Dunman Food Centre near Joo Chiat has reopened after a couple of months’ renovation, so I made it a point to try some of the famous stalls there.

Fun-fact: “Dunman” was named after Thomas Dunman who was the first Commissioner of Police in Singapore during the British Colonial period.

While it is not a very big food centre with less than 30 stalls, there are a couple of famous stalls selling Duck Rice, Rojak, Wanton Noodles, Steamed Fish Head, and Tau Kwa Pau.

The stalls are opened at quite staggered hours, and may be closed even if Google says otherwise. As a tip: those at the ground floor at opened during the day time, so don’t head over to those too late.

Dunman Duck Rice
Dunman Food Centre #01-10
Opening Hours: 11am – 7pm (Sat – Thurs), Closed Fri

This is probably one of Dunman Food Centre’s most well-known stalls. (Okay, while Google hours states it closes at 7pm, I never really seen it open till that late.)

The stall serves up affordable Duck Rice ($3.50, $4.50, $5.50), Duck Porridge ($3.50), and Kway Chap.

The wait for your food can easily be half an hour or more, so do exercise some patience even if you do not see many customers around.

I found the braised duck tender and not too gamy, with a herbal taste to the thick braised sauce.

The rice would fare better if it was more fluffy and flavourful (was somewhat dry even with braising sauce over) – but overall it is hard to find old-school flavour like this at this price.

Lau Hong Ser Rojak 老鸿生囉喏
Dunman Food Centre #02-14
Opening Hours: 4:30pm – 1:30am (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun

Famous Rojak With Youtiao Grilled Over Charocal
Another one of Dunman’s famous stall is Lau Hong Ser known for its Rojak ($3, $4, $5, $6), Fried Bean Curd ($1), and Century Egg ($1).

I guess what people really like is their you tiao dough fritters and taupok which are grilled over charcoal giving that added smoky flavour, and rich-tasting and sticky prawn paste sauce specially imported from Penang.

Even the peanuts are crushed within the stall. All that effort, so do be prepared to wait.

You can also get a more indulgent plate of B ($5.60) included with taupok pau stuffed with bean sprouts, you tiao, cuttlefish, century egg, ginger slices with prawn paste sauce.

Say Seng Tau Kwa Pau
Dunman Food Centre #01-05
Opening Hours: 7am – 4pm (Tues – Sat), 7am – 3pm (Sun), Closed Mon

A Fast-Disappearing Hawker Dish in Singapore: Beancurd Pau Wrapped With Fillings
Say Seng Tau Kwa Pau is a hawker store with a long history, hailing from 1959 and still going strong. The shop was once located at 131 Hock Ann Eating House, then to 126 Beer Garden and now finally at 369 Tanjong Katong Road (Peranankan Food Village).

The stall has been passed down from father to son, and they also sell braised duck rice. But bean curd pau, or Tau Kwa Pau, is their signature dish.

Bean curd cubes or tau kwa pau is a hawker dish that Gen-Zs might not even know since it’s so difficult to find in Singapore.

Essentially, it is a fried mix of bean curd stuffed with chopped ingredients such as braised eggs, cucumbers, fried yam pork and fried fish cake.

The Pau is then drenched in braised dark sauce. The bean curd generously soaks up the sauce, so every mouthful bursts with flavour.

Best of all, the dish is only $2 for one piece.

Interestingly, the inventor of this dish made this dish to attract the Peranakans in Katong. Since they liked to gamble, he made the Pau look like a golden purse, which drew a lot of attention due to its lucky symbolism. So for extra good fortune, head down to try this fast disappearing hawker dish.

Gina’s Vadai
Dunman Food Centre #01-06
Opening Hours: 10am – 6pm (Tue – Sun), Closed Mon

Famous Crispy Vadai in Singapore
Gina’s Vadai is one of Singapore’s most famous Vadai, with a history dating back to 1985.

