Pek Kio Food Centre is one of those off-beat, under-the-radar food centre, YET there is a good queue at many of its stalls.
There is a quaint, old school charm to it that you do not usually find in other popular hawker centres.
While it is not that near to the MRT station (say a 10 minutes’ walk from Farrer Park), there are a number of simple, comforting, and AFFORDABLE (you will find this work appearing a few times in this post) hawker stalls.
Here are the 10 stalls you can try at Pek Kio Food Centre:
Lai Hiang Pork Rib Prawn Noodles
41A Cambridge Road, #01-41 Pek Kio Market & Food Centre Singapore 211041
Opening Hours: 6am – 2pm (Mon, Wed, Thurs, Sat, Sun), Closed Tues, Fri
There are two famous Prawn Noodles stalls here.
Interesting, customers at Pek Kio Food Centre also seem to gravitate towards Lai Hiang Pork Rib Prawn Mee which has friendly service, huge portion and afforable pricing.
The stall is run by a husband and wife team for several years, even before the Pek Kio Market was renovated. They have gained a huge base of faithful customers and are always packed with hungry fans, and the queue can take up to 20 minutes or more.
Their Prawn Noodles start from $3 but I would recommend going for the more sizable $5 version.
A standard bowl of Pork Ribs Prawn Noodles has a generous portion size with well prepared, stringy noodles. The pork ribs to a succulent and juicy texture.
Between the dry and the soup, I thought that the dry is tastier, well-seasoned and doesn’t go overboard with flavours. The soup didn’t leave as big an impression as I preferred a more multi-layered taste.
Wah Kee Big Prawn Noodles
41A Cambridge Road, #01-15, Pek Kio Market and Food Centre, Singapore 210041
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 2pm (Wed – Sun), Closed Mon – Tues
It is slightly unfortunate that Wah Kee Big Prawn Noodle at Pek Kio Market and Food Centre has become more famous for a temperament owner, rather than what it serves.
Just have a scroll through various review websites, and you would find countless feedback on the auntie’s attitude, especially if you do not queue behind a red line or ordered the cheapest bowl.
But I find auntie becoming more ‘friendly’ (or mellowed down), especially in the last year.
If I were to recommend, get the mee kia (thin noodles) dry.
The noodles are specially made for Wah Kee, and all base sauces such as the sambal chilli sauce and special spicy sauce are made in-house daily, using Wah Kee’s 65-year recipe.
Interesting to note that they do not use pork in cooking the soup, and therefore the broth is lighter with an unique orange colour.
The prawns were large and fresh, soup was tasty and moderately robust in flavours – more intense than the average stall, but didn’t seem to be as rich and gao-gao (ie more diluted) as in the past. Wah Kee Big Prawn Noodle (Pek Kio Food Centre)
Soon Kee Wanton Mee
41A Cambridge Road, #01-44 Pek Kio Market & Food Centre, Singapore 211041
Opening Hours: 5am – 1:30pm (Mon, Thurs – Sun), Closed Tues, Wed
There is something I need to warn you about if you have never tried this stall before – the chilli sauce.
While old-school Wanton Noodles are a dime in a dozen, you may wonder about this long-queued stall which is hardly heard of outside of this area.
The stall serves up Wanton Noodles ($3.50) and Dumpling Noodle ($3.50). Ask for normal spiciness and you may be in for slight surprise.
There would be a shallow pool of oily sauce and sambal chilli included with shrimps, and for Wanton Mee standard it is considered ‘powder’. In fact, it does mask the original taste of the noodles, but yet can get pretty addictive.
The noodles are not the typical Hong Kong style, slightly thick with a slight alkaline taste, yet delightfully springy and maintain their chewy texture until the last mouthful.
The handmade wonton and char siew are more ordinary, so some people may not understand the fuss.
Heng Leong Carrot Cake
41A Cambridge Road, #01-13, Pek Kio Market and Food Centre, Singapore 210041
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 3:30pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
There are a couple of Carrot Cake stalls at Pek Kio, all with their own fans, but I guess my vote goes to Heng Leong. By a slight margin.
Really, $2 HANDMADE Carrot Cake, where to find?
Most Carrot Cake stalls are already using the factory-supplied radish cakes, so we should treasure gems like this.
The pierces are cut into larger-than-usual cubes (could be too chunky for some), with a sizable portion of egg.
The Dark Carrot Cake was tastily on the sweet side, but it could do with more chai poh and may be overly charred on some parts.
Tong Siew Fried Rice
41A Cambridge Road, #01-23, Pek Kio Market and Food Centre, Singapore 210041
Opening Hours: 1pm – 10pm (Thurs – Tues), Closed Wed
You will notice a big $3 on the signboard. (This used to be $2.50 not too long ago.)
This is a simple and homely stall selling three dishes – Fried Rice ($3), Fried Hor Fun ($3) and Prawn Egg ($4).
