I love and hate suppers.
The word oozes comfort and coziness, where you hang out with your friends for a late-night meal over prata, zhi char and nasi lemak. You talk about the good old days, and somehow the spread of food just makes it all more enjoyable.
Yeah, the strange thing is… the dishes can be average tasting, but somehow get more appetizing after 11pm.
Alas, I am also cutting down on suppers. I can have it 2-3 times a week in the past – it was no big deal, but a single time now and I “yuan qi da shang” – calories up, tummy goes bigger, and the Z-monster attacks. AGE.
With all that said, suppers are really happy times for bonding. In Singapore, there are several favourite suppers spots. Here are 12 of them.
Seng Kee Black Chicken Herbal Soup
475/477 Changi Rd, Singapore 419893
Tel: +65 6746 4089
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3:30am Daily
Popular among those in the east, Seng Kee is known for their signature Black Chicken Herbal Soup ($15) containing ‘silkie’ chicken – a smaller leaner poultry breed, added with wolfberries, and Chinese yam.
But what I am usually there for, is the Kidney Mee Sua ($5.00). Served in a dark red bowl, it contained dark coloured thick soup which emitted steamy smells of herbal goodness.
When scooped up, there were generous portions of neatly cut pieces of kidney and lean pork slices which melt tenderly in your mouth.
If you like your soup herbal and slightly peppery, this will be your heaven on a cool rainy weather. Plus it is not so overpowering that is obscures the taste of the pork. The best part of the soup was the mee sua, silky smooth and not overcooked till mushy.
Ya Hua Rou Gu Cha
593 Havelock Rd, Singapore 169641
Tel: +65 6235 7716
Opening Hours: 11am – 2am (Tues, Thurs), 11am – 3am (Wed, Fri, Sat), 11am – 10pm (Sun), Closed Mon
Keppel Branch: 7 Keep Road #01-05/07 PSA Tanjong Pagar Complex
Opening Hours: 7am – 3am (Tues – Sat), 7am – 1am (Sun), Closed Mon
Founded by Madam Gwee Peck Hua and her sister Madam Gwee Guek Hwa, Outram Park Ya Hua Rou Gu Cha claims to serve you the finest bowl of Teochew-style Bak Kut Teh.
The restaurant is a go-to spot for family suppers and midnight cravings. The prices have gotten more steep than before, but the service and ambiance are good enough. Spare Ribs Soup start from $8.00, while Braised Pig Trotters are at $7.
Their Bak Kut Teh used to be quite good. Since the expansion, the soup has somewhat lost somewhat some of its original flavours. However, if you have a sudden craving for a peppery, clear Teochew style soup at 3 AM, this is a place to go.
Kko Kko Nara
68 Tanjong Pagar Rd, Singapore 088489
Phone: +65 6225 9282
Opening Hours: 12pm –3pm, 6pm – 3am (Mon-Sun)
If you are crazy about Korean Fried Chicken, head over to Kko Kko Nara to satisfy your cravings.
Kko Kko Nara is your typical Korean restaurant that offers a variety of Korean dishes apart from fried chicken. It stays open till 3am and has a ‘bar-like’ setup ideal for friends and families.
Die-hard fans of crispy fried chicken, you must grab the Combo Chicken Set ($25) that has different flavors such as sweet & sour, soy sauce and garlic chicken.
Apart from all the chicken madness, do try their Kimchi Pancake ($20) and a hot bowl of Budae JjiGae – Army Stew ($25).
Ponggol Nasi Lemak
965 Upper Serangoon Rd, Singapore 534721
Tel: +65 6281 0020
Opening Hours: 5:30pm – 3am
Jalan Besar Branch: 371 Jalan Besar, #01-01, Singapore 208998
Opening Hours: 12pm – 11am
Tanjong Katong Branch: 238 Tanjong Katong Road Singapore 437026
Opening Hours: 5:30pm – 2:30am
Ponggol Nasi Lemak is a heritage brand that strives to bring you authentic nasi lemak flavors.
The late-night supper spot has a variety of combo sets and value meals. Generally consistent and easy on the pocket.
A set with 2 Chicken wings and Ikan Billis goes for $5.70.
Thai Hom Mali grain is used for the rice, which did give it an edge – long grained, aromatic, resonating with flavours of coconut milk.
The overall feel was dry, compared to some other nasi lemak rice which could be more moist and fluffy.
The winner is really in its home-made sambal chilli sauce, which brought the chicken wings (and other items) to another level.
Swee Choon Tim Sum
183-191 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208882
Phone: +65 6225 7788
Opening Hours: 11am – 2:30pm, 6pm – 6am (Mon-Sun)
I literally ‘grew up’ eating this, and watch Swee Choon turn from a small stall to this favourite haunt for many young people.
In the heart of Jalan Besar, Swee Choon Tim Sum is a sweet spot filled with hungry people, fond memories, and favorite dishes.
The eatery has a huge variety of dim sum items and is a go-to place for after-party hangouts and curbing late-night cravings for snacks. The prices are generally great, and the restaurant is air-conditioned.
Even though I am a fan, the food well, is not THAT not excellent, but passable for a light supper.
Other than the Mee-Suah Kueh ($2.40), my go-to order is the Spicy and Sour Soup ($4.50). Never mind this is not exactly a dim sum dish. Very comforting, a very Singaporean style of Sichuan soup, just right in terms of saltiness, spiciness and oiliness.
907 East Coast Road, #01-02 Springvale, Singapore 459107
Tel: +65 6242 2645
Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm, 6pm – 3am (Mon – Sun)
Kota88 Restaurant is one of the new Chinese-Indonesian concepts in Singapore, located at 907 East Coast Road, near the Siglap side.
