For hawker dining done differently. Take a break from the usual char kway teows and hokkien mees and dig into Italian pastas, German pork knuckles and French duck leg confits!
This article was originally published on burpple.com.
1. Ministry of Ribs
Blk 28 Dover Crescent (Zheng Hua Coffee Shop) #01-97
With branches in Dover and Pandan Garden, Ministry of Ribs brings good ol' American grub that is set to satisfy at extremely affordable prices. True to their name, their Hickory Smoked Ribs ($13.90 for half, $20.90 for full portion) are a stand-out, having been thoughtfully selected, slow-cooked, smoked and then seared for incredible flavour with their blend of spices and sauces. Their special Ministry Burger ($13.90) is a hearty option, complete with bacon and fried onion onion rings atop a juicy beef patty cooked to perfection. Ribs, burgers and prime ribeye steaks prepared fresh daily - this is just the spot to enjoy a hearty meal with friends or family.
2. Ah Bong's Italian
56 Eng Hoon Street #01-46
Sometimes all you need is a plate of comforting, downright delicious pasta. Enter Ah Bong's Italian, helmed by the affable Chef Chris, which caters to that very need by serving a range of fantastic pastas right out of a humble coffeeshop stall in Tiong Bahru Estate - for just six bucks a plate. Choose anything that suits your fancy, from the irresistible Truffle Mac & Cheese (no description needed), to the signature Birthday Pasta - a seriously magical combination of broccoli, cream and bacon. End off with a unique dessert of the day, which sees delightful creations like Orange Earl Grey Creme Brulee, and wash it all down with a kopi-o from the uncle next door! There are limited portions available each day, so head down early.
3. Two Wings Pte Ltd
Blk 119 Bukit Merah Lane 1 #01-40
Situated in the 'ang moh' Salut Coffeeshop in Bukit Merah, Two Wings fries their chicken to order, guaranteeing hot, crispy, incredibly satisfying wings. Making them even more addictive is dunking them in their special chicken-rice-chili-esque chili, which ensures you won't be able to stop at one (or two, for that matter). If you enjoy a well-battered wing, you'll certainly enjoy sinking your teeth into the crisp exterior of these babies. The wait can get a little long sometimes, so order in advance if you're planning to head down. Please get an ice cold beer from a neighbouring stall to complete this experience!
4. A Noodle Story
7 Maxwell Road (Amoy Street Food Centre) #01-39
Closed since November last year due to renovation works at Amoy Street Food Centre, A Noodle Story has opened its shutters once again, churning out what has become a hawker favourite in the CBD - Singapore-style ramen. It features springy wanton noodles coated in a garlic-ginger-onion infused oil, wantons, irresistibly oozy onsen egg, slices of tender melt-in-your-mouth chashu, and shrimp wrapped in crispy potato. Phew. At half the price of normal ramen ($5 for small, $6 for medium), it certainly doesn't compromise on flavour or satisfaction!
5. Seasalt - The Seafood Place
Blk 119 Bukit Merah Lane 1
Keeping things simple and fresh is Seasalt's philosophy. Dig into a scrumptious pot of mussels at this stall (also situated in Salut Coffeeshop), and choose from a selection of sauces including white wine, garlic cream, blue cheese, and even tom yum! Go for the garlic cream sauce, a surprisingly light and fragrant complement to the fresh, sweet mussels ($15). If mussels aren't your thing, go for a pot of fresh King Prawns ($16), some Lemon Butter Fish and Chips ($9), or Grilled Snapper ($12) instead!
6. Beer is Food
505 Golden Mile Food Centre #B1-55
Boasting an impressive selection of specialty beers, ciders, and also German lager on tap, Beer is Food is a much welcome addition to the stall directory of Golden Mile Food Centre. With over 50 types of beers and ciders and regular new additions, this playground of craft beer allows you to pair unique drinks with your favourite hawker fare. Prices range from $8-14.
144 Upper Bukit Timah (Beauty World Food Centre) #04-49
Located in Beauty World Food Centre is Hambaobao, a burger stall keeping things simple with only 5 items on their menu: Classic Beef, Broiled Dory Fish, Spiced Pulled Pork, Crispy Pork Belly and Ayam Buah Keluak. For wasabi lovers, go for the pork belly burger ($4.50), which is broiled without any oil, leaving the skin crispy and the meat tender, and completed with a good hit of wasabi mayo. For something extremely unique, opt for the Ayam Buah Keluak ($5) - a good play on classic Peranakan flavours. With burgers ranging from only $4.50-5 and only an additional $1 for a side of handcut fries, don't hesitate to support these passionate young hawkers!
8. Stew Kuche
119 Bukit Merah Lane 1 #01-40
Having the choice of German food in a coffeeshop is a wonderfully refreshing concept. This Swiss-German stall serves up awesome crispy German Pork Knuckles ($15 for half, or $25 for whole portions) served with peppery potato mash, and creatively replaces the traditional sauerkraut with a delightful achar. Another popular item is their Oxtail Stew ($18.90) - chunks of super tender oxtail immersed in rich broth - perfect for sharing! Stomach-warming stews, crackling pork knuckles and refreshing beers definitely make for a perfect night out with your best friends.
9. Immanuel French Kitchen
Blk 119 Bukit Merah Lane 1 #01-40
Immanuel French Kitchen aims to bring affordable French fare to the masses from their humble stall in Salut Coffeeshop. Tuck into their signature Kakuni Style Pork Belly ($16.90), boasting incredible flavour and melt-in-your-mouth tenderness, and served with duxelle mushroom, onsen egg and potato foam. For something more classic, opt for the crispy Duck Leg Confit ($15.90) sitting on silky mash, braised savoy cabbage and jus. If you're sharing, complete your French experience with some escargot and foie gras coated with black miso! Don't expect to have the best French meal of your life, but this certainly hits the spot when cravings set in.
10. Smith Street Taps
Blk 335 Smith Street Chinatown Complex #02-062
Just a few stalls down from its big sister The Good Beer Company sits Smith Street Taps, a haven for craft beer lovers. As its name suggests, this stall in Chinatown Complex at Smith Street serves beer on tap. They offer a familiar Sapporo alongside lesser-known names, enjoy a lovely, ice cold pint in one of the best hawker centres in the country. Don't be shy, talk to owners Daniel and Meng Chao for recommendations, it'd be silly to miss out on a great food pairing, or a truly unique pour!