Going to Singapore and picking what to eat is like an adventure on its own. But finding a delicious and affordable place to eat is not that hard. In fact, it is rather easy. Just go to the food court or also known as hawker center. We went to 2 of the food courts on our last trip, Lau Pa Sat and Tiong Bahru. And let’s start with the first one, shall we?
Lau Pa Sat
Lau Pa Sat or also known as Telok Ayer Market is a food center. But not just any food center, this one is also a national monument officially announced back on 6 July 1973. And it is really easy to see that from the outside, the striking grand architecture. Built in the 1800s with Victorian style architecture, no wonder they called this an “architectural gem”.
Not only the outside but the inside is also as gorgeous. The cast-iron columns and the delicate patterns, definitely not something I expected to see in a hawker center. The original design was coming from a British architect, George Coleman which latter rebuild and designed by James MacRitchie. Yes, that’s the short history lesson for you guys. 😜
How to get there?
Located in the heart of business district make this place really easy to reach. Take the MRT and get down at Raffles Place MRT Station which only 5 mins away from this place. No need to worry about getting lost because this place is super easy to see. I mean, being surrounded by all the shining skyscrapers definitely helping.
What to get?
You can get basically everything you could possibly want all under one roof. BUT, people recommend the Satay which we just have to try. The Satay stalls only open at night time, usually start around 7 pm. It will be in the outdoor area/outside of the building with all the stalls and plastic tables and chairs on the street. They even called it “Satay Street”.
Sorry for having no picture of the Satay. We instantly demolished it once it reached our table. It tasted great! But not the best Satay I ever had. I think because I am living in Indonesia where Satay (or Sate which we called it here) is a common dish and there are plenty places to get it here with soo many different variations, it’s hard for a stick of Satay to impressed me. Don’t get me wrong, it still good tho.
Last time, I also got the Wanton Mee which is a springy noodle with served dry with char siew and vegetables. It tasted pretty nice as per my expectation. We also get the Singapore Laksa, didn’t really stood out that much. It’s okay but I expect more of a punch of flavor from the dish.
We also ordered this Tom Yum kind of soup but I didn’t really remember much. I think that’s because I didn’t really like it, it just tasted sour. Well, I don’t think it’s really a place to order Tom Yum anyway, so yeah not the best.
Unlike the other food court which tends to be heavy in just one genre of food, like Chinese food or Malaysian food, this place has everything for everybody. Malaysian, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Vietnamese food, they even have a bakery. Just take a stroll around, take a glimpse of every stall before choosing what and where to get it.
I also heard that this is not really the place that locals will recommend for the legit Singaporean food. And I need to agree on that. I feel that this place is more suitable for foreigner or even tourist. It’s because you can get everything you want to taste in Singapore, foodwise, all in one place. But the taste might not be the best. Also, the price is a bit more pricey that your regular food court. I say the price is comparable to the food court in a shopping mall.
Will I recommend this place? YES, for the atmosphere and the convenience sake. I can’t lie and say I don’t enjoy the experience eating here. It’s something I imagine eating in a Singaporean food court will be, but cleaner and somewhat more modern. It’s ridiculously easy to get here and with plenty of options they have, I don’t think you’ll have any problem picking what to eat here.
Tiong Bahru Food Centre
Tiong Bahru itself is a residential estate, in fact, it is one of the oldest housing estates. It was built back in the 1920s, so walking around the area somehow took you back to that era. The vibes around this area is a completely different than the bustling city Singapore is known for. Peaceful and laid back and also old-school-ish.
But lately, this area has turned into a cooler, hippest neighborhood in town. With all the cafes and small indie stores popping out here and there. Last time, we only have enough time to visit the most historical place of all, the most authentic, the Tiong Bahru Market. We’ll most definitely try all the cafes next time we are here but for now, the food center will do.
The latest news said that this market will be undergoing 3 months renovation. It started from 20 February to 19 May 2017. They also said not all the tenants will reopened their stalls. Couples of older stallholders have decided to retire. So, the next time you visit it might not be the same as the last time we went but let’s just hope all the good food still there. 🙏🏻
How to get there?
It is still really easy to reach by the MRT. Take the either the East West Line or North East Line, depending on where you are coming from, and get down at the Outram Park MRT Station. The market is around 10 mins walking from the station. It might seem like quite a distance to walk but it was pleasantly nice to walk around the chill neighborhood.
What to get?
We just went as per advised, follow the peoples. Lining at the longest lines we saw and got what everyone else getting. And for real, every single thing that we get was amazing! Sometimes you just needs to trust the crowds (read: the locals), they know what’s best.
Unwilling to let all the amazing food passed by and being a greedy person that we are, we ordered more than what we should have. For the appetizer, we got this fish balls which turned out one of the best fish balls I have ever eaten in my life. This stall only sells all the homecooked fishball in different versions but we went with the basic ones.
Then we also got the Shui Kueh which is a soft and smooth steamed rice topped with diced preserved radish and served with hot chili sauce. The Jian Bo stall that we went to was actually really famous for their Shui Kueh. No wonder the line was really long.
For the main course, we went with Lor Mee for me and Hainanese Chicken Rice. Both were incredible! If your read our Singapore Culinary Travel journal (you should if you want to see more food porn) then you know that Leonard was pretty fond of the Chicken Rice. He said it tasted just like his home cooking which definitely told us something right.
We also get the steamed pau with sweet pork filling. Again, it was amazing. I think we also get the Soya Bean drink or the Herbal tea, can’t really remember. But I am for sure remember that it tasted good.
I was blown away by literally everything we ate here and will 100% recommend this place. Especially if you are looking for the authentic, more traditional style food court then this is it. The place itself might not be as modern as Lau Pa Sat but the experience is definitely worth your time and don’t let me started on the taste of the food. Hmmm, just hmmm…
One thing to note tho, the majority of the foods here are Chinese-ish food. So, this might not be the place for everyone nor the everything-under-one-roof type of food court. It can get pretty packed at lunch time, so I suggest going there earlier. Brunch time was a perfect time for us because it wasn’t too early and not too crowded either.
Another thing, it was cheap eating here. Dangerously affordable that we “slightly” went too overboard that we just want to order everything. All the things we bought only cost us SGD15! Yes, it dangerous guys. Be very very careful with your calories intake here. 😨
By the way, this is the last post for our Singapore series! Thanks for reading our Singapore Journal, the Halloween Horror Nights experience, our review for Rendezvous Hotel, the mystical Garden by The Bay, and the Culinary Journal. As much as I enjoyed writing all these posts, I am super excited for the next series coming up next on the blog! Clue: This next city is really famous for its mural by Ernest Zacharevic. Keep your answer until the next post, see y’all soon! 😉
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