Following the return of East Coast Lagoon Food Village, Golden Mile Food Centre and Zion Riverside Food Centre after many months of “Repairs and Redecoration / Renovation (R&R) Works”, Toa Payoh Lor 7 Food Centre better known as “Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre” was also back after two months of revamp.
The hawker centre certainly looks much cleaner and brighter now with new tables and floors relatively looking more spotless.
Here are 10 stalls to check out, from Beef Noodles, Oyster Omelette, Popiah, to Hainanese Snacks:
Hai Nan Xing Zhou Beef Noodle
Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre #01-06
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 3:30pm (Tues – Sat), Closed Mon
One of the most popular stalls here, Hai Nan Xing Zhou Beef Noodle used to be located at Cuppage Centre. That may bring back loads of memories.
The stall serves up Beef Noodles in soup or dry versions ($5), while there are options of sliced beef, beef balls, beef stomach, and tendon combinations ($5 – $8).
The dry version came with generous serving of starchy dark sauce, added with peanuts and kiam chye (salted vegetables). The sauce had pretty smooth consistency, though I was wondering why it was comparatively very sweet.
The soup base was cooked with beef, cattle bones and different Chinese herbs, based on a recipe on the owners’ father. Also on the sweet side, and so needed some getting used to.
Old Long House Popiah
Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre #01-03
Opening Hours: 6:30am – 2:30pm (Wed – Sun), Closed Mon, Tues
The Popiah stall has been around since the 1930s, selling Hokkien-style Popiah, skin and Kueh Pie Tee.
There is no pork, lard, MSG, artificial colours, and preservatives added.
The Popiah ($1.80) is included with stewed turnip, freshly-grinded garlic and peanuts, fresh lettuce, hard-boiled egg, house-made spicy chilli sauce, crispy sole fish, and a small piece of crab stick.
What I liked were the crunchy bits (crispy batter?) which had a little bit of saltiness within, though I thought the fillings could be more packed and moist – was slightly on the dryer side overall.
Hainan Cuisine & Snacks 海南小吃
Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre #01-35
Opening Hours: 7am – 1pm (Wed – Sun), Closed Mon, Tues
The Hainanese has a saying, that a piece of kueh cannot be complete without coconut. This represents the importance of coconut palm sugar in their cakes and snacks.
The Yi Buah is something I have never really seen before in the past, a Hainanese kueh made of glutinous rice flour then stuffed with fillings such as coconut, sesame and peanut.
The word “Yi” represents memories, and the cake has come to symbolise bliss, joy and harmony among families and friends.
Hainan Xiao Chi continues to make Yi Buah by hand, and sells other Hainanese food such as “ji shi geng”, literally meaning chicken poop soup because the ingredients look like it. Don’t worry – it is actually cooked from the root of a herb.
Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre #01-21
Tel: +65 9272 5712
Opening Hours: 11am – 6pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Dove Desserts at Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre is one of those that serve up ‘everything under the sky’, and its two recommended are the Nyonya Chendol ($1.80) and Cheng Tng ($1.20).
So I was half wondering if the Cheng Tng would be impressive, but I was first won over by the fast and friendly service despite the long queue.
Their Cheng Tng ($1.20) was actually much better than expected, lightly and pleasantly sweet.
Ingredients include fungus, dried persimmon and winter melon, and the owner insists on not adding the more ‘modern’ ingredients such as agar agar just to fill the bowl up.
The Cheng Tng is always sold out, so don’t be disappointed if you do not get your bowl.
Ah Chuan Fried Oyster Omelette
Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre #01-25
Opening Hours: 6am – 4pm (Mon, Wed – Sun), Closed Tues
The old hawkers from the original stall has retired, and this stall has an additional “Chen Ji” on the signboard.
On the menu are Oyster Omelette ($5, $8, $10), Oyster Egg ($6, $8, $10), Carrot Cake ($3, $4, $5) in white and black versions.
Their Fried Oyster Omelette ($5) is of very good portion. The almost crunchy edges have a perfect consistency against the gooey centre filled with juicy oysters.
