PUBLISHED February 27th, 2021 05:00 am | UPDATED March 10th, 2021 11:49 am
It’s a long but fulfilling hike up Bukit Timah Hill, but now the sun’s out. You’re sweaty – and famished. We gotcha; or rather, Bukit Timah Food Centre has got you covered. With over 80 hawker stalls perched atop a wet market, this bustling space is your go-to place to satisfy your taste buds, fill your tummy, and quench your thirst. From a bowl of hearty congee with fragrant youtiao, to savoury wanton noodles, these are our favourite stalls at Bukit Timah Food Centre.
He Zhong Carrot Cake
A true veteran, He Zhong Carrot Cake has been a family-run business in the food centre since 1973. Their longevity and nostalgia-inducing signboard are testaments to their success selling their only specialty: handmade White Carrot Cake (S$2.50). Crisp and golden-brown on the outside, the carrot cake crumbles with fluffy egg and silky kueh chunks with a rich garlic taste and fish sauce balanced out by sweet chai poh (preserved radish). It was pleasantly light on the palate, and very addictive as we went for bite after bite.
He Zhong Carrot Cake is located at 51 Upper Bukit Timah Road, #02-185, Singapore 588215. Open 7am-10pm daily.
Terry Katong Laksa
For those craving an authentic Laksa with rich coconut flavour, this is the place for you. Served au naturel with no MSG, sugar, or evaporated creamer, the familiar flavours of laksa still come through strong. The gravy is lighter than your typical laksa, with the coconut milk taking centre stage. For S$3.50 a bowl, the portions of cockles and prawns were pretty generous. If you prefer more kick to your dish, be sure to add more sambal chilli than we did!
Terry Katong Laksa is located at 51 Upper Bukit Timah Rd, #02-194, Singapore 588172. Open 8am-7pm daily.
133 Penang Authentic
Owned by a couple from Penang, you’ll find only authentic Penang flavours at this stall. Despite a cleaner take on the Penang Char Kway Teow (S$4/6/8), it still delivered in the wok hei department with uncompromised flavour, just less the typical grease. It also came with a subtle spicy kick, giving the dish a well-rounded savoury profile. The smallest serve still presented a generous portion with prawns, squid, fishcake, and scrambled egg.
133 Penang Authentic is located at 51 Upper Bukit Timah Rd, #02-193, Singapore 588172.
Taste The Kwang’s Black
Sometimes, a simple bowl of wanton noodles just hits the spot. The Charcoal Char Siew Wanton Noodles (S$4) from Taste The Kwang’s Black is the dry rendition that is worth a try. Springy yellow noodles in a light soy sauce base, tender char siew slices, and a few wantons on the side make up a homely, palatable dish. When accompanied with their homemade chilli sauce, and chopped green chillis, there is a slight umami kick.
Taste The Kwang’s Black is located at 51 Upper Bukit Timah Rd, #02-179, Singapore 588215.
Craving a heartwarming bowl of congee? Zhou Pin is your best bet in Bukit Timah. We got the Pork Congee (S$3) for something simple and nostalgic. Served with a fragrant dough fritter, this bowl of seemingly plain congee packed the right amount of flavour. The pork slices were tender, and definitely lent to the meaty flavour in the congee. Mixed with the fried shallots and chopped spring onions, this was definitely a trip down nostalgia lane. Even the dough fritter was fluffy and deliciously rich. 10/10.
Zhou Pin is located at 51 Upper Bukit Timah Rd, #02-121, Singapore 588215.
Quan Xiang Fish Porridge
Bukit Timah Food Centre is almost synonymous with Leng Kee Fish Soup, but we decided on another stall with glowing reviews. Their Red Grouper Sliced Fish Soup (S$9) has received praises for its premium fish slices and rich broth. However, on the day we visited, the fish slices were not the freshest and tasted slightly fishy. Nevertheless, the broth was hearty, and the umami lard flavour was distinct. Out of the optional condiments (chilli padi and light soya sauce, fermented bean, and a homemade chilli sauce), the homemade chilli mix was our favourite and balanced out the fishiness.
Quan Xiang Fish Porridge is located at 51 Upper Bukit Timah Rd, #02-146, Singapore 588215.
Xie Kee Hokkien Mee
Look away now if you’re seeking to cut down on the calories after you just shed blood, sweat, and tears on Bukit Timah Hill. The Hokkien Mee (S$3) here is made with flat yellow noodles that add significant texture, and bursting with wok hei goodness. The dollop of sambal chilli served with the noodles is slightly sweet and complements the strong breath of the wok extremely well. Slightly more on the wet side of the Hokkien Mee spectrum, this dish is pure comfort food at a relatively cheap price point.
Xie Kee Hokkien Mee is located at 51 Upper Bukit Timah Rd, #02-174, Singapore 588215.
Seng Heng Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice
For a humble plate of a local culinary icon, the Steamed Chicken Rice (S$3) at Seng Heng is definitely worth a try. With tender steamed chicken slices, delicately-flavoured chicken rice, and a sweet-tangy chilli sauce to round it all up, this dish is modest indulgence. Additionally, the chicken rice is considerably less greasy than you would typically experience.
Seng Heng Chicken Rice is located at 51 Upper Bukit Timah Rd, #02-177, Singapore 588172.
He Le Seafood White Bee Hoon
At only S$5, our Lala Sliced Fish White Bee Hoon was the biggest dish at the table despite it being the smallest option from the stall. And it was big on flavour too. The bee hoon had a delightful wok hei, with the accompanying stock complementing it with a mild savouriness. The lala and fish were fresh, and the juicy chunks of pork lard gave the dish another dimension of savoury. However, we would have preferred if the noodles were cooked in the sauce slightly longer.
He Le Seafood White Bee Hoon is located at 51 Upper Bukit Timah Rd, #02-180, Singapore 588172.