While there is no ‘official news’ out there yet, the few hawkers that I have spoken to told me casually that Seah Im Food Centre will undergo renovations from September 2022 onwards (one said “end August”) for at least 6 months.
Some customers may wonder why their closures and cleaning days are not reflected in the NEA website. That is because Seah Im Food Centre is one of the few hawker centres that are not managed by NEA itself (the others being Beauty World Food Centre and Balestier Food Centre).
In the mid-eighties, the Seah Im Food Centre emerged alongside the present-day Harbourfront Bus Interchange across World Trade Centre Singapore back then (does this name ring a bell?)
Fun fact: the interchange used to be where a Malay kampong was located. As Singapore develops and landmarks change, it is nice to know that heart-warming local food is still a mainstay in the hawker centre.
Here are some of the stalls you can go check out at Seah Im Food Centre:
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Shi Ji Noodle Stall 狮记面食摊
Seah Im Food Centre #01-56
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 2:30pm or sold out (Mon – Sun, closed alternate Sat)
Shi Ji Noodle Stall is quite popular among regulars who come in the morning, selling Prawn Noodles, Lor Mee, and Duck Noodles.
Each bowl is priced at $3.50, $4, and $5. (Note: nearby Cai Ji also sells Duck Noodles.)
The stall with its faded photos may look unassuming at first glance, but its element is in the sauce.
Note that the Duck Noodles was on the 重口味 side, meaning it was rather heavy and robust in flavours, while some customers may prefer something not so rich.
Accompanying soup was delightfully herbal and comforting.
Thaksin Beef Noodles
Seah Im Food Centre #01-44
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm
This Halal-certified stall has a very catchy and unforgettable name. In case you are wondering, no, it is not opened by the former Prime Minister of Thailand then.
Owner Jaesen Ng initially wanted to name his stall after the Thai King when he started business in 1993. But when the name of a monarchy was not allowed to be used, he went for the next best alternative – The Prime Minister.
Other than Beef Noodles ($7, $10), the stall also serves up Fried Rice ($3), Fried Rice with Beef ($6), Phad Thai ($3), and Phad Thai with Beef ($6). Accordingly, the recipe is from a famous beef noodle stall located at MBK (Mahboonkrong).
The Beef Noodles Bowl I ordered arrived blanketed with generous portions of parsley, basil leaves and beansprouts.
The kway teow was slippery smooth and flat, though it may be lacking in that distinct aromatic and flavourful soup base Thai noodles are commonly associated with. Perhaps it was better in the past?
Cai Ji Boneless Duck Rice Porridge
Seah Im Food Centre #01-58
Opening Hours: 11am – 7pm (Mon – Fri, Sun), Closed Sat
Cai Ji is well known amongst the regulars at Harbourfront for its affordable Duck Rice. They specialise in braised duck, which is tender and not always easy to cook.
The $3.50 plate comes with slices of duck meat layered with sauce and a bowl of herbal soup. You can also add braised egg, tau kwa, duck gizzard, duck liver, fishcake or preserved vegetables. You can indicate whether you want yam (additional $0.30) or white rice with your duck meat.
Would recommend adding the sambal chilli, giving the dish a slight kick. Serving sizes are also generous, so go easy if you order solo.
Farasha Muslim Stall
Seah Im Food Centre #01-31 Singapore 099114
Opening Hours: 10am – 8pm (Mon – Sun)
The bright green signboard with just ‘Farasha’ is hard to miss. They are famous for their fried chicken in the typical Singapore style – meaning deep-fried for crunchy goodness, sold piping hot.
But it is the $5 Nasi Goreng Ayam that regulars queue to eat.
Featuring said crispy chicken, it pairs the meat with fragrant rice and hot sambal sauce. You can also choose maggi mee if you like. Or go for the tomyam maggi version, paired with the fried chicken.
They also sell Ayam Penyat and Black Pepper Chicken Rice. We recommend going for the fried chicken dishes, though, as those are the most raved about.
Seah Im Food Centre #01-36
Opening Hours: 6m – 9pm (Mon – Sun)
This is a family-operated stall, with the entire household chipping in to create their famous Epok-Epok, or curry puffs. While curry puffs are not the only item on the menu, it is the most well-known.
