10am to 7.30pm (Mon, Wed – Sun)
3. BCD Soon Tofu
You may have heard of SBCD Korean Tofu House, started by Chef Nam Kyoung Soo, a culinary veteran who has worked at several prestigious hotel chains in Seoul.
Apart from having outlets at Tanjong Pagar Centre, Millenia Walk, and Alexandra Retail Centre (its latest outlet), the chain also offers more affordable versions of their menu at kopitiam in Singapore.
The star in their dishes is their tofu, made using mature white soybeans specially imported from Paju, South Korea. The ingredients go through a rigorous preparation process; they’re boiled, curdled, and pressed in specific ways to achieve the taste and texture it is known for.
AVENUE ONE visited the BCD Soon Tofu hawker stall located at Ang Mo Kio (note: they have another stall at Punggol), which offers quick and affordable Korean meal sets that also come with their signature tofu.
The stall specialises in soft tofu soup – featuring a special broth prepared with a 10-ingredient secret recipe.
Prices range from S$6 for the Vegetable Soon Tofu Set to S$8 for the Seafood Soon Tofu Set. Each set comes with white rice, kimchi, and a pack of seaweed. You can also add on fried dumplings for S$4.50 for three pieces or S$6.50 for five pieces.
We tried the Seafood Soon Tofu and Pork Soon Tofu sets.
At S$8, the Seafood Soon Tofu set was very generous, and comes with two prawns, two clams, two mussels, and squid.
The Pork Soon Tofu Set was also delectable, and we felt that pork went even better with the broth compared to seafood.
The highlight of the meal was definitely the broth; it was naturally fragrant and sweet. It also tasted great when we doused our rice with it.
At its price and for its quality, this is certainly a stall we would revisit.
The stall is popular so expect a queue when you’re there.
4. Ivan’s Carbina
If you love the rosti from Marché, you’re probably also going to love the one served at Ivan’s Carbina. The rosti here is made from scratch, and the outside is crispy, while the inside is soft. The sour cream is also made in-house with the addition of lemon juice for a citrus tang.
Opt for the Cheesy Chicken Cutlet Roesti which comes with a chicken thigh atop a bed of rosti, or opt for the Snail Pork Sausage Roesti which comes with a 150g coil of sausage, a fried egg, a dollop of sour cream, and mushroom gravy.
The wait is certainly worth it!
5. Reiwa Soba Honten
Reiwa Soba started out as a Japanese hawker stall at Kelantan Road, but soon expanded its business to another hawker stall at Clementi (this has unfortunately closed permanently), a standalone fully air-conditioned outlet at Bedok called Reiwa Soba Honten, and an upcoming new outlet at Chinatown Point.
If you stay in the East, head to Reiwa Soba Honten, a cafe underneath a housing block with minimalistic Japanese decor, for some authentic soba noodles that are made in-house.
Dip the soba noodles into their house-made dipping sauce and let the flavours wash over you. This serves as a great choice on days that you feel like having a lighter meal. Plus, since it’s fully air-conditioned, it provides the perfect respite from the heat!
Address: 740 Bedok Reservoir Road, #01-3177, Singapore 470740
Opening hours: 11.30am to 2.30pm and 5.30pm to 10pm (Mon, Tue, Thu – Sun)
6. CROLO by Swee Heng
CROLO by Swee Heng has recently just opened its third outlet at Tampines MRT Station and if you haven’t gone to try it, you’re missing out!
CROLO is the place to head to for your croffle (a croissant and waffle hybrid) and croissant fix. There’s a huge selection of both sweet and savoury for you to choose from, making it perfect for your every mood.
For those with a sweet tooth, you can try the Peach Croffle, Chocolate Custard Croissant or the Milo Dinosaur Croissant, while those who prefer savoury treats can opt for the Snow Crab Mentaiko Croffle, Spicy Korea Chicken Croffle, or Smoked Chicken and Cheese Croffle.
Address: 20 Tampines Central 1, #01-08, Tampines MRT Station, Singapore 529538
Opening hours: 10am to 10pm (Mon – Sun)
7. Tigerlily Patisserie
Who said you had to travel to the central region of Singapore just to enjoy some nice cafe food? Tigerlily Patisserie is easily one of the best when it comes to both savoury and sweet pastries. After all, its executive pastry chef Maxine Ngooi previously had stints at Michelin-starred restaurants like Joel Robuchon and Vianney Massot.
