Though Maxwell Food Centre and Tiong Bahru Food Centre are the hawker centres in Singapore that are more well-known, Old Airport Road Food Centre is commonly known to be one of the best for its variety and quality of stalls.
In fact, it was voted the champion after radion station 96.3 HAO FM started a search for Singapore’s Best Hawker Centre, with it getting twice as many votes as its nearest competitor.
The food centre located near Dakota MRT Station with over 40 years of history was built in 1972, then to settle street hawkers around Kallang Estate area.
With 168 food stalls, it is considered one of Singapore’s largest, and also houses many famous stalls. There is also a second storey which has 136 retail shops.
These are just 12 of the recommended stalls, while there are many others from 132 Claypot Rice, Chuan Kee Satay, Toa Payoh Rojak, to Freshly Made Chee Cheong Fun.
There are also many “doubles” and “triples” to be found here. For example, two famous Wanton Noodles, two popular Prawn Noodles, three delicious Lor Mee stalls, and three well-known Char Kway Teow stalls.
Xin Mei Xiang Zheng Zong Lor Mee 新美香卤面
51 Old Airport Road, #01-116 Old Airport Road Food Centre, Singapore 390051
Opening Hours: 6am – 2pm (Fri – Wed), Closed Thurs
Xin Mei Xiang Lor Mee attracts queues of diners eager to taste and re-taste their famed Lor Mee.
Aside from the recognition it received from the Michelin Guide (it has a Michelin Plate), another feather in its cap is the Ctrip Gourmet List award. It was also awarded as People’s Choice for Local Food during the City Hawker Food Hunt in 2018.
The sauce, a key element in a good Lor Mee, was quite unlike any others I had before – thick and flavourful as it was prepared with five-spice and other seasonings.
The balance of being vinegary and spicy was done just right.
If you like the pan-fried fish (red snapper) in your Lor Mee, go for the bigger bowls.
Ah yes, there is another similar-sounding Xiang Ji Lor Mee (#01-81) in the same food centre, if you happen to crave and Xin Mei Xiang is closed. Xin Mei Xiang Lor Mee (Old Airport Road Food Centre)
Hua Kee Hougang Famous Wanton Mee 華記后港祖傳馳名雲吞麵
51 Old Airport Road, #01-02 Old Airport Road Food Centre, Singapore 390051
Tel: +65 9620 1543
Opening Hours: 8am – 10pm (Mon, Wed – Sun), Closed Tues
The Hawker Centre is known for two competing Wanton Mee, both facing the road side.
Hua Kee Hougang Famous Wanton Mee 华记后港祖传驰名云吞面 is the one without the electronic queue display; while Cho Kee Noodle is located two stalls on its right.
Hua Kee serves up a variety of noodles, from Wanton Noodles, Dumpling Noodles, Fried Wanton Noodles, Chicken Feet Noodles, and Shredded Chicken Noodles with Mushrooms.
The signature Wanton Mee ($4.00, $5.00), has eggy noodles that are chewy yet smooth in texture.
These noodles come with an interesting gravy sauce, which leans more on the sweet side and goes well with the spicy-smoky chili sambal to balance off the sweetness.
What really gave it its edge and extra bite was its fried shallot, chilli sauce filled with seeds and oily crunchy pork lard. (Note: Customers have complained about “arrogant service” here, just so you know.) Hua Kee Hougang Famous Wanton Mee (Old Airport Road Food Centre)
Whitley Road Big Prawn Noodles 威利大蝦麵
Blk 51 Old Airport Road, #01-98 Old Airport Road Food Centre, Singapore 390051
Opening Hours: 9am – 8pm (Tue – Fri), 9am – 9pm (Sat – Sun), Closed Mon
Through the years, Whitley Road Prawn Noodles has been known to be one of the best prawn noodles stalls in Singapore.
It offers Hae Mee in both the dry and soup versions, with options which also comes with pork ribs and pork liver.
Most people seem to go for the Big Prawn Pork Rib Noodles ($5.50, $8, $10, $12) or the Three In One ($8, $10, $15) with pork ribs, liver and tail.
The prawns were chunky and tasted fresh – could be sweeter though; while the pork ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender.
