Young hawkers are changing the definition of #ourhawkerculture in Singapore. What used to be very "atas" food is now easily accessible.
Whether it's European, Korean, Japanese, or Chinese cuisine - it's gourmet food galore at our local hawker centres.
Here are 10 hawker centres with fancy gourmet food where you'll be surprised at what you can get for under $10.
10 GOURMET MEALS YOU CAN GET AT HAWKER CENTRES IN SINGAPORE
|Stall name and Location (road name or building name)||Price of a gourmet meal|
|Supreme Ramen Xiao Long Bao at Holland Drive||Pork Ribs Ramen for $4|
|Lad and Dad at Maxwell Food Centre||British Stew Bowl for $6|
|The Plug Food Co. at Eunos Crescent||Beer Battered Fish and Chips for $6.90|
|Seoul Shiok at Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre||Kimchi soup with rice for $7.90|
|Burgs at Golden Mile Centre and Chai Chee (Viva Business Park)||Double Viva Classic Burger for $8|
|Hammees at Commonwealth Crescent||Premium Beef Cheeseburger for $8|
|Meet 4 Meat at Brunners Coffeeshop, East Coast Road||Homemade pasta for $9|
|Gosh! Inspiring Creations at Ang Mo Kio Hub||Mini Lobster Nasi Lemak for $9.80|
|Gyu Nami at Amoy Street Food Centre||Wagyu Roast Beef Donburi for $10|
|Lagoon in a Bowl at Amoy Street Food Centre||Norwegian Salmon Rice Bowl for $10|
SUPREME RAMEN XIAO LONG BAO AT HOLLAND DRIVE
Started by an ex-Crystal Jade and ex-Tung Lok restaurant chef, this place serves quality homemade Chinese cuisines at a fraction of the price you would pay at Crystal Jade or Ding Tai Fung.
Their dishes average around $4, even for a bowl of Pork Ribs Ramen, which is typical hawker pricing. Their xiao long baos boast the same meticulous folds like higher-end restaurants and cost only $4.50 for 6 pieces. Crystal Jade's xiao long baos are at $7 for 4 pieces.
Rest assured that you are getting legit xiao long baos from a chef with more than 20 years of experience under his belt. If you want good and inexpensive Chinese cuisine without having to join the long queues at Ding Tai Fung, swing by Holland Drive.
Address: 46 Holland Dr, Singapore 270046
Opening hours: 9am to 1.30pm and 4.30 to 8.30pm daily
LAD AND DAD AT MAXWELL FOOD CENTRE
Lad and Dad received a fair amount of media coverage for their British-influenced comfort food since they started in 2014. They serve food such as Yorkshire pudding, British stews, good ol' fish and chips and the like.
The prices are really affordable at $6 for a stew bowl, $8 for a bangers 'n' mash and $10 for fish and chips.
The crispy and soft Yorkshire pudding is a favourite amongst customers and comes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Some British locals even reviewed them saying Lad and Dad had better bangers 'n' mash at than all the ones they had back home.
Address: 1 Kadayanallur St, #01-79 Maxwell Food Centre, Singapore 069184
Opening hours: 11.30am to 2.30pm and 5.30pm to 8.30pm daily. Closed on Sundays.
THE PLUG FOOD CO. AT EUNOS CRESCENT
Started by three young best friends, this hawker stall located just behind Eunos MRT station serves quality cafe-style Western food at great prices.
One of their must-try dishes is the Pulled Pork Burger, priced at $6.90 only. The pulled pork is so flavourful only because it's been slow roasted for more than eight hours overnight.
For the same price, you can get their Beer Battered Fish and Chips, which features a large piece of dory fish. If you go to a nice cafe, both of these dishes can easily be $20 and up.
The Plug Food Co. serves equally good dishes for less than half the price. Other tantalising dishes that they serve include the Buttermilk Chicken Burger and Mentaiko Fries, all for under $10!
Address: 4A Eunos Cres, Singapore 402004
Opening hours: 6am to 10pm daily
SEOUL SHIOK AT PASIR RIS CENTRAL HAWKER CENTRE
Korean food can be a little overpriced, especially at BBQ joints. Even a bowl of instant kimchi noodles or a plate of tteokbokki (Korean ricecakes) at a Korean BBQ restaurant can cost between $10 and $20.
Seoul expensive! Hur hur… At Seoul Shiok, you can get a kimchi soup with rice or a soy bean soup with rice for just $7.90. Their tteokbokki is also reasonably priced at $8.90 and their bulgogi beef rice bowl costs $9.20.
The next time you crave for Korean, instead of heading to Tanjong Pagar, head to the east to this hawker centre instead. There's another outlet at Sengkang Square too.
Address: 110 Pasir Ris Central and 10 Sengkang Square, Singapore 544829
Opening hours: 12pm to 9pm from Wednesday to Saturday, 12pm to 9.30pm on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday
BURGS AT GOLDEN MILE CENTRE AND CHAI CHEE (VIVA BUSINESS PARK)
Burgs was started by three young Muslim Singaporeans who began studying cooking since 17.
