Situated a distance away from Novena/Toa Payoh MRT station stands two blocks of hawker centre that would certainly be a household name for residents in the area – Whampoa Makan Place’s Block 90 and 91. For people who are unaware, this hawker centre has quite a number of hidden food gems. Read on to find out which are the stalls that you just cannot miss!
1. Liang Zhao Ji Braised Duck Rice (#01-07)
Not the biggest fan of the rice here as some of the grains were short-grain while some of them were long-grains but I have to say that the duck with the braised sauce was a winning combination for me. The sauce achieved a right balance of both sweet and salty while the duck meat was extremely tender and flavourful. A special shoutout to their chilli which is a combination of two different chillies – a lighter watery version and a thicker sambal-like version. The end result is a condiment that is slightly spicy but ends off with abit of citrus zest!
2. Singapore Fried Hokkien Mee (#01-32)
If you love your wet Hokkien Mee, this stall would certainly fulfill your expectations! The queue tends to be snaking long but it moves quite quickly as well, so don’t hesitate to join the queue at all! I personally found it to taste just slightly above average and but the portion is certainly well worth the money that you’re paying!
3. Best Lu Mian in Town (#01-19)
Contrary to popular belief to how dubious the name of the stall sounds, the Lu Mian (otherwise known as Lor Mee) wowed my senses more than I expected it to. The noodles were cooked to a optimum consistency, not too soft and not too hard while the fried fish pieces and braised pork were exceptionally flavourful! Personally also enjoyed chewing on the fats of the braised pork which was slightly soft. The gravy leaned towards the slightly watery side – I would say 60% watery and 50% viscous so if you prefer your extremely viscous gravy, you may not find this the “best”!
(A DEFINITE plus point for me: you get to scoop your own desired amounts of minced garlic, pour your desired amount of vinegar and sprinkle your desired amounts of cilantro!)
4. Mat Noh & Rose (#01-27)
This was one stall that captured my sight at the hawker centre just because it only sells Ginger Fried Chicken Rice and I haven’t even heard of anything like this! For the fragrance of the basmati rice as well as the crispiness of the fried chicken, it is something you may consider getting if you’re done with your usual steamed Chicken Rice. The chicken pieces were not dry and the fragrance of the rice certainly gives this stall the extra brownie points!
5. Balestier Road Hoover Rojak (#01-06)
Being an awardee of the Michelin Bib Gourmand for the past 2 years and counting, this stall has had its fair share of loyal customers and new customers trying its speciality dish. What stood out particularly for me were the pieces of jellyfish that added an extra crunch to the dish. The amount of sauce was relatively generous as compared to some other Rojak stalls. The fruits and beansprouts were also fresh while the sauce was viscous and had a nutty taste to it. This definitely deserves nothing short of a Michelin Bib Gourmand!
6. Nyonya Chendol (#01-17)
Don’t be surprised by the excessively simple and minimalistic storefront – the store front is essentially a table top with four containers (one with coconut milk, one with gula melaka, one with the green worms and the last one is filled with red bean. There are four varieties – Original ($1.50), Red Bean Cendol ($2), Sweet Corn Chendol ($2) and XO Durian Chendol ($3). I got the original Chendol and I certainly did not regret it! The fragrance of the coconut milk, accompanying the shaved ice topped with sweet gula melaka was a true delight to end off my meal!