Singapore’s hawker centres are a result of the rapid urbanisation of our island nation. Often they were built because of the issue of unhygienic food and unlicensed street hawkers, as well as to provide more food options to the then less affluent segment of the population. With a history dating back to 1972, Ghim Moh Food Centre is not half a century old yet it remains a popular food haunt for many. Many of its 70 stalls here have gone through facelifts and a change of hands. but one thing remains: unpretentious good food. Here are some of its best stalls!
This roast duck rice stall is one of the hot favourites in Ghim Moh Market and consistently draws in a queue during its opening hours. Everything is well-seasoned, tender, juicy and so sinful but also so satisfying. Take your pick between roast duck, roast pork and char siew here. Or, go for the three-meat plate so you get to try a little bit of everything! Served on a bed of fluffy white rice, your meal is completed with a ladle of sauce and a side of chili sauce.
This Michelin Bib Gourmand stall serves up Teochew-style braised duck coated in a dark and luscious sauce. Take your pick from rice, egg noodles, kway teow or porridge! Very popular is the duck rice set which also includes half a braised egg, braised peanuts, tau pok, cucumber and some herbal soup. Some say that this is the best braised duck in Singapore, but what do you think? Try it out for yourself but do come ready to queue!
Whether you’re team white or team black carrot cake, eat your fill at Ghim Moh Carrot Cake. The carrot cake here is made by hand, steamed, then fried to perfection. The black carrot cake is savoury sweet with a deep wok hei, while the white carrot cake is chunky, fragrant and eggy. Get the best of both worlds with the half-and-half plate!
Another Michelin Bib Gourmand stall in Ghim Moh Food Centre, Guan Kee Fried Kway Teow commands one of the longest queues here. Every plate of kway teow is made fresh to order thus the wait can be long. However, it is well worth the wait for loyal fans, who come from all over Singapore for the fragrant fried kway teow. It is neither too wet nor too dry, and comes with all the typical ingredients of eggs, cockles, fried pork lard and lap cheong (Chinese sausage).
This stall specialises in fried hor fun and with two different types of sauce! You can also choose from beef, sliced fish or prawns as your protein. The first type of gravy is in a dark brown colour and the other that is off-white, and the difference is that one is made with beef while the other isn’t They are often sold out well before their closing time, so try to get here early!
You'll find only three items on the menu here – appam, putu mayam and thosai. The appam is satisfyingly crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. Everything is entirely handmade here. The owners even had special mini woks imported from India all to achieve the authentic taste of appam! Make sure to pair it with some grated coconut and orange sugar.
Another well-deserved Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient, everything here is made from scratch with no shortcuts. The elderly couple running the stall make the chye po with preserved radish, garlic and lard. They don't use any sugar in the recipe, so the chwee kueh here is of the savoury variety and not savoury sweet like most others. It does take some getting used to, but we definitely see why it has a legion of fans!
Lao Chao Zhou only has two items on the menu: satay bee hoon and mee siam. They open at 8am everyday, and are completely sold out by the afternoon! The satay bee hoon comes with ingredients such as cockles, kang kong, pork liver, pork slices, taupok and cuttlefish. The peanut sauce is nutty and smooth, and you can taste that a lot of time and effort has gone into it. The mee siam is just as impressive with a lovely assam twang!
Located right next to Chuan Kee, Kong Shang Hua Wanton Noodles has a simple menu, but it makes for a delightful breakfast. Other than the tasty wanton mee with perfectly al dente noodles and savoury-sweet sauce, you'll also find other items such as dumpling noodles, dumpling soup, mushroom noodles, chicken feet noodles and chicken ipoh horfun.
End your meal at Ghim Moh Market with a sweet note! Locals love Granny’s Pancake for their min jiang kueh, which comes in a variety of flavours. Take your pick from peanut, coconut, red bean and peanut butter. The filling is tasty and not overly sweet, and it is perfectly encased in a chewy pancake with a crispy edge.