(Note: I will continue to update this as I add stalls and update stalls to this page, most recent updates first.)
Update: May 1, 2017 – Added Yan Ji Seafood Soup, noted closures of Maiden Mee Goreng, update of Foon’s Thai Wanton Noodles to Thai Street Noodles, updated stall types.
Update: March 12, 2017 – Added Jia Mei, Ban Mian . Noted closure of Delicious Chicken Rice and Warung Pak Wahub.
Update: February 1, 2017 – Added Hock Lam Popular Beef Kway Teow, Hong Kong Soy Sauce Chicken, Delicious Chicken Rice, Warung Pak Wahub. Noted closures of Home Thai, Boon Fang Wanton Mee, Dodo, House of Soup.
Update: December 19, 2016 – Added Wen Wen Pork Rib Big Prawn Mee, Naha Nahkon Thai, pictures of Momo’s Mini Bao, Local Handmade Bao, Unkai and Johanna Porridge and Braised Duck.
Update: November 14, 2016 – Added Xin Kee Chicken Rice, photos of Hin Fried Hor Fun and an update on Toa Payoh Rojak
Update: October 25, 2016 – Added Meng Kee Teochew Fishball, Yi Ji Hokkien Mee, Tong Kee Charcoal BBQ, Lau Par Sat Taiwan Porridge, Rice Garden, Wonderfull Nasi Lemak, Wang Lai Yong Tau Foo, Koo Kee Tong Tau Foo, Xin Xin Yong Tau Foo, Spicy Hot Pot, Pasta Manna, Past Risotto, Sheng De Kung Fu, 01-26, 156, Homemade Popiah, Sin Thor (Shing Du) Bak Kut Teh, 168 Curry Chicken, Lao Da Tong, House of Soup, Choo Zai Zhai Vegetarian
Update: August 31, 2016 – Added Western BBQ, JB Mian Fen Kueh, Hua Ji XO Fish Head Bee Hoon
Update: July 27, 2016 – Updated Lucky Char Kway Teow as closed, adding Xin Yi Dai Hokkien Mee in its place. Added Jack’s Kitchen and Quận 5. Added pictures of London, Holy Grill, Western BBQ, DNS, Momo and Maideen Mee Goreng
Update: June 30, 2016 – Updated the count of types of stalls at Old Airport Road
Update: June 28, 2016 – Added Home Thai, Lau Pa Sat Cooked Food, updated Waan Waan Coconut Ice Cream 😦
Update: June 10, 2016 – Added Boon Fang Wanton Mee
Update: May 26, 2016 – Added new Roast Paradise photos, Ah Yee HK Roasted and Unkai Japanese
Update: April 6, 2016 – Added Waan Waan Coconut Ice Cream, edited Jin Hua Fish Head Bee Hoon, added Jun Yuan House of Fish, Wu Xiang Xia Bing, Chef Hong HK Bakery
Update: Feb. 11, 2016 – Added Roast Paradise
Update: Feb. 3, 2016 on some of the stalls that I have listed below that are no longer in operation at Old Airport Road and added Foon’s Thai Recipe Wanton Noodles
Old Airport Road Food Centre is arguably the best of the hawker centres in all of Singapore. Opened in 1973, it is comprised of 168 stalls, providing one with a cornucopia of delectable Singaporean Hawker fare.
If you want to truly know what Singaporean hawker food is all about, this is a great place to start your journey.
Let’s break down what’s at Old Airport Road first.
As of May 1, 2017, of the 168 stalls, here is what they sell (this is based on their main product, there may also be others, e.g., , Lau Pa Sat Cooked Food sells Cuttlefish You Tiao and Rojak, but I have put it in the Cuttlefish You Tiao category)(To go directly to the section that spotlights these stalls click on the name):
Vacant – 6
Drink Stalls – 14
Biscuits/Cakes/Bakery/Fried Puffs – 9
Satay – 7
Porridge – 5
Fish Soup – 5
Malay/Indian Food – 6
Grilled/BBQ/Cooked Seafood – 4
Soups/Pig Organ/Mutton Soup – 4
Juice/Tea/Homemade Drinks – 5
Cold and Hot Chinese Desserts – 4
Tze Char – 4
Fishball Noodles – 4
Rojak/You Tiao/Cuttlefish – 4
Econ Rice/Curry Rice – 4
Prawn Noodles – 5
Wanton Mee – 2
Western BBQ/Grill – 4
Yong Tau Foo – 4
Hokkien Mee – 3
Kway Chap – 3 (but only 2 operators, Blanco Court has 2 stalls)
Lor Mee – 3
Roast Meats – 4
Fried Oysters – 3
Japanese – 3 (but only 2 operators, Unkai has 2 stalls)
Soya Bean – 3 (but only 2 operators, Lao Ban has 2 stalls)
Carrot Cake – 3
Char Kway Teow – 3
Chicken Rice – 3
Thai – 3
Bak Chor Mee – 2
Otah – 2
Popiah – 2
Chicken Wings – 2
Bao – 2
Kopi – 2
Pasta – 2
Steamboat – 2
Wu Xiang – 2
Beef Noodles – 2
Bak Kut Teh – 1
Braised Duck – 1
Claypot Rice – 1
Beef Hor Fun – 1
Laksa – 1
Chee Chong Fun– 1
White Bee Hoon- 1
Vegetarian – 1
Xiao Long Bao – 1
Goreng Pisang – 1
Nasi Bakar- 1
Ma La Hot Pot – 1
Curry Chicken – 1
Nasi Lemak – 1
It’s quite the variety of foods, this is why I say that Old Airport Road is a great introduction to the Singapore hawker food scene.
Here’s a guide through the maze of smells and delicacies.
