Having spent a few years living in Boon Keng, the best part about it is the proximity to Bendemeer Market & Food Centre. These days, it can be hard to find a hawker centre with most of the stalls serving quality hawker dishes, but Bendemeer Food Centre definitely isn’t one of them. You’re always spoilt for choice, and there’s no such thing as lunchtime boredom, even if I visit there five days a week. Having tried almost every stall, here are some that are not to be missed.
There seems to be a perpetual queue at Toa Payoh Hwa Heng Beef Noodles. Take your pick from soup or dry. The dry version comes with thin beef slices drenched in a dark gravy with a mild herbal aftertaste, and adding some of their chilli sauce adds a nice tangy edge to it. Personally, I prefer the soup version that feels more hearty, and it’s perfect for cold rainy days where the beef broth warms me from the inside out.
Address: 29 Bendemeer Rd, #01-86, Singapore 330029
Opening Hours: 10am - 2:30pm, Wed to Sat. Closed from Sun to Tues
My go-to whenever I want a breakfast or midday snack that isn't overly filling, all the traditional kueh here are handmade fresh everyday and every single one of them is soft, tender and chewy. You can purchase their soon kueh, rice kueh and ku chai (chives) kueh individually, or in a box of five. Allow me to also rave about their chilli sauce, which is fragrant, not too spicy, and goes perfectly with their kueh!
Address: 29 Bendemeer Road, #01-52, Singapore 330029
Min Ji Laksa has a history of over 17 years, so you know they won’t disappoint. I personally love that their laksa is super old-school – creamy, coconut-y, and not too spicy. If you like your laksa with a bit more heat, feel free to load up on the sambal chilli! Their laksa comes with a hard-boiled egg, tau pok, cockles, fish cakes and generous amounts of bean sprouts, and bowls priced $4 and above also come with shredded chicken breast. All in all, Min Ji Laksa is super value for money, and you’ll find yourself slurping up the broth until the very last drop.
Address: 29 Bendemeer Rd, #01-31, Singapore 330029
Opening Hours: 7:30am - 3pm, Wed to Mon. Closed on Tues
You'll have to get out of bed early for Heng Kee Lor Mee, because they're closed by the time it's lunchtime! What sets Heng Kee Lor Mee apart from other lor mee out there is their special fried pork belly, and their dish also comes teeming with other ingredients such as braised egg and fried wontons. Their gravy is silky smooth and complements all the ingredients and noodles really well, making it a dish truly worth getting up early for.
Address: 29 Bendemeer Rd, #01-87, Singapore 330029
Opening Hours: 5am - 1pm, Tues to Sun. Closed on Mon
The wanton mee here is on the sweeter side with its tomato and chilli base, and even the char siew seems sweeter than usual too. One of the most popular items is their Sarawak Kolo Mee – the egg noodles are handcrafted and pleasantly springy, and served with a generous portion of minced meat, char siew, and both boiled and crunchy wontons. The pork lard and shallot oil adds a umami flavour and ties the decadent bowl of noodles together.
Address: 29 Bendemeer Rd, #01-09, Singapore 330029
Opening Hours: 6am - 2:30pm, Tues to Sun. Closed on Mon
This isn't your typical Nasi Padang or mixed vegetable rice stall, because Indonesia Curry Rice serves up special nasi kuning (yellow rice), a fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and turmeric. It pairs perfectly with their beef rendang, and personally I’m also a big fan of their assam sotong The best part? It's also one of the most affordable meals here at the food centre, with three vegetables sides and rice going for under $3!
Address: 29 Bendemeer Rd, #01-49, Singapore 330029
Opening Hours: 10.45am - 7pm, Mon to Fri.
You might be surprised to learn that people don't usually go to Yong Xiang Carrot Cake for carrot cake, but for their fried png kueh and soon kueh. A yummy twist is put to the traditional Teochew kueh, where they are chopped into pieces and fried in the wok with a cracked egg, creating a crispy exterior and chewy interior. Sorry if you're on a diet! This dish is sinfully yummy and will leave you coming back for more.
