FIVE Square @ Great Eastern Centre

MEDIA INVITE

Hey everyone!

It was an emotional moment for many Han’s ardent fans when the announcement of the closure of the food chain’s biggest and most popular outlet at Great Eastern Centre came last December. Having served only pocket-friendly gourmet food to hungry office works for a decade, the closure meant that there would be one less affordable eating place amidst the throng of lavish restaurants in the business district.

For months after it shut down, the large ground-floor unit spanning over 13,000 square feet was left vacant for a couple of months before the next lessee took over. With such a vast amount of space, many wondered if the shop would be partitioned into smaller units to accommodate more tenants. Well, it is true enough that the unit has now been cut up into several divisions, but what most people probably didn’t expect was that these different sections are actually operated by the same company in a borderless setting.

FIVE Square @ Great Eastern Centre

FIVE Square @ Great Eastern Centre

Currently occupied by FIVE Square (stylised FIV五 Square), the latest flagship outlet of the FIVE Bar Group cleverly split the unit into 4 different concepts, each signifying a corner that makes up the newly-opened restaurant which has been operating since June 2015. From an impressive range of food choices at The Bazaar to alcoholic beverages like beer, wine and whiskey, there is clearly something for everyone.

The Bar

Synonymous with the renowned all-day-everyday $5 food and drink specials offered at other FIVE outlets, the Bar delivers the FIVE tradition of offering all-day happy hour that doesn’t break the bank. Enjoy sports screenings on large televisions and ‘live’ local bands performances at this 300-seater lounge every night while you hang out with your pals over beer, wine or sake at just $5 per glass.

The stage for live performances

The stage for live performances

The Bar

The Bar

Asahis and Kronenbourg 1664s

Asahi’s and Kronenbourg 1664’s

To chill the glass

To chill the glass

Tapping some beer

Luke showing us how to tap some beer, complete with the foam and all

Successfully did my first beer tapping! Not too bad for a first-timer.

Successfully did my first beer tapping! Not too bad for a first-timer.

And mind you, it’s not just any beer either – it’s icy cold beer! Unlike many pubs which derive their beer from keg coolers at about 4-5 degree Celcius, all beer at the Bar is directly dispensed from the cold room at 0 degree Celsius. It is especially uncommon to find cold rooms at local establishments these days due to the lack of space.

Cold room

Cold room

The Wine Cellar

Located in a tranquil little corner overlooking the busy cross junction into the CBD, visitors can sit back and watch the world go by while sipping on some wine at any time of day. With over a hundred labels of quality wines listed at the Wine Cellar, there are plenty of wine to choose from for a tête-à-tête between friends or for takeaway as gifts or for parties.

The Recess

Hidden away from the public gaze is the Recess which name is a play on words literally meaning going into a hole in the wall, to take a break from (work) proceedings. The secretive location of this 50-seater space makes it an ideal venue for company functions. It enables networking in this sophisticated and posh environment that is free of disruption from external noise and foot traffic while sipping on premium and rare whiskies without the exorbitant price tags. You would also be surprised to find popular whiskies that are already sold out across the rest of the globe!

The semi-hidden entrance to the Recess

The semi-hidden entrance to the Recess

The Recess

The Recess

The Recess

The Recess

Whiskies at the Recess

Whiskies at the Recess

Whiskies at the Recess

Whiskies at the Recess

The Bazaar

Majority of the space at FIVE Square is dedicated to this self-service gourmet food hall that seats up to 300 people. Similar to its predecessor, the Bazaar offers a variety of reasonably priced food for lunch and dinner to feed busy executives and families around the area as well as the merry-makers drinking at the adjacent bar, wine bar or whisky room – all part of FIVE Square.

The Bazaar

The Bazaar

There are five gourmet stalls offering dishes from around the world. Apart from Asian cuisines like Japanese donburis, Korean Bulgogi and our very own wholesome noodles with a twist, the Bazaar also boasts European classics such as Spanish Tapas and German Bratwurst Sausages served with pork, chicken and steak. Vegans and health-conscious individuals can opt for hearty salads to pair with fresh fruit juices from the beverage stall. With so many choices, FIVE Square has managed to achieve a fine balance of everyday affordability and occasional decadence to create a dining concept that can be your everyday lunch spot or your weekly indulgence. What’s more, all prices are nett! Yay to no service charge and GST! 🙂

The food stalls are open from 10am to 10pm every Monday to Saturday.

Beverage stall

Beverage stall

Papaya Milk Shake

Beat the heat with a cup of refreshing Papaya Milk Shake (S$4.50)

1. Cinqo Tapas

A spin-off from the popular Tachinomi Izakaya-inspired Five Tapas Bar at Cuppage Terrace, the Spanish-equivalent to its name (well, sort of, if cinco is spelt properly) offers a selection of the hot-selling items such as the garlic cockles (S$6), bacon mushrooms (S$6) and whole pork knuckle (S$28). For lunch, Cinqo serves up two different Paellas ($9.50) cooked fresh daily – the traditional seafood staple is available every day while the Paella of the day varies. These special Paellas include several Asian-inspired flavours such as the Claypot Rice Paella, Hainanese Chicken Rice Paella and Thai Pineapple Rice Paella which fuses local flavours with European ingredients and cooking styles; a definite must-try!