First off, here is a map of Old Airport Road with the stall numbers. This is the top view, with the bottom being Old Airport Road itself, or what I refer to as the front of the hawker centre.
I like to split Old Airport Road into four (4) sections. Left, Middle Left, Middle Right and Right.
Left = 1-49. This section contains a lot of famous stalls including Nam Sing Hokkien Mee (32), Lao Fu Zhi Char Kway Teow (12), Cho Kee (4) and Hua Kee (2) Wanton Noodles, Albert Street Prawn Noodles (10) and Ru Ji Fishball Noodles (37).
Middle Left = 50-103. This section has Mattar Road Seafood BBQ (63), Chuan Kee Satay (85), Whitley Road Prawn Noodles (98), Meilock Soursop (82) and Xiang Ji Lor Mee (81).
Middle Right = 109-131. This section contains such greats as Blanco Court Kway Chap(135-136), Tiong Bahru (124), Roast Paradise (122), Xin Mei Xiang Lor Mee (116), Toa Payoh Rojak (108), Lao Ban Soya Bean (107) and Aunty Oats Pancake (110).
Right = 132-168. I affectionately call this portion the “sleepy” portion of Old Airport Road, as there is not a lot of action here. Stalls here are Lau Pa Sat Taiwan Porridge (167), Yummy Thai (161), Freshly Made Chee Cheong Fun (155) and Tong Xing Roasted Meats (158).
Old Airport Road is home to some Singapore Hawker Legends, including Nam Sing Hokkien Mee (32, left). The delicate rice vermicelli and noodles soak up the delicious pork and prawn broth giving rise to a dish which sings of flavor with every bite. These brothers have been at it for a long time and it shows in their craft.
Recently, they’ve made their Hokkien Mee quite soupy, thus my suggestion is to get it to takeaway. Even if you want to eat it there, wait for it to be packed, and then just let the noodles soak in the broth in the package. Be a little patient and wait for about 5-10 minutes, then open it up. You will see the difference.
The first picture is that ordered to eat there. They will bring it to your table if it’s close to their stall.
Now, take a look at the takeaway package, waiting 15 minutes and then eating it.
You can see there is quite a difference. In fact, if you order it to takeaway, they usually have a few sitting around that have already been made. Thus, the broth is fully soaked in already. One note here though, if you order takeaway, you can usually only get the $5 portion, which is premade. If you want the $3 portion, it’s really only for eating there.
One more note, since they are located in the “back”, but on a corner, they have put a light bulb on the side of their stall. When it’s lit, they’re open. When it’s not, they are closed. Thus once you walk in the front and glance down the aisle, you can immediately tell if they are open or closed.
Here is the light bulb, off to the right, off, thus meaning the stall is closed.
Here it is on, meaning, let’s eat!
The logo is that of the uncle that does most of the cooking. He puts on those glasses when he is frying his Hokkien Mee.
Nam Sing is open from the mid-morning until the mid-afternoon.
If you want nice dry Hokkien Mee at night, then I suggest going to Yi Ji Hokkien Mee (102, middle left). They make a real nice drier style Hokkien Mee.
Notice the signboard says “Super Spicy” Chili! It packs quite a wallop, so be careful with it.
There is another Yi Ji a few stalls down at 99. Same signage, but open at different times. Are they the same or not? And apparently, they have many locations around Singapore. Who knew it was a chain? Not me.
Now take a look at the actual Mee itself.
Taste both yourself and see if you can taste a difference. I honestly can’t.
Another option that just opened up in July 2016, taking the place of Lucky Char Kway Teow, is Xin Yi Dai (30, left). Unfortunately, as of Feb 2017, they are NO LONGER IN OPERATION, replaced by a Ban Mian stall.
Their Hokkien Mee is a nice mix of medium size Bee Hoon, thicker than Nam Sing or Yi Ji, and Yellow Noodles. The broth they use is also quite nice. Let it sit for a bit and you get a nice plate.I prefer more Rice Vermicelli (Mee Fun, Bee Hoon) in my Hokkien Mee, not so much the thick yellow noodles. That kind is more soupy and more like your typical hawker fare.
If you want this kind, then you can get it from Jackson (131, middle right) (NO LONGER IN OPERATION, now Pig’s Organ Soup).
Their Hokkien Mee is your typical hawker variety, as seen below.
If you notice, more yellow noodles, and the Bee Hoon is a little thicker, and it’s soupier.
Jackson also serves Char Kway Teow and Fried Oysters. None terribly awesome, just average and good if you want to eat. Here is the Oysters.
You’ll find that I won’t have many Oyster places here, as I don’t eat Oysters. But I have heard that Katong Ah Soon (7, left) makes a great Fried Oyster. (NO LONGER IN OPERATION, it is now Xin Xin Yong Tau Foo)
I have also heard that Xing Li (28, left) has a decent one too.
There is also a nice little side-by-side competition in the back middle left at 54 and 55 between Old Airport Fried Oyster and Kallang Fried Oyster (which is also paired with Chicken Wings, see later on).
But try it for yourself, I can’t personally tell you which one is good or not.
Another Legend is Toa Payoh Rojak (108, middle right), where you queue just to get a queue number. Each dish is made to order and the way you want it. If you want more You Tiao, Cucumber, or extra peanut rojak sauce, you get it.
You see the old uncle here, he and his son run the place. When you get your queue number, some people believe that the old uncle is the one that they want making their rojak. So they wait. I think they’re both equally as good.
For us, we don’t really like the pineapple in it. We like You Tiao, Tau Bok and Cucumbers. So that’s how we order it.
The experienced Rojak eater will not use those little sticks you get, you use chopsticks. Easier and faster to eat!
Here is a photo of the normal Rojak. The last time we went, in October, they told us we can’t pick and choose anymore! Not sure if this was just the case on that day or not. Either way, no uncle, and it wasn’t the best that I’ve had from there, it was a bit watery and tasteless. Will have to try it again just to make sure the quality has not gone down.
