Located in Chinatown, Hong Lim Food Centre may not be as popular as Maxwell or Chinatown Complex Food Centre, but this two-storey hawker centre actually houses some of Singapore’s best dishes! Opened in 1978, Hong Lim is one of the earliest hawker centres built in Singapore. It was constructed to house the food vendors on Hokkien Street, some who eventually set up iconic stalls that are now run by their descendants. Without further ado, here are 15 food stalls in Hong Lim Food Centre that are worth braving the crowd for!
Clinching the Michelin Bib Gourmand award consecutively every year since 2016, the laksa broth at Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa is freshly made daily by simmering it for two hours with dried scallops and dried oysters. Using less coconut milk, it allows the umami flavours of the scallops and oysters to really shine through. Folks who can’t take spice will appreciate that this bowl of laksa is pretty mild, but those who prefer a kick should add in a spoonful of their sambal chilli. Aside from this, the fresh seafood in the laksa are also incredibly succulent and fresh!
Address: 531A Upper Cross Street, #02-66, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 11:30 am–4:30 pm Mon to Sat. Closed on Sun
There seems to be a perpetual queue at Ji Ji Wanton Noodle Specialist, and for good reason. Having been awarded the Michelin Plate for six years in a row, we think they’re very qualified to call themselves specialists. The stall owners also have a specific type of noodles specially manufactured just for them, which explain the noodles’ exceptional QQ texture. There are seven noodle variations on the menu, but you can’t go wrong with the classic wanton mee. Tossed in a fragrant homemade sauce, the char siew has a perfect meat-to-fat ratio and the fried wantons are crispy and fried to perfection.
Address: 531A Upper Cross St, #02-48/49, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 9:30 am–3 pm, 5–7 pm Fri to Wed. Closed on Thurs
Another Michelin Bib Gourmand awardee, the family legacy of bak chor mee began in the 1930s with its founder hawking the noodles from a street cart in Hill Street. Now run by its third-generation owners, the stall is related to Hill Street Tai Wah Pork Noodle. Both brothers inherited the same recipe, but the preparation method is slightly different. Here at High Street, the noodles are tossed with chilli sauce, vinegar and lard oil before adding in the ingredients, while it is all tossed together at Hill Street. Pork slices, a heap of minced meat and tender slivers of pork liver are then added to the noodles and garnished with pieces of crispy fried sole fish. Each serving also comes with a bowl of sole fish soup with bobbing wontons, pork meatballs and seaweed.
Address: 531A Upper Cross St, #02-16, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 7:30 am–3 pm Tues to Sun. Closed on Mon
There are two stalls selling curry chicken noodles at Hong Lim Market and Food Centre, and one of them is Heng Kee Curry Chicken Bee Hoon Mee, who is purportedly the original hawker of the ‘Heng’ name. Each bowl of curry noodles comes piping hot with large pieces of poached chicken, potatoes and juicy curry-soaked tau pok. The curry is aromatic, sweet, savoury, and spicy – all the best flavours in one bowl!
Address: 531A Upper Cross St, #01-58, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 10 am–3:30 pm Mon to Sat. Closed on Sun
Another legendary stall at Hong Lim Food Centre, Cantonese Delights is known for their variety of noodles and rice dishes such as Chicken Feet Noodles and Char Siu Wanton Noodles. However, their most popular dish is the Chicken Cutlet Curry Noodles, which is generously drenched in Chinese-style curry and topped with a satisfying crispy and juicy fried chicken cutlet. You can get it in the rice variation too!
Address: 531A Upper Cross St, #02-03, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 9:30 am–1:30 pm Mon to Fri. Closed Sat & Sun
Commanding a snaking queue and with 40 years of history, Tuck Kee (Ipoh) Sah Hor Fun is known for its hor fun dishes, such as the Crayfish and Prawn Hor Fun. Unlike the usual thick hor fun, the stall uses a thinner variety of hor fun. The crayfish is cut into half and the prawns are deshelled for convenient consumption, so no need to get your hands dirty! If you’re not feeling like crayfish, you can get it with just prawns or with chicken!
Address: 531A Upper Cross St, #02-40, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 11 am–2:45 pm Tues to Sat. Closed Sun & Mon
Duck confit in a hawker centre? Yup, you read that right. The duck is seasoned and marinated overnight for 24 hours before slow-cooking it for at least 14 to 16 hours. The result? A glorious piece of duck leg that is tender and cuts through like butter. You can opt to have your piece of duck with the Aglio Olio Spaghetti or Mashed Potato as your carb pairing. If that’s not enough, the dish also comes with a side of corn on the cob and coleslaw!
Address: 531A Upper Cross St, #02-13, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 10:30 am–3 pm Mon to Fri. Closed Sat & Sun
Featured in the Michelin Guide and one of the few stalls left in Singapore selling Hokkien-style bak kut teh, the broth here is made with a variety of herbs and soy sauce to create a darker and sweeter soup, contrary to the more popular white peppery broth in most other BKT stalls. Apart from Bak Kut Teh, the stall also offers a variety of side dishes such as Pig Trotters, which is slow cooked until the meat is fall-off-the-bone.
Address: 531A Upper Cross St, #01-66, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 8 am–7 pm daily
Craving for something soupy on a rainy day? Dong Fang Hong Sotong Ball Seafood Soup painstakingly handmakes every single one of its sotong, fish and meat balls. There is only one item on the menu, which is the Sotong Ball Seafood Soup, which you can have with white rice or your choice of noodles. Once you’ve tasted it you’ll know what the hype is all about – the sotong balls are briny, well-seasoned and springy, while the fishballs have little chunks of fish meat studded throughout. Try to come early, as they usually sell out quite fast!
