Text and Images by Catherine Ling @ Makansutra
Havelock Road is a haven for hungry people. Foodie insiders all know where to hunt for tasty hawker gems often hidden in the most run-down of places. Some of these haunts are dark and dilapidated, but it only adds an old school charm and sense of authenticity to the dishes.
Here are five popular places in alphabetical order.
Meng Kee Char Kway Teow
Blink and you’ll miss the tiny corner that Meng Kee Char Kway Teow occupies in the dark kopitiam at Block 22. But once you sit down with a plate, you’ll be glad you kept an eye out. This greasebomb is unabashedly sinful and full-flavoured, wet, and wild with wok hei. The noodles are springy yet slippery and slurpworthy. It’s even got more cockles than chye sim. Don’t let your doctor know you were here. From $2.50 onwards.
Meng Kee Char Kway Teow Wei Xuan Eating House Block 22, Havelock Road Singapore 160022 Open: 10.30am to 7pm (till 4pm on Saturday, closed on Sunday)
No Name Hainanese Curry Rice
There is always a curiously long queue at this dingy stall selling Hainanese curry rice with no name or signboard. Hainanese curry rice always looks like slop but aficionados practically inhale the whole plate drenched with various types of curry and gravy. The fried pork chop here is amazingly thin and crispy. This plate will set you back about $4.20.
No Name Hainanese Curry Rice Block 40 Beo Crescent #01-10 Singapore 160040 Open 6.30am to 3pm (closed Wednesdays)
Soon Heng Roast Duck Rice
Oh this was really good. Crispy roast pork and juicy roast duck skillfully prepared, and doused with an aromatic braised gravy. Even the rice tastes well-made. The chili sauce also delivered a killer punch. I like that it wasn’t afraid to bite. They also have char siew and chicken. Two kinds of meat for only $4.
Soon Heng Roast Chicken & Duck Block 22A/B Havelock Road Stall 3 Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre Singapore 162022 Open 9am til 6-7pm (closed Sundays and public holidays)
Yang Zhou Fried Hokkien Mee
The joy of lard! Yang Zhou Fried Hokkien Mee is not only fried in lard, steeped in flavoursome stock, but given a final coating of oil in a fiery wok. The result is a plate of heart-stoppingly good noodles that are slightly more dry but so fragrant. Mr Lim doesn’t go overboard with salt, so as to let the flavours come through. From $3 onwards.
Yang Zhou Fried Hokkien Mee Blk 40 Beo Crescent #01-16 Singapore 160040 Open: 11am – 8pm (closed on Friday)
You Yi Fish Soup
Fried fish soup is a popular dish all over Singapore. I’ve been told this dish can be as high in calories as char kway teow, but that’s not going to stop people from eating it. The fried fish slices at You Yi are generous in portion, with exceptionally crisp batter and is served separately from the soup. You can choose the regular milky soup or tom yum (above, S$3.50). They also have fresh fish slices, for a healthier alternative.
You Yi Fish Soup #01-30 Blk 22 Havelock Road Open daily except Sundays and PH 10am to 6pm