The Fried Rice ($3) has a straightforward and humble preparation, included with egg, shredded chicken, sliced fish cake and topped with mini sliver fish. I loved the cut green chillies.
I won’t say that the Fried Rice was exceptional or had very strong wok-hei (would personally prefer more), but it is still a simple old-school dish which is both filling and quite affordable.
Old-school flavour and price that is hard to find now.
(Note: While the closing time indicates as 10pm on Google, they usually sell out way before that.)
Sin Kee Nasi Lemak
41A Cambridge Road, #01-34, Pek Kio Market and Food Centre, Singapore 210041
Opening Hours: 5am – 1pm (Fri – Wed), Closed Thurs
This is actually one of my favourite Economic Bee Hoon stalls in Singapore.
A reason why is that the bee hoon tasted freshly fried, and ingredients were usually at least warm (and not cold after being left on the trays for a long while).
The economic set starts with $2.70. If not, the base price for the bee hoon or kway teow starts with $1, and you can add ingredients of fried chicken wing, Taiwanese sausage, chicken hotdog, ngoh hiang, luncheon meat, tau kua, fish fillet or fish cake.
Each item ranges from $0.50 to $1.20.
The bee hoon is typically flavoursome complimented with a tangy punch of sambal, best paired with one of the piping-hot crispy wings.
Sheng Seng Fried Prawn Noodles 生成炒虾麵
41A Cambridge Road, #01-40 Pek Kio Market and Food Centre, Singapore 211041
Tel: +65 6299 3981
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 5pm (Tue – Sun), Closed Mon
Sheng Seng Fried Prawn Noodles 生成炒虾麵 has a certain nostalgic taste that its regulars like.
Popular for its value-for-money Hokkien mee, the stall offers its specialty starting at $3.00. Also available at $4, $5, $6.
This wetter than usual version consists a good portion of a mix of thick and thin bee hoon and yellow noodles, served with thin slices of sotong, halved prawns, pieces of fishcake, egg, home-made sambal chili and some lime on the side.
For the price, you get a decent heap of noodles with prawns and squid with an old-school flair.
Tip: There is another Sheng Seng Hokkien Mee at Toa Payoh Lorong 8 Market & Hawker Centre, very popular and apparently run by another family member.
Pin Wei Hong Kong Style Chee Cheong Fun
41A Cambridge Road #01-25 Pek Kio Market & Food Centre, Singapore 211041
Tel: +65 8180 2013
Opening Hours: 6:30am – 2pm (Thurs – Tues), Closed Wed
It is not usual to find fresh, hand-made Chee Cheong Fun in Singapore’s food centres, because of the required skills and dedication in making it.
Pin Wei Chee Cheong Fun is one of the few stalls that offer this dish Hong Kong-style, and is also listed in the Michelin Guide with a “Michelin Plate”.
Each requires a thorough process of steaming, filling with ingredients, transferring and cutting, be prepared to wait.
There are 4 variants available: the plain Cheong Fun ($2.20), Char Siew ($3.00); Prawns ($4.00); and Scallop ($4.50).
I initially thought that the Prawns would be a more ‘boring’ choice, but it turned out to be no-less-delicious with fresh prawns used.
Plus, it was evenly distributed and such that you get one prawn per piece scooped up.
The watery Hoisin-like sauce below coated the delicate rolls, that would be satisfying as you let it slip down the throat. Pin Wei Hong Kong Style Chee Cheong Fun (Pek Kio)
Double Spring Teochew Lor Duck
41A Cambridge Rd, #01-48, Singapore 211041
Opening Hours: 8am – 3pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
This hawker stall is a prized gem of the Pek Kio Food centre, serving delicious Teochew Lor Duck Kway Chap.
The testament of their taste and quality is the long queues of loyal customers that form as soon as the stall opens. With the amount and quantity of ingredients in their dish, pricing is a total steal.
You can go for the Lor Duck Porridge ($2.50), Lor Duck Rice ($3, $4, $5), Lor Duck ($5, $8. $10), or Duck Kway Chap ($3.50, $5.50).
I think a draw is its rather yam-my rice.
The signature Teochew Lor Duck Kway Chap ($3.50) comes loaded with ingredients. Along with the tender and well-seasoned duck, you get that light herbal taste with every spoonful.
Xin Heng Kee Chicken Rice
41A Cambridge Road, #01-14 Pek Kio Market & Food Centre, Singapore 211041
Again, another long queue stall.
The snaking queue is a testament of the great quality and taste of their dishes. And the pricing is very affordable, priced at $3 for a plate of Chicken Rice, Roasted Chicken Rice, Braised Duck Rice, Char Siew Rice, or Roasted Pork Rice.
I ordered a Mixed Chicken which is still pretty inexpensive at $4, and the chicken was very tender and flavourful in each mouthful, with aromatic rice complimented well by dark and thick soya sauce.
Not mind-blowing, but certainly above the average. Note: stall has varying closing hours, but usually sold out just after lunchtime.
Bonus: Soya Bean Milk from Min Hiang #01-21.
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