For a couple of days last month , Adam Road Food Centre was on the tips of people’s tongues. Foreign politics had the world buzzing about US President-Elect Joe Biden, and a picture of him drinking lime juice and chatting with locals at this popular hawker centre reappeared online.
However, the Adam Road Food Centre’s thirty-odd stalls offering a selection of multi-ethnic cuisines near Botanic Gardens MRT Station has more than enough to draw people year-round – US elections notwithstanding.
1. Adam fishball noodles
Adam Road Food Centre might be best known for its Indian and Malay Food, but that doesn’t mean the Chinese stalls aren’t worth your attention.
A medium-sized bowl of dry Fishball Mee Pok ($4.50) from Adam Fishball Noodles arrived with fish cakes, shallots and some veggies on a bed of al dente mee pok.
The balls were served in a separate bowl of broth teeming with umami, with the slight taste of fish, and we enjoyed the sweet chilli in the sauce. It had a sharp kick to it and brightened up the dish nicely.
Adam Fishball Noodles is located at #01-25, 2 Adam Rd, Singapore 289877.
2. Stall 22 hokkien mee
This stall’s Hokkien Fried Prawn Noodle ($4/$5/$6) is definitely on the drier side, with regular-sized fresh prawns and not a lot of gravy.
Dry Hokkien mee can run the risk of lacking flavour with less gravy to coat the noodles, but that was a non-issue here. Savoury and flavourful, the sambal chilli was also not too spicy, so it didn’t overpower the subtler lard and wok hei flavours of the noodles.
Stall 22 Hokkien Mee is located at #01-22, 2 Adam Rd, Singapore 289877.
3. Warong Pak Sapari
Mee Soto ($3.50) from this stall is, plain and simple, delicious. The spice in the broth complemented the savoury, slightly sweet broth without overpowering it, and the chicken was extremely tender, falling apart in the soup with little prodding.
And that chili? Potent as heck, and too good. This is comforting, affordable food at its best.
Warong Pak Sapari is located at #01-09, 2 Adam Rd, Singapore 289877.
4. Adam chicken rice
Here, Indonesian Ayam Penyet is simplified to just Chicken Rice ($4). There was no stopping us from the addictive grains of rice, cooked in delicious broth.
The chicken is juicy, with a slightly crispy top and fork-tender meat while the soup surprised with with a complexity. There were delightful notes of fried shallots in the broth, which went wonderfully with the dish.
Adam Chicken Rice is located at #01-08, 2 Adam Rd, Singapore 289877.
5. Adam’s delights
A simple pairing of noodles, mutton and fries topped with mayonnaise and cheese sauce, the Maggi Goreng Combo ($7) is a calorie bomb (and a cost-efficient way to filled up quickly).
The noodles are dry and a bit tough, which we actually prefer over a too-greasy dish. Its tangy tomato flavour paired well with the relatively unsalted fries, which got bit soggy under the generous helping of sauces. The meat looked like it drowned in sauce but had great flavour.
Adam’s Delights is located at #01-11, 2 Adam Rd, Singapore 289877.
6. No. 1 Adam’s nasi lemak
This is one of Singapore’s most famous and beloved Nasi Lemaks, and you can tell from the snaking queue and the number of awards displayed on the stall’s front. The 40 minute wait time definitely made us question if any Nasi Lemak could be worth it.
Long story short, we weren’t disappointed with the Chicken Set ($4). The rice was so fragrant with coconut, the chicken juicy, and the chicken skin so crispy that we couldn’t help but dig in. The sweet chilli and the fresh peanuts were no afterthought either. It seems the Singaporean adage stands – see queue, must join.
No. 1 Adam’s Nasi Lemak is located at #01-01, 2 Adam Rd, Singapore 289877.
7. Adam Road Noo Cheng big prawn noodles
A good prawn mee is hard to come by these days, and we’re happy to report the Pork Belly Prawn Noodle ($7) from Adam Road Noo Cheng Big Prawn Noodles made the cut. The dry option features thick and chewy noodles, and the rich, salty sauce coats each strand well.
Alongside the tender pork belly slices, the prawn were fresh and firm, albeit a bit thin.
Adam Road Noo Cheng Big Prawn Noodles is located at #01-27, 2 Adam Rd, Singapore 289877.
8. Teck Kee hot & cold dessert
We were too early for Teck Kee’s famed Tau Suan – available from 3pm – and so opted for the Ching Teng ($2) instead. The dessert had dried longan, ice jelly and white fungus, with a large heap of shaved ice on top.
The ice melted a little too quickly (woes of being in a hawker centre), so flavours were a bit diluted, but we enjoyed the bites of agar and the gentle flavour.
Teck Kee Hot & Cold Dessert is located at #01-31, 2 Adam Rd, Singapore 289877.
9. House of braised duck
There was a lot of hype about House of Braised Duck online, which raised our expectations. We went for the smaller $3.50 portion of Roasted Duck Rice ; unfortunately, the meat was deboned, but a little dry.
The rice was regular, plain rice, which was a bit disappointing after eating the chicken rice from Adam Chicken Rice. The sauce was delicious and mildly herbal.
House of Braised Duck is located at #01-26, 2 Adam Rd, Singapore 289877.
This article was first published in City Nomads.