Market Street Interim Hawker Centre can be a mini-mayhem come lunch time, with long queues at many of the popular stalls, and finding a seat for a group close to impossible.
CBD workers rush to order or ta-bao inexpensive hawker food, ’chope-ing’ tables with packets of tissue paper, name cards, umbrellas and what-have-nots.
It is quite a sight, and rather stressful really.
This is temporary food centre as the iconic Golden Shoe Food Centre was demonlished to make way for a new building.
After having stalls that have been selling local food at Raffles Place for the past 33 years, it was sad to see Golden Shoe Food Centre go.
At least for the good news, most of the stalls (except Market Street Long House Popiah) have relocated to the Market Street Interim Hawker Centre just next to Telok Ayer MRT station, all situated within the ground level.
How I did this guide was to visit one stall per weekday, after observing which stalls have the longest lines and talking to those who work in the vicinity. Here are 10 stalls at Market Street Interim Hawker Centre you can try out:
Ah Liang Ipoh Hor Fun
Unit No: 01-35
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 9pm (Mon – Fri), Closed Sat, Sun
Slippery Hor Fun, Gravy and Condiments Made From Scratch
”I want to be fast too. Take-away or eating here, let me know” You will see this announcement pasted on the stall front.
Be sure and decisive when you make your orders here, as this queue is easily the longest during lunch hours.
Most of the office workers are prepared to wait in line for a delicious plate of Ipoh Hor Fun, in varieties of Shredded Chicken with Fried Fish Dumpling & Prawn ($4.50, $5.50); Crab Meat ($3.50, $4.50) – should be crabstick; Prawn ($3.50, $4.50); Seafood Hor Fun ($4.50, $5.50); and Fried Wanton Hor Fun ($3.50, $4.50).
This Ipoh Hor Fun is not quite like the usual hor fun you come across in most Singapore food centres. Served with a flavourful dark sauce, this savoury Ipoh Hor Fun has a recipe that is unique to the stall owner, Mdm Ong.
I liked how slipppery smooth the rice noodles went with the gravy, and the fried fish dumplings are not to be missed.
Unit No: 01-03
Opening Hours: 7am-7pm (Mon-Fri)
Famous Crispy Fried Chicken
Look out for two things here – Power Boneless Mutton Curry, and Famous Crispy Fried Chicken.
While Golden Nur sells a range of delicious Indian food from Indian Mee Goreng, Murtabak Chicken, to Roti Prata what they are best known for is their Fried Chicken Nasi Briyani ($6).
Fried to a crisp, Golden Nur’s Nasi Briyani will definitely hit the soft spot of all fried chicken lovers. I was surprised that it came out looking velvety red, and the best parts were the crunchy parts mixed with the fragrant long grain basmati rice and sauces. It was somewhat oily but very sedap.
Besides their Fried Chicken Nasi Briyani, their Sardine curry puff is also quite the crowd pleaser. If you are here in the morning or you just feel like having something light, perhaps give their Sardine curry puff a try.
Q Hor Fun
Unit No: 01-26
Tel: +65 8575 7557
Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm (Mon – Fri), Closed Sun
Opened by young hawkers and also at Market Street Food Centre, this is not your ordinary Ipoh Hor Fun stall, as there are a couple of fun surprises in store for you (and your palate).
Other than the rather safe Ipoh Shredded Chicken Hor Fun ($4.50), other choices include Curry Pork Chop Hor Fun ($4.50), Curry Fried Fish Hor Fun ($5) and Pork Chop with Mushroom Hor Fun ($4.50).
So there is either the classic mushroom sauce or curry.
However, there is still the more adventurous-tasting Chicken Chop Yuan Yang Hor Fun ($4.50), a combination of both sauces.
The creamy curry sauce took on the more primary role as it covered the more herbal braised sauce, but I liked that light coconuty fragrance and meaty chicken pieces.
Upon mixing, it was one messy goodness that strangely reminded me of the gooey Scissors Cut Curry Rice.
