There are many things I like about Singapore.
Everything WORKS. The shopping, the food, the nightlife. All are ticks on my chalk board of good, good things to do in Singapore.
Speeding down to the republic for a wedding last weekend, Cumi & ciki really had limited time on their hands. Like most people, we wanted to do it all. Luckily for us, we hooked up with Keropokman and he very efficiently, made our 2 hours of free time worthwhile, when he brought us to a great place for Hawker Food.
Ah.. the Singapore Food Courts. The touch-and-go of makan experiences. Everything under one roof! Good man, that Keropokman!
Singapore Food Courts are basically neon-lit, air-conditioned, indoor hawker centres. Particularly in Singapore, hawker centres have gone upmarket and global in their offerings, and are increasingly being replaced by Food Courts. Instead of open-air surroundings, you can now find them in the air-conditioned environs of many shopping malls and other commercial venues. Styled as food courts, these trendy hawker centres continue to sell a wide variety of food. The modus operandi is the same, although eating in a cooler (and arguably, cleaner) environment means paying slightly more for the same meals.
Built in the 1930s, Tiong Bahru Estate is one of the oldest housing estates in Singapore. It was the first project undertaken, to provide for mass public housing in Singapore. The construction style of the estate is a mix of Streamline Moderne and local Straits Settlements shop-house architecture. I noticed really cool, retro features of the Food court even, where rounded balconies, flat rooftops, spiral staircases and light wells are not uncommon. One notable feature of Tiong Bahru estate is that all its streets are named after Chinese pioneers of the 19th and early 20th centuries (Lim Liak, Kim Pong, Guan Chuan, Chay Yan, etc.. Hmm, very cool indeed. We were totally psyched for the food).
Queue for your food because it’s good
Tiong Bahru Market/Food Court is supposedly famous for the quality and range of the local food fare and if a good crowd is anything to go by then, this place must be rocking.
I was told that Tiong Bahru Market has some of the best hawker stalls in Singapore that tops the country’s eatery charts. Ah.. so this is THAT place! It is not uncommon for people living in other parts of Singapore to come all the way to Tiong Bahru to enjoy a simple meal of Char siew rice (BBQ pork rice), Har mee (prawn noodles), Char Kwey Teow(Chinese style fried flat noodles), Hokkien Mee (Black Noodles) and other local culinary delights. In a city-state abound with food courts, hawker centers and other eateries, this bears testament to the delectability and popularity of the food in Tiong Bahru!
Sizzling stuffed tofu
Eat stuffed tofu until you are stuffed
Many of the men who work Tiong Bahru Foodcourt are old-timers
Eat Bao till you are Pao (full!)
It is tough work, says the sign
Another old timer sits and chops and serves.. oblivious of the snaking queue his stall has attracted
A steady hand, a strong heart
Glutinous rice cakes with bean and pork fat stuffings
The younger generation that will keep the business alive
Double, double toil and trouble. Fire burn, and caldron bubble
Koh brothers boil a mean pig intestine soup. To die for.
Tofu sumbat (stuffed tofu) rojak
Smile for the camera!
The famous Dry Har Mee (Prawn Noodles)
I loved this because the prawn was huge and they managed to keep the head and the tail on the prawn while de-shelling it for you. How thoughtful! The meat was succulent and crunchy to the bite. Totally awesome. Flavour wise, it is tough to beat the Kuala Lumpur Har mee because the stock lacks the crazy, intense prawn aroma ! (Sorry guys from the republic!)
The mega super famous Char Mee Kwey Teow
Greasy and heavenly tasting. Too bad it was slight sweet.. not my cup of tea but apparently that’s how it’s done in Singapore. Hmmm.. Give me KL Char Mee Kwey Teow any time! LOL. One thing that was praise worthy though was the amount of meat in the noodles. Puts KL’s one to shame!
The Pretty Dumplings with Charsiew (BBQ Pork) stuffings
Delicious! Totally one of the best bao we have tried. I hope they make them bigger the next time!
Keropokman and his gal.. our magnanimous hosts (We will return the favour when you get to KL.. for sure) Thank you for being so generous and hospitable!
Siew Yoke Fan (Roast Pork Rice)
Not bad but not great. KL’s version is still better!
By golly! After eating all that, this final quarter duck felt more like half! We were told that there was a famous Lor Mee (starchy sauce with fat noodles) here as well but 1. we do not like Lor Mee, 2. we were really too stuffed for words. Too much food.. and we crawled back to the hotel wondering how we would survive the wedding dinner in 2 hours time!
Anyway, a great makan session. Next round.. more time and places to try new things we hope! Thanks from C&C !Add: Tiong Bahru Market/Food Court, 30 Seng Poh Road
(S) 168898 Singapore. Google Maps