Plus, they are also known for being the first stall to come up with flavours such as the Cheese Vadai and Tofu Vadai.

With inflation on the rise, very few things are below $2 in Singapore now. So you will be glad to know that you can get the vegetarian version which comes stuffed with carrots and cabbage for only $1.

There is also Prawn Vadai at $1.20 or you can get Ikan Billis and Peanut at $1.50. The Vadai is a slim, crispy golden round snack with grey prawns for a crnchy bite. With each mouthful, you can taste the secret spices mixed with batter.

Here’s a little-known fact: apparently, the practice of eating Vadai with green chilli begins with the Chinese community. But it is now so common to have green chilli with vadai.

Gina’s Vadai comes with green chilli as well. The stall is so famous that it has attracted scores of press and many diehard fans. It’s worth binging in some deep-fried goodness without counting calories.

Dunman Road Char Siew Wanton Mee
Dunman Food Centre #02-19
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 7:30pm (Sun – Wed, Fri – Sun), Closed Thurs

One Of The Spiciest Wanton Noodles You Get In Singapore
There is something about Dunman Road Food Centre and a particular style of Wanton Noodles with spicy kick cues Engs.

One has gone on to become an eatery, or rather a chain of eateries with a law-suit of Eng’s vs Eng’s; and there is also this Dunman Road Char Siew Wanton Mee.

The family-owned hawker stall is of course best known for its super spicy chilli sauce (They also have another stall in Eunos), that will tingle their tastebuds for those looking to spice up their lives.

Each bowl of $3.50 – $4 noodles is a nostalgic delight of noodles, wanton and char siew. The springy noodles, which the owner says are made fresh to order and are also delicious.

So are the small but meat-packed wanton wrapped in silky smooth skin. Cuts of char siew and homemade lard chunks round up the dish wonderfully.

While the stall is well-known for its chilli, there is also a less spicy version that customers can order. A little goes a long way for those who are game to try.

Joo Chiat Ah Huat Wanton Noodle
Dunman Food Centre #01-04
Opening Hours: 7am – 2:45pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon

Previously Known as Ang Moh Wanton Mee 红毛面家
There are two famous Wanton Noodle stalls here – one upstairs, and the other downs.

Joo Chiat Ah Huat was previously known as Ang Moh Wanton Mee or Hong Mao Mian Jia (红毛面家) but returned after retirement (The Ang Moh Wanton Noodles House down at 182 Joo Chiat is managed by new owners).

The stall used to have a different queueing system, but seems like they switched back to the regular way of lining up.

They serve up Wanton Noodles ($3.50) and Chicken Feet Noodles ($3.50), known for noodles with pleasant firm and springy texture.

Something I noted was the sauce base was saltier and spiciness than the usual (and so masks the alkaline taste of the noodles a little), but I guess this is what fans love it for.

Heng Heng Prawn Mee Soup
Dunman Food Centre, #02-12
Opening Hours: 12:30pm – 8pm (Mon – Sun)

Old-School Prawn Noodle Soup
Heng Heng Prawn Mee has been around for more than 20 years, tucked at one corner of the food centre, so they certainly know a thing or two about mee.

This is an old-school concoction of prawn noodles that has captured the hearts of many who rave about their delicate pork bone soup.

A bowl of prawn mee sells at $3.00, and it is available in both soup and dry versions. The soup version is infused with prawn stock and topped with pork ribs. This combination gives it a slightly sweet taste.

The garnishing of fried onion and pork lard adds to the flavour. The dry version comes with lashes of fiery chilli paste and generous servings of lard and fried onions.

Their noodles will hit the sweet spot for those looking for prawn noodle soup reminiscent of yesteryears. Reviews around the web claim that the taste has not changed in the last decade.

Stall 28: Dunman Fried Kway Teow
Dunman Food Centre #02-28
Opening Hours: 12pm – 1am (Mon – Sun)

Stall 28: Serving Kway Teow and Other Fried Dishes On Your Plate
Dunman Tasty Fried Kway Teow, Stall 28, is known affectionately to its fans as just Stall 28. That’s the number of the stall.

