Fact: all true-blue Singaporeans have a deep love for good hawker fare.
It hits all our right spots. Not only are they delicious, the low price point means everyone can afford it. Some places open as early as 6am. Others target the supper crowd.
As an avid cyclist, I frequently hit the roads on my CarryMe compact folding bike in my downtime. My close friends would join me on the weekends. Without fail, we would always work up giant appetites after a solid few hours of cycling.
With our energy totally spent, we would visit our favourite hawker centres (there are many) to refuel our bodies.
PSA: For our foreign friends who flew all the way to this little Red Dot (or are planning to), do yourself a favour and try some hawker food. We promise you, it will change your life. You can find these food gems in open-air markets and food centres.
Our top 5 hawker food recommendations (best places to go with a travel bike)
1. Toast + coffee (from your local coffee shop)
This is an iconic Singaporean breakfast for a reason. Pair your toasted kaya (a delicious jam made from coconut milk, eggs and sugar) bread with a cup of strong black coffee for a dynamic start to your day.
Still hungry? Include two soft-boiled eggs in your meal and you’ll be set for a while.
With many places offering this humble food item, toast with coffee makes for a convenient snack when you are feeling peckish in the middle of a ride.
2. Fishball noodles (Song Kee Fishball Noodle)
Famed for its handmade fish dumplings, stop by the newly relocated Song Kee Fishball Noodle place for lunch in the Joo Chiat area after a long ride on your travel bike.
In fact, you don’t have to worry about finding a spot to park your travel bike elsewhere as there is ample space in the coffee shop for you to do so.
If you love a good broth, opt for the soup version. For a more traditional eating experience, go with dry noodles (don’t forget to say yes to the chilli).
Next, choose how much ($4 for small, $6 for medium and $8 for big) and what kind of noodles (mee pok, mee kia or kway teow) you are in the mood for.
Pro-tip: order extra portions of fish dumplings. You’ll thank us later.
Location: 128 Tembeling Rd, Singapore 423638. Open daily from 11.30 am to 9.30 pm.
3. Thai food (Thai Lion Kitchen)
Sightseeing in the Tiong Bahru district on your CarryMe foldable bike and craving for some authentic Thai food? Get yourself a decent plate (or bowl) of pad thai, thai fish cakes, green curry chicken or tom yum soup from Thai Lion Kitchen. There are also chinese-inspired stir-fry dishes like thai hor fun or thai style vermicelli to choose from.
Our favourite is the stir-fried prawn with salted egg served on a bed of steaming brown rice. The gravy is rich in prawn stock, which pairs extremely well with the generous bed of vegetables and fried egg with the runny yolk still intact.
Location: Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre, 30 Seng Poh Road #02-22, Singapore 168898. (Simply fold your travel bike and ride the escalator up to level 2. The lift is another option).
4. Chicken rice (Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice)
An iconic Singaporean dish made with poached chicken and seasoned rice, this comfort food is hugely popular with locals and tourists alike. With so many stalls selling this dish across the island, it is even more difficult to cook the best chicken rice that exists.
Recognised in the Michelin Bib Gourmand List, the owner of Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice uses a “secret technique” to keep his chicken silky and tender. He also adds onion, a secret ingredient, to boost the sweetness of the rice.
Pro-tip: Go early as the stall will close after they sell out their daily quota of 40 to 50 chickens.
Location: Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre, #02-82. Open from 10am to 8pm daily (closed on Mondays).
5. Fried hokkien mee (Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee)
If you have a picky palate and you’re looking for something tangy and spicy, fried hokkien mee should be pretty up there on your list.
Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee sells a no-frills plate of hokkien mee that is warm, tasty, and are very much appreciated by weary, hungry cyclists. The noodles are fried to order and served to you piping hot.
If you’re eating at lunchtime, be prepared to queue. This stall’s hokkien mee is well-known nationwide. Go early as the dish typically sells out (sometimes as early as late lunch) before the stated closing time of 8pm.
Pro-tip: Order the smallest plate ($3) and get side dishes. I highly recommend the chwee kueh, a steamed rice cake topped with diced preserved radishes, from Jian Bo Shui Kueh. This savoury snack makes for a nice contrast to your tangy hokkien mee.
Location: Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre, #02-01. Open from 10am to 8pm daily (closed on Mondays).