Cinqo Tapas

Cinqo Tapas

Seafood in Chilli Crab Sauce Pizza (S$15)

Seafood in Chilli Crab Sauce Pizza (S$15)

Seafood in Chilli Crab Sauce Pizza (S$15)

Seafood in Chilli Crab Sauce Pizza (S$15)

Hand-tossed with a 10-inch thin crust, this seafood pizza came topped with a generous shower of squids which unfortunately were too dry and tough for my liking. The chilli crab sauce also failed to impress as it lacked heat and flavour, therefore making the overall taste bland. However, I did enjoy the airy and crispy crust. It was well-balanced with just the right amount of doughy goodness. The pizza is available all-day at S$15 in 5 other flavours – Pepperoni, Vegetarian, Asian-Inspired, Quattro Formaggi and Prosciutto Carpegna & Arugula.

I was supposed to try their signature Paella too, but my stomach had reached its peak by the time it was ready to be served. It was pity as I was pretty sure it would be a million times tastier than the pizza considering the number of times I was urged (albeit subtly) by the marketing team to try it. The unique flavour combinations, too, are definitely worthy of a shot.

The menu gets even more enticing at dinner (from 5pm) with the addition of Truffle Fries (S$10), Angus Beef Carpaccio (S$10), Angus Beef Cubes (S$12), Pan Seared Foie Gras (S$12) and many other crowd favourites. With so many food options at Cinqo to rouse your palate, you certainly would see yourself coming back for more!

2. Teppei Syokudo

If the name rings a bell, that’s because Teppei Syokudo is indeed a branch from its famous parent restaurant, Teppei, at Tanjong Pagar. Best known for his top-grade yet affordable Japanese food at his flagship restaurant, Chef Teppei brings the same goodies that have made him such a hit to his latest outlet at FIVE Square – the Katsu Don (S$15.80), Chicken Nanban Bento (S$13.80), and the ever popular Kaisendon (S$16.80) which are literally flying off the counter. There is also a wide selection of Izakaya style snacks specially created to cater to the drinking crowd!

Teppei Syokudo

Teppei Syokudo

Kaisendon

Kaisendon (S$16)

Kaisendon

Kaisendon

Being the first dish I had sampled for this tasting session, Teppei had unknowingly set the bar for the food standard at the Bazaar sky high with this divine bowl of Kaisendon. This seafood don had thick, large and absolutely fresh salmon sashimi cubes and tuna sashimi chunks atop a bed of well-prepared Japanese rice and completed with tobiko and a tiny dollop of wasabi to clear the palate. The sashimi are to die for and the entire dish was simply scrumptious. It’s so SYOK, I swear!

After a few mouthfuls of the Kaisendon, I had to battle with my inner self to abstain from devouring some more because of the sprawl of food before me. It was tough but I eventually managed to achieve this almost-impossible feat – only after gobbling down every piece of the sashimi in the bowl.

Pork Katsu with Egg

Pork Katsu with Egg (S$15.80)

Served alongside a separate bowl of Japanese rice, the katsudon was another plate of comfort. Besides giving the dish texture, the corn also lent a mild sweetness to the overall flavour. Portions were generous as there was quite a fair bit of pork. The meat was tender and there was sufficient gravy and egg scramble to make it moist yet maintaining the crunch of the batter at the same time.

3. Omnivore

From the brains behind The Soup Spoon comes another healthy concept that offers wholesome salads and grills. Whether you’re a meat eater or a veggie lover, you’d be able to find food that suits your diet at Omnivore. From salads for the Herbivores (S$6.80) and perfectly grilled meat platters for the Carnivores (S$16.80) to a combination of both for the Omnivores (S$12.80), there are numerous food combinations to choose from to create your own perfect plate of healthy goodness. Not sure what to eat? The fickle-minded can also opt for the Carnivore sample platter (S$24.80) which comprises everything!

Omnivore

Omnivore (S$12.80)

Omnivore

Omnivore

Having a balanced meal is imperative in making your body function properly but many a time, busy working professionals fall short on essential nutrients like fresh vegetables or proteins from surviving on merely convenience food. If you’re guilty of this, hopefully this dish would propel you to eat more healthily!

Offering the best of both worlds, not only would you get half-sized Herbibowl (a.k.a. salad) on your Omnivore plate, you would also be able to choose a meat and housemade sauce of your choice. I was given grilled chicken thigh doused with Ponzu Miso Butter sauce that had a sweet citrusy taste and a subtle sour finish to it. The chicken was succulent and cooked perfectly and there were even crispy wonton skins (without fillings) to spruce up your greens (if you’re not a veggie person, that is).

