Other than Amoy Street Food Centre, Hong Lim Food Centre, and Market Street Hawker Centre (previously known as “Golden Shoe Food Centre”), the other popular hawker centre popular with CBD workers is Tanjong Pagar Food Centre.
However, it is less talked about the others, perhaps also because it is not as “touristy”.
Home to 50-something stalls, it is located one level 2 of Tanjong Pagar Plaza Block 6, and a convenient 5 minute walk away from Tanjong Pagar MRT Station. There are quite many good hawker stalls here that go again the radar, and makes a good visit if you are in the area.
Established in 1977, it went through a refurbishment in 2014, and looked cleaner and brighter with energy-saving sky lighting.
One thing you may notice is the many Nasi Lemak stalls here, perhaps to cater to CBD workers who want their food fast, cheap and good.
Other than the 12 listed below, stalls to look out here include Traditional Hakka Rice, Xiang Xiang Nasi Lemak, Tanjong Pagar Fried Kway Teow, Herbal Kitchen, and Makan Sutera Nasi Lemak Pandan Rice. (I do miss the Annie’s Peanut Ice Kachang. Anyone remembers it?)
Tanjong Pagar Food Centre – 12 Favourite Stalls From Nasi Lemak, Curry Puff To Kueh Ho Jiak
Rong Xing Yong Tau Fu
Opening Hours: 7am – 2.30pm (Tues – Sat), Closed Sun, Mon
Hakka Style Yong Tau Fu with No-Added MSG
A piece goes for 70 cents here, with a minimum order of $3.50.
The best part of this dish here would be the soup with umami, cooked with soya beans for that light sweetness. In fact, you would find quite a number of soft soya beans within the soup which I enjoyed.
If you are undecided at what pieces to choose from, the all-time favourite includes the meat balls (both deep-fried and soup versions – they are quite bouncy and juicy) and fried tau-kee.
Another winning aspect is the mixture of sweet dark sauce and chilli – added with dried shrimps.
Note: A family member also opened a Rong Xing Hakka Yong Tau Fu located at the Taman Jurong Market & Food Centre.
Rolina Traditional Hainanese Curry Puff
Opening Hours: 9am – 2pm Daily
Hand-made Small Curry Puffs, With Michelin Bib Gourmand
The cutesy bite-sized Hainanese curry puff ($1.40 per piece) was about two-thirds the size of a Chang Kee. It was tightly packed and full of goodness. (Some complained it was too small though.)
Within its thin buttery skin, were brim-full pieces of soft cubic potatoes in curry paste and hard-boiled egg.
The name ‘Rolina’ came about because back when they still operated outside the Novena church, some customers couldn’t pronounce Novena and ended up calling it Rolina.
The stall was awarded the “Bib Gourmand” by the Michelin Guide in 2018. Rolina Traditional Hainanese Curry Puffs (Tanjong Pagar)
Delicious 美味 Mee Rebus, Mee Siam, Lontong
Opening Hours: 7am – 30pm (Mon – Tues, Fri – Sun), Closed Wed, THurs
This stall only sells 3 items – Mee Rebus, Mee Siam and Lontong, all affordably priced at $3.
It is quite an under-rated stall looking at how little coverage it received, but the line of customers and regulars do not lie.
The Mee Siam, complete with the thin orange rice vermicelli and tangy gravy, tasted rather old-school (like those I had while growing-up) – a taste that is fast disappearing.
Issan Thai Food
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 5:30pm – 8pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun)
Where you go for cheap, tasty Thai food within the CBD. Some of its popular offerings include Tom Yam Soup with Rice ($5.50), Phad Thai ($4.50), Thai Basil Rice ($5.00), Thai Fried Rice ($4.50), Green Curry with Rice ($5.50), Tang Hoon Salad ($5.00) and Mango Salad ($4.50).
While the taste may not be the most authentic-authentic around (probably tamed down on the spice levels to suit the office workers), it’s worth a visit if you have Thai-food cravings. Plus, they were recently recommended by the Michelin Guide (with a Michelin Plate).
Soon Heng Food Delights
Opening Hours: 9:00am – 2.30pm (Mon – Fri, Sun), Closed Sat
Lor Mee With Generous Toppings
Recommend by City Beat (who remembers this programme!), the basic $3 Lor Mee ($3) portion already comes with a good amount of toppings, although those with a larger appetites may want to go for the $4 or $5 portions.
