When we talk about “Western Food” served in hawker centres in Singapore, it is not the American steaks or European fancy dishes that some would imagine.
The “Western Food” are usually Hainanese-influenced, as many of our forefathers worked in British colonial households as cooks or kitchen helps.
They started developing a style of Western dishes such as Chicken Chop and Fish & Chips that Singaporeans are familiar with, added with a localised twist.
A typical serving found in a hawker stall would include accompaniments of fries, baked beans, buttered bread, and some coleslaw. For this guide, I excluded the more fanciful modern stalls serving burgers, ribs and pasta, but more on the nostalgic ones.
Fun fact: many Hainanese settled in the Middle Road-Beach Road, Bukit Timah-Tanglin Road and Changi-Nee Soon areas, so perhaps you would find a concentration of Hainanese food in those areas?
Here are some hawker stalls in Singapore which you can dabao your Western Food from:
Chef Hainanese Western Food
Tanglin Halt Food Centre, 1A Commonwealth Dr, #01-04 141001, Singapore 141001
Opening Hours: 7pm – 9pm (Mon – Wed, Fri – Sun), Closed Thurs
While the stall only opens at 7pm or so, you may see a line forming here from 6:30pm or even earlier.
Nestled in the Tanglin Halt Hawker Centre, this is one of the most visited stalls for dinner, and for a very good reason.
A father-and-son team helms the stall, and you would find the calling and cooking in clock-work efficiency.
You will find traditional Hainanese style food with authentic Western flavours that are wholesome and filling. The price is quite affordable, but due to the limited working hours and only dinner time servings, customers are often welcomed by snaking long queues (and yes, please maintain your social distance).
Their Mixed Grill Platters ($10) are very popular, which offers a serving of pork chop, tender chicken chops, fish cutlet and chicken sausage.
Along with the meats, there was a dollop of coleslaw, baked beans, baked potato and crinkle cut fries. It’s a lot for one person, so make sure you bring your appetite with you.
While I am never that a fan of Grilled Pork Chop due to possible tough meat and slight gamey taste, this stall offers one of the best versions at $6.
Tender and well-marinated meat with a subtle grilled taste and a citrusy tang from the sauce. Old-school flavours, generous portion, the only thing holding me back is the long queue and longer wait.
Indulgence @ Commonwealth
Tanglin Halt Food Centre, 1A Commonwealth Drive, #01-09 141001, Singapore 141001
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 9pm (Mon – Fri), 5:30pm – 9pm (Sat), Closed Sun
Located at the same Tanglin Halt Food Centre, the menu here is expansive.
Wait? Aglio Olio for $3?
Indulge in delicious Italian hawker stall food with inexpensive pasta dishes in huge heaps to satiate your cravings. The portion size at this stall is everything.
The dishes come loaded with generous toppings and sides, and the service is quite efficient and swift.
Western food items include Chicken Chop ($6.50), Crispy Chicken ($6.50), Chicken Cutlet ($6.50), Pork Chop ($7), Crispy Dory ($6.50), Grilled Dory ($7) and Ribeye Steak ($16).
Customers can top-up with pasta choices of chicken Bolognese, carbonara, alfredo and pomodor.
The Chicken Chop with Carbonara Pasta ($11.50) I ordered should be enough to feed two, as it came with a creamy and heavy base.
The delectable thing about it was the crispy bacon strips that were plentiful and delicious, along with a glorious cracked egg atop the heap of pasta.
I thought that the chicken chop was slightly too charred, though some would think it adds to the smoky taste.
Wow Wow West
ABC Food Centre, 6 Jalan Bukit Merah, #01-133, Singapore 150006
Tel: +65 9380 8571
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 2pm, 4:30pm – 8pm (Tues – Sat), Closed Sun, Mon
(temporary closed due to renovations)
Wow Wow West which started as a school canteen stall, employs a number of ex-offenders in order to provide them a second chance to give back to society. (Christian Hokkien and Mandarin songs can often be heard playing in the background.
The western food stall supported the Yellow Ribbon Project by hiring ex-offenders and ex-drug addicts to work.
2nd generation hawker Elizabeth Ng could be seen helping out at the stall with her father, and her life as a hawker started when she was helping out her father’s first stall at Raffles Institution, which was named “Wow Wow West” by the boys.
Their delicious and affordable western food fare earned much popularity from the RI boys.
Their signatures include the Chicken Chop and Chicken Cutlet, which is massive for just $6. The gravy and coleslaw used is also prepared on a daily basis and is not mass produced.
I also usually add on an extra order of jumbo Cheese Sausage.
Old Airport Road Food Centre, 51 Old Airport Rd, #01-53, Singapore 390051
Tel: +65 6440 8934
Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm (Mon – Sun)
This stall is famous for its Mixed Grill Set which includes chicken, lamb and pork, and other old-school Western style dishes such as the Chicken Chop, Pork Chop, Sirloin Steak, Lamb Chop and Chicken Wing plates.
Their magic? The garlic sauce.
The sauce is created using more than 10 ingredients and the recipe has remain unchanged for more than 2 decades.
There is also another interesting item on the plate, which is an old-school butter bread supplied by Victoria Bakery & Confectionery, spread with butter and wrapped in plastic bag. The bread is fluffy with some of that familiar sweet taste.
Use that and dip into some of the garlic sauce. Yums.