Carnivore Sample Platter

Carnivore Sample Platter (S$21.80)

Carnivore Sample Platter

Carnivore Sample Platter

A food heaven for the carnivores, this platter has all the (common) meat to fulfill your protein needs. Indulge in grilled pork cutlet, 100% NZ grass-fed flank steak, Bratwurst sausage, chicken thigh and chicken breast with this brilliantly thought-out dish. They were all well-garnished and lean. Better still, they also came with a homemade sauce of my choice, or rather, two in my case since it was a food tasting session. I had Ponzu Miso Butter and House Gravy, both of which had their own distinctive taste to compensate for the lack of flavour of the platter. Ponzo had a thicker consistency while House Gravy was lighter and way blander.

However, except the sausage, I personally found the meat (especially the steak) rather dry and tough in general. But then again, perhaps I had too high of an expectation for this platter. Also, unless you’re extremely hungry, chances are you wouldn’t be able to finish the entire platter. Therefore, it’d be a better idea to share this with friends or colleagues!

4. Gogibox

Gogibox is the first quick-serve Korean food concept in Singapore offering 7-8 kinds of daily freshly grilled Bulgogi for you to choose from. They pride themselves on their Bulgogi—literally meaning “fire meat”— which they consider to be  their strength and culinary weapon. On top of that, Gogibox also offers 3 kinds of Korean fried rices namely kimchi, prawn and bulgogi marinade. Snacks like fried dumplings are provided on the side menu should you feel like getting some quick bites.

Gogi Plate - Beef

Gogi Plate – Beef (S$8.50, top-up S$1.80 for each additional meat)

Gogibox’s signature is the Gogi Plate served in a takeaway box. It comes with 1 choice of Korean fried rice, 1 choice of bulgogi (beef, chicken, spicy chicken, spicy pork, pork galbi, gochujang pork bell or wine pork belly), fried egg and a side of salad, all combining to give you a complete meal that would leave you satiated without burning a hole in your pocket at the same time.

My first impression of this dish was that it looked dry but fortunately my beef turned out to be deliciously sweet with the right tenderness. Apart from the beef, the flavours were also coming from the fragrant kimchi fried rice. Presentation-wise, it suffered because of the broken and dried-up egg yolk. And being served egg yolk that is anything but runny is sadly at the top of my list of pet peeves :\ Therefore I didn’t really enjoy Gogi Plate as much as I wanted to.

Gogi Dog

Gogi Dog – Chicken (S$6.80)

If you’re in the mood for a lighter bite, there are plenty of options at Gogibox like Gogi Dog and Gogi Taco that can fill your stomach for awhile. The Gogi Dog is a combination of American hot dog and the bulgogi. It had soft and fluffy buns sandwiching fresh, crunchy cabbage and a steaming hot sausage. The saltiness from the sausage also helped to balance out the overall flavour.

Gogi Taco

Gogi Taco  – Spicy Chicken (S$6.80)

The Gogi Taco, on the other hand, is Gogibox’s interpretation of Mexican taco using thick and chewy wraps and the freshest vegetables. Although not very spicy (it could well be after several bites), the chicken still left a tingling sensation in the mouth. It also has the tendency to become a messy affair if not careful. Divide it with cutlery if you’re a messy eater like me. It surprising cut very smoothly!

Omnivore (left) and Gogibox

Omnivore (left) and Gogibox

5. GRUB Noodle Bar

Previously located at Rangoon Road, the popular brand of noodles has finally made its way to a more accessible location at the CBD. Best known for its tasty broth, it is made using beef bones and vegetables and boiled for long hours to extract the full flavour from the beef bones. Furthermore, it contains no MSG or artificial flavours. GRUB Noodle Bar also prides itself on offering only quality beef with its noodles. Take your pick from grades of beef often only found in high-end steakhouses, starting from a pasture-fed beef brisket (S$10.90) to a tender premium sirloin option (S$13.90).

Grub Noodle Bar

Grub Noodle Bar

Pork Collar Noodles - Dry

Pork Collar Noodles – Dry (S$9.90)

Pork Collar Noodles - Dry

Pork Collar Noodles – Dry

Besides the miso pork broth, GRUB apparently makes great chilli sauce to go along with the noodles too! It was adequately spicy and slightly tart which complemented well with the sweet and flavoursome 100% pork balls and springy egg noodles. If not for my exploding stomach, I would have totally went for one of their the beef noodles as well!

The pork collar noodles is available in both soup (S$7.90) and dry versions. Those with a more exquisite palate may opt for the Kurobuta Collar Noodles that is also sold in soup (S$10.90) and dry (S$12.90) versions.

Payment methods

Payment instructions

Payment instructions

In a bid to reduce reliance on manpower, the Bazaar is the first to roll out a fully automated self-service ordering and payment kiosk. It is integrated to a SMS system which sends customers a message once their food is ready for collection so that they do not have to wait by the store while their orders are prepared. Customers can also use this time to look for a seat or purchase drinks and other items. This system has been warmly received by the masses and touted as a game-changer for the food and beverage industry here.