For those who prefer savoury bakes, opt for the Monsieur Kim, which is a ham and cheese grilled sandwich with kimchi added to it for a slight kick,
For sweets, try their array of cakes such as the Pink Guava & Pear cake, or the Beehive, an aesthetically pleasing lemon sponge cake and honey parfait made to look exactly like a beehive.
8. Fei Gong Cart Noodle
Fei Gong Cart Noodle is a relatively new hawker stall that just opened late last year. It specialises in selling authentic Hong Kong-style cart noodles with 20 toppings for you to customise your noodles with. For those who are unfamiliar with this dish, the ordering process is simple.
You first choose which type of noodle you’d like – vermicelli, yellow Hokkien noodles, flat rice noodles, or thin egg noodles. Then, you can go on to choose whatever toppings you would want to add to your bowl of noodles. Some of the toppings include pig intestine, beef brisket. pork ears, chicken mid-joint wing, pickled vegetables, braised egg, and curry fish ball.
Once you’re done, proceed to choose your sauce! You can choose between original, braised sauce, curry, and beef broth.
This is certainly a place to check out especially if you’re in the area.
Address: 80 Marine Parade Central, Singapore 440080
Opening hours: 10am to 9pm (Mon, Wed – Sun)
9. Hai Kee Teochew Cha Kuay Teow
Instead of heading to restaurants all the time, many of us still prefer the affordable yet delicious hawker food that we’ve grown up with. And one of the dishes that is a crowd-favourite is char kway teow. If you’re on the hunt for a good plate of char kway teow, Hai Kee Teochew Cha Kuay Teow is the exact stall you should patronise.
Run by owner Loh Kwee Leng with more than 50 years of experience, he does a one-man show of taking orders, preparing the ingredients, cooking the noodles, and serving them. And to maintain a high level of quality, the owner prepares each plate one at a time.
The stall’s business is so good that you could be queuing for at least 60 to 90 minutes before getting your food, so we’d recommend heading there as early as 5pm to queue. We promise you your tummy will be grumbling the moment you finally get to settle down with a piping hot plate of char kway teow.
You’ll find generous servings of large cockles and crispy pork lard peppered in the char kway teow, enhancing every mouthful. Once you start, you won’t be able to stop.
Address: 11 Telok Blangah Crescent, #01-102, Singapore 090011
Opening hours: 5pm to 9pm (Mon – Sat)
10. Feng Xiang Bak Kut Teh Beauty World
If you’ve never tried fried porridge before, you’re missing out. The fried porridge at Feng Xiang Bak Kut Teh Beauty World is one that you have to try because the flavours are so strong here, and you can really taste the wok hei in each grain.
Each bite is a burst of flavours that will keep you wanting more. Pair the fried porridge with their Malaysian-style herbal bak kut teh for an even better dining experience.
Address: 144 Upper Bukit Timah Road, #04-65, Beauty World Food Centre, Singapore 588177
Opening hours: 10.30am to 3pm and 4.30pm to 8pm (Mon – Fri) | 9am to 3pm and 4.30pm to 8pm (Sat & Sun)
Website | Facebook
11. Khoon Kee Tasty Prawn Mee
It’s difficult to find places that serve good prawn noodles that aren’t just filled with monosodium glutamate (MSG). Thankfully, there are still a few stalls in Singapore that offer authentic prawn noodles that are hearty. One of them is Khoon Kee Tasty Prawn Mee.
The best menu on the item here as recommended by the owner of the stall is the Pork Ribs Prawn Noodle. This hearty bowl features wild sea prawns that are cooked to order, springy yellow noodles, pork lard, some beansprouts, kangkong, and an absolutely heavenly soup.
Taste the sweetness of the fresh prawns with every bite you take. We bet you would be slurping up all the soup right down to the bottom by the end of the meal!
Address: 85 Redhill Lane, #01-58, Redhill Food Centre, Singapore 150085
Opening hours: 8am to 1pm (Wed – Mon, Closed on Tue)
12. Lee’s Confectionery
Dessert lovers will love this little cafe that is located near Chinese Garden MRT station. This confectionery is home to many visually appealing pastries, such as tarts and cakes.