The uncle here says that in order to have good Rojak, you must grill the You Tiao, thus it takes a little longer to make from his stall.
The sauce is a little sweet here, but the taste is pretty good.
There is also Kah Ping Ri Ye Xiang (87, mid left) which sells Rojak, Cuttlefish Kang Kong, etc.
When people ask where to get BBQ or Grilled or regular Seafood, not many people will say, “Go to Old Airport Road.” But I counter that and say to you that you can find real good seafood here.
Some say the best Chili and Pepper Crabs come from Mattar Road Seafood BBQ (63, middle left). Open each evening, except Tuesday and Wednesday, it gives you a crab cooked perfectly, complemented with a subtly spicy and sweet sauce that oozes all over the lovely crab.
The queue here can get pretty long, so I usually order it, and then go order other things. They will serve it to your table, or you can always take it away.
I love to takeaway here, because I can order it and come back after doing other things to get it.
One thing that they do here is serve you female crab. Definitely make sure you order the female crab. Aside from the crab roe, the meat is a little sweeter in my opinion. And the price is not bad. It will be about $35 for one crab.
The sauce here is really nice. Not too thick and floury, not too spicy and not too sweet. It strikes a nice balance that you can lick off the crab before diving in. The uncle cooks it just to the point of doneness and let’s the sauce do the rest of the cooking. It truly is a magnificent and well done crab.
The Salted Egg Crab is a little different here, it’s not crumby and all over the sauce and crab, instead you find it mixed into the frying process. From the picture below you really can’t see the Salted Egg, you would think it’s normal scallion and ginger crab. Nothing to write home about, stick with the chili crab.
I find the Long House (90, middle left) makes a pretty good Sambal Stingray. (NO LONGER IN OPERATION)
They don’t do crab, only stingray, fish and shellfish. But the sambal they use is not too spicy, but it really gets you and complements the stingray nicely.
One of the newer kids on the block, BJ Seafood (118, middle right) (They have now shifted to 101, middle left, with a new sign) also has some good seafood. Here is the old sign.
The queues form at Xin Mei Xiang(116, middle right). This stall regularly draws people from everywhere and the queues start to form early. They used to sell prawn noodles, but why bother? People come from the Lor Mee.
The queue takes about 20 minutes usually, but it’s run pretty efficiently (or you can go at 6 or 7am and there is no queue). One auntie comes out and takes your preliminary order, which gets the preparer ready with the noodles, etc. And when you get to the front of the line, you finalize with chili padi, garlic, vinegar, etc.
And this is what you get.
But for me, I like Xiang Ji (81, middle left).
All Lor Mee looks the same, but the taste is different. This one is a little more tasty. I can’t quite describe it, but the ingredients I think are what makes it. The meat and less fish make it tastes much better.
One key for me, I always go for the yellow noodles and bee hoon mix, not just one of them.
The other selection for Lor Mee is Tiong Bahru(129, middle right) (They have now shifted a few stalls down to 124).
The queues form here as well.
Here are the ingredients before adding the gravy. Notice that this one does not have as much fish as Xin Mei Xiang or Xiang Ji. But more Wu Xiang and Braised Pork Belly.
Add the gravy and here you go!
Here is a picture from February, 2016. Notice the chunks of fish! To me, it tastes much better now than it did before.
This Lor Mee, to me, lacks a little bit of a punch that the other two give.
Again, to each their own when it comes to eating.
Lao Fu Zhi(12, left) draws reviews and queues, and gets most of the attention.
At Lao Fu Zhi, there is a difference in the way it is made, depending upon who is doing the cooking. If it’s the old uncle with the glasses that dances while he cooks, you have yourself a good plate. If it’s the old auntie that’s cooking, I don’t find it quite as good.
Right across the aisle you can also find Lucky(30, left) (NO LONGER IN OPERATION).
The old couple that run this stall are the only ones there. She cooks, he takes and packs the orders. Some say that their service is not good, but I have never had a problem at all with them.
You will see that this one is a little darker than Lao Fu Zhi. Why? Because there’s a little more sweet soya sauce added to the order. It makes it a little sweeter, and to me, gives it a nicer taste. It also is less oily than your normal Char Kway Teow. I will usually skip the queue and head across here to get my fix. But now, it’s no longer there.
I mentioned before that you can get Char Kway Teow at Jackson (131, middle right), but it’s your standard hawker style meal (also no longer there). A lot of people also rave about Dong Ji (138, middle right), which is in the same aisle as Jackson.
The uncle here cooks a little slowly, but the product is supposed to be worth it.
For me, it’s not worth it. I find it a little lacking in taste. While it has a lot of ingredients, it just doesn’t do it for me.
Right along the lines of this is Carrot Cake. There is Black and White, me, I prefer the Black style. A little sweeter and more of that wok hei taste as it’s put together. I urge you to try both and see.
Sheng De Kung Fu (100, middle left) has been around awhile. It make good quality Carrot Cake, both versions. I don’t know about the Oysters though. They are usually open only at night.
The aunty fries a HUGE plate of Carrot Cake for $3. The taste is right on. This is probably my favorite at Old Airport.Another stall is located at 156. Not much for names, but they are known for Carrot Cake and Popiah. And aside from a nice Carrot Cake, the flower plates. Which makes their food distinguishable.
This one is a little bigger and honestly, a little better tasting. Just opened in October 2016, Hock Guan (93, middle left), it sits right next to the Popiah stall above. It also sells Rojak among other things.The Popiah is a little smaller than next door, the taste is there and the auntie that makes it is a nice old auntie.They also sell the Kueh Pie Tee.