Family FUN² @ FIVE Square

Although catered mostly to working professionals during the workweek, FIVE Square continues to be abuzz on Saturdays (the only weekend on which it is open for now) with family-centric activities. Starting 10 October 2015, a refreshing concept combining feast, shop and play called Family FUN² @ FIVE Square enables patrons to tuck into a selection of food for lunch and/or dinner and browse through a myriad mix of eclectic items at The Artisan Market while their little ones have a whale of a time at the outdoor Bouncy Castle, mini ball pit and remote control cars.

The free and open-to-public event is only available on Saturdays.

Pushcarts at The Artisan Market

Pushcarts at The Artisan Market

25 vendors will be stationed at The Artisan Market from 12pm to 7pm every Saturday to sell an extensive blend of products and services ranging from hand-made accessories, arts & crafts, fashion apparels, decor, home-ware items and more. Apart from that, visitors can also expect an exciting line up from the bustling marketplace showcasing their participating artisans and lifestyle vendors such as clay miniatures, personalized craft /scrap books, crochet bears, patchwork blankets, bottle lamps and many more, providing a unique shopping experience for both the locals and tourists!

Bouncy Castle

Bouncy Castle

Remote Controlled Cars

Remote Controlled Cars

Mini Ball Pit

Mini Ball Pit

However, the management of FIVE Square is still working on bringing more children-friendly dishes at the Bazaar so food choices for the little ones (especially those below the age of 5) is still quite limited for now. Hence, it is advisable to pack lunch just in case foods like fried calamari do not suit their appetite!

All in all, I feel that FIVE Square has done a pretty good job in taking over Han’s task of providing affordable and quality food for the masses in the CBD area. I, for one, would without a doubt make FIVE Square my regular eating place if I’m working in the vicinity! I will stuff my face with Kaisendon every single day! Omnomnomnomnom.

What about you? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

FIVE Square
Great Eastern Centre @ 1 Pickering Street
#01-03, Singapore 048659
Tel: +65 87980245
Parking available @ Great Eastern Building at the rate of $1.65 per hour
Operation Hours: 10am – 12am, Mondays to Saturdays
Nearest MRT: Telok Ayer / Chinatown / Clarke Quay (all about 5-minute walk away)
Website | Facebook | E-mail

16 Delicious Eats in Bukit Batok

Hey everyone!

Recently, a lot of blog posts on food recommendations have surfaced on Facebook. Although organised geographically, these posts merely cover areas which are already known to have good food and they are typically located in the Eastern side of Singapore which is so far away from where I live (but no doubt there are really nice food in the East coz I really love both Bar Chor Mee stalls at Bedok 85).

Places in the west are seldom mentioned and it’s really, really sad. But does that mean my hometown, Bukit Batok, has nothing nice to eat? As a resident of Bukit Batok for 23 years (I have already moved FYI 😦 but I still return on a weekly basis for work!), I can vouch for the falsity of this statement. There are great food in this area and if you don’t know where to find them, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this post, I’ll be taking you through the list of top food finds in this neglected part of Singapore with additional input from my cabby Dad (because taxi drivers are also food experts right?). Bukit Batok, for the record, also includes Bukit Gombak (one of the 8 sub-zones of Bukit Batok).

Let’s begin!

* * *

1. Alif Restaurant (previously Thohirah Restaurant)

This Muslim-Indian eating place formally known as Alif needs no introduction (edit: it has been renamed to Alif again). Even though it has been bought over (or so I’ve heard) by Thohirah (which has a pretty famous outlet at Jalan Kayu), it still remains as one of the supper hotspots in Bukit Batok. Highly raved by food bloggers and celebrities (e.g. Taufik Batisah in the 2005 Coffee Talk and Hawker Woks) alike, it is also very popular among youngsters who need a place to chill with their friends. I’d say it’s a landmark of Bukit Gombak apart from the driving centre (BBDC) because everyone who has been to the area would have seen it before.

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Thohirah Bukit Gombak

Thohirah occupies two separate units (both beside McDonald’s). I frequent the one directly beside McDonald’s more because that’s where you can buy their famous Roti Prata. They are very generous with the cheese slices in their Cheese Prata to ensure that every part it would have some traces of cheese. Thirsty? Forget about Bandung or canned drinks which are readily available anywhere. Order a cup of hot, fragrant and well-pulled Teh Tarik instead. If you’re not a tea drinker, get yourself a cup of Milo Dinosaur. It comes in a relatively large cup with lots of Milo powder on it. So sinful but oh-so-good.

Teh Tarik (source)

Teh Tarik (source)

thohirah-egg-prata

Egg prata (source)

thohirah-chicken-murtabak

Chicken Murtabak (source)

The other unit serves noodle and rice dishes like Mee Goreng (which I’m a huge fan of), Mee Rebus and Nasi Briyani, so if you’re a big eater, you could dine there instead.

And the best part? Thohirah has free Wi-Fi (Wireless@SG), thanks to their neighbour McDonald’s. Of course, the signal strength depends on where you are seated.

