What are the first few things that come to mind when you think about Bukit Timah? For me, it’ll be the dozens of cafes, pubs and of course, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve for hiking.
And on the rare occasions that I try hiking, after my friends and I have trekked through the trail, we would head straight for Bukit Timah Market & Food Centre to chow down on some well-deserved hawker grub!
If like me, you’re more into food than hiking, then I’ve got good news for you. Here are 10 hawker dishes at Bukit Timah Market & Food Centre that are worth forgoing your ideal bod for.
1. Peanut Butter Beef Burger (Genesis Kitchen Grill & Pasta, #02-198)
Opened in March 2018, Genesis Kitchen is the newest kid on the block. Selling Western dishes such as Shrimp Burger ($4.90), Prawn Aglio Olio ($6.90) and not the mention, the Peanut Butter Beef Burger ($6.90).
Peanut butter on a burger may seem a little strange, but I assure you, it’s probably the best thing since sliced bread.
The peanut butter spread accentuated the meatiness of the beef with its nutty flavour. In addition, it gave each bite a nice crunchy and creamy texture.
The beef patty was also thick and juicy, and I appreciated how it wasn’t too savoury. If you’re headed over to try this unique burger, note that the stall is rather new and hasn’t quite fixed their opening hours yet, so they close when the food sells out.
Genesis Kitchen Grill & Pasta: #02-198 | Tel: +65 8198 5236 | Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm (Daily)
2. Lala Sliced Fish White Bee Hoon (He Le Seafood White Bee Hoon 和乐海鲜白米粉, #02-180)
For those of you who frequent this hawker centre, you must be pretty familiar with He Le Seafood White Bee Hoon (和乐海鲜白米粉). The Lala Sliced Fish White Bee Hoon ($5/$8/$12) is a real hit with the lunch crowd and for good reason.
This dish is both big in portion and flavour; the smallest portion was probably enough for two, and the fish slices were also huge and tender.
Topped with a generous amount of fried lard, I recommend mixing them well into the noodles for that extra crunch and flavour. The broth was also light but had a subtle wok hei taste.
He Le Seafood White Bee Hoon 和乐海鲜白米粉: #02-180 | Opening Hours: 10am – 9pm (Daily)
3. Mutton Ribs Soup (Chin Hock Mutton Soup 进福羊肉汤, #02-156)
Run by a Chinese family, Chin Hock Mutton Soup’s (进福羊肉汤) rendition of mutton soup has a little herbal twist to it.
The stall sells soup with a variety of parts such as Mutton Tendon ($5), Mutton Tendon + Stomach + Ribs Soup ($6) and Mutton Rib Soup ($5). Chinese herbs were added to the soup and rock sugar was replaced by liquorice roots as a sweetener.
The soup still had a subtle mutton gamey taste and I found the slight bitterness from the herbs to be rather refreshing. The mutton ribs were really soft and tender and its natural gamey flavour was almost non-existent.
I highly recommend this version of mutton soup to people who prefer their mutton soup a little less heavy and jelak.
Chin Hock Mutton Soup 进福羊肉汤: #02-156 | Opening Hours: 11.30am – 8pm daily
4. BBQ Chicken Wings (Leng Kee BBQ 龙记, #02-127)
If you come by this hawker centre with a group of friends, you simply must get a sharing platter of delectable BBQ Chicken Wings ($1.40 per piece) from Leng Kee BBQ (龙记).
Its glazed caramelized skin looked tantalising. I could actually taste the layer of honey on the skin, and the sweetness paired really well with the charred taste of the juicy meat.
The chilli sauce leaned more to the tart side, with a rather pronounced taste of lime. Overall, it complements the taste of the chicken.
Leng Kee BBQ 龙记: #02-127 | Opening Hours: 12noon – 11pm (Mon – Sun), Closed on Wed
5. Thunder Tea Rice (Living Wholesome Vegetarian Food 生活天然健康素食, #02-188)
I’ve tried my fair share of vegetarian hawker food and the Thunder Tea Rice ($5) made by Living Wholesome Vegetarian Food (生活天然健康素食) was honestly one of the best I’ve tasted.