Unlike many other Lor Mee stalls, the version here comes with many non-traditional toppings such as fried fish pieces and fried dumpling skin.
The gravy is thick, gooey, and slightly on the salty side.
Ming Kee Cooked Food
Opening Hours: 11am – 7pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 2pm (Sat), Closed Sun
Cai Png Stall Popular For Chicken Cutlet
Ming Kee Cooked Food has one of the longest queue during lunch time, but they can clear the line fast.
Unlike other cai png stalls where the dishes are cooked at one go at the start of the day, this stall chooses to cook their food in small batches and often replenishes the trays, keeping the food moderately free.
Some of the most-chosen items include the Fried Chicken Cutlet and Fried Fish.
Teochew Satay Bee Hoon
Opening Hours: 9.30am – 3:00pm Daily
Homemade Satay sauce Cooked With Over 20 Ingredients
An elderly couple were manning the stall when I visited, though it had slightly less traffic as it was at a less visible side of the food centre.
The Satay Bee Hoon ($3) came with the typical toppings including cuttlefish, pork liver and cockles, and the portions were generally quite generous.
The satay sauce is said to be cooked with over 20 ingredients, I liked that nutty flavour without being too sweet or spicy.
Lucky Wanton Noodle
Opening Hours: 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10pm (Mon-Fri), 11:30am – 10pm (Sat-Sun)
Springy Wanton Noodle With Spicy Sauce
There are times I like this version, while other times not so much when the noodles seemed overcooked. However, this wanton noodles stall is always getting a considerably long line.
Other than Wanton Noodles ($3.00), the stall also serves up Dumpling Noodles ($3.00), Chicken Feet Noodles ($3.00) and Wanton Soup ($3.00).
The noodles are considered springy, topped with char siew with wanton served in soup.
I would say the base sauce is between Singapore and Malaysia style, with the use of dark sauce and spicy chilli sauce.
Pandan Leaf Nasi Lemak
Opening Hours: 6.30am to 1pm daily. Closed on Sundays.
Generous Portion, Fragrant Rice
There are at least 3 Nasi Lemak stalls around. This stall sells theirs at only $3 with so many ingredients from a plump fried chicken drumstick, egg, ngor hiang, fishcake and dollop of sambal chilli.
My favourite parts are the crispy chicken with quite juicy meat, and the fragrant light-green pandan rice.
Blue Star Fishball Minced Meat Noodle
The fishball and minced meat noodles come with a generous serving of ingredients
This was my surprise find, as I originally didn’t have intention to have this, but joined in the queue anyway.
Some of the signatures include the Mushroom Minced Meat Moodle, Fishball Noodles, and Fish Dumplings Noodles, available in dry or soup versions, at $3.00 or $3.50.
The mee kia I had was well tossed in a savoury-spicy sauce, with an al dente bite.
There is also the option to get extra Minced Meat Fishballs which are more bouncy and juicy.
Peter Fried Kway Teow Mee
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 7.30pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 4.30pm (Sat). Closed Sun.
Char Kway Teow Fried With Special Soup
Said to be fried with some special soup, this stall has been around since 1969. It serves up two types of kway teow – Traditional Teochew Black Sweet Sauce Kway Teow ($3, $4), or Penang Style Fried Kway Teow ($4, $5).
I was not given the option though. The stall owner just asked, ”You want how much?”
I didn’t have intention to finish the plate at first (#caloriewatch) but finished all in the end.
There was strong wok hei, and the rice noodles were surprisingly not overly greasy.
Kueh Ho Jiak
Opening Hours: 7am – 3:00pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Multi-Coloured Ang Ku Kueh
Newest kid in the block, and I was immediately attracted to the Ang Ku Kueh with multi-coloured (primarily purple) skin.
The purple colour on the skin is said to come from sweet potato, with no added food colourings.
The Ang Ku Kueh (from $1.20) come in more traditional flavours such as mung bean, red bean and yam, to more wacky ones ($1.60) from durian, jackfruit to a hae bi hiam (spicy shrimp) which I really liked.
Both pretty and delicious.
Tanjong Pagar Food Centre
Block 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, 2nd Floor, Singapore 081006
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