374 Bukit Batok St. 31
#01-204
Singapore 650374
Tel: 6564 6324
Operating hours: 24 hours


 2. 新口味卤鸭饭 / Xin Kou Wei Braised Duck Rice

There are several coffee shops in the vicinity but Hong Kah Food Place (formally 五十千/50,000/Gor Zhap Cheng which aunties and uncles I know still call it today) has always been among the top on my list for its array of delicious eats. Most of these stalls only operate in the morning and will be closed by 4pm. Xin Kou Wei is one of them and their braised duck is so scrumptious that it usually sells out by 2pm.

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Super tasty duck meat soaked in nice black sauce

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Duck noodles soup. There’s also a dry version that comes with a small bowl of soup

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The Fishball Noodles beside the Duck Rice stall is also not too bad, but the portion is quite small and their fishballs always run out before noon..

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(OFF TOPIC, read caption above) Fishball noodles from next door! You guys can give it a try.

Like many other duck rice stalls, it also serves kway chap and duck noodles (dry and soup) for those who can’t stomach rice in the morning. But I’m just going to recommend their duck noodles soup because it’s something I’d always go for. The soup is very tasty and has a very mild herbal taste to it but it is definitely not repulsive or anything. The herbal taste would gradually dissipate once it mixes with the the sauce on the braised duck.

Hong Kah Food Place
376 Bukit Batok St. 31 (near Giant Supermarket)
Singapore 650374
Operating hours: 5.00am to 2.00pm


3. Siang Yuan (香袁) Porridge

Siang Yuan started out as a coffee shop (now a Muslim coffeeshop) in the late nineties behind what is now known as The Madeira Condominium (was previously an empty field). It used to serve the same porridge in the day and tze char in the night until they decided to scale down their business. I’ve been their loyal patron ever since they started their porridge business and I can vouch that the standard remains good over the years.

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My usual fish porridge topped with lots of spring onion, fried fritters (You Tiao) and fried silver fish

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Love the smooth texture of the fish slices!

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Craving for it right now.

Their fish porridge is my breakfast staple (on days I don’t feel like eating a lot). The serving is a little small as compared to others you know but it’s really good. The thick porridge comes topped with crispy silver fish, chopped scallion and fried cut you tiao, making the dish extremely fragrant and flavourful. I would always order my fish porridge with egg, which is just an additional of 30 cents.

Hong Kah Food Place
376 Bukit Batok St. 31 (near Giant Supermarket)
Singapore 650374
Operating hours: 7.00am to 2.00pm. Closed on Mondays


4. Mei Hao (美好) Noodle House

A rather new addition to the food court, it proves to be very popular as they are always swamped with orders, especially on weekends. If you’re a noodle or soup person, you should totally try their 生面 (plain noodles with soup) because it’s always served piping hot and garnished with lots of pepper, fresh greens, pork meat, shelled prawns and most importantly, an egg!

Due to the hot temperature of the soup, the egg cooks pretty fast so be sure to lift it up the moment the dish is delivered to your table (unless you don’t mind hard-boiled egg). The broth is light on the palate and it also feels super healthy and refreshing especially when consumed during cold weather. I’m not sure what kind of noodles they use but it’s very chewy and definitely not something I see very often (the closest I can think of is probably Ramen).

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Noodle with soup. This gives me a very homely feel because my Mom used to prepare something like that for lunch during my primary school days with all the de-scaled prawns and fresh greens. Knowing that I’m a huge fan of runny eggs, she’d also add one into my bowl, just like this!

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The dry version that also comes with a bowl of soup.

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Siang Yuan Porridge and Mei Hao Noodle House are just next to each other! Despite being there only for a relatively short period of time, Mei Hao’s owners have grown to be really great friends with Siang Yuan’s. I’ve seen both tenants helping each other out with the delivery of food to the patrons’ table, and sometimes even helping to take orders for the busier one! How heartwarming 🙂

Hong Kah Food Place
376 Bukit Batok St. 31 (near Giant Supermarket)
Singapore 650374
Operating hours: Closed on Mondays


5. 郎胜福建虾面 /  Long Sen Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee

Moving on to a neighbouring coffeeshop which also has a huge variety of food choices, we have Long Sen that is pretty well-known for its Hokkien Prawn Mee. Some people think that it’s not bad but I feel that it’s a little too watery and they are also not very generous with the ingredients. To each his own I guess! You guys can give it a shot if you’re around the area.

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Fried Hokkien Mee (source)

But what I recommend from this stall is actually their Prawn Mee Soup. This underrated dish has awesome tongue-tingling broth which has a very unique taste. It is not the thick kind of soup that has an overwhelming prawn flavour, but it sure is very addictive.

Prawn Noodles Soup

Prawn Noodles Soup

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It may not be very visible from the walkway because it’s partially hidden behind the coffee stall.

Sin Huat Lee Restaurant
371 Bukit Batok St. 31 (behind Prime Supermarket)
Singapore 650371


6. 实美芽菜鸡饭 / Shi Mei Hainanese Chicken Rice

This stall always attracts a long queue of buyers especially during lunch time. Easily the most popular stall in the coffeeshop, Shi Mei serves smooth and tender chicken meat with beansprouts tucked underneath and doused with savoury gravy. Apart from the steamed and blanched chicken meat, they also serve other kinds like roasted chicken, chicken cutlet, lemon chicken and so on which are also quite tasty.