When you’re here, you definitely have to give the Lime Tart a try. The almond tart shell provides the perfect combination to the lime almond cake with lime cream and lime zest. This is such a refreshing treat, and it doesn’t just stop there.
Owner-baker Lee Yin Quan also makes sure to plate his pastries, thus elevating the entire dining experience.
Post a picture of the pastry that you’re eating and we can guarantee that no one would think you’re at a neighbourhood cafe!
Address: 343 Jurong East Street 31, #01-59, Singapore 600343
Opening hours: 12pm to 7pm (Mon, Thu – Sun)
Smoocht is a vegan pizzeria and ice cream cafe tucked underneath a housing block, and if you don’t stay around the area, you probably wouldn’t know that this cafe actually exists.
Come in here and start off with some appetisers such as the White Truffle Fries and the Fresh Mushroom Soup. For mains, you can choose from their wide selection of food, such as Avocado Toast, Pancakes, Burgers, Pasta, and Pizzas. We’d recommend getting a main each and sharing a pizza!
And after you’re done with your mains, conclude the meal with some ice cream! You can even opt to pair the ice cream with either their waffles or brownies. Their ice cream is made from organic brown rice milk, fruits, and nuts, yet they taste exactly the same to normal ice cream.
Smoocht also serves a variety of drinks, including coffee, tea, smoothies, and shakes that you can enjoy as you have your meal.
14. Nam Sing Hokkien Fried Mee
The famous Old Airport Road fried hokkien mee stall has just opened its third outlet in Bukit Batok West – its first in the West.
Nam Sing Hokkien Fried Mee is an iconic brand that has been serving up delicious plates of hokkien mee since 1963.
When AVENUE ONE tried its hokkien mee at its Bukit Batok West outlet and enjoyed the evident taste of wok hei. The flavour of prawns isn’t overwhelming, but is more nuanced – which is great for us.
Note that Nam Sing doesn’t serve its hokkien mee with belacan, instead, it’s served with sliced red chilli and lime, supposedly the traditional way of enjoying hokkien mee as it’s less overwhelming.
Given that the queue at its Old Airport Road stall is so long that wait can go up to an hour, we were pleased to see that the queue is a lot more manageable at its Bukit Batok stall. We only had to wait for around 15 minutes to get our food on a Monday afternoon.
You can opt for its classic size at S$5 or go for a bigger portion at S$8.
Address: 177 Bukit Batok West Ave 8, Singapore 650177
Opening hours: 11am to 9pm (Sun – Mon)
15. 58 Minced Meat Noodle
If you love bak chor mee, aka minced meat noodles, you need to pay 58 Minced Meat Noodle a visit. This hawker stall is very popular amongst those who have visited it since it was first established back in 1973 at the old Taman Jurong Food Centre.
The business was later handed over to the owner’s son, who took two years to master the art of cooking noodles to get to the same standard of his father. Each bowl comes with minced meat, pork slices, pork lard, mushroom, and pig liver. You can choose the type of noodles that you want, like thin egg noodles (mee kia), thick yellow noodles (mee pok), and even flat rice noodles (kway teow).
When you arrive, you can expect to queue for about 20 to 30 minutes because that’s how popular it is, but all the frustration from waiting will melt away the moment you take a mouthful of their bak chor mee.
Do note that this stall is only open till 2pm, so make sure you head there early with some time allowance for queuing to avoid disappointment!
Address: 3 Yung Sheng Road, #03-150, Taman Jurong Food Centre, Singapore 618499
Opening hours: 8am to 2pm (Mon, Thu – Sun)
16. Bernas Food Corner
If you’re in the mood for some Muslim food, stop by Bernas Food Corner at Tradehub. This may be a little out of the way, but it’s worth the travel. Bernas Food Corner is a small little stall located within a coffee shop at Tradehub that mostly caters to the office crowd in the area, but sometimes, you would notice families bringing their kids here for a meal too.
Possibly everyone’s favourite item on the menu is the deep fried chicken. The chicken is fried to perfection, with very crispy skin that is slightly spicy. The chicken here is so good that we’ve personally seen people order just three pieces of chicken with rice to eat. The meat is succulent, and it tastes even better when you pair it with the stall’s homemade sambal chilli.