Hua Kee(2, left) and Cho Kee(4, left) Wanton Noodles separated by a drinks stall and each has its own supporters.
People joke that they don’t know what the names of the stalls are, just that there is a red/pink signboard and a blue one, so they go to either the red or blue stall. But, Cho Kee just changed their signage! No longer are they a blue signboard, but it is now beige.
The red stall is Hua Kee. They are a little more old fashioned, as you queue, order and wait for your bowl of noodles. The blue stall is Cho Kee. This is their old stall, then it’s followed by their new one. Here, it’s the modern era. You get your receipt with your queue number. And then you watch the digital signboard for your number to flash on the screen.
Here is Hua Kee, or the red stall.
As for Cho Kee, or the blue stall…
The Char Siew here, also lean and a little dry. More veggies here for sure. The wanton are not bad, a little juicy, I can’t complain. But the noodles are excellent! Springy, chewy and a great taste. It really makes the dish for me. The Fried Wanton here are also nice.
What a choice. For me, I usually go with Cho Kee, or the blue stall. I like the noodles more.
You can also get Wanton Mee from Gui Hua (106, middle right), or, the orange stall. But, the taste is not as good as Cho Kee or Hua Kee. (NO LONGER IN OPERATION)
But there is a new contender for the crown! In 2016 when I returned I saw a new Thai Wanton Noodle place, Foon’s Thai Recipe (65, middle right), that is one stall away from Mattar Road. This used to be Hougang Otah’s stall.
Now what makes it Thai Wanton Noodles? Honestly, I am not sure. The noodles here are springy, the wantons are giants compared to Cho Kee and Hua Kee. But the portion seems a little small when you compare the $4 bowls to each other.
But I am still not sure what makes it Thai style…
Just recently (end April 2017) thay have changed their name to Thai Street Noodles. I will have to try their other noodles now as it’s not just Wanton Noodles.Recently opened in June 2016 (now CLOSED as of January 2017) is Boon Fang Wanton Noodles (129, center right), located in the same quadrant as Blanco Court, Roast Paradise, Tiong Bahru Lor Mee.
Albert Street(10, left) and Whitley Road(98, middle left) offer Big Prawn Mee and are just one section apart, with queues equally long. Now remember that Big Prawn Mee contains prawns which are larger than normal prawns. They are bigger and they are sweeter.
The one I prefer is Albert Street, because I like the broth a little bit more, and I find the prawns much better.
The Prawn Mee stalls always offer different combinations, like spare ribs or pig tail or regular prawn. But I only go for Big Prawn Mee. At $5, you expect a good bowl of noodles with nice prawns. To me, this has to be had as soup, not dry. To have it dry, it’s just not the same for me.
As I mentioned, the broth here is so fragrant and the taste sticks with you. The noodles here, I recommend the Mee/Bee Hoon mix, spring nicely. The prawns are the star here though. Fresh, full of crunch, and delicious.
Whitley Road also does a nice job.
Another interesting choice is Kallang Cantonese Prawn Noodle (83, middle left). This stall has a tank containing live prawns.
The broth is also different. It’s more mild and even.
There is also Wen Wen Pork Rib Big Prawn Mee (147, right). They just opened up recently after moving from Geylang Bahru.I tried their simple Pork Prawn Mee. Decent taste, not that bad. What they are also known for is their Steamboat and how you can bring your own ingredients, and their free flow of noodles. I’ll have to give that a try sometime.
Blanco Court(135, middle ) is a place where people from all over the island come for Kway Chap. Intestines, Tofu, Pork Belly, Braised Eggs, you get it all in a sinfully rich broth and Kway Teow noodles.
This stall stakes up two stall numbers and they do all the cooking right there. The queues start early, and they officially open for business at 11am. But if you get there early, and you’re lucky and nice to the auntie, you can preorder and have your stuff ready when they open.
I’ll be honest, I don’t really eat most of the offerings in Kway Chap. In fact, it has a smell which I don’t quite enjoy, but I can tolerate. I will take the pork belly and the egg and tau bak, but other than that, it’s not for me.
Here is Blanco’s version.
But wait, here is the plated version for eating at Old Airport:
The taste is okay, my wife and sister-in-law say it’s the best Kway Chap out there. So I will trust them and recommend it to you.
The other Kway Chap stall in the hawker centre is Yi Fa (70, middle left). It has a following as well, but you won’t see queues like at Blanco.
If you like intestines, you could try Xin Dong Fong (112, middle right). They specialize in two things, Fried Intestines and Ngoh Hiang, the Hokkien style spring roll. The Ngoh Hiang here is very big and a nice eat, while the Fried Intestines are also nicely done.
If you like Ngoh Hiang, you have to like it when there is a stall that specializes in Ngoh Hiang and all other lovely fried delicacies. There are now some more shops in Old Airport Road, as there used to be only one.
Seng Kee (29, left) looks good when you approach and delivers when you get your food. This was the only stall around for a bit, but now there are more.
It’s pretty simple here. Each piece costs a certain amount of money. You choose what you want, give it to them, and they will fry it up for you and give you a sweet and a chili sauce to dip your items in. Sounds great doesn’t it? Spring Rolls, Ngoh Hiang, Prawn Crackers, Tofu, Fish Cakes, etc., all fried up. You have to love it. Just be careful because it can be a lot of food, and the price will add up.
A lot of people eat it with some Fried Bee Hoon, but for me I don’t eat it that way. But they will offer it to you. You can give it a shot and see if it’s for you.
There is also Wu Xiang Xia Bing (56, back middle left). I haven’t tried it yet, but I will at some point in time.
They open in the morning, and soon after you can see everyone around clamoring to get the Biryani. You can get combinations, but basically it’s chicken, either in curry sauce or fried, or curried mutton. You can add a fish, or other things as well, but that’s only if you really, really want it. I don’t recommend it, I recommend getting the biryani and the chicken or mutton and savoring it.
