Located right in the heart of Singapore’s CBD, right next to Duxton Hill and Everton Park, Tanjong Pagar might be known to some as the ultimate place to go for hearty Japanese food, while others head down to spend the afternoon at a quaint hipster cafe.
Given the abundance of good food in Tanjong Pagar, not many would visit Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market & Food Centre, but I’m here to prove you wrong.
Located right smack in the centre of Tanjong Pagar, the two-storey building is arguably the nearest hawker centre to Tanjong Pagar MRT.
In fact, for purists who consider the main stretch of Tanjong Pagar to be separate from fringe areas such as Amoy Street, Maxwell and Telok Ayer, that makes Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market & Food Centre the one and only hawker centre in the area.
Not only does its close proximity to Tanjong Pagar MRT make it extremely convenient, it houses plenty of fantastic hawker stalls that will make it a breeze for you to decide what to have for lunch tomorrow. To start you off, here are 10 hawker stalls in Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market & Food Centre that’s worth braving the CBD crowd for.
There are plenty of reasons to visit Celebrities Big Prawn Noodle— it sells a great bowl of Pork Ribs Big Prawn Mee (S$5/S$8), its robust and full-bodied broth easily makes the long queues worth it, and it’s pretty affordable as well, with prices starting from S$5.
However, its biggest draw has to do with its name: celebrities. An impressive photo spread of celebrities is mounted at the front of the store, and I later learnt that one of the stall’s partners, David Cai, used to run performing arts schools in Singapore and Shanghai which specialised in acting.
His career in the entertainment industry allowed him to network and meet plenty of celebrities, so when Celebrities Big Prawn Noodle opened in February 2022, he relied on their support to endorse the stall.
Admittedly, while most of the photos on the wall are old photos of David and his celebrity friends, there are a couple of photos which were taken right at the stall itself. Who knows which one of David’s celebrity friends might turn up next in support of the stall!
Mon to Sat: 9am – 3.30pm
Closed on Sun
For the past 20 years, Soon Heng Food Delights has been selling only one item on its menu at Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market & Food Centre: Fried Shark Lor Mee (S$4/S$5).
For S$4, this bowl of lor mee is really value-for-money. You’ve got two pieces of fried shark meat nuggets, slices of braised pork belly, one piece of fried wanton, half an egg, fried dough fritters, and a generous dollop of grated garlic and chilli. Of course, all drenched in a thick, viscous gravy.
The fried shark meat nuggets were deliciously addictive, with a crispy batter that had that distinctive deep-fried doughy flour taste. The shark meat itself was deceptively silky and firm, and if I had eaten this during a blind taste test, I’d have thought that it was regular fish meat.
My only tip would be to not leave the shark meat fritters to the last, as the crispy batter will get soggy fast.
+65 9736 1088
Sun to Mon: 9am – 3pm
Closed on Sat
3. Lucky Wanton Noodle (#02-32)
Lucky Wanton Noodle has landed itself on multiple must-try lists, with some reviews naming it as one of the top 10 wanton mee stalls in Singapore. It’s not a surprise, as its owner, Mr Ng, has been running the business for over 40 years.
A plate of Wanton Noodle will only set you back S$3.50, making it one of the more affordable wanton mee stalls around. It comes with springy noodles that are coated in dark soy sauce and chilli, resembling KL-style wanton mee.
You can also get its highly-raved Dumpling Noodle (S$3.50/S$4), which comes with several pieces of juicy homemade dumplings filled with shrimp, water chestnut and minced pork.
Daily: 7am – 7.30pm
4. Spinach & Soup (#02-34)
I love a steaming bowl of comforting soup, especially on rainy days, and I always make it a point to suss out the spinach soup stalls whenever I visit a hawker centre.
With its gleaming green signboard, you can’t miss Spinach & Soup— the only spinach soup stall in Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market & Food Centre.
It only offers four varieties of spinach soup on its menu, all of which cost S$4. Go for Set 1, the classic spinach soup with minced pork, prawn, egg, fried ikan bilis and wolfberries, or Set 2, which includes century and salted egg for that savoury kick.
Vegetarians will be pleased to note that Spinach & Soup also sells a plant-only version— Set 4, which comes with spinach, wolfberries, corn, seaweed, mushroom balls and vegetarian pork.
+65 9819 3117
Mon to Sat: 9am – 3pm
Closed on Sun
5. Blue Star Fishball & Mushroom Minced Meat Noodle (#02-29)
Blue Star Fishball & Mushroom Minced Meat Noodle has gained a reputation as one of the best underrated bak chor mee stalls in Tanjong Pagar because of its affordable price point and generous portions, so the next time you’re craving some bak chor mee, be sure to check this stall out.