Address: 29 Bendemeer Rd, #01-35, Singapore 330029
Opening Hours: 6am - 2pm, Tues, Thurs, Sat & Sun. Closed on Mon, Wed & Fri
For the traditional carrot cake dishes that we all know and love, look to Hai Sheng Carrot Cake. They are the epitome of what makes a great hawker stall – selling out in mere hours everyday! On good days (or rather, bad days for the folks who want a plate of their carrot cake), they are closed by 10 am. If it's possible to perfect both the white and black carrot cake, then Hai Sheng Carrot Cake is pretty damn near perfection.
Address: 29 Bendemeer Rd, #01-85, Singapore 330029
Opening Hours: 7am - 9pm daily
Another one of the more popular stalls in the food centre, Wah Kee serves up homey and old school wanton mee. The noodles are decently spingy but the real star of the show here is the char siew. With slightly charred edges that shows that they were grilled perfectly, the meat also strikes a good balance between meat and fat. Together with the savoury dark sauce, it’s not hard to see why this simple dish commands a queue!
Address: 29 Bendemeer Rd, #01-81, Singapore 330029
Openings Hours: 5am - 11am, Fri to Tues. Closed on Wed & Thurs
AAA Pancake has been featured on local television a few times, so you know they're media-approved. You might do a double take on your first time – wait, is that a curry puff? Why is it folded and crimped? Yup, that's their pancake you're looking at! What I love is that they go beyond the usual peanut, coconut and red bean fillings, and there are a wide variety of flavours like chocolate, salted bean, lotus paste, pandan, coffee, and cheese!
Address: 29 Bendemeer Rd, #01-08, Singapore 330029
Opening Hours: 9am - 5pm daily
Run by an elderly man and his wife, Nan Rong Chee Cheong Fun has been here for over two decades serving chee cheong fun, fried bee hoon, and yam kueh. While the most popular styles of chee cheong fun are the HK or Malaysian style, this version is served simply with a side of sweet brown sauce, true to the dish’s local roots. Their yam kueh is also a must-try, and makes a complete meal when paired with some of their bee hoon!
Address: 29 Bendemeer Rd, #01-11, Singapore 330029
Opening Hours: 6.30am - 5pm daily
Serving authentic Teochew-style braised duck made from a secret recipe, this stall in Bendemeer Market & Food Centre is one of my favourites. The duck meat is incredibly tender and paired with the braised sauce is simply a dream come true. A bowl of rice or kway chap to go with it is simply a must – don’t be surprised if you go for seconds, because it’s just that good!
Address: 29 Bendemeer Rd, #01-41, Singapore 330029
Opening Hours: 10am - 2pm, Sun to Fri. Closed on Sat
Singapore Bao doesn’t actually sell any bao, and the two items on their menu are lor mai gai and siew mai. Their siew mai isn’t just a regular siew mai – each and every one is handmade and stuffed with meaty goodness. It’s juicy and lean, with just the right amount of fat. The lor mai gai is also fragrant with stewed mushrooms and meat. Don’t forget to add some house-made chilli for a sweet and spicy kick!
Address: 29 Bendemeer Rd, #01-61, Singapore 330029
Opening Hours: 7 - 10am, Mon to Sat. Closed on Sun
Founded in 1985, Casper Seafood has its roots in Golden Mile selling fish bee hoon before it became a tze char stall. So even though it’s only been at Bendemeer Market & Food Centre for a couple years, they’ve been in business for many years and have other outlets in Singapore too! Their most popular item is their hor fun, which keeps loyal fans coming back for more with their wok hei. But worth a special shout is also their sambal fried rice, tom yum fish head and pai gu wang (pork ribs)!
Address: 29 Bendemeer Rd, #01-36, Singapore 330029
Opening Hours: 10am to 2pm, 5pm to 8pm daily