For supper goers, the restaurant is opened till 3AM DAILY, for you to have comforting bowls of congee, and dishes from assorted satay, roasted duck and chicken, to fried seafood.
The Nasi Campur Babi ($12.88) literally means “mixed pork rice”, and is the signature item in the Kota88 menu.
Here’s what you’ll get when you order this: a serving of nasi putih (white rice) surrounded by small portions of Roast Pork, Char Siew, Braised Pig Ear, Sweet Pork Satay, Sio May (Siew Mai), and Ngo Hiang.
Along with the pork gang, there is half a soy egg for an extra flavour.
The Ramen Stall
787 North Bridge Road, North Bridge Rd, Singapore 198755
Phone: +65 6655 0800
Opening Hours: 5pm – 5am (Mon – Sat), 12pm – 12am (Sun)
It is a halal-certified restaurant where you can indulge in a range of Japanese cuisine.
Open all night, the Ramen Stall invites you to have a bowl of ramen and other Japanese delicacies with friends.
Recommended is the Volcano Ramen ($11) – 3 levels of spiciness to choose from, with the dollops of “red hot lava” made with red chillis and dried Indian chilli padi.
One man’s spicy is another man’s mild.
Level 3 was totally manageable for me, but that is me. I know of people who had Level 2 and broke out in sweat. To play it safe, take a Level 1 or 2, try the soup without the chilli first, then slowly mix it in to your preference.
Hai Di Lao Hotpot
1 Harbourfront Walk, #03-09 Vivocity, Singapore 098585
Tel: +65 6250 7557
Opening Hours: 10:30pm – 6am (Mon – Sun)
Hai Di Lao Hotpot, the famous chain of hot pot restaurants was founded in China. Today it has several outlets in different countries including Singapore. The outlets are at Orchard Road, Clarke Quay, 313@Somerset, IMM, Vivocity and Bedok Mall.
Other than food, it is also known for its friendly service and treatment with watermelon slices, crackers, popcorn, and some revitalizing manicures before the meal itself. There is a photo-booth where you can get yourself a one-photo print-out.
If you are with a group of friends, go for a Quadruple Pot. You can select bases from Spicy Sichuan, Tomato, Mushroom, Chicken, Seafood, Laksa and Sichuan Pickles. The to-go-for is the rich and tangy tomato soup, and I have learnt to ask the wait staff to make the Laksa broth thicker.
Do not forget to amuse yourself with Dancing Noodles.
3A River Valley Rd, 01-07-A, Singapore 179020
Opening Hours: Lunch 12:30am – 5:00pm (Thurs to Sun) Dinner 5:30pm – 2am (Sun – Thurs), 5:30pm – 3am (Fri – Sat)
Imagine refreshing cocktails, awesome Latin American music, a group of good friends and a platter of authentic Mexican street food.
The waiting is long, and you might even leave the place frustrated. On the other hand, the tacos are scrumptious, and the overall vibe of the restaurant is great.
The Chicken Fajita Tacos is made with tortillas from their own tortilla factory right here in Singapore. To spice up your meal, drip some of that salsa sauce that will set your tongue all tingling.
Bite into crunchy tortillas, savor the flavors of quesadillas, relish the warmth of chicken fajita, share a platter of chips and salsa, and take a sip of Mojito.
Scissors Cut Curry Rice
229 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208905
Tel: +65 9826 1464
Opening Hours: 11am – 3:30am
It is a mystery how the legendary Hainanese curry rice was invented.
The restaurant is famous for its clacking, metallic snapping sound of the scissors… and of course its rice. The serving size is generous, prices are affordable (though not as in the past), and generally popular late night place hang-outs.
While the curry rice looks extremely unappetizing and ugly, fans say they taste heavenly, covered with gooey sauces and toppings of your choice.
My personal favourite dish was the Braised Pork, sliced into thin rectangular shapes, of tender meat braised in a dark greasy sauce. The cabbage was cooked till pale green and squashy, but tastefully soft.
Sometimes (getting more often of late), the deep fried items get served too old, and therefore not crisp enough.
Gu Thai Noodle Cafe
1 Selegie Road, #01-04, PoMo Mall, Singapore 188306 (Dhoby Ghaut, Rochor MRT)
Opening Hours: 11am – 5am (Mon – Sun)
Night-lifers will rejoice at the news that Gu Thai Noodle Café is opened till 5am daily.
With an option of having a warm, soupy food after a long movie in the cold theatres, there is now an alternative option to Rochor Tau Huay at Selegie.
Recommended dishes include the Boat Noodle that came in 2 sizes, small palm size bowl ($1.90) slurped down within one mouthful (probably I had a bigger mouth) and large bowl shaped like a boat ($6 for pork, $6.80 for beef).
Out of the 4 spiciness levels, we had the recommended “less spicy” which was pretty manageable with a peppery spicy kick. The soup was clear and light, which pretty much went well with the rice noodles.
38 Curry Rice 大牌38咖喱饭
#01-07, 22B Havelock Rd, Singapore 162022
Opening Hours: 2am – 2pm, or till sold out (Wed – Sun), Closed Mon, Tues
This is recommended by the taxi uncles.
Come 2am, yes 2AM, the Hainanese Curry Rice stall will open, and a queue will form for its affordable and tasty comfort food.
Go for the fried pork chop, soft cabbage, fried egg, curry prawns, chilli sotong, braised pork ball… too many to name. Alternatively, you can come during breakfast too.
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