Margaret Drive Hawker Centre near Queenstown MRT station has opened, a very good news for nearby Queenstown, Tanglin Halt and Commonwealth residents.
This is a 2-storey food centre located at SkyResidences @Dawnon with tall ceilings, and a short walk from the train station.
Foodies staying nearby would find several of the 30 plus stalls familiar, as many were from Tanglin Halt Food Centre previously located at Blocks 1A, 2A, and 3A Commonwealth Drive.
Some of the food stalls on Level 1 include Queenstown Lontong, Nor Nasi Ala Kampung, Ichigo Cottage, Xin’s Tzechar, Chef Hainanese Western Food, Sukarnih Chicken Rice, Xin Yue Coffee, and Tong Kee Chicken Rice.
Moving up to Level 2, there are Shun Xin Hot & Cold Desserts, Alimah’s Kitchen, JJ Muslim Food, Ah Luck Desserts, Indulgence Queenstown, Makan Singapura, Tian Xiang Wanton Noodle, No 1 Western Food, Xi Di Teochew Fried Bee Hoon Mee Rice, and DJ Satay Grill.
Note that not all the stalls are opened yet, so it is recommended to perhaps visit sometime later when more are in operations.
Margaret Drive Hawker Centre #01-27
Boasting a business since the 1960s, Queenstown Lontong won’t disappoint with its delicious recipe passed down through 3 generations.
While the stall says “Lontong” ($4), they also serve up Nasi Lemak ($4), Mee Rebus ($4), Mee Soto ($4) and Soto Ayam ($4).
The gravy of the Mee Rebus was rich, robust, and came piping hot. Another plus point was their home-made sambal with ikan billis that added a beautiful touch of sweetness.
Margaret Drive Hawker Centre #01-25
Another popular stall serving up Lontong, Nasi Lemak, Mee Siam, Mee Rebus and Mee Soto.
The lontong was rich and creamy, with soft rice pieces.
Nor Nasi Ala Kampung
Margaret Drive Hawker Centre #01-26
I like that there are many Muslim food choices here. Nor Nasi Ala Kampung serves up a variety of Nasi-style items, from Nasi Padang, Nasi Goreng Ayam Penyet ($7), O.M Chicken Rice ($4.50), Nasi Ayam Penyet ($7), Nasi Ayam Goreng ($5.50), Nasi Lemak ($4) to Nasi Sambal Goreng ($4, $4.50). Add on begedil ($0.60), egg ($0.50) or fish cake ($0.50).
The stall also serves up varying noodle dishes of Mee Rebus ($4), Mee Soto ($4), Mee Siam ($4), Mee Goreng ($5), and Mee Goreng Ayam ($5.50).
Chef Hainanese Western Food
Margaret Drive Hawker Centre #01-32
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.
A father-and-son team helms the stall, and you would find the calling and cooking in clock-work efficiency.
Their Mixed Grill Platters 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. Generous portions, well-marinated meats, and old-school flavours.
Tong Kee Chicken Rice From Margaret Drive
Margaret Drive Hawker Centre #01-36
Opening Hours: 10am – 3pm or sold out (Mon – Sun)
Back in the good-old-days, there are a number of famous Chicken Rice stalls at the old Margaret Drive Hawker Centre, though probably only Sin Kee Famous Cantonese Chicken Rice and Tong Kee remains.
Tong Kee currently helmed by Mr Tan Kian Meng (the recipe is from his father) specialises in Roast Chicken Rice ($4, $5, $6), though customers can also find an occasional Poached Chicken, along with Char Siew and Crispy Roast Pork Belly Sio Bak.
You would notice that the roast chicken has a glossier skin than the usual.
While the chicken is not the superbly crispy sort, I loved how it could retain the succulence and some juiciness (some Roast Chicken can get really dry.)
My favourite part was the combination of fluffy flavourful chicken rice matched with the tasty chilli sauce with a kick. Tong Kee Chicken Rice (Margaret Drive Hawker Centre)
Margaret Drive Hawker Centre #02-26
This low-key, under-the-radar Muslim stall is also deserving of support, and many say that their Nasi Lemak ($3.50) with fragrant rice and crispy wings) is better than some of the famous brands out there.
Opened by husband-and-wife team Yusof and Alimah, they also serve up Mee Rebus ($3), Mee Siam ($3), Lontong ($3), Nasi Sambal Goreng ($4), and Lotong Kering ($4). All at very affordable prices.
I had its Mee Siam ($3) and was surprised by its homely and nutty flavours, all at an inexpensive price.
Their Kuih Kuih and Epok Epok if available, are also well-received.
Shun Xing Hot & Cold Desserts
Margaret Drive Hawker Centre #02-24
Few have written about this local dessert stall, but I think it deserves a highlight for its inexpensive sweet treats.
These include Cheng Tng, Red Bean Soup, Green Bean Soup, Tao Suan, Bo Bo Hitam, Sweet Wheat Porridge, Bo Bo Cha Cha, Ice Kachang and Chendol.
The slightly more ‘premium’ items are still affordable, with choices of Soursop Ice, Aloe Vera Ice, Durian Ice Kachang, and Strawberry & Peach Ice. I liked it that the desserts are generally not too sweet.
Hakka Thunder Tea
Margaret Drive Hawker Centre #02-34
This is a popular Hakka Thunder Tea rice stall (possibly one of the longest lines when it was at Tanglin Halt), serving up Lei Cha Fan, Home Made Hakka Yong Tau Fu, and Vinegar Pig Trotter.
The Hakka Thunder Tea comes with generous portions of stir-fried cabbage, spinach, tofu, preserved vegetables, anchovies and peanuts, with a choice of brown or white rice.
I find the ingredients generally fresh-tasting and can be a flavour (and texture explosion) in your mouth.
Even the herbaceous tea on the side tasted quite pleasant.
What I really liked were the pieces of freshly fried Yong Tau Foo (you can choose to add on the number of pieces). The downside? The very long waiting time.
Indulgence @ Queenstown
Margaret Drive Hawker Centre #02-38
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, Crispy Chicken, Chicken Cutlet, Pork Chop, Crispy Dory, Grilled Dory, and Ribeye Steak. Top up with pasta if you want a more filling treat.
Tian Xiang Wanton Noodles
Margaret Drive Hawker Centre #02-41
Old school wanton noodles with spring noodles, char siew (a little dry), and both soup-style wantons and deep-fried wantons.
I think the draw is in the QQ chewy noodles (slightly thicker than usual) tossed in a tasty sauce.