The owner usually puts together a dish, which will cost about $5 – $7 but you’re more than welcome to select your own ingredients.
The standard version consists of brown rice, long beans, cashew nuts, cai xin and fried tofu cubes. The rice was surprisingly flavourful and had a tinge of sourness that the owner attributes to his secret ingredient. The portions were rather generous and the dish was really tasty and filling.
Living Wholesome Vegetarian Food 生活天然健康素食: #02-188 | Opening Hours: 9am – 8pm (Daily)
5. Hokkien Mee (Xie Kee Hokkien Mee 谢记福建面, #02-174)
Selling only one dish, Xie Kee Hokkien Mee (谢记福建面) has established itself firmly as one of the popular stalls in this hawker centre. The waiting time can get a little long as the owner makes the noodles in big batches to keep up with the demand.
However, this Hokkien Mee ($3) is well worth the wait. It had just the right amount of sauce, with a prominent taste of cuttlefish. The dish also used flat noodles, which was a refreshing change in texture from the more commonly used yellow noodles.
Xie Kee Hokkien Mee 谢记福建面: #02-174 | Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Tues – Sun), Closed on Mon
6. Chendol (Nyonya Chendol, #02-147)
Nyona Chendol sells the dessert in four different variations: Chendol ($1.50), Red Bean Chendol ($2), Sweet Corn Chendol ($2) and XO Durian Chendol ($3).
Although the queue is rather long and intimidating, the aunty churns out bowls of chendol by the minute.
The shaved ice was like a jutting mountain in a sea of white coconut milk. I liked how the pandan jelly tasted really authentic, pairing well with the sweet Gula Melaka syrup and red beans.
It also had a rather generous portion of coconut milk, giving each spoonful a creamy fullness. Truly the perfect dessert for our tropical climate!
Nonya Chendol: #02-147 | Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun), Closed on Thu
7. Carrot Cake (He Zhong Carrot Cake 合众菜头粿, #02-185)
For those of you who frequent this hawker centre, you’ll be pretty familiar with He Zhong Carrot Cake (合众菜头粿). Seeing people seated with a steaming plate of Carrot Cake ($2.50) is a common sight.
Served in four chunky blocks, this carrot cake no doubt has a good amount of eggs to hold its shape. I liked that exterior of the chunky blocks was crispy but revealed a moist interior.
Each bite started with a nice kick of spice from the chilli atop the cake, which slowly gave way to savoury goodness from the chye poh.
He Zhong Carrot Cake 合众菜头粿: #02-185 | Opening Hours: 7am – 10pm (Daily)
8. Fish Soup (Leng Kee 龙记, #02-144)
Now, Leng Kee (龙记) shares the same name as the BBQ Chicken Wing stall but the dishes served are quite different indeed.
What I liked about the Fish Soup ($5) is that they’re really generous with the fish slices; you could practically have a fish slice in each spoonful from start to finish.
However, I found the taste of the soup a little too mellow, with only a faint taste of the savoury fish sauce. I suggest adding a teaspoon of chilli sauce, to bring on a little heat and give the soup a much-needed boost in flavour.
Leng Kee 龙记: #02-144 | Opening Hours: 8am – 8pm (Mon-Sun), Closed on Wed
10. Ngoh Hiang (Zhong Zhong Fine Spice 中中五香酥虾饼. #02-148)
Saving the best for last, the hot favourite of this hawker centre is none other than Zhong Zhong Fine Spice (中中五香酥虾饼).
Selling a large variety of ingredients, the regulars would usually go for the Fried Shrimp Cracker ($1.50), Fried Beancurd Skin ($1.40) and Fried Tofu ($1).
What I found rather special was how the owner would lightly fry all the fried ingredients again right before serving them, getting them piping hot and crispy.
The portions are pretty generous and people usually go for a sharing platter, along with a plate of Bee Hoon ($1).
Zhong Zhong Fine Spice 中中五香酥虾饼: #02-148 | Opening Hours: 8.30am – 8.30pm (Wed – Sun)
There are many other stores that are very much deserving of your patronage, so let’s show the entire Bukit Timah Market & Food Centre some love!
Bukit Timah Market & Food Centre: 116 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 588172
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