Here is the chicken curry biryani.
The curried meat sings and then mixed on the biryani rice make it a combination that’s out of this world. The chicken is very tender and the curry is so nice on the rice. To me, the curry makes half of the dish, so why go for the fried chicken instead of the curried chicken?
Here is the mutton version.
This was the only stall at Old Airport that sells Indian food. There used to be a stall that sold things like Bee Hoon Goreng and Prata, but not anymore. There is now a Mee Goreng stall. Maideen Mee Goreng (47) is in the section behind, by the Briyani stall. (NO LONGER IN OPERATION)
But if there is one thing that Old Airport needs, it’s a stall that sells Prata and Murtabak, etc.
There are a few Malay and Indian food stalls in this same area, Safura (48) and Fazil (49). Safura is more Nasi Padang while Fazil offers the only Indian Rojak here.There is also Warung Pak Wahub (34)(this is the only place that sells Mee Rebus)(NO LONGER IN OPERATION).
Ru Ji(37, left) is my choice of the four Fishball Noodle stalls at Old Airport Road. Ru Ji is a branch of the stall at Holland Drive, and it is just as good. Invited to take part in Singapore Day in New York City, this stall does not disappoint.
The uncle works hard behind the stall, pinching off noodles, boiling fishballs, putting it all together. The others are cutting fish cakes and preparing the bowls. The queues are quite long, it’s about a 15-20 minute wait usually, 30-40 on weekends. But what you get is a great bowl of noodles, well worth the wait.
The handmade fishballs are springy, and yes, they do bounce. The fish cakes are also handmade and when you take fresh Mee Pok, mix it with vinegar and chili, and then put it altogether, you get heaven in a bowl.
There is debate out there about what kind of noodles work best with Fishball Noodles. Some say Mee Pok, some say Mee Kia. Others say it must be soup and with Kway Teow noodles. For me, it has to be Mee Pok and it has to be dry, not soup. I just find the wider noodle gets coated much better with the vinegar and chili. I don’t get that with the Mee Kia. And as for the soup style, it’s nice, but I like the chili and vinegar bite from the dry version.
My second choice at Old Airport is Soo Kee (76, middle left). They also serve Bak Chor Mee, but the Fishball Noodle is much better.
Now, this dish looks deceiving and different. First off, the fishball and fishcake are not in soup, they are put right on the noodle itself. And then some pork slices are also added. But the major difference here is that the noodle is not mixed beforehand for you, the chili and vinegar sit at the bottom. But what is more deceiving is that the chili does not look too red or potent. But, I tell you, mix it up, and you will taste the chili for sure!
If these two stalls are not open, you can go for Cityzoom (120, middle right). (NO LONGER IN OPERATION) This stall is a few down from Xin Mei Xiang Lor Mee.
The fishball noodle here is ok, not great. Satisfactory to satisfy a fishball craving. What I do like about this bowl is the little fried fishcake that’s there in the bottom left of the bowl. This was nicely flavored and tasty.
Now, if you have to get fishball noodles, and none of these are open, you can go to the franchised fishball, Teochew Fishball (92, middle left), which is right on the corner in the front of the hawker centre. (NO LONGER IN OPERATION, replaced by Fish Soup)
Plying their trade, they used to just sell Soursop juice. Now they’ve expanded with some machinery and equipment and offer a lot of other fruits, juices, freezes, etc. But the Soursop is still the main reason you keep coming back to Meilock Soursop (Now renamed Just Juice…) (82, middle left).
As I said, it used to be just pure Soursop juice, which is great in it’s own right. The amount of soursop is generous and the juice is nice and sweet. But, I have grown to love the Soursop freeze. And if you add a little bit of sour plum in there – whoa! It tastes awesome and cools you down on a hot day, and in the hot hawker centre.
Lao Ban had one location a few years back, and it was right here at Old Airport Road. After being featured, the queues started and kept going. It was a madhouse. People would queue for two hours before the stall opened at 11am. There used to be two shifts, one morning and one evening shift, because they would make a batch and it would sell out, so they would close and make more.
But then, they opened up another outlet. Soon, they got partners and franchised, and it opened up stalls everywhere. Now, there are no more queues, only stacks and stacks of Soya Beancurd in the cooler.
If you ask me, they expanded too fast and too soon. It was a novelty, people came from miles around to get this. There was buzz, there was an atmosphere. Now, it is found everywhere and it’s nothing special anymore.
But, the taste is still the best soya beancurd that I have found in Singapore.
When Lao Ban took off, everyone wanted to get in on the act. Old Airport Road got two stalls of 51 Soya Bean Curd. Now, they only have one stall left (72, middle left) and business is slow for them.
They have your normal pancakes, round, stuffed with peanuts, or coconut or cheese or red bean paste, then cut into pie shapes. But they also make the enclosed pancake with you filling. The danish, taco, enchilada, etc. style. I like that style, easy to eat, easy to taste. And I like the coconut, like below.
If you want hot desserts, you should try Dessert Hut (115, middle right). This is located right next to Xin Mei Xiang Lor Mee. You can get all the good hot desserts here, Sesame Paste, Almond Cream, Tau Suan, Green Bean Soup and Chng Tng. It really is a nice end to a meal if you like the sweet soups for dessert.
Check it out, there is a newly opened Gelato shop here. I am interested to see how Gelato Paradiso (96, middle left) do. It is a bunch of youngsters opening up a stall. I think they might do well here, because Old Airport Road has a nice mix of young and old, as well as locals and foreigners. (UPDATE: Alas, it did not do well. It is now gone, replaced by 96 Laksa, who in turn are no longer there, and has now been replaced by Wonderful Nasi Lemak)
The Tiramisu was spot on, great espresso flavor and nice and light. The Durian was lacking in a strong Durian flavor, so it could have used a bit more flavor there. The Wildberry was nice and tart and delicious. I would go for that.