Many of the dishes that Bernas Food Corner serves are delicious, but if we could only recommend one item for you to try, it’s the deep fried chicken!
As this stall caters to the office crowd, it’s only open on weekdays. Do try to come earlier to queue if you want to avoid the lunch crowd!
Address: 18 Boon Lay Way, OK SG, Singapore 609966
Opening hours: 10am to 1pm (Mon – Fri)
You don’t have to travel to Taiwan just to eat the famous gua bao that is sold at Taiwanese night markets, you can just head to Abundance for your Taiwanese cuisine fix!
Here, you can enjoy stewed melt-in-your-mouth pork belly, pickled mustard greens, coriander, and ground peanuts sandwiched between a steamed lotus leaf bread.
Other dishes that you can order include the Red Hot Chilli Dumplings, Prawn Toast, Fried Beancurd Skin, Olive Fried Rice, Red Hot Chilli Dumpling Noodles, and Niu Yolk Fried Rice.
For desserts, you can also try out the Peanut Ice Cream Roll which features ice cream wrapped in popiah skin, with greens and ground peanuts!
Address: 63A Lengkok Bahru, #01-378, Singapore 151063
Opening hours: 11am to 3.30pm and 5pm to 9.30pm (Tue – Sat) | 11am to 3.30pm and 5pm to 9pm (Sun)
18. Sheng Ji Fishball Noodle
If the long queues at Sheng Ji Fishball Noodle isn’t telling of its popularity, we don’t know what is. Enjoy a bowl of traditional fishball noodles with a springy texture. The chilli gives a slight kick to the fishball noodles, but it’s still considered bearable! If you’re not someone who can take spice, we’d recommend opting for the ketchup version; it still tastes pretty good!
This stall is run by an old couple and their daughter, and they are very generous when it comes to adding pork lard to your fishball noodles. As people who are huge fans of pork lard, we would always request for more upon ordering!
The soup also compliments the noodles well, and with this, you probably wouldn’t even think about ordering a drink.
Address: 116 Bukit Merah View, #01-217, Kim San Leng, Singapore 151116
Opening hours: 6am to 4pm (Mon – Sun)
19. Lor Mee 178
Not many people are fans of lor mee, but the one served by Lor Mee 178, a hawker stall at Tiong Bahru Market, is guaranteed to have you falling head over heels for it.
The lor mee here comes with a braised egg and fried shark fish meat along with some crispy bits that enhance the flavours of the lor mee, giving it additional textures that will be a delight to your tastebuds. The fish meat is fresh and crispy, and not at all soggy from the gravy, which we know can be quite a turn off.
After you’ve received your bowl of lor mee, you can also choose the garnishing you would like to add. You can even adjust the amount however you like!
Address: 30 Seng Poh Road, #02-23, Tiong Bahru Market, Singapore 168898
Opening hours: 7am to 1.45pm (Tue, Thu – Sun)
A new addition to the Potong Pasir area is RISE, a cafe that offers freshly baked pastries along with good coffee (not to be mistaken with Marina Bay Sands’ RISE). The entire cafe is so visually pleasing that we can already predict the amount of people who would flood this place for its Insta-worthy treats and photo spots!
Unlike other cafes, there’s also a small cosy area outdoors where you can dine, making RISE that much more unique as compared to others.
Grab some ice cream with your girlfriends, indulge in aesthetic cakes, or share some Brown Butter Waffles with your partner. We assure you it’s going to be a great way to spend your afternoon on the weekends!
Address: 148 Potong Pasir Avenue 1, #01-53, Singapore 350148
Opening hours: 10am to 6pm (Mon, Wed – Sun)
21. Yúng Yúng
Recently, there has been a craze over cream-filled doughnuts and if you’re wondering where you can get delicious ones, head over to Yúng Yúng!
The doughnuts are freshly made everyday and the aroma is enough to make your mouth water as you queue. The exterior of the doughnut is crispy, while the interior is fluffy soft; the perfect kind of doughnut you would want to be eating. The shop is also very generous with its fillings, so the treat is even more tasty and sinful.
Some of the flavours available include Bis-Choco, Butter, Chocolate, Peanut, and Kaya. It’s recommended that you eat the doughnuts while they’re hot so that you can enjoy in their full glory.