Interestingly, I preferred the dry version. The noodles were coated in a spicy-savoury and home-made chili paste with some zing. Whitley Road Prawn Noodles (Old Airport Road Food Centre)
The other famous Prawn Noodles stall at the same food centre is Albert Street Prawn Noodles, along the same row.
Ru Ji Kitchen
51 Old Airport Road, #01-37 Old Airport Road Food Centre, Singapore 390051
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 2pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Ru Ji’s Fishball Noodle ($3.00, $4.00, $5.00) features these popular hand-made fishballs and fishcake in a light, clear broth, with dry mee pok or mee kia served separately with sambal chili, crisp pork lard, sprinkled with chopped spring onions.
Given the choice, I say go for the mee pok which was cooked just right with a delicious you can say al-dente bite.
Springy, and neither too dry nor too soft.
If you are not up to too much spice, order ”少辣” (Shao La, less chilli) so that the spicy, savoury sauce at the bottom of the noodles are just enough to coat the noodles once mixed. Ru Ji Kitchen (Old Airport Road Food Centre)
Roast Paradise 烧味天堂
51 Old Airport Road, #01-121 Old Airport Road Food Centre, Singapore 390051
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3:30pm (Mon), 11:30am – 6pm (Tues – Sat), 11:30am – 5:30pm (Sun)
Thick, fatty, charred, KL style Char Siew with a tinge of sweet-stickiness on the outside. This is what Roast Paradise is known for, attract long lines every day. (They are also co-owners of the popular Fook Kin 福劲 at Killiney Road.)
The stall serves up Roast Pork and Char Siew Rice and Noodles ($4 – $5.50).
The Hakka Noodles ($4.00) which is not commonly found, is worth a try. Served with minced pork and sprinkling of lard and sesame oil, this was a cross between Bak Chor Mee and Mee Pork (and to me, Gao Ji Yong Tau Foo), except that this has lighter seasoning.
Blanco Court Food Centre Kwap Chap (3rd Storey) 多丽哥粿汁
51 Old Airport Road, #01-135 Old Airport Road Food Centre, Singapore 390051
Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm (Wed – Fri, Sun), 10:30am – 3pm (Sat), Closed Mon, Tues
This stall has several names, from “Blanco Court Food Centre (3rd Storey)”, “Blanco Court Kway Chap” (unofficial name) to “To-Ricos Guo Shi”, so it may get a bit confusing for newbies or tourists.
They have sets for or 1 or 2 persons, and you can order an add-on if you like additional ingredients or innards.
The favourite part in the entire plate was the intestines, cut in large bite-size pieces, are spongy tender yet not springy. Interesting to note that the stall does not offer small intestines.
The other highlight was the kway itself, broad yet thin and slippery smooth.
The fragrant soy sauce broth was mildly sweet and herbal, complemented by the aroma of fried shallots. Blanco Court Food Centre Kwap Chap (Old Airport Food Centre)
Qiu Rong Ban Mian
51 Old Airport Road, #01-30 Old Airport Road Food Centre, Singapore 390051
Tel: +65 9739 8618
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 9pm (Mon – Sun)
Surprisingly, their soup base turned out to be one of my favourites – quite under-rated I thought.
Qiu Rong Ban Mian has changed locations over the years (previously from Roxy Square), but the stall still has the same friendly couple serving their piping hot bowls.
Uncle and auntie have been successfully running the stall for over 20 years now.
However, a first-time customer may just miss out on their Ban Mian offerings, as the signage is more prominently featuring their Pork Ribs Soup and Chicken Mee Suah in Red Wine ($4.00).
Offerings include Sliced Fish Ban Mian ($4.50), Tom Yam Seafood Noodles ($5.00), Mee Hoon Kway + Prawn ($3, $5) or You Mian ($3.00).
While I thought that their Mee Hoon Kway’s texture was pretty ‘standard’ and decent, it was their rich, flavourful soup with fried ikan bilis that gave a salty kick and crunch that made a difference.
Comforting homemade noodles to warm you up and satiate your cravings.
Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow 老夫子炒粿条
51 Old Airport Road, #01-12 Old Airport Road Food Centre, Singapore 390051
Tel: +65 83333 4828
Opening Hours: 11:45am – 10pm (Mon – Sun
I have tried Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow 老夫子炒粿条 at Old Airport Road quite a number of times in the past. But it was never a stall I would purposely go, it was more like a ‘by-the-way’ “Let’s try CKT” kind of experience. Many customers come here during of its inclusion in the Michelin Guide with a “Bib Gourmand”.