On this day they also had Pineapple Tart (for CNY), your standards like Vanilla, Chocolate, Mango, etc. It’s $2.50 for a decent size scoop like you see above.
But if you want the latest dessert craze at Old Airport Road, you have to go to Waan Waan Thai Coconut Ice Cream (51, middle left back) (They are now sadly closed, replaced by Ming Guan Seafood White Bee Hoon).
Go for the Jumbo, which is three scoops of ice cream. Choose all 3 as Mango, or all Coconut, mix and match. And then add your toppings. Some come standard. Do it omakase style! Let them do it for you. That’s what I did. Here’s what I got.
And there are also now Hong Kong desserts. Chef Hong HK Bakery (79, middle left, center) has opened and serves HK style buns and egg tarts.
You would think that a great hawker centre like Old Airport Road would have great Chicken Rice. After all, it’s the national dish of Singapore. But, the selection is not that big and to be honest, it’s average.
Kheng Hai Hui (25, left) Boneless Chicken Rice does a decent job. It is pretty much a standard Chicken Rice for a hawker centre, but that doesn’t mean it’s not great.
You get quite a good deal for $3.50, it works out real well. Now remember, everyone likes their Chicken Rice differently. Me, I don’t do the ginger, but I do the black sauce on the rice, add a bit of chili to the rice as well. Then I put chili on each piece of chicken as I eat it. That is what works for me. For some, they combine, add this, add that, it’s all good. Whatever you decide to do, if you like it, then enjoy!
Take a look at the chicken, it is quite tender and nice. The quality is ok, so this is a good choice if you want Chicken Rice at Old Airport Road.
Just opened in January 2017 is another Chicken Rice stall, simply called Delicious Chicken Rice (129, middle right), across from Blanco Court. I’ve yet to try it, but will soon (Looks like I won’t get the chance, as of Feb 28, 2017 it is NO LONGER IN OPERATION).Right next door there has opened up Hong Kong Soy Sauce Chicken (130, middle right). I walked by real quick and said to myself, “Wow! The Michelin Star stall has opened a branch here!” It is not that same owner, but I think they’ll draw people to it thinking just that.
Pretty simple really. Curry Chicken with noodles, rice or bread. Your choice. Here are the noodles. I remember when I first came to Singapore and I was taken to Bedok Interchange for the Curry Chicken Noodles. My love affair for Singaporean food was further engrained into me after that. This Curry is pretty good also.
Jin Hua Sliced Fish Bee Hoon (121, middle right) is at the corner on the same row as Xin Mei Xiang Lor Mee and at busy times, the queue here is very, very long. (UPDATE: This stall has moved one over to 120.)
Here is the old stall.
The broth here is flavorful, the fish fried right, the noodles perfect. I go for Fried Fish with Thick Bee Hoon and I do not add milk. I don’t quite understand the obsession with putting milk in this dish, but people do it. It’s not for me though. Then I add a few pieces of chili padi to spice up the broth, but I take them out before they make it too spicy. Man, does that work for me!
This year, I decided to try it with the milk. And you know what? It really does give it a deeper taste. I quite like it.
Another choice is Tian Tian (21, left). This shop is relatively new, but they serve a decent Fried Fish Bee Hoon. (NO LONGER IN OPERATION)
Right next door to Jin Hua, there is one!
How Hougang Hai Zhen Yuan is able to compete, it’s interesting. Honestly, they have some fans, that’s for sure. But at the same time, I think they also get business from attrition. The queue can be long at Jin Hua sometimes.
Alas, they could not compete and have closed down. They have been replaced by Roast Paradise, who has moved into this spot (more on them below).
But there is also another one that is one stall away from Jin Hua too! Now Hua Ji XO Fish Head Been Hoon has other items, and in fact, I see Hor Fun, which looks interesting to try.
One stall I have also tried is Jun Yuan House of Fish (69, middle left).
And we almost forgot (92, middle left).There is also Qun Jie Fish Soup (34, left back)(NO LONGER IN OPERATION) that is tucked away next to Nam Sing. Quiet there, and I haven’t tried it yet, nor will I ever since it’s closed.
Bedok Minced Mixed Noodles (125, middle right) is the best of the bunch to me.
What is interesting about this stall is that the noodles are put in one bowl with the minced meat. Then dumplings are also given to you in soup. They also have the normal Bak Chor Mee, but I like this one from them.
Tucked away, near Fatman and Ru Ji Fishball is JB Mian Fen Kueh (39, left). They specialize in Mee Hoon Kway and Ban Mian, both wet and dry.The best seller is the Mee Hoon Kway and you can tell that the Kway is homemade. It’s in quick thicker sheets, but the taste is there. And there are some fishballs in the mix, which is not the norm. A nice bowl of noodles.This newly opened stall in Feb. 2017 features Ban Mian and Mee Hoon Kway (30, left).The Ban Mian is typical quality that you will find most anywhere. My biggest complaint here is that the auntie cracked the egg so hard it scrambled in my Ban Mian! It should be kept whole so you can eat the yolk!
Then there is also Meng Kee (102, middle left), right on the corner in the front. This draws a nice crowd as well too, and it only opens at 6:15pm.Here is their Teochew Fishball and Meat Dumpling with Mee Pok (in this case).
Wang Lai (68, middle left) is the old school traditional style. They open around 12-1 in the afternoon and offer a real good deal on the Choose-Your-Own style. Items are still relatively cheap.
Koo Kee (71 middle left), just a few stalls down, is one of the branches found from Chinatown. There are very long queues in Chinatown, and here there is also good demand. Sets are offered here, and the consistency from branch to branch is there. You know what you’ll get here.