Despite having gone through a price hike, its Fishball Minced Meat Noodle Dry (S$3.20) is still incredibly value-for-money.
Bak chor mee fans will love its chilli and vinegar-based sauce, which has hints of sambal and garlic, as well as its huge handmade fishballs (which are supposedly the size of a single tablespoon) and generous ingredients, such as braised mushroom and minced meat.
Daily: 8am – 8pm
6. Yao Japanese Rice House (#02-42)
It’s not everyday that you spot an omurice hawker stall. Opened right in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic in July 2020, Yao Japanese Rice House specialises in omurice with Japanese toppings, such as Japanese curry, ebi, salmon and teriyaki chicken.
All its dishes are pretty affordable, with prices starting at S$4.50. No wonder there’s always such a long queue at this stall!
Go for its Omurice with Japanese Curry (S$4.50) and add the Chicken Cutlet (S$1.70) for an affordable yet satisfying meal. You can also try its Omurice with Ginger Pork Shabu Shabu (S$5.70) or Omurice with Teriyaki Chicken (S$5.70).
For diners looking to reduce their rice intake, Yeo Japanese Rice House also sells Potato Salad with Pork Cutlet (S$6.20), which comes with either Japanese Curry Sauce, Tonkatsu Sauce or Black Pepper Sauce.
+65 8323 8781
Mon to Sat: 9.30am – 3.30pm
Closed on Sun
7. SLII Muffin (#02-12)
Done with your lunch and looking to grab a quick snack back to the office? Try SLII Muffin, a popular bakery with multiple outlets in Singapore, including Golden Mile Food Centre, Bukit Timah Market and Hong Lim Food Centre.
Its soft muffins come in a wide variety of flavours, including Apple Cinnamon (S$1.90), Blueberry Muffin (S$1.60), as well as its signature Walnut Muffin (S$1.60). It also sells Egg Tarts (S$1.40) and Coconut Tarts (S$1.40), which are perfect for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.
SLII Muffin constantly releases new flavours, with its newest being the Banana Chocolate Muffin (S$1.90), so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for its unique creations!
+65 9763 3008
Mon to Sat: 7.30am – 3pm
Closed on Sun
8. Traditional Hakka Rice (#02-21)
Health-conscious diners will love Traditional Hakka Rice, a hawker stall dishing out freshly made lei cha since 2011. The stall is run by a Hakka family, so you can be assured that this bowl of thunder tea rice is the real deal.
Admittedly, I’ve only recently begun to appreciate lei cha for its freshness. You either love it or hate the dish, especially the herb-based soup!
Its Thunder Tea Rice comes in two variations— White Rice (S$4) and Brown Rice (S$4.50), all of which come with a hefty amount of ingredients and a bowl of lei cha soup.
Each bowl comes with your standard ingredients: tofu cubes, mustard greens, kailan, long beans, peanuts, dried shrimp and more. The lei cha soup, which is freshly made everyday, is made from a mixture of green herbs including basil, peppermint and Chinese tea leaves.
+65 8288 4577
Mon to Sat: 9.30am – 1.30pm
Closed on Sun
9. Huat Kee Cooked Food (#02-06)
No hawker centre listicle is complete without a caifan stall, and if you’re looking for something that will hit the mark, Huat Kee Cooked Food is the place to visit when you’re at Tanjong Pagar.
The caifan stall offers a wide selection of ingredients, with its most popular ingredients being its Chicken Cutlet.
A portion of Vegetables cost S$1.20 to S$1.50, while a portion of Meat costs S$2.50 to S$3, so a standard plate of caifan will cost you around S$5. The stall offers Brown Rice (S$1) as well.
Spice lovers, be sure to ask for its Curry Sauce and spicy sambal belacan as well.
Mon to Fri: 9am – 2pm, or until sold out
Closed on Sat & Sun
10. Teo Chew Fishball Noodles (#02-47)
Regardless of the day or time, Teo Chew Fishball Noodle always garners the longest queue in Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market & Food Centre, which often stretches across several stalls.
It only sells five things on its menu, with the most popular no doubt being the Fishball Noodle (S$3.50 for dry, S$4.50 for soup).
This is essentially bak chor mee without the minced meat, and diners love it for its simplicity. Its noodles are springy and coated in a well-balanced chilli sauce, which has just the right amount of heat, and go well with its springy homemade fishballs.
If you can’t live without your bak chor mee, go for its Fishball Minced Meat Noodle (S$3.50 for dry, S$4.50 for soup). Alternatively, try its Signature Noodle (S$4.50), which includes fish dumplings.
Mon to Sat: 5am – 2.30pm
Closed on Sun
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