Address: 531A Upper Cross St, #01-47, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 11 am–2 pm Mon to Thurs. Closed Fri to Sun
Another Michelin Bib Gourmand awardee, the queue at Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee never seems to get shorter. Often listed as one of the best char kway teow in Singapore, it is well loved for its deep flavour and wok hei. The sweet and savoury dish is fried with eggs and an aromatic dark sauce, and heaped with beansprouts and a generous amount of cockles.
Address: 531A Upper Cross St, #01-17, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 6 am–3:30 pm Mon to Sat. Closed on Sun
Looking for something different from your usual kopi and kaya toast combo? Look no further because Coffee Break serves up a unique Black Sesame Butter Toast. The wholemeal bread is thinner than usual to ensure extra crispiness, while the black sesame spread has a slight sweetness to it which complements the savoury butter. And apart from the usual kopi, you can also get cafe-standard drinks such as Hazelnut Latte and Sea Salt Caramel Mocha!
Address: 531A Upper Cross St, #02-41, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 7:30 am–2:30 pm Mon to Thurs. Closed Fri to Sun
If you love the black herbal variety of bak kut teh, you’ll be glad to know that Hong Lim Food Centre has not one, but two stalls serving it! Morning Bak Kut Teh serves a BKT that is both sweet and savoury, and the pork ribs come off the bone with little effort. Other dishes such as Pig Liver Mee Sua and Pig Trotters are enjoyable too! Between that and Hokkien Street Bak Kut Teh, which do you prefer?
Address: 531A Upper Cross St, #01-72, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 6 am–8 pm daily
The long queue is a giveaway that this place serves up some pretty solid lor mee. You really get your money’s worth here with strips of stewed pork belly, fried battered fish, stewed egg and fish cake slices. The gravy isn’t too thick or too starchy, and it clings to the flat noodles nicely, ensuring maximum slurpability. Don’t forget to add in some house-made chilli and chopped garlic for more heat and flavour!
Address: 531A Upper Cross Street, #02-05, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 10:30 am–3 pm daily
This stall has its roots back to the old Hokkien Street around 50 years ago, and the stall has a faithful following especially from the older folks who love their old school taste. The stall makes their own chilli powder with dried shrimps, and also does not use MSG in their food. The broth is cloudy and rich, but those who prefer an intensely strong prawn-y kick in their broth would probably find this to fall on the light side.
Address: 531A Upper Cross Street, #02-67, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 8:30 am–3 pm Fri to Wed. Closed on Thurs
Tang Kay Kee is helmed by a fourth-generation hawker who took over her great grandfather’s stall. Alongside their famous fish soup, the family business has been modernised to also offer rice bowls during lunch, such as the Slow-Cooked Spicy Braised Pork Belly Rice Bowl and Har Cheong Gai Rice Bowl. Dinner is more old-school, with traditional tze char dishes like assam fish head curry.
Address: 531A Upper Cross St, #01-70, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 11 am–2:30 pm Mon, 11 am–2:30 pm, 5–9:30 pm Tues to Fri, 5–10 pm Sat & Sun
Unlike the other heritage and traditional stalls here, Belly Lucky Noodles serves modern fusion wanton mee. There are only two items on the menu here: Char Siew & Dumpling Noodles and Dumpling Soup. Each dumpling is bursting at the seams with minced meat, diced prawns, water chestnuts, and mushrooms. However, the star of the show here has to be the char siew. Instead of the usual dry flaky char siew, expect glistening slices of fatty pork that are well-marinated, sweet and savoury, and will leave you wanting more.
Address: 531A Upper Cross Street, #02-25, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 11:30 am–2:30 pm Mon to Fri. Closed Sat & Sun
Find homey comforting Teochew porridge, perfect for rainy days or when you’re feeling under the weather! Expect fresh ingredients such as fish, squid, braised pork, innards and more. What’s also different about them is that instead of steaming their fish, the stall owners poached them instead in a huge pot of salted vegetable soup, then topped it off with more preserved veggies. A simple but appetising dish!
Address: 531A Upper Cross St, #01-56, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 7 am–2 pm daily
Hiong Kee Dumplings has over 40 years of history, and you can get rice dumplings here all year round. No need to wait till Dragon Boat Festival comes around! On the menu are Pork Dumpling, Chicken Dumpling, Nonya Dumpling, and Pork Belly Dumpling. Prices are on the higher side now no thanks to inflation, but the dumplings are tightly packed and generously stuffed with ingredients.
Address: 531A Upper Cross St, #02-37, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 9 am–6 pm Mon to Thurs & Sat. Closed on Fri & Sun
For the days when you just need a morning snack, Granny’s Pancake specialises in min jiang kueh, a traditional Chinese pancake. Take your pick of flavours from chocolate, peanut, coconut, red bean and peanut butter. The filling is just the right amount of sweet, and perfectly sandwiched between the chewy pancake. They do sell out quite quickly, sometimes by lunchtime. Be sure to get there early or you might not get your preferred filling!
Address: 531A Upper Cross St, #01-58, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 7 am–7pm (or until sold out) Mon to Sat. Closed on Sun
Recommended under the Michelin Plate, Ah Heng Duck Rice is best known for its traditional Teochew-style braised duck. And unlike many other duck rice stalls that serves its braised duck with braised rice, Ah Heng serves white rice that is drizzled with their black sauce. The duck is lean and moderately tender, with an old school taste that is sure to invoke some nostalgia.
Address: 531A Upper Cross St, #02-64, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 6:30 am–3 pm Tues to Sun. Closed on Mon