The fragrant puffs are buttery smooth, and you can choose between the potato or sardine version. They come at $1 a piece, which is value.
They sell other items such as nasi lemak in the morning and laksa at night. But it is the Epok Epok and fried fritter that generate the most interest.
If you decide to head down for a curry puff taste test, it is normally sold around 4:30pm.
Aspirasi Food Galore
Seah Im Food Centre #01-45
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm (Tues – Sat), Closed Mon, Tues
The Muslim-owned Aspirasi has sold Fried Chicken Rice for three decades. So you can bet there is no fowl play when serving good fried chicken rice.
The stall is founded by Mr Zainnudin Sajat who is better known as “Abang Din”, creating some modern dishes based on traditional Malay food culture.
At $4 to $4.50 a plate, you can tuck into fluffy rice with tender chicken meat. The fried batter bits are a heavy helping and make the rice crunchy, and are supposedly free-flow.
If you like sauce, opt for the black pepper, lemon or sweet-sour gravy. Order the sambal chilli if you love a kick in your taste buds.
Seah Im Food Centre #01-33
Opening Hours: 9am – 8:30pm (Mon, Tues, Thurs), 10am – 8:30pm (Wed, Fri – Sun)
This Malay stall has been featured in the Straits Times as one of the best eats in the South of Singapore, so if it is newsworthy, it should be good.
Signature items include the Gado Gado, Mee Rebus Satay, Tahu Goreng, Gado Gado Satay, Lontong, Soto Ayam, Mee Soto, Mee Rebus and of course Satay.
Prices start from $3.50, and $0.80 per stick for the Satay (min 10 pcs).
The Tahu Goreng comes with beancurd chunks, bean sprouts covered in a thick satay-style gravy. Another highlight is the mee soto, which comes with a thick begedil (potato ball).
You can also try the Gado Gado with fried fish crackers ($4) or with topping of well-grilled satay ($8.50).
Daliman’s Korner is well-praised for its excellent food and its consistency. Expect to queue at least 15 minutes at lunchtime.
Fried Kuay Teaw Mee
Seah Im Food Centre #01-26
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 8:30pm (Mon – Sun)
This simple-looking storefront says plainly ‘Fried Kway Teow’, but it sells a wide range of wok-fried dishes from Fried Carrot Cake, Fried Hokkien Mee, Kway Teow Goreng, Bee Hoon Goreng, to Mee Goreng. Prices start at $3.
It is quite fascinating to see auntie switch from wok to wok during the peak hours.
The Fried Kway Teow served with cockles and beansprouts were rather smoky-tasting bearing fried food’s signature wok hei savouriness. I wished there was more of that dark sauce flavours and could be slightly ‘stickier’ – personal preference.
Kowloon Wanton Mee
Seah Im Food Centre #01-50
Opening Hours: 6am – 2pm (Mon – Sun)
A non-descript looking stall, I was attracted by the word “Kowloon” and saw items including Soya Sauce Chicken Noodles ($3.50, $4.50), Wanton Noodles ($3.50, $4.50), Mushroom Hor Fun ($3.50), Chicken Feet Noodles ($4), to Shredded Chicken Noodles ($4, $5) sold.
The stall is owned and operated by Mdm Lim, who uses a own special recipe for her egg noodles to make it thicker and chewier, and easier to slurp.
Surprisingly, I quite enjoyed the Soya Sauce Chicken Noodles (considering this is not a famous stall) with its succulent and well-marinated chicken and springy noodles.
Tian Ji Niang Dou Fu
Seah Im Food Centre #01-52
Opening Hours: 8am – 9pm
One of those stalls which operate from early in the morning all the way till night time (when most of the stalls around Seah Im have closed). Every single day. You have to give it to them.
Also, Tian Ji offers a wide range of noodle choices from the usual bee hoon, kueh teow, mee to mee pok, mee kia, laksa bee hoon, bee tai bak, mee sua to even yee mee.
You can choose a different cooking style from dry, soup, chilli, or laksa.
The YTF pieces are pre-determined though, and start from $4.90 for 7 pieces. What I liked was that the fried pieces are kept separate from those in the soup.
While I thought that the soup items were pretty average, I liked the flat-looking deep-fried beancurd skin with fish paste which was crispy with moist fillings.
* Written by Daniel Ang Instagram and Juls H. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.