We continue with our guide to hawker centers where you can dine with up to five people. Next, the Hong Lim food center.
Opened in 1978, Hong Lim is one of the first hawker centers built in the city. It was built to house food vendors on Hokkien Street, some who eventually set up iconic stalls now run by their descendants.
One of them is Tang Kay Kee Fish Head Bee Hoon, a fourth-generation hawker who sells Japanese-inspired lunch bowls by day and zi char by night. Tanglin Crispy Curry Puff has also been in the family for two generations, and they continue to serve piping hot pastries filled with meat and potatoes.
Many diners flock to the center for one of two stalls selling curried chicken noodles, Cantonese delicacies and Heng Kee. For duck rice and kway chap, head to Ah Heng, then Morning Bak Kut Teh for the soy sauce-based broth.
Eddy’s is an owner’s namesake stand that sells Western fusion dishes like duck confit and spaghetti laksa, and Hiong Kee Dumplings wrap bak zhang year-round. In the evening, Woh Hup lights the wok for his Cantonese zi char.
For more hawker centers see our guides to Maxwell, Ghim Moh and Beo Crescent.
Hong Lim Market & Food Center is located at 531A Upper Cross St, Singapore 051531.
(Hero and featured image credit: Tang Kay Kee/Facebook and @tangkaykee)
Below are the 9 best stalls at Hong Lim Food Center Singapore to visit this week:
Ah Heng was started in 2012 by a couple who learned their signature cooking from Heng Gi, a famous duck rice stall at the Tekka Centre. Recommended by the Michelin Guide in 2021, their tender duck comes with a savory and fragrant dark soy sauce, while the kway chap features tenderly braised entrails and tofu.
S$3 to S$6
Tuesday to Sunday, 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
(Image credit: @yum_seng)
531A Upper Cross St, #02-64, Singapore 050538 Google map
Join the queue for Cantonese Delights Fried Curry Chicken Cutlet Noodles. This is a valid expectation; the noodles are springy, the chicken is crisp and juicy, and the sauce is heady and aromatic. While you’re at it, the lean and flavorful Char Siu Wanton noodles are another winning option.
S$4 to S$5
Monday to Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
(Image credit: @msginginly)
531A Upper Cross St, #02-03, Singapore 051531 Google map
This stand is run by Eddy Wan, who has worked as a private chef aboard a super yacht and head chef for a chain of soba restaurants in Singapore. He now runs his own business where he serves modern Western fusion dishes such as duck confit and spaghetti with mala shrimp. He also cooked a medium beef burger with truffle fries, mashed potatoes and bowls of rice.
S$7.50 to S$10
Monday to Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
(Image credit: @cxyxcc)
538 Upper Cross St, #02-52, Singapore 050538 Google map
Heng Kee Chicken Curry Bee Hoon Mee
Teochew style curry chicken noodles is Heng Kee. They cook the breast meat until juicy and tender, then add it to a silky broth with airy fried tofu and fluffy vermicelli.
S$5.50 to S$8
Monday to Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
(Image credit: Heng Kee Curry Chicken Noodles/Facebook)
531A Upper Cross St, #01-58, Singapore 051531 Google map
Hiong Kee only makes bak zhang type dumplings. Also known as zong zi, it consists of stuffed sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves and traditionally eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival. If you need a year-round fix, Hiong Kee’s pork version with mushrooms, salted egg and chestnut surely satisfies, as does its sweeter Nyonya option with winter melon.
S$1.70 to S$4.20
Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
(Image credit: @onekueh_at_atime)
Blk 531A #02-37 Upper Hokien Street, 058285 Google map
Start your day with Morning Bak Kut Teh, which offers a lesser-known variation made with dark soy sauce. The broth is both sweet and savory, and the pork ribs come off the bone effortlessly. Their candied vegetables and pig’s trotter are also nice.
S$6 to S$8
Every day, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
(Image credit: @joscotham)
Tang Kay Kee Fish Head Bee Hoon
Tang Kay Kee is run by a fourth-generation peddler who took over his great-grandfather’s stall. She upgraded it to offer rice bowls during lunch, including the Cze Char Bowl with Har Cheong Gai Bites, a local version of Japanese karaage. Dinner is more old school, with traditional zi char dishes like bitter gourd with black beans and Assam fish head curry.
S$6 to S$26
Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Zi Char Dinner
Tuesday to Sunday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
(Image credit: @tangkaykee)
#01-70, 531A Upper Cross St, Hong Lim Food Center, 051531 Google map
Tanglin Crispy Curry Puff Since 1952
Helming Tanglin Curry Puff is a second generation member of the founder’s family. Their version features a smashing puff pastry filled with creamy potatoes and generous chunks of chicken surrounded by a smooth curry paste. For more recommendations on curry puffs, read here.
S$1.80 to S$1.90
Monday to Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
(Image credit: @ maikeru55san)
Woh Hup Cantonese Zi Char
This Cantonese style zi char stall started on Chin Chew Street alongside the famous Swee Kee brand. Now in Hong Lim, their impressive menu features gems such as sambal kang kong, har lok or dried fried prawns, steamed chicken in black bean sauce and salted fish, and fried chicken.
S$ to S$
Thursday to Tuesday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
531A Upper Cross St, #02-55, Singapore 051531 Google map