Wei Nan Wang Lor Mee
Unit No: 01-46
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 3pm (Mon-Fri)
Lor Mee Cooked By Old Uncle and Auntie, Less Salt And Oil Used
What makes Wei Nan Wang Lor Mee stand out from other Lor Mee stalls in Singapore was that its gravy was lighter and less starchy.
There is a slightly sour taste, added with the right amount of vinegar.
While the stickiness of the gravy was toned down, the Lor Mee takes it up a notch with its sizeable portion and generous amounts of ingredients such as fried wanton, handmade ngoh hiang, braised meat, and tau kee. All priced at $3 (or $4 for jia liao.)
Uncle and auntie still helms this stall, and they sure look like an amiable loving couple.
Johnson Western Food
Unit No: 01-37
Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm (Mon-Fri)
For Old School Western Food .
Delectable Western food can come from the most down-to-earth places and the owners of Johnson Western Food certainly know how to serve a plate of irresistible Chicken Cutlet ($5).
Marinated and fried to a crisp, the cutlets are then served with a creamy serving of coleslaw.
If you are not that into deep fried food, perhaps give their Mixed Grill ($8) a try which is also a pretty popular item on their menu.
Tiong Bahru Wanton Mee
Unit No: 01-12
Opening hours: 7:30am-3pm (Mon-Fri)
Home-Roasted Char Siew
Not to be confused with any other stalls in Tiong Bahru. The distinctive feature is the thick slices of home-roasted char siew which is more charred than usual, with a good amount of fats.
The eggy noodles are tossed in a savoury brown gooey sauce, and makes it quite a delicious combination. Sold at $3.50 or $4.50. (I used to prefer this when it was back at Golden Shoe though.)
Note: There is another stall called Tiong Bahru Roasted Noodle House located at the same food centre, in which the char siew is sweeter.
Market Street Nasi Lemak
Unit No: 01-24
Opening hours: 8:30am – 7:30pm (Mon-Fri), 8:30am-3pm (Sat)
Rice Sets Start at just $3.00
There are 3 sets of Nasi Lemak here – Set 1 with chicken drumstick ($3.50), Set 2 with wings, and Set 3 with fried fish.
The most popular Set 1 consists of quite a variety of ingredients on coconut rice, such as drumstick, fried fish, ikan bilis, fried egg, and otah.
The coconut rice was fragrant and not oily, and service quick.
Say Seng Dry Mee Pok
Unit No: 01-41
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 2:30pm (Mon-Fri)
Home-made Chilli Sauce and Fishballs
Say Seng has an interesting price system. Food is sold at $3 to $6 up to 11:00am, and different $4 to $6 during peak hour lunch.
Established since 1960, Say Seng Dry Mee Pok has been mastering its noodle trade for more than 50 years.
The star is in the bouncy and soft handmade fishballs. The gravy also has a good balance of vinegar, chilli, and light soy sauce.
Teochew Kway Teow Mee (01-08)
Unit No: 01-08
Opening Hours: 6am – 2pm (Mon-Fri)
Opens At 6:00am And A Popular Choice For Breakfast.
The orange bowl of Kway Teow soup looked unassuming and plain, and I was half-suspecting if the broth would be bland. Proven wrong when I took my first sip.
Its warm clear soup was light yet sweet and flavour, which made it a great comfort food. The minced pork added some saltiness into the mix. If you prefer a lighter palette, you might like Teochew Kway Teow Mee’s rice noodles. One of the few times I enjoyed noodles in soup.
Tian Fu Fried Bee Hoon (01-52)
Unit No: 01-52
Opening hours: 8am – 2pm (Mon – Fri)
Sets start from only $2.60.
This economic bee Hoon stall sees long queues on a regular basis, but I suspect it was more popular before the move as the current stall is at a hidden side.
There is a range of sides you can choose from, but popular choices are usually the fried chicken wings and fried eggs.
I won’t say this is exceptionally delicious, but what is great about the fried Bee Hoon here is that it wasnt too oily or too dry, and has just the right about of flavour, texture and more to the wet side.
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