The 10 best hawker stalls to try at Golden Mile Food Centre

PHOTO: Instagram/gordon61

Known to many as Army Market – due to the plethora of stalls on the top floor selling army-related gear – Golden Mile Food Centre initially opened in 1975 to house street hawkers that relocated from their former stamping ground at Jalan Sultan.

It recently underwent a renovation, and reopened in March 2020 – much to the delight of the area’s office workers who frequently swing by for a delicious and affordable lunch. 

Boasting a plethora of multi-cultural options, from hearty Peranakan fare and Teochew noodles to oozy lava baguettes and mammoth-sized burgers, Golden Mile Food Centre truly has something for everyone. Do make a trip down to sample its sumptuous eats for yourself.

Golden Mile Food Centre | 505 Beach Road

Yew Chuan Claypot Rice

This is widely regarded as one of Singapore’s best claypot rice joints. Each portion is cooked to order, so you can expect a long wait during peak periods.

But the food here is well worth it. The super-fragrant rice boasts a crispy char without being too burnt, and the juicy chicken chunks are soft and succulent.

Each claypot also comes topped with sliced Chinese sausage, salted fish and leafy greens, plus a drizzle of dark sauce and sesame oil. The smallest portion will set you back $12 and is good for two people. 

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Keng Heng Whampoa Teochew Lor Mee

It can be hard to find lor mee that isn’t overly starchy or too sweet. But the version at this popular spot – which usually boasts snaking peak-period queues – achieves an admirable balance of flavours and textures that will leave you wanting more.

Each bowl, which runs $4 and up, comes with chewy noodles coated in a thick, savoury sauce and topped with tasty ingredients like pork belly cubes, fried wanton and crispy fish skin. For added heat, you can throw in some chilli padi or add a dollop of sambal belacan.

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Braise

One of the newest arrivals at Golden Mile is Braise: a stall selling the Taiwanese Lu Rou Fan dish.

You can choose from a variety of braised pork cuts, including pork belly, pork shank and pork cheek. The aromatic meat is firm yet tender, and pairs really well with the other components you’ll find in your bowl.

Besides a generous serving of rice, each set comes with black fungus, Chinese greens, bean curd, shiitake mushrooms and a ramen egg. Be sure to grab their tangy chilli sauce for some added zing. Prices start from $3.

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Kopi More

Local-style coffee made with an espresso machine? Yes please. This cult-favourite stall counts Henry Golding and Edmund Chen among its fans. Owner Lawrence Tan sources Arabica and Robusta beans from around the world to create a special blend, which is then dark-roasted and ground to order for around $2 a cup.

Shots are pulled using an espresso machine – rather than the traditional “kopi sock” method – to yield a rich beverage that’s topped with a thin layer of crema. It packs a punch, and will pep you up for the day ahead.

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Charlie’s Peranakan

This is one of the hawker centre’s most frequented stalls, and it’s easy to see why. You’ll find a selection of hearty, traditional Peranakan dishes at prices that won’t break the bank.

Some of the specialties include tender jackfruit curry that’s been cooked in rich coconut milk; stewed pork with bamboo shoots and mushrooms; and zesty tamarind fish curry that goes amazingly well with rice.

You’ll either have to come with a group of hungry eaters or return a few times to make your way through the extensive menu. Prices start from $5.

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Ashes Burnitt

If you’re craving some Western fare, make a beeline for Ashes Burnitt. It serves “gourmet hawker burgers” that, in our opinion, have the chops to rival most burger restaurants out there.

Try the signature Ashes Smash Cheese Burger: A juicy beef patty with cheese, fried shallots, lettuce and special sauce served on a charcoal bun.

Pescatarians can go for the Fish & Chips Burger, which consists of a crispy slab of fried Alaskan pollack with cheese, tartar sauce and lettuce. All burgers come with a serving of fries, and prices start at $5.90.

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Zhao An Granny Grass Jelly

For a sweet and cooling treat to end your meal, why not get some old-fashioned, no-frills grass jelly. The smooth and firm grass jelly is painstakingly made by hand and comes in a pretty porcelain bowl with some shaved ice and your choice of additional toppings.

You can select either longan, nata de coco, palm seeds or sea coconut. It costs $1.50 for the herbal grass jelly base and 50¢ for each individual topping. This is nostalgia in a bowl, and it’ll do a fine job of transporting you back to your youth.

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91 Fried Kway Teow Mee

Want your fried kway teow, but are trying to eat a little healthier? At 91 Fried Kway Teow Mee, you can at least make an attempt, as each plate of glistening noodles is crowned with a blanket of dark-green vegetables and a sprinkle of ikan bilis, and isn’t fried in the usual unhealthy pork lard.

It’s certainly unorthodox, but we give the owner points for creativity. Besides the greens and fried fish, each serving comes packed with prawns, cockles and beansprouts, and has a substantial amount of wok hei. Prices start at $4.

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Kheng Fatt Hainanese Beef Noodles

This place does a mean rendition of Hainanese beef noodles, and is perfect if you need something to warm you up on a cold and rainy day.

For $5, you’ll get a piping-hot bowl of flavour-packed broth, noodles of your choice (we recommend the classic thick and springy rice noodles), beef slices, beef balls and a plentiful smattering of chopped spring onions and coriander. There’s also a “dry” version, which comes with a saucy gravy and crispy fried garlic bits. Do add a squeeze of lime before digging in.

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Mr. Baguette

Don’t leave Golden Mile without stopping by Mr. Baguette, which doles out some of the most unique bakes you’ll find at a hawker centre. Their claim to fame? Tiny and toasty baguette buns ($3 each) that are piped with a lava filling that oozes out when you take a bite.

You’ll find classic flavours like chocolate, hazelnut and blueberry, as well as more inventive options such as orange pomelo, peach aloe vera and salted caramel. The fillings are pretty sweet, though, so you may want to pace yourself, lest you go into sugar shock.

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This article was first published in The Singapore Women's Weekly.