12 Top Spots for Hainanese Cuisine in Singapore

Hailing from the island province of Hainan in China, the Hainanese people have left an indelible mark on the culinary landscape of Singapore. Their unique culinary traditions, forged through a rich cultural history, have given birth to a captivating array of dishes that have become beloved staples. While the ubiquitous Hainanese chicken rice may be the most well-known Hainanese dish, there is so much more to explore beyond this iconic offering. Without further ado, let’s explore 15 top spots in Singapore where you can savour authentic Hainanese cuisine.

#1 Chin Chin Eating House

Easily one of the most popular Hainanese restaurants in Singapore, Chin Chin Eating House draws upon nearly nine decades of experience to offer diners authentic and quintessential Hainanese dishes. From the classic steamed chicken rice to the hearty chap chye, mutton soup, and the renowned pork chop, the menu here is a celebration of Hainanese culinary heritage. But the restaurant’s expertise extends beyond the traditional Hainanese fare. They also excel at other Zi Char staples, such as the Prawn Paste Chicken and Cereal Prawns, demonstrating the versatility and adaptability of Hainanese cooking techniques.

Address: 19 Purvis St, Singapore 188598
Opening Hours: 11 am–9 pm Mon to Thurs, 11:30 am–9 pm Fri to Sun

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#2 Hock Gooi 

While the Beach Road Scissor-Cut Curry Rice may be the more well-known brand, Hock Gooi is another esteemed purveyor of the iconic Hainanese curry rice. Located in the Market Street Hawker Centre in the heart of the Central Business District, Hock Gooi offers a range of add-ons to complement the flavorful curry, including braised pork trotters, chap chye, and fried pork chop. Step into this bustling hawker stall and indulge in the signature Hainanese curry rice, a comforting and satisfying dish that showcases the depth of Hainanese culinary expertise.

Address: 86 Market St, #02-03, Singapore 048947
Opening Hours: 6 am–3 pm Mon to Fri, 8 am–1:30 pm Sat

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#3 Hainan Cuisine & Snacks

Nestled in the Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre, Hainan Cuisine & Snacks, also known as Hainan Xiao Chi, holds a special place in the history of Hainanese cuisine in Singapore. Founded by the late Madam Yeoh in the 1970s, this humble hawker stall is the original source of the beloved yi bua and Hainanese laksa that have since gained widespread popularity. Step into this unassuming eatery and immerse yourself in the authentic flavours that have been passed down through generations. Whether you opt for the signature yi bua or the rich and aromatic Hainanese laksa, you’ll be transported to the heart of Hainanese culinary traditions.

Address: 22 Lor 7 Toa Payoh, #01-35 Blk Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre, Singapore 310022
Opening Hours: 7 am–1 pm Wed to Sun

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#4 Thien Kee Steamboat Hainanese Restaurant

While Golden Mile is renowned for its Thai food scene, there’s a hidden gem within this vibrant hub that deserves attention – Thien Kee Steamboat Hainanese Restaurant. Established in 1952, this eatery is celebrated for its Hainanese steamboat and chicken rice offerings. Dive into the Hainanese steamboat, which features a variety of options such as pig liver, cockles, squid, and sliced fish, all simmered in a flavorful broth. Alongside the steamboat, the restaurant’s Pork Chop and Pork Satay are also crowd-pleasing favourites.

Address: 6001 Beach Rd, B1-20 GOLDEN MILE TOWER, Singapore 199589
Opening Hours: 11 am–10 pm daily

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#5 All Things Hainanese

Tracing its roots as a home-based business, All Things Hainanese has since expanded to a physical store in the Bras Basah Complex. This brand is helmed by a group of young hawkers who are dedicated to preserving their grandparents’ Hainanese recipes. The star of the show at All Things Hainanese is undoubtedly the Hainanese kueh yi bua, a delightful confection with a chewy glutinous rice dough exterior and a delectable filling of gula melaka, peanut, sesame, dried tangerine, coconut, and brown sugar. Alongside this signature item, be sure to try their Signature Hainan Laksa, a fragrant and comforting noodle dish that showcases the depth of Hainanese culinary expertise.