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Chicken Rice Set for One (source)

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Shi Mei Hainanese Chicken Rice (source)

Do note that beansprouts are not automatically provided for takeaways so you have to request for them.

Sin Huat Lee Restaurant
371 Bukit Batok St. 31 (behind Prime Supermarket)
Singapore 650371
Operating hours: 8.00am til sold out (typically by 7.00pm)


7. 旺旺粥品 / Claypot Congee

A great alternative to Siang Yuan, porridge here is served in a claypot to retain the heat throughout the meal. It is a lot more watery than Siang Yuan’s (but still very tasty), perfect for people on a low-carb diet like yours truly 😀 It would still be bubbling hot for a long time though so do not order if you’re in a rush (or risk burning your tongue, like me on several occasions. You’ve been warned).

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Wang Wang Claypot Congee (source)

I don’t know about you but I’m a sucker for anything claypot. Anything that is served in a claypot would naturally appeal to me because somehow, the burnt and perfectly cooked areas blend really well to produce a very fragrant smell. Likewise, I usually go for their Sliced Fish Porridge with an additional egg which hardens really fast under the boiling congee. The fish slices are a little rougher (Mom says that it’s a cheap kind of fish), but still acceptable.

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Boyfriend ordered this and loved it: Century Egg Congee

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Oops, forgot to snap a picture before I accidentally broke the egg while trying to look for it (I believe I’m not the only one who does this all the time -_-). Here’s my Sliced Fish Congee!

Sin Huat Lee Restaurant
371 Bukit Batok St. 31 (behind Prime Supermarket)
#01-326
Singapore 650371
Operating hours: 7.00am to 10.00pm


8. 金味穈 / Teochew Porridge

This Teochew Porridge stall has been around for a long time but I think it was only recently acquired by 金味. Still, its standards have not dropped and it’s still as popular as ever, having able to attract people from all around Singapore. It has a very wide spread of food to choose from so you are bound to be spoilt for choice. However, prices have gone up steadily over the years but it’s still within the affordable range.

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Teochew Porridge

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Menu on their signboard

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Some of the dishes they offer (source)

Foodclique
347 Bukit Batok St. 34
Singapore 650347
Operating hours: Opens daily til 2.00am


9. Blk 359 Economic Fried Beehoon and Noodles

I have personally only bought from this stall once because the food sells like hotcakes and it closes even before I wake up! So my Dad (who is a morning person) was always the one that did the buying.

Their econ fried noodles is probably one of the best I’ve tasted so far and it’s extremely affordable! But as mentioned earlier, this makeshift stall is extremely popular (especially with the early risers, like cabbies) so they tend to sell out really fast! With its unusual operating hours, this stall makes an ideal choice for late night supper and breakfast 🙂

Sorry, no pictures of this yet until I’m disciplined enough to wake up early for it :\

Meng Soon Huat Food Centre
359 Bukit Batok St. 34 (A small makeshift cart beside the drinks stall)
Singapore 650359
Operating hours: 4.30am til sold out (typically about 10.00am)


10. 瑞记香港烧腊 / Rui Ji Hong Kong Roasted Delights

NOTE: Rui Ji has moved! Follow their Facebook page for more information or scroll to the bottom for their new address.

Since my trip to Hong Kong last December, I’ve been craving for Cantonese cuisine especially roasted meat and Rui Ji is the closest I can get to the real deal in Bukit Batok. The queue (or crowd, because the one taking orders is extremely attentive and has superb eyesight and memory so queues are technically unnecessary) at the stall front is an obvious testimony to their excellent culinary skills. On top of the thick, tender and savoury roasted duck meat they serve, the soup that comes along with it is just so good, I wouldn’t mind paying for it.

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Roasted Duck Noodles (dry), S$2.50

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Yummy!

Besides noodles, the stall also sells rice dishes such as Char Siew (roasted pork) rice which is equally delicious.

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Char Siew Rice and I can’t really remember the price. It is either S$3 or S$3.50.

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Rui Ji Hong Kong Roasted Delights (old venue)

New venue (next to the ca rpark)

New venue (next to the car park)

Block 272
Bukit Batok East Avenue 4
Singapore 650272
Operating hours: Closed on Tuesdays


11. 如意园素食 / Ru Yi Yuan Vegetarian Food

I haven’t forgotten all about you, vegans! There are at least 3 vegetarian stalls in Bukit Batok, but I believe this particular one garners the most votes from vegan foodies with the only complaints so far about their food selling out really fast. Having said that, this stall is also quite popular with casual eaters especially the Buddhists. Long queues are common on days when Buddhists have to abstain from meat (齋戒) so be sure to avoid those occasions if you don’t want to wait!