Their huge and wallet-friendly burgers include some creative ones like Mexican Pulled Beef Brisket Burger and Korean Bulgogi Burger. All of them are under $10, even for double patty burgers. Their classic burger costs as low as $5.50. You can even customise your own burger and add as many ingredients as you like, making it into one giant burger to fully satisfy your craving.
Burgs' fries come in fusion flavours like Okonomi Fries (with okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise and bonito flakes) and Cuban Fries (with pulled beef brisket and spiced nacho cheese).
Address: Golden Mile Food Centre, #01-65, 505 Beach Rd, 199583
Opening hours: 12-9pm on Wednesday, 12-2pm and 5-9pm on Thursday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday, 5-9pm on Saturday and Sunday
HAMMEES AT COMMONWEALTH CRESCENT
The menu at Hammee's is fuss-free and straightforward, good for those who always have trouble deciding what to order.
There are three main choices for burgers - the Classic Cheeseburger ($6 for a single), the Premium Beef Cheeseburger ($8) and the Fried Chicken Burger ($5.50). These are super affordable prices compared to gourmet burgers in restaurants like TGIF that can typically cost $20 or more.
Similarly, you can customise your burger and add extra ingredients or to have it spicy or non-spicy.
Their burgers are cooked-to-order, which explains the long queue time, especially during peak hours of lunch and dinner; the only minus point. Other than that, people who have tried their burgers have great comments about it. From their fluffy, toasted bun and flavourful, chunky meat patty, down to their homemade burger sauce, adding a nice touch.
Address: 31 Commonwealth Crescent, #02-93, Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre, Singapore 149644
Opening hours: 11am to 5pm from Tuesday to Sunday
GYU NAMI AT AMOY STREET FOOD CENTRE
The menu is even more straightforward at Gyu Nami hawker stall with a grand total of… one item - the Wagyu Roast Beef Donburi. The 25-year-old owner decided to bring this dish into Singapore after being wowed by it in Japan, and he adapted the taste to suit the Singaporean taste buds by adding more sauces and spice.
Priced at a low $10, he uses premium ingredients such as rice imported from Niigata and marbled wagyu beef from Australia's Jack's Creek. The portion of beef is also quite generous.
Address: 7 Maxwell Road MND Building Annexe B, 069111
Opening hours: 6.30am to 9pm from Sunday to Friday. 10.30am to 1.30pm on Saturday.
GOSH! INSPIRING CREATIONS AT ANG MO KIO HUB
This one is not really at a hawker centre, but at a food hall at Ang Mo Kio Hub.
If you are a seafood-lover but not willing to pay an arm and a leg for it, you have found the right place. Prices at this place are kept low because the owners are seafood importers.
For example, a dish with mini lobsters costs less than $10, as compared to $25 and up in seafood restaurants.
The recommended dish is their Mini Lobster Nasi Lemak at $9.80. It's the usual nasi lemak but instead of the typical fried chicken wing, you get mini lobsters instead.
Customers who have tried this dish said the lobsters were juicy, tender and springy. Another Singaporean-favourite dish that they serve is the Chilli Crab Sauce Mini Lobster with Mantou at only $6.80. There are oyster dishes too, depending on the season. All their dishes are halal.
Address: AMK Hub, 53 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3, #B2-48 Singapore 569933
Opening hours: 10am to 10pm daily
MEET 4 MEAT AT BRUNNERS COFFEESHOP, EAST COAST ROAD
Meet 4 Meat's chef is a veteran who has 20 years of experience working in restaurants and steakhouses in both Australia and Singapore. He was also the chef of Wooloomooloo Steakhouse at Swissôtel.
Apart from steak dishes, Meet 4 Meat also serves fresh handmade pasta dishes; a must-try is their Carbonara ($9). If you are willing to spend a bit more, their Beef Wellington at $27 is one of their signature dishes and is a favourite amongst customers. At a fraction of the price you pay at fancy restaurants, you get a 180-gram tenderloin and it even comes with a piece of pan-fried foie gras.
Address: 228 E Coast Rd, Singapore 428925
Opening hours: 12 to 2.30pm and 3.30 to 9.30pm daily
LAGOON IN A BOWL AT AMOY STREET FOOD CENTRE
With a similar concept to Gyu Nami (in fact the owners are friends), this place also focuses on serving just one delectable dish. In this case, it's their unique Norwegian Salmon Blue Pea Rice bowl priced at $10.
First of all, the appearance of the rice bowl is colourfully instagram-worthy with blue rice and tri-colour vegetables. The butterfly pea tea, which makes the rice blue, is not only pleasing to the eye but it has many health benefits too.
Customers say that the salmon, served with blow-torched mentaiko mayo sauce on top, is mind-blowing and melts in your mouth. Although they started with the concept of just one dish, it seems that they have branched out to serve other rice bowls like Wagyu Don as well. Regardless, the blue pea rice remains a must-try.
Address: 7 Maxwell Rd, #01-48, Singapore 069111
Opening hours: 11 am to 3pm. Closed on Sunday.
This article was first published in MoneySmart.