Here I go for the dry version, where it’s all in one bowl with their red sweet sauce which has a kick of chili. The taste is ok for me. Then there is Yong Tau Foo (165, right). That’s the name of the stall. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it open. Is it a stall that is a prep stall (Albert St Prawn Noodle has a prep stall at 149)? A place to make it for other stalls around the city? I am not sure at all.
Ying Ying (77, middle left) did a nice job with this dish (UPDATE: Feb 2016 NO LONGER IN OPERATION, now Ah Yee HK Roasted)You can choose your noodles here, I like to go for the thick bee hoon myself on this dish. Some people like the normal yellow noodles, but I think the bee hoon makes it a little better.
I also usually like to go with the sliced beef here, I almost never go for the meatballs or the tendons. Though I love the Beef Tendon and Brisket noodles in Hong Kong, I don’t quite like it here in Singapore.
You get the beef, noodles and on top of it a nice thick beef gravy is ladled on top. This is the dry version, which is better than the soup version here. And a little garnish with white pepper is added.
Just opened on January 31, 2017 is a branch of Hock Lam Popular Beef Kway Teow. (22, right). The original stall was set up in 1921 and passed down to two brothers, who are at war with each other. They each have a Hock Lam stall (Far East Square and then on Canal Road). This stall is set up by Francis Tan, who set up the Canal Road stall, for his son. There were a lot of people queuing who remember eating there since they were young.
What’s special? Well they specialize in Braised Beef Noodles. The Beef is braised and is so tender and soft. Unlike normal Beef Noodle stalls where they use fresh flank or meatballs or tendons. This is slices of braised beef.
Then they also have another specialty, their Hong Kong style Beef Brisket Noodles.
They also make a nice Seafood Hor Fun.
The only one for awhile was Tong Xing (158, right) and is what you would call your typical Roast Meats stall.
What’s the criteria for good Roast Meats? A little bit of fat and keeping the meats juicy. Tong Xing does a decent job of that. The Siew Bak is quite nice here, and the Char Siew is a little more fatty than normal Singapore roast meat stalls.
I haven’t tried the Roast Duck, but it looks nice and juicy. I think it would also be a decent choice here.
Then there is Roast Paradise, which opened in 2015. They are located at 122, but will move to 121 at the beginning of August, middle right, in the same section as Tiong Bahru Lor Mee and Blanco Court Kway Chap.
Look at the Char Siew hanging in the stall. Roast Paradise says that their Char Siew is KL style, they have the oven right in the back. It is lean, fatty, savory and sweet all at the same time. They sell it on Rice, or on Hakka Noodles, and you can order it by the kg.
Here is their Char Siew Hakka Noodles.
The Char Siew is lean and has some fat, you are asked if you want lean or fatty Char Siew when you order. The noodles here are Mee Pok instead of the normal Mee Kia, and it plays nicely with the minced pork and sauce that goes with it to make Hakka Noodles.
But the star is definitely the Char Siew, which is pretty awesome. They also offer Siew Bak, which is also awesome.
It’s also plated with rice, here is the Char Siew with the Siew Bak on rice.
These guys do it right, they’re the part of the rising young Hawker stars in Singapore and deservedly so.
There is also Ah Yee Hong Kong Roasted (left center, 77). In the afternoons when it’s quiet you can see the uncle preparing the meats for roasting. Quite interesting.
Story that goes along with this, this is a picture of the old stall.
There is also Hougang Jing Jia Mutton Soup (123, middle right). This is located back towards the Blanco Court Kway Chap. And, as is the case with Mutton Soup, is quite fragrant once you get near. This is not for me, but there are good queues for it every day.
You can go a la carte here, meaning you can get the Bak Kut Teh, or the Pig Trotter and add rice, or You Tiao or Beancurd or Veggie. But you can also get a set, where you choose from 3 categories and make a set.You can choose 2 from the side dish menu, so above I went for the Bean Curd and You Tiao (you can get veggies, peanuts, etc). And then you can choose a Soup Meat. Meaning Ribs, Kidneys, etc. Here are the ribs. The soup is not so deep and rich like other places, but it works. And the Rib is tender and not a bad portion. And you can also add a Pork Trotter as one of the categories. Fat or lean, just ask.A decent deal for $7.90.
Chong Pang Huat (69, middle left) is a great choice for that craving. (MOVED ACROSS TO 90, old home of Long House Seafood)
They also do Satay, but the Chicken Wings here are pretty good. I think they could be a little bigger, but they are roasted nicely and the marination is just right. They come out fresh, hot and crispy on the outside from the roasting. Sprinkle some lime and dip it in chili, yum!
The couple that run it have been around for a long time, providing succulent bits of meat on a stick. But be prepared to wait a long time for your order. And I do mean a long time, especially during peak hours. Order your satay first, then go around and take your time ordering other things. You can come back in about an hour to get your satay during these times.
Kim Satay (6, left)
These are all the “Chinese” style satays, but if you want a “Malay” style, then you head to Fatman Satay (45, left). They make their satay by making it in a minced meat style. Originally from the Satay Club, they are open on select nights.
If you want to try Satay Lok Lok, there’s a little stall in the back on the right side that provides this. Hock Leng (141, right) serves this special style, where skewers of items are dipping in hot Satay sauce and then eaten. Worth the experience.
You also have a selection of ethnic foods at Old Airport Road. There are a number of Western stalls that serve Grilled Chops and Fish & Chips, etc. I usually don’t go to these stalls myself, as I think I can do it better, but people do love them.
I was recently recommended the Pork Cutlet Curry Rice from Jack’s Kitchen (19, left) by Mitsueki, a reader (see comments below). I had to try, since it was recommended.At $3.50, it seems like a bargain. Here it is:
The pork was a little thin, but it was so crispy and the curry just nice. Very Japanese, more than Western. Thanks Mitsueki!