They serve savoury plates of hawker-style Chinese food such as Carrot Cake, Fried Prawns, Prawn Omelette, Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee, to Fried Oysters, but they are most well-known for their piping hot plate of Fried Kway Teow.

As the item was sold out, I ordered the Fried Oyster ($6.50, $8.50) which was decent, though could be more crisp or eggy.

OK Zhen Hao Wei美食
Dunman Food Centre #02-02
Opening Hours: 11am – 11.30pm (Mon – Sun)

Have Your Steamed Fish Head and Zi Char
OK 美食 is very well known amongst diners who head to Dunman Food Centre for its zi char and steamed fish head dishes.

Started by a Cantonese family, the stall has been around since 1999 so expect to find quality and affordable Chinese zi char dishes.

On the menu are Bean Sauce Steamed Fish Head ($15), Hong Kong Style Steamed Fish Head ($15), Assam Fish Head ($18 & above), and Chilli Fish Head ($15).

Other dishes include Steamed Chicken with Chinese Sausage ($8, $15), Sausage Omelette ($6) and Sambal Fried Kang Kong ($5, $9).

While the menu is extensive enough for even the pickiest diner, its signature dish is the steamed fish head. The fish head is a generous serving of meat packed with tangy bean sauce marinade.

The chilli padi, ground ginger and black bean add a slight sour note to the entire dish.

Jia Dong Shu Shi Popiah
Dunman Road Food Centre, #02-17

Popiah Stall with Cinema Roots
Jia Dong Shu Shi is a Popiah stall with a movie theatre past. The stall started from a cart outside the old Palace Theatre cinema along East Coast Road until they moved into Dunman Food Centre in the late 1970s.

The popiah is well-known for its affordable price ($1.70) and delicious filling. Think of well-stewed bang kuang (jicama) filling complemented by the rich preserved soybean paste.

The prawns and Chinese sausage add a bouncy texture to it so the Popiah does not fall apart. With an omelette garnish and crispy lard bits, you would get an indulgent mouthful when you tuck into this dish.

A tip is to try going in the morning as the stall closes at noon.

Sheng Xiang Kitchen
Dunman Food Centre #02-16
Opening Hours: 10am – 11pm (Mon – Sun)

Promising Sichuan Newcomer
Sheng Xiang kitchen is a relative newcomer on the Dunman Food Centre scene since it is been there for only about three years now (though some may say its menu looks suspiciously similar to another stall here).

So you would find fish head dishes including Chopped Pepper Fish Head ($15), Steamed Fish Head with Bean Paste ($15) and Steamed Fish Head with Homemade Sauce ($15).

Other items include Spicy Chicken ($10, $15), Fried Spring Rolls ($7), Fried Pork Chop ($8, $12), and Sweet & Sour Pork ($8, $12).

Their spicy la zi ji, a well-known Sichuan dish of marinated chicken with Sichuan chillis and peppers, is at $10.

The menu has a wide variety of dishes. There are also typical Chinese noodle and rice dishes. While not much is known about the stall, you can find some positive reviews of the stall on the web.

Tekong Soya Bean Drinks & Curd
Dunman Food Centre #02-15
Opening Hours: 11am – 2am (Mon – Sun)

Refreshing Soya Milk for a Hot Day
Tekong Soya Bean Drinks & Curd sells what its name suggests: soya milk in a glass.

For just $1.10 per glass, you can get creamy soya milk that is not too sweet. This less sugary version of our favourite drink is perfect for the elderly or those that need to watch their sugar intake.

The stall actually produces its own soya milk, which explains the delicious smooth consistency.

You can also buy grass jelly and bean curd with different toppings such as attap seed, almond, gingko, lychee and many more, all at $1.60.

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