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Mixed Beehoon and Noodles with some mock meat and a large piece of crispy bean curd skin

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More mock meat

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Ru Yi Yuan Vegetarian

Kopitiam (just across the one above)
273 Bukit Batok East Ave 4
Singapore 650273
Operating hours: 5.30am til sold out


12. Jun Corner ▪ Nasi Padang (Malay Rice)

NOTE: Stall has shifted to Block 272. Address has been updated below.

One of the perks of living in Singapore is that you get to eat food from different cultures anywhere you are! Thus it’s not surprising that delectable ethnic foods are readily available in Bukit Batok so you don’t have to travel so far to get your food fix.

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Jun Corner Nasi Padang (old venue)

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Now you see them. Very soon they’ll all be gone!

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My favourites in one picture

Despite having rather low tolerance for spicy food, I still cannot resist Nasi Padang, especially from Jun Corner even though eating it would mean that I have to gulp down a few glasses of water. It’s just too shiok to stop. My go-to dishes are Sotong Hitam (squid in black ink), Ayam Goreng (fried chicken wings but only when they’re still hot, otherwise they’d be stiff and hard to chew), Sambal Udang (my top favourite because the prawns are always so chewy and sweet!) and Assam stingray when I have a few more dollars to spare. As you can see, I only go for the meat hence my plate usually costs a lot more than usual (at least $7?). I can’t remember how their Kang Kong tastes but I think it should be mediocre considering that I don’t usually order that. But my Mom loves their french beans.

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My portion, ~S$4? Kinda looks like kids’ meal hehehe.

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A more balanced meal.

(NEW LOCATION)
272 Bukit Batok East Ave 4
Singapore 650272
Operating hours: Early morning til sold out (typically by 1pm). Closed on Mondays.


13. 可口鸭饭 / Ke Kou Duck Rice

NOTE: Owners of Ke Kou Duck Rice plan to retire and will cease operation end October 2017. Hurry down and get your fill of their scrumptious braised duck before it is gone for good 😿 #RIPSGHawkers

If roasted duck isn’t to your liking, why not try braised duck instead? Tucked between residential blocks near Bukit Batok MRT (actually, it’s just 5-7 minutes walk away and relatively near to SHATEC), Ke Kou has risen to popularity among taxi drivers with its tasty and well-marinated braised duck. Patrons have the choice of yam rice, normal white rice or “Kway” (of Kway Chap). You can also ask for an extra bowl of “zhap” (gravy) if you want.

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Portion for three!

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With egg

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And the very generous amount of gravy!

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Kway

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Porridge

Their stewed eggs are also nice and soft unlike some other stalls that sell eggs that feel like rubber. The soup has a mild herbal taste and it’s really comforting because it’s always served hot! Shiok. Even more so if you like tao gay (bean sprouts) because as you can see from the picture above, there’s a lot of them!

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Ke Kou Duck Rice

FoodPark Food Court
207 Bukit Batok St. 21
Singapore 650207
Operating hours: 9.00am – 9.00pm daily


14. 肥仔荣食摊 / Fatty Weng

Fatty Weng is the biggest tenant in the coffeeshop. It serves fish soup, fried oyster omelette and fried carrot cake (only available in the morning) in one unit and roasted pork in another, side by side. Being part of a nationwide chain, this stall opens every day even on Mondays when fish soup stalls typically close (because wet markets close on Mondays). However, they hardly disappoint with their clear and tasty soup with plenty of smooth and supple fish slices. They are also very generous with their greens and tofu. Definitely a very healthy food choice!

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Fatty Weng

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Fatty Weng but this only sells roasted meat

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The best sliced fish soup in Bukit Batok, hands down.

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Love the clear soup and smooth fish slices!

Their oyster omelette is another must-order when you’re there. I usually opt for chilli to be added to give it an extra kick. It’s crispy on the surface and has good mix of eggs and starch. The amount of oysters is also quite reasonable but like traditional “or jian”, this can be a little too oily to some. But it’s acceptable to me 🙂

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Fried Oyster Omelette a.k.a Or Jian

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Fried to perfection :-9

Yong Xing Coffeeshop
155 Bukit Batok St. 11
#01-324
Singapore 650155
Operating hours: 11.00 am – 10.00 pm daily


15. 顺记福建炒虾面 / Soon Kee Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodle

Previously at Yong Xing Coffeeshop (behind) before finally shifting to its current location 3 years ago due to high rents, Soon Kee is considered to be the best in Bukit Batok by many.  Their Hokkien Prawn Mee is fragrant and more towards the wet side. It also serves really nice chilli, thus they’d charge additional 50 cents if you ask for more.

I used to love this a lot until standards started dropping after the relocation. I couldn’t finish my $3 plate of Hokkien Mee (the minimum amount) the last time I was there because it was terribly bland. But it could be a one-off experience so do give it a try!

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Soon Kee Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodle

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Fried Hokkien Mee

Li Soon Eating House (behind the above)
155 Bukit batok St. 11
#01-322
Singapore 650155
Operating hours: Closed on Mondays


16. Eng Kee Noodle House

(The previous feature – Ba Ji Satay Beehoon – has ceased operation in December 2014)

Known for its springy and moist Wanton noodles and crispy fried Wanton dumplings, Eng Kee is also a queue magnet which was originally at Yong Xin Coffeeshop. Even so, standard has been maintained over the years and the service is still as fast as ever. Most importantly, the price for a plate of Wanton Mee still remains the same although it had shifted to a newer and cleaner location.