Other Western stalls are London Grill (8, left)Holy Grill (27, left)Western BBQ (53, middle left, which is EXTREMELY popular). Here the Chicken Chop is recommended.So what of the Chicken Chop? I don’t know, it’s western food, which I don’t really do. The taste was nice. I got it without the Garlic Sauce, which people say is amazing. Try it for yourself.
Then there is the newly opened (as of July 2016) ZNS (46, left) (NO LONGER IN OPERATION as of Feb, 2017).There is also Momo (129, middle right), which is in the back by Blanco Court. They serve KFC and pasta and other Western items. The KFC looks good, will have to try!
The one that has been around the longest is Pasta Manna (84, middle left).
Victor’s is pretty standard, nothing special.
The side stall has a chiller of cooked seafood, so they do a different style, but same name.For those that want Malay cuisine and simple Nasi Padang, there are a cluster of stalls in the back left that give you Nasi Padang and some Mee Soto and Mee Rebus. Adam Road Mee Soto (34, left)(NO LONGER IN OPERATION), Safura (48, left) and Warong Nasi Jawa (49, left) all serve simple and nice Malay/Muslim food.
You will get the simple items, but they are done quite nicely.
Pad Thai is very fragrant and nicely done. Fried fresh, the tastes are pretty authentic.
Just recently, in March 2016, there opened up another Thai stall, Home Thai Food (130, back, middle right)(No longer in operation as of January 2017).
An ok version of Pad Thai for $4. I’ll also try the others on the menu when I have a chance.
Then in November 2016, another Thai stall opened, Maha Nakhon (113, center right), where there used to be Golden Happiness (as an aside, they have the cards of the uncle who used to have Golden Happiness in case you want him to cater for you).
They have quite a few Thai dishes from high end (Fried Fish with Chili Sauce) to your standard Pad Thai. At $5.50, it’s not cheap and I’m not sure the price is justified. 2 small prawns and that’s really it. The taste is sweet, sour and salty, so it’s not bad though. Ipoh-style food was available at Taste of Ipoh (147, right), but they have now closed down.
The first Vietnamese stall that I can remember at Old Airport Road, Quận 5, has opened up since July 2016 at 143 (back right). Not a great location, really back there, but I encourage you to seek it out and eat there.Went for the Phở Bò Tái because if you have a stall and you talk about Vietnamese food, you must try the Pho! The nice herbs, beef and noodles. But the soup is the kicker here, fragrant with a hint of sweetness and beef. Yup, that’s good Pho.
Speaking of an all day dish, Porridge or Congee, fills the stomach no matter the time. The best porridge here is from Seng Mei (91, middle left). While they are a chain, they have a few outlets, the porridge is quite nicely done.
But the other thing I like is that they are not stingy with the ingredients. There are plenty of Century Egg and Pork Slices in this congee. And it’s thick, Hong Kong style, that’s what is great congee or porridge. Not the watery kind.
Taiwanese porridge is basically Rice Soup and Lau Pa Sat Taiwan Porridge (167, right) is a very popular stall at Old Airport Road. You can order you porridge and all the side dishes you want here. But if you can’t read Chinese, you might not be able to see what they have. But they will help you out though if you ask. They are only open in the evening.
Soup can be gotten all day too, from two different adjoining stalls, Lao Da and House of Soup (21, 22 left) (House of Soup is NO LONGER IN OPERATION).
While this is the traditional soups, there is Seafood Soup also. Yan Ji (121, back middle right) has a branch here. The original stall is in Woodlands.
This one is the Crayfish Soup, the smallest bowl is below, and costs $10. It contains Prawns, Fish Filet, 2 small crayfish (it’s usually one larger one) and meat patty. Rice is extra at $0.50.I have to say the soup is awesome. The taste just hits you and gives is a great taste. And the next best thing? Not the seafood, but the meat patty that is broken up in the soup. That is awesome tasting! This is a good option to get while here, as long as you don’t mind hot soup in a hot hawker centre!
If you want Vegetarian Food, right next door is Choo Zai Zhai (20, right). They offer a nice selection. But be warned, on the first and fifteenth of the month, they are packed and the queues and wait times are very, very long, as they are the only vegetarian stall at Old Airport Road.
Here is the old stall:
And the new stall:
A hidden find, Freshly Made Chee Cheong Fun (155, right) has porridge, but provides delicate rice flour rolls that wrap itself around prawns and char siew. The silky texture with the soy sauce makes for a heavenly eating experience. (THEY HAVE NEW SIGNAGE)
Watching them work is pretty cool. They make everything to order. So you can watch the lady pour the rice flour mixture, add in the meat or veggies that you want and then watch her scrape it onto the mat and roll it together. The finished product just looks awesome.
What do I wish Old Airport Road had, but doesn’t right now? A real good Nasi Lemak stall for one. You can get the simple ones with Otah, and a Nasi Padang, but a Chinese-style Nasi Lemak would be nice. Maybe there is one now, as of 2016?
You do have Rice Garden (150, right) which is an NTUC Cooperative that has a stall, that serves a Nasi set and choices that has been around for awhile.
A lot of choices here and a few sets to start. It’s a little more expensive than those Econ Bee Hoon places, but, this is good stuff. They offer a Drumstick set. Of which the Drumstick is nicely fried, hot, juicy and flavorful. The chili is pretty good too. I hope they make it, because this is a nice Nasi Lemak stall that I would go to for sure!
But, as I mentioned before, a Prata stall would be excellent to have here.
There is so much here, you just have to make return trips to find out. Just be prepared to queue, but you will find it’s worth it. Take the Circle Line MRT and alight at Dakota to find the path to deliciousness.