This series is inspired by the National Heritage Board's new digital photography project entitled Our Hawker Culture: Built for Great Taste, in which four local photographers have captured oft-overlooked features of 12 hawker centres in Singapore. In each edition, we'll highlight one awesome hawker centre and the mouth-watering makan you can find there.
Set in the iconic heritage neighbourhood of (where else?) Tiong Bahru, Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre (30 Seng Poh Rd, Singapore 168898) was originally built in 1950 and upgraded between 2004-2006.
Thanks to said renovation works, seating capacity at this hawker centre received a generous upgrade, with ample room of approximately 1.2 metres between tables (pioneering the act of social distancing before it was cool). The hawker centre also features moveable seats to allow better access for elderly patrons and wheelchair users.
Not to mention a skylight that allows patrons to enjoy natural light while they're eating, even when it rains.
As well as good ventilation for both diners and hawkers, because nobody likes eating in a stuffy enclosed space.
So, what stalls should you try? Here's what we recommend:
Jian Bo Shui Kueh
Founded in 1958, Jian Bo Shui Kueh stall now has outlets islandwide, but there's no beating the original. Firm yet silky kueh, topped with fragrant chye poh and mouthwatering sambal chilli... what's not to love?
Stall number: #02-05
Teck Seng Soya Bean Milk
You won't be able to go back to machine-made bean curd after trying this stall.
The soya bean milk and bowls of bean curd sold here are painstakingly handmade from scratch every morning, ensuring customers get to enjoy the freshest, smoothest bean curd you've ever had – for only $1 (or $1.70 if you want a large bowl)! Be prepared for snaking queues at this stall.
Stall number: #02-69
Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice
What do you get when you combine fragrant, fluffy rice, fiery chilli with a satisfying kick, and juicy boneless chicken? Answer: A Bib Gourmand rating, an aromatic explosion of flavours and an utterly shiok experience.
Stall number: #02-82
Zhong Yu Yuan Wei Wanton Noodle
What makes this wanton noodle stall stand out from all the rest, you ask? Well, this stall is famous for their premium "bu jian tian" char siew, which literally translates as "char siew that doesn't see the sky".
Or, in layman's terms, pig's armpit char siew (yes, you read that right), aka the most flavourful part of the pig. Taken from between the shoulder and belly, this cut of char siew is marbled, tender and practically melts in your mouth. Be sure to visit as early as possible, because the char siew sells out very quickly!
Stall number: #02-30
Koh Brother Pig's Organ Soup
This Teowchew-style clear soup has a subtle natural sweetness from the pig bones, pairing beautifully with the crisp saltiness from the preserved vegetables.
The offal is meticulously cleaned and prepared, ensuring that the ingredients are served with just the right texture and little, if any, lingering smell from the pig organs. Robust but not overpowering, this soup is a must-try, especially on a rainy day.
Stall number: #02-29
This article was first published in Wonderwall.sg.