Address: 231 Bain St, #02-19, Complex 180231
Opening Hours: 10 am–3 pm Tues to Sun

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#6 Chuan Ji Bakery Hainanese Delicacies

Chuan Ji Bakery Hainanese Delicacies is a brand that has risen from its humble home-based beginnings to become a renowned purveyor of traditional Hainanese mooncakes, also known as Hainanese Flaky Biscuits. Founded in 2013, the cafe is dedicated to keeping the family-held legacy of this unique confectionery alive. The Hainanese mooncake is a true delight, stuffed with a delectable blend of tangerine peel, melon and sesame seeds, spring onion, fried shallot, and Chinese five spice. 

Opening Hours: 114 Lavender Street Unit 01-10, CT Hub2

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#7 Kim’s Curry Hainan

Nestled in the bustling Toa Payoh neighbourhood, Kim’s Curry Hainan is a hidden gem that puts a unique spin on the classic Hainanese curry. This hawker stall offers a tantalizing mala curry variation alongside the traditional Hainanese offerings. Indulge in the rich and aromatic Hainanese curry, which is meticulously prepared using the family’s secret recipe, and pair it with a choice of fried pork chop, braised pork belly, or crispy prawn rolls (hei zho). The mala curry iteration adds a delightful twist, igniting your taste buds with its bold and spicy flavours.

Address: J99 Eating House, Blk 186 Toa Payoh Central, #01-402 Stall No.1, Singapore 310186
Opening Hours: 10:30 am–8 pm daily

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#8 Hai Nan Xing Zhou Beef Noodle

For nearly 70 years, this Michelin-recognised stall has been drawing queues for its excellent Hainanese beef noodles. Choose between blanched rice noodles tossed in a thick gravy, or soup noodles in a deeply flavourful ox bone broth that is on the sweeter side, simmered with a variety of Chinese herbs and spices based on a recipe concocted by the owner’s father. You’re welcome to top up with more sliced beef, beef tripe, tendon, beef balls, or a combination!

Address: 22 Lor 7 Toa Payoh, #01-06, Singapore 310019
Opening Hours: 8:30 am–3:30 pm Tues to Sun

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#9 British Hainan

For those seeking a unique dining experience that blends Hainanese culinary heritage with a touch of vintage charm, British Hainan is the perfect destination. This establishment not only serves traditional Hainanese fare but also boasts an impressive interior decked out with vintage furniture and trinkets, some of which date back to the British colonial era. One of the standout dishes at British Hainan is the Traditional Hainanese Oxtail Stew, which features a generous helping of tender oxtail chunks, potatoes, and carrots, all simmered in a rich and flavorful gravy. The meat is so tender that it practically falls off the bone, and the gravy is a harmonious blend of natural sweetness and savoury notes.

Address: Multiple locations

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#10 Jacob’s Café

Situated in the serene Changi Village enclave, Jacob’s Café is a unique establishment that blends Hainanese and Western culinary traditions. Owing its roots to the owner’s mother’s experience cooking in old British camps, the café has crafted a menu that celebrates this intriguing fusion. Must-try dishes at Jacob’s Café include the Hainanese Mutton Stew, which is typically made with pork, and the Hainanese Braised Pork Knuckles. 

Address: 5 Changi Village Rd, #01-2049, Singapore 500005
Opening Hours: 11:30 am–10:30 pm daily

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#11 The Hainan Story

The Hainan Story is a multifaceted food group that explores the various iterations and chapters of Hainanese cuisine in Singapore. Each location within this culinary narrative offers its own unique specialities, allowing diners to embark on a comprehensive exploration of the Hainanese gastronomic heritage. For instance, Chapter One in Hotel Boss along Jalan Sultan Road pays homage to the Hainanese legacy with a menu featuring satay, laksa, and curry rice, while Chapter Two in Jewel prides itself on delectable offerings such as lor mee, chicken rice, and toast. No matter which chapter you visit, you’re sure to be captivated by the diverse and delectable expressions of Hainanese cuisine.

Address: Multiple locations

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#12 Jin Wee Restaurant

Tucked away on East Coast Road, Jin Wee Restaurant may appear nondescript, but it has amassed a loyal following for its exceptional Hainanese dishes. From the fried pork cutlet smothered in a tantalizing tomato-based sauce to the individually-portioned salted chicken and the chicken soup cooked in a giant clay pot over charcoal, this establishment offers a delightful twist on Hainanese classics. Despite its unassuming exterior, Jin Wee has been delighting diners since 1963, showcasing the enduring appeal of Hainanese cuisine and the restaurant’s commitment to preserving its culinary heritage.

Address: 928 E Coast Rd, Singapore 459117
Opening Hours: 9 am–9:30 pm Thurs to Tues

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