Taman Jurong Food Centre, 3 Yung Sheng Rd, #03-130, Singapore 618499
Tel: +65 6588 4444
Opening Hours: 12pm – 3pm, 5pm – 8:45pm (Tues, Wed, Fri – Sun), Closed Mon, Thurs
Tom’s Kitchen is a very famous stall at the Taman Jurong Food Centre, famous for the taste and flavours of the dishes, but also the value for money and amazing portion sizes that will satiate your cravings. (Though I must say this is one of the furthest in Singapore I have travelled to have Western food.)
They have a huge variety of dishes, and almost all of them are under $8.50 or less.
Items include Grilled Chicken Chop ($6), Grilled Fish ($6.50), Grilled Salmon ($7.50), Grilled Pork Chop ($6.50), Grilled Sirloin Steak ($8.50), Grilled Lamb Chop ($8.50), Chicken Cutlet ($6), Fish Cutlet ($6.50), and Pork Cutlet ($6).
The Sirloin Steak ($8.50) is popular with good portion size and thick slices of beef drenched with brown mushroom sauce, and a generous side of coleslaw and fresh vegetables.
The Chicken Chop ($6.50) also had a tasty thin layer of crisp matched with juicy meat.
The fries were drizzled with chipotle powder to add a unique taste. On the flip side, waiting time can be quite long.
Ye Lai Xiang
1 Kadayanallur Street, Maxwell Food Centre, #01-94, Singapore 069184
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2pm, 6pm – 8:30pm (Tues – Fri), Closed Sat – Mon
Maxwell Food Centre is quite famous for their wide range of stalls serving all kinds of local and international treats.
Ye Lai Xiang is pretty well-known there, considered pioneers in introducing Hainanese western food in hawker centres, from the early days in Tanglin Halt and Margaret Drive.
The recipe is said to be developed by the late master chef who was a head chef in the British Navy. Portions are generous, and meats evenly grilled.
However, I did note that prices are increased overall since I last visited.
Items include Chicken Chop ($7.50), Chicken Cutlet ($8), Pork Chop ($7.50), Pork Cutlet ($8), Fish and Chips ($8), and Lamb Chop ($16.50).
For the Chicken Chop ($7.50), the large piece of chicken with a generous side of crinkle cut fries, sweet bun and mixed vegetables makes it quite filling.
That succulent chicken chop, poured over with a special brown sauce with butter bun and canned beans, is so old school.
But the side accompaniments such as fries and bun, were on the cold-side and not as impressive.
Apollo Western Food
105 Hougang Ave 1, #02-32 Hainanese Village Centre, Singapore 530105
Opening Hours: 12pm – 9pm (Wed – Mon), Closed Tues
This is a family stall that is well-loved in this food centre in Hougang, with recipes that have the good old taste and flavours that we all know and love.
There were many meaty temptations, including Ribeye Steak ($9.50), Lamb Chop ($8), Chicken Cutlet ($6), Chicken Chop ($5.50), Fish and Chips ($5) and Pork Chop ($6).
The ordering system is not like the conventional – without any number. The auntie noted where I was sitting, and said she would “wave at me” when my order is ready.
The Chicken Chop had a very standard preparation, with the perfect tenderness and not-bad sauce. The dishes came with crinkle cut fries and a warm toasted bun. I did wish that the portion of the meats were bigger – maybe it was just the plate I had.
Tip Top Western Food
#01-22, 84 Marine Parade Central Market and Food Centre
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
This is where you can get old-school Western food, now operated by 3rd generation owners.
The items offered include Chicken Cutlet ($6.50), Pork Chop ($6.50), Fish & Chips ($6.50), Grilled Fish ($6.50), Steak ($8.00), Spring Chicken ($10), Fried Chicken Wing ($1.40), Chicken Bolognese Spaghetti ($5.00), and Cheese Fries ($3.50).
The Chicken Chop ($6.50) came in a sizeable portion, tender and moist, liberally topped with pepper. It was overall an o-k-ay plate, perhaps because the sauce was more generic and needed that “oomph”.
Johnson Western Food
5 Cross Street, #01-37, Market Street, Interim Food Centre, 048424
Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm (Mon – Fri), Closed Sat – Sun
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.
Hot Plate Western Food
30 Seng Poh Road, #02-54 Tiong Bahru Food Centre, Singapore 168898
Tel: +65 9382 0954
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 9:30pm (Mon, Wed – Sun), Closed Tues
This stall labels itself as “Taiwan Style”, a stall at the popular Tiong Bahru Food Centre to get Western Food at satisfying portion sizes served on hotplate.
In case you are wondering, there is also an item of Taiwan Style Crispy Chicken ($4.00).
Although you have to wait a while for your order, the taste and value is definitely worth the wait.
From tender and juicy Black Pepper Beef Steak ($8.50), Mixed Grill ($10.00), to satiating and blissful Chicken with Nachos Cheese ($6.50), everything is seasoned to perfection and comes sizzling hot.
However, the best thing at the stall is the succulent Chicken Chop ($6.00) and Pork Chop ($6.00), a big slab with a light char on the outside.
The dishes come loaded with fries and a traditional English style serving of beans and fried eggs to make it a complete meal.
Seng Huat Western Food
Zion Road Food Centre, #01-12 70 Zion Rd, Singapore 247792
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2.30pm, 5:30pm – 9pm (Wed – Sun)
The inconspicuous stall at Zion Road Food Centre sells classic western food items such as Fish and Chips ($5) and Mixed Grill (7.50). (They used to have more exotic options such as Ostrich Steak.)
They also have Chicken Chop and Chicken Cutlet Rice dishes which comes with fried egg for just $3.50.
If not, go for the old-school classic options such as Grilled Chicken Chop and Chicken Cutlets ($5.50) which comes in sizeable portion of fries and baked beans.
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