If you ever find yourself in the Tiong Bahru area and are looking for alternatives to your usual eats at Tiong Bahru Market, 115 Bukit Merah Market & Hawker Centre is probably your best bet for affordable local hawker fare! Here’s a list of the stalls that you just have to try when you are there.
古早人 Kway Chap (#01-82)
What sets this Kway Chap stall apart from the others that I have tried? The acidity of the broth. Being an avid fan of vinegar, the broth won my heart over with it leaning more towards the sour side. Not to mention, the kway was also both soft and silky, making it a superb dish on a cold, rainy day. The meat and innards were also cooked to a great texture, with the intestines being tender but not excessively chewy.
Hong Xing Homemade Fishball (#01-07)
If you see a fishball with bumps, its reason to rejoice! Exactly why Hong Xing is a stall I’d return to for my fishball soup/noodles. With their fishballs handmade from scratch, you will definitely not find your perfectly round fishballs. Instead, you’ll find them with irregular sides and yet definitely not compromised on the texture or taste. Think soft, chewy and bouncy fishballs which reek of fish paste more than flour, swimming in a pool of clear soup or nestled in between your noodle strands. To me, it’s ultimate comfort food for a cold day!
Bukit Merah View Carrot Cake (#01-37)
Being one of the last few stalls in Singapore that whips up carrot cake from scratch, the carrot cake wows customers over with its chewy and yet not overly mushy texture. While most carrot cake stalls nowadays make the beloved dish using rice flour, the folks over at Bukit Merah View start by milling broken rice into flour before making plates of carrot cake. This may be extremely time consuming but the effort is rewarded once customers catch a whiff of the strong wok aroma and comes queueing at the stall.
71 Lor Mee (#01-71)
You kind of know a good bowl of Lor Mee upon your first glance of the gravy’s texture. 71 Lor Mee features flat yellow noodles tucked in a sticky, gooey gravy, which surprisingly did not turn too starchy after at least 15 minutes of photo taking. Fans of vinegar would also be delighted to know that the Lor Mee here has a distinctive vinegar-ish taste to it, making it much smoother to stomach.
Chai Chuan Tou Yang Rou Tang (#01-51)
How many hawker centres in Singapore even sell a good bowl of Yang Rou Tang (Mutton Soup) nowadays? With prices starting from $5, you do get quite a good portion of mutton meat in your soup. The pieces of mutton meat were tender and slided off the bone so easily, even kids wouldn’t have problems eating this! For those who are not too big a fan of mutton, you may be turned off by the gamey taste of the soup, but for the rest, I’m sure you’ll want to slurp almost every single drop of the soup! (P.S Do come early as the queues tend to get really long from 11.30 a.m. onwards)