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Eng Kee Noodle House (source)

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Wanton Mee

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Chicken feet noodles and my favourite crispy fried wanton dumplings!

The fried dumplings are my absolute favourite from this stall and it’s something I’d never fail to order whenever I have my lunch at Li Soon (even on days I don’t feel like having Wanton Mee). The size, as you can see from the picture above, is larger than any fried dumplings you see elsewhere. Each piece is brimmed with a rather generous amount of filling and the skin is really crispy! 🙂

Li Soon Coffeeshop
Blk 155 Bukit Batok St. 11
Singapore 650155
Operating hours: 6.00am to 8.30pm. Closed on alternate Mondays

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UPDATE (16-04-2015) : 2 MORE ADDITIONS

Hey guys, thank you so much for your overwhelming response to the original list above! I had personally tried out some recommendations that were put forward several times in the comments section and the following is what I feel deserve to be on here 🙂 I will be trying out others soon too so keep the recommendations coming!

17. 顺义砂煲鸡贩 / Shun Yee Claypot Chicken Rice

It was an impromptu trip to Shun Yee (previously Soon Yee) one Sunday afternoon. I was kinda worried that we would have to wait for a long time to be served since I was advised to make a booking over the phone prior to my arrival. But to my surprise (or maybe I was just lucky), our order came within 20 minutes which is typical of claypot rice due to the time-consuming method of preparation, and relatively fast for a portion for 3 I must say.

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The aromatic claypot rice topped with lap cheong and salted fish

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Stir ah stir. I love my Claypot Rice black and slightly greasy hehehe *guilty*

Honestly, it was a rather small portion for three adults, so do upsize your order if you’re big eaters like us. Otherwise, order individual bowls if you can afford to wait (maybe that’s when phone booking comes in handy). I also felt that there wasn’t enough salted fish to go around even when mixed thoroughly, so I will definitely ask for more salted fish the next time I dine there.

But tastewise, their signature claypot chicken rice was really good, tasty and fragrant! The rice was done to perfection and not overcooked at all so it was slightly crusty on the outside (love!) but soft and moist on the inside. I don’t remember having to scrape much burnt rice from the sides at the end so yay to minimal food wastage!

Unfortunately I had forgotten to ask for the contact number to make bookings so if you have it, please feel free to share in the comments below.

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Coffee & Tea Coffeeshop
150 Bukit Batok St. 11
(Opposite Bukit Batok Presbyterian Church)
Singapore 650150


18. 正宗香港烧腊云吞面 / Zheng Zong Hong Kong Roasted Meat & Noodle

Previously located at the coffee shop next to Bukit Batok Community Club (and before that, at Block 109 coffee shop), it serves a variety of roasted meat from char siew to duck to chicken. Basically, the best of Hong Kong under one roof, just lacking my favourite goose meat. It had recently moved to a more inaccessible location on the topmost level of a not-so-modern-looking industrial building and occupying two units (one for noodles, and another for rice). Yet, there was still a queue for it (people who seemed like regular customers and not manual workers for sure) when I was there past noon at the otherwise quiet canteen. If people are willing to travel all the way to this godforsaken place for the food, then it must be a place worth visiting.

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Shui gao soup

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Shui gao

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Shui gao filling

The soup was flavourful and thick. I wasn’t fond of the dumpling fillings although they were in very generous amount as they tasted a little bland in my opinion. But that’s alright because it’s not the highlight of the meal.

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Roasted duck noodles

The roasted duck meat was plentiful and sliced in thick slices, making every dollar spent count and worthwhile! The meat was tender and juicy and the gloriously glistening skin makes it even more divine. The gravy was good too but it would have been better if was a little more flavourful. Still, it’s still a great deal for under S$5.

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Roasted duck rice

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Roasted duck rice

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Char siew rice

However, contrary to appearance, the char siew was slightly disappointing because the meat on its own tasted a little dry and tough.

I’m not sure if the portion sizes were dramatically increased to cater to the appetite of the manual workers (who logically should make up most of their customer base now) but everything seemed to be served in large servings, including the amount of rice. It was astonishing! Even the family beside us was in shock and disbelief when individual plates of rice were served to their table (self-service, by the way). I bet one serving could satisfy 2 adults to the full. None of us managed to finish our rice in the end.

Food there is extremely value-for-money and better than average in general. But tastewise, I feel that it loses out to Rui Ji Hong Kong Roasted Delights.

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SkyTech Building
2 Bukit Batok St 24
Level 9 Canteen
Singapore 659480

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And there you have it, the best food in Bukit Batok! Agree or disagree? I believe there are more that I haven’t discovered so please feel free to let me know in the comments below should you have any other recommendations! I’m open to other choices because having too much of the nicest food would also make you sick of it somehow.

Thanks for reading! ❤