Once a fishing village originally called Salinter, Tanjong Pagar stands for “cape of stakes” in Malay, which refers to kelongs along the coast. The neighbourhood went through many changes over the decades, including the Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market and Food Centre that was built in 1977. Consisting of a wet market at level 1 and a hawker centre at level 2, this is one the most popular lunch spots in this area. Many office workers like to come here for an affordable meal and the hawker centre is especially busy on weekdays. If you’re willing to brave the crowd and queues, here are 10 stalls you must try in Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market and Food Centre!
Lucky Wanton Noodle will make you forget all about your diet. The whole plate of glistening noodles is mixed in a black sauce seasoning and comes with slices of char siew, some vegetables and a couple of fried wantons. The noodles are perfectly al-dente, while the char siew is well marinated with burnt edges, and imparts a smoky flavour to the dish.
Address: 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, #02-32, Singapore 081006
Opening Hours: 7 AM–7 PM daily
Not to be mistaken with the Rong Xing Yong Tau Fu at Taman Jurong Food Centre, years ago, Rong Xing split into two stalls due to a family feud between two sisters. Today, one of them remains at Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market and Food Centre and remains a very popular option for a healthy, but hearty mid-day meal. Great YTF isn’t something that strikes you as incredibly delicious, but instead it’s fresh ingredients, well-cooked noodles, great sauces and a lovely soup. Rong Xing Yong Tau Fu definitely aces all aspects.
Address: 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, #02-04, Singapore 081006
Opening Hours: 7 AM–2 PM, Tues to Fri. Closed Sat to Mon.
Mixed vegetable rice stall Ming Kee Cooked Food offers a variety of traditional home-cooked dishes to the masses since the 70s. Now helmed by the 2nd generation owner & wife, they are incredibly affable and you’ll often find them laughing and cracking jokes with their customers. Make sure to try their chilli sauce which is made from a secret family recipe!
Address: 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, #02-24, Singapore 081006
This laksa and prawn mee stall has a super long legacy – the current owner is already the 4th generation running it! They are only open on weekdays from 11.30am to 2pm and the prawn mee tends to sell out by noon, so make sure you get here in time. We were only able to try their laksa this time, and for just a couple of dollars you get a pretty hearty bowl of noodles thoroughly coated in gravy, along with slices of fish cake and tau pok. Classic and faultless.
Address: 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, #02-10, Singapore 081006
Opening Hours: 7 AM–2 PM, Mon to Fri. Closed Sat & Sun
Run by an elderly couple, Soon Heng Food Delights only has one item on its menu: Fried Shark Lor Mee. The lor mee comes with fried shark meat nuggets, fried dumplings, fried ngoh hiang, fried chicken meat ball, pieces of braised fish meat and half a braised egg. They are served with thick yellow noodles and bean sprouts, drenched with braised sauce and topped with some chopped garlic, chopped chilli, and chilli paste.
Address: 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, #02-19, Singapore 081006
Opening Hours: 9 AM–2 PM, Sun to Fri. Closed on Sat
There used to be many of such stalls some 20 years back, but you hardly find them around much anymore. Traditional Hakka Rice serves up bowls of lei cha with steamed rice, tofu, mustard greens, kai lan, long beans, peanuts, dried shrimps, pickled radish and more. Non-fans of lei cha are usually put off by the green bowl of cha, but here the bowl of minty soup was not as overwhelming. If you like your soup strong, you may find this too light for your tastebuds. But if you’re trying lei cha for the first time, this is a good one to go for!
Address: 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, #02-21, Singapore 081006
Opening Hours: 9:30 AM–3 PM, Mon to Sat. Closed on Sun
Did you know that curry puffs were from the Portuguese empanadas? Once a motor cart in Novena with a wok attached to it, Rolina became a bakery chain in the 80s and 90s, and now there is one outlet left at Tanjong Pagar Food Centre. Working with a traditional Hainanese recipe, Rolina has grown to become one of the more well-known curry puff brands in Singapore. It is also the only curry puff stall to be recognised in the Bib Gourmand list!
Address: 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, #02-15, Singapore 081006
Opening Hours: 6:30 AM–2 PM, Wed to Mon. Closed on Tues
Upp Cross St Soya Sauce Chicken Noodle & Rice does soy sauce chicken served with either noodles or rice. The noodles are al dente and makes a satisfying meal with the soya sauce chicken. There is dumplings soup too, which has a soft skin wrapping around some savoury meat filling with bits of water chestnut and mushroom.
Address: 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, #02-11, Singapore 081006
Opening Hours: 7 AM–2 PM, Wed to Mon. Closed on Tues
Yao Japanese Rice House serves an array of classic Japanese dishes, like Japanese Curry Rice, Teriyaki Chicken Rice and Salmon Wasabi Mayo Rice. While there are more Japanese stalls popping up in hawker centres across Singapore, the quality can sometimes leave much to be desired. However, there’s really not much to complain about Yao Japanese Rice House. It was definitely on par in taste, if not even better, than what some cafes serve!
Address: 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, #02-42, Singapore 081006
Opening Hours: 9:30 AM–3:30 PM, Mon to Fri. Closed Sat & Sun
With its colourful signboard, Kueh Ho Jiak is easy to spot in Tanjong Pagar Food Centre. Selling more than 10 types of kueh from soon kueh to kueh salat, kueh lapis and sago kueh. The classic ang ku kueh also gets a facelift here, as the owners make them in shades of green, orange and purple, as well as in shapes of flowers and animals. For a taste of the modern and traditional fusion, try their Tiger Lotus Biscoff Ang Ku Kueh!
Address: 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, #02-20, Singapore 081006
Opening Hours: 7:30 AM–2 PM, Tues to Sat. Closed Sun & Mon