There is also Dong Ji Fried Kway Teow (#01-138) in the same food centre that some of my friends preferred.
Offering both the black or white versions, Lau Fu Zi’s Fried Kway Teow ($5.00, $8.00, $10.00), are all cooked-to-order, each plate fried individually.
The dish carried a well-balanced flavour, and surprisingly not very oily.
Its consistency was more on the dry side, which some diners may like or don’t like, depending on one’s preference.
Also, it lacked of the strong wok-hei (there was still some). Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow (Old Airport Road Food Centre)
Dong Ji Fried Kway Teow
Old Airport Road Food Centre #01-138, Old Airport Road, Singapore 390001
Opening Hours: 10am – 2pm (Mon – Sun)
While Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow at Old Airport Road Food Centre had the better luck with the Michelin Bib Gourmand award, there are fans who think that Dong Ji Fried Kway Teow is the better stall.
The stall is nearer to the back of the food centre, and sometimes close slightly before 2pm.
Note: This is a one-man show, so even if the queue may look relatively short, be prepared to wait for your food.
The hawker single-handedly prepares generous servings of Fried Kway Teow with egg ($3, $4) upon order with fresh ingredients, and yes wok-hei.
However, if you prefer the dark and sweet type, then you would realise this is quite different. There is not much dark sauce used, with strong garlicky and smokiness in its flavours.
Nam Sing Hokkien Fried Mee
51 Old Airport Road, #01-32 Old Airport Road Food Centre, Singapore 390051
Tel: +65 64405340
Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Of all the Hokkien Mee in Singapore, Nam Sing Hokkien Fried Mee probably has the most mixed reviews. Some enjoy its nostalgic taste; while others thought it used to be better (and service can be improved).
I actually didn’t get any bad service during my order. In fact, they even deliver the plate to your table. (Self service for tables 175 onwards).
Their Hokkien Mee is cooked to the dry side using thin vermicelli rather than the thick bee hoon style, with strong seafood flavours coming from the prawn and ikan billis stock. Of all the stock base, this came across as one of the sweetest.
Another thing to note is that eggs are fried till fluffy with separate pieces, rather than ‘clinging’ on to the noodles.
Also, they do not serve sambal chilli but instead with cut chillies. A decent plate with its own character, though I wished there was more wok-hei.
Hin Fried Hor Fun
51 Old Airport Road, #01-163 Old Airport Road Food Centre, Singapore 390051
Tel: +65 9190 1044
Opening Hours: 10am – 3pm, 5pm – 8:30pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
When Beef Hor Fun is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is the strong wok hei aroma and taste.
At Hin Fried Hor Fun, you get the silky smooth pieces of hor fun filled with delicious and mouth-watering mildly-charred taste.
The stall serves up various combinations of Hor Fun or Mui Fan with beef, prawns, fish, and its permutations (eg beef with fish, beef with prawns). Priced at $5 or $6.
The hor fun when served, looked rather pale, but do not let that deceive you. It was actually quite tasty with slight smokiness.
The beef slices were also tender, though the gravy was slightly on the saltier side.
Note: Stall may close before stated hours.
Wang Wang Crispy Curry Puff
51 Old Airport Road, #01-126 Old Airport Road Food Centre, Singapore 390051
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 11pm or sold out (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
The bite-sized Curry Puffs sold here may remind you of those offered by A1, with its flaky skin.
The under-stated Curry Puff stall serves up Crispy Curry Puff ($1.40), Crispy Sardine Puff ($1.40), Crispy Black Pepper Puff ($1.60), and Crispy Yam Paste ($1.40).
Puffs are hand-made and deep-fried on site in small batches. So if certain fillings get sold out, you got to wait for them.
What was very appealing were its crispy and buttery skin with that alluring aroma. Interestingly, while the outer layer was dry, the inside remained rather moist, even to the point of saucy.
Other Related Entries
ABC Brickworks Food Centre Hawker Guide
Alexandra Village Food Centre Hawker Guide
Market Street Hawker Centre
10 Must-Try Chinatown Complex Food Centre Hawker Stalls
10 Must Try Stalls At Bedok 85 (Fengshan Food Centre)
10 Must-Try Stalls At Redhill Food Centre