Ask any foodie where some of the country’s best local eats can be found and many would point you towards Old Airport Road Food Centre. With over a hundred stalls in a colossal hawker complex, one would naturally be spoiled for choice.
Whether you’re looking to start your day proper with a brilliantly brewed cup of kopi, or simply indulge in a steamy hot bowl of lor mee, there is hardly any stall here that will that will disappoint, but should you be constraint for time (and stomach space), here are 11 stalls that you absolutely cannot miss out on.
TO-RICOS GUO SHI (#01-135)
Presuming that like us, kway chap is among one of your top breakfast-time options, head on over to the back row of stalls where you can get one of the tastiest bowls of kway chap around. A standard mixed plate features everything from braised pig intestines, pork belly, a braised egg and more!
Every component is tender, flavourful and rid of any foul smells.
CHO KEE NOODLE (#01-04)
Unlike many other wanton noodle stalls around, one of the main draws and perhaps the quality that makes Cho Kee stand out from the crowd is the fact that they have a list of 6 different noodle types to choose from tomato to beetroot.
We got our bowl of wanton noodles with seaweed noodles as opposed to the regular egg noodles which possessed an umami-packed, somewhat brinier quality to it.
DONG JI FRIED KWAY TEOW (#01-138)
Cooked in small batches, every plate of their char kway teow brims with a heady, wok-hei note that just begs to be devoured upon being served. Our plate, costing us only S$3.50, came with generous slivers of fish cake, Chinese sausage, bean sprouts, egg and beautifully fried rice noodles.
FRESHLY MADE CHEE CHEONG FUN (#01-155)
Famous for both their velvety congee and innovative chee cheong fun creations, this humble stall is one that folks with adventurous palates should definitely visit. Their range of chee cheong fun offerings is massive with ones that feature pig liver, century egg and even otah.
NAM SING HOKKIEN FRIED MEE (#01-32)
Regarded as one of Singapore’s best Hokkien mee stalls, Nam Sing Hokkien Fried Mee is not one to mess with when it comes to full-on flavour. The ingredients are fresh but the key to their delicious Hokkien mee is the concentrated seafood stock that forms the base of each batch of fried noodles.
To say that this dish is simple would be a huge understatement because what you get is a beautiful mix of complex yet balanced flavours with vibrant notes of fresh prawns and meaty pork.
Helmed by a couple who has been dishing out hearty bowls of hand-pulled noodle dishes and the likes for the past 20 years—previously at their stall in Roxy Square—this stall is where one should definitely visit for piping-hot bowls of simple deliciousness in the form of hand-pulled noodles, bits of minced pork, fish slices, fried ikan bilis, a runny egg and tasty soup.
TOA PAYOH ROJAK (#01-04)
A popular local snack that can be had either as an accompaniment to a meal or on its own is rojak, and whenever we’re at Old Airport Road Food Centre fulfilling our daily duties of stuffing our tummies silly, the rojak from Toa Payoh Rojak is a must.
Run by a young hawker, who has since his father’s time, took up the art of making splendid coffee and even making his own kaya, Toast Hut is where great mornings begin. Their coffee is exceptional and their kaya toast and half-boiled eggs come out perfect every time.
For those of you who are not overly keen on sweet things, you’d be happy to know that their home-made kaya is lower in sugar.
The two main qualities we look out for in deciding whether a bowl of noodles is legit is the chilli sauce and the consistency of the noodles. And Whitley Road Big Prawn Noodles nails those two points beautifully.
The humble prawn noodle stall offers both dry and soup versions for their noodles but what we particularly love is that apart from the usual pork ribs, they also throw in a generous handful of fresh pig innards too.
XIN MEI XIANG ZHENG ZONG LOR MEE (#01-116)
Easily one of the longest queues in the entire food centre from the minute the stall opens, this humble lor mee stall will have your tastebuds peaked from start to finish.
A standard bowl costing only S$4 sees a generous portion of yellow noodles (or bee hoon) topped with heaps of fried goodies, freshly shredded fish meat and a hard-boiled egg—before being drenched in their thick and gooey yet oh-so-addictive sauce.
Old Airport Road Food Centre
51 Old Airport Road,
Nearest Station: Dakota