Despite the takeover, this is still a not bad rendition.
Min Kee Tanjong Rhu Wanton Noodle
Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre #01-49
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 2:30pm (Mon, Wed – Sun), Closed Tues
While most wanton mee lovers should be familiar with “Tanjong Rhu Wanton Noodle”, this stall had an additional “Min Kee” in front. But it has easily on of the longest line in this food centre.
There are offerings of Wanton Noodles ($3, $4), Dumpling Noodles ($4, $5), Wanton Soup ($3 for 10pcs), and Fried Wanton ($3 for 10pcs).
The mee kia was different from the usual – almost thread-thin with light springiness, though it didn’t come drenched in sauces so you would wonder if it would have enough flavours. The char siew was nothing to shout about, but decent.
I think people like this because it is not too greasy or rich.
There was just that light pork lard fragrance and little chilli sauce to bring the flavours across. You can choose to have it with black sauce, chilli & ketchup or plain ‘white’.
Li Xin Chao Zhou Fishball Noodle 立兴潮洲魚丸粿條面
Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre #01-20
Opening Hours: 7am – 1pm (Thurs – Sun), Closed Mon – Wed
The original stall of LiXin at Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre has also been included in the Michelin Guide Singapore 2022.
A bit of history: owner Mr Lim and his wife set up their first stall at Bendemeer Road Hawker Centre, and subsequently moved the stall to Toa Payoh Lor 7 when the food centre was demolished.
Over at Toa Payoh Lor 7, available are the Fishball Noodles in dry or soup version for an inexpensive $3.50. An additional fishball cost $0.50.
What’s special is their base sauce which is to the spicier side with a good kick.
As for the fishballs, only pure yellowtail fish is used in the making to maintain that bite – no preservatives, no fillers, and no surimi.
Read more at: LiXin Teochew Fishball Noodles (Toa Payoh Lor 7)
Ah Huat Minced Meat Noodle 阿發肉脞麵
Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre #01-15
Opening Hours: 7am – 3pm (Mon – Thurs, Sat – Sun), Closed Fri
A stall with moderate queue that got me curious enough, selling Minced Meat Noodles ($3), Fishball Noodles ($3, 4), Dumpling Noodles ($3, $5), Fish Maw Kway Teow Soup ($5, $8) and Abalone Minced Meat Noodles ($5, $6).
What I liked about the BCM was its generous portion for the pricing ($3, +$0.60 for additional dumpling), and the braised mushrooms which came with pig’s skin.
However, I wished that the soup could be more robust, and the texture of the mee kia was unlike the usual and didn’t seem to absorb the sauces that well.
Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre #01-48
A popular stall serving Hong Kong style Chee Cheong Fun and Congee, such as Seafood Porridge ($5), Sliced Fish Porridge ($4), Century Egg Porridge ($3.50) and Sliced Chicken Porridge ($3).
I noticed an interesting 3-in-1 “3 Taste Chee Cheong Fun” ($5) which includes various ingredients of prawns, char siew, and mini scallops. Silky and smooth, made-on-the-spot, and quite worth a try.
Lorong 7 Kway Chap & Braised Duck
Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre #01-38
Opening Hours: 6am – 5pm (Sat – Wed), Closed Thurs, Fri
Note: While Google states this stall is “permanently closed”, it has actually just moved to a different stall within the same food centre.
Lorong 7 Kway Chap & Braised Duck sells Kway Chap ($5 for 1 pax, $10 for 2 pax, $15 for 3 pax), Braised Duck ($5, $8, $10), Braised Duck Porridge ($3.50) and Braised Duck Noodles / Rice ($4).
Customers can also add on other ingredients of Braised Egg ($0.80), Preserved Vegetables ($1.50), Fishcake ($1), and Large Intestines ($4).
While the Kway Chap had an old-school savour, it was slightly on the saltier side and I wished that the smaller intestines could have been more thoroughly cleaned.
My favourite happened to be the Braised Duck Noodles with tender, succulent duck meat with noodles in a savoury sauce.
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