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Tastemakers Guide to Jurong's Best Hawkers

Tastemakers Guide to Jurong's Best Hawkers

In the name of food, there's no journey too long or destination too far. For this month's Tastemakers guide, our Tastemakers took a trip to Jurong and came back with bellies full and plenty of inspiration to share. For anybody who's wondered what there is to eat in the 'wild wild West', look no further. Be it pan-fried Teochew kuehs made by hand, amazing char siew noodles that sell out in two hours, or a steamed fish that our Tastemakers are still waxing lyrical about, there's plenty in this guide to whet appetites, and some great bargains too!
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For a Tasty Teochew Porridge Lunch

Get set for a light but tasty Teochew porridge meal at this Jurong East coffeeshop. Grab your buddies and order an array of zi char style mains to go with plain porridge. There are plenty of deceptively simple but tasty dishes like slide-off-the-bone pork knuckle and salted egg bitter gourd, but the star is undeniably the super fresh Steamed Fish (market price — our Tastemakers paid $45 for a grouper that's good to share among three), prepared Hong Kong style. Expect perfectly cooked fish bathed in a pool of uncomplicated soy sauce. So simple, but so good. Tastemaker Fabian Poon regularly comes here for the steamed fish, but he adds that the Curry Fish Head (seasonal price) is also "very zai". Pro tip: This hidden gem draws large crowds, and they have been known to sell out early — make this a breakfast or brunch destination so you don't miss out.
Avg Price: $20 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Fabian Poon

For Succulent Soya Sauce Chicken

Join the queue at this stall in Taman Jurong Market & Food Centre for the Soy Sauce Chicken Noodles (from $3). Tastemaker Acamas Teo declares it to be one of the tastiest versions of soy sauce chicken he's had, thanks to the smooth, flavourful skin and amazingly tender meat. The springy, al dente noodles are a nice bonus too. Ask for the chicken thigh for additional succulence! Add on the tasty Roasted Pork Belly (extra $1.50), but it's recommended that you focus on the stellar chicken instead. If you can't get enough, order half a chicken ($7, or $14 for whole) to feast on till your heart's content.
Avg Price: $5 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Zhihui Lim

For Handmade Teochew Kueh

For ultimate homey comfort, nothing quite beats a breakfast of Teochew kueh painstakingly made by hand. Choose from an assortment that includes Rice Cake (png kueh), Chinese Chives Cake (gu chai kueh) and Turnip Cake (soon kueh), all priced between $0.70 to $0.90 each. The kueh skin is delicately thin and chewy, and the fillings are generous and tasty. The stall offers you the option to pan-fry the kueh, which adds a lovely crisp and char. Take Tastemaker Marc T.'s advice and order the pan-fried version, and swing by early if you intend to bag home a few boxes as the stall usually sells out around 2 to 3pm daily.
Avg Price: $5 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Marc T.

For Super Affordable Chicken Rice

This may not be worth travelling across Singapore for, but for those who live or work in Jurong West, expect a true bargain for chicken rice at what Tastemaker Fabian Poon says is the area's best kept secret. Tastemaker Emily S paid only $7.50 for a generous set of steamed and roasted chicken rice for two, and the steamed chicken had her waxing lyrical about how tender and silky smooth it is. The sauces, especially the chilli, are great too. If you're in a large group, take Tastemaker Fabian's lead and order one whole chicken (get a combination of steamed and roasted for variety) along with a side of roast pork belly and char siew to share. What will comfortably feed a gang of eight will only set you back $31 — what a steal!
Avg Price: $5 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Fabian Poon

For Comforting Chinese Desserts

As temperatures continually rise, cool down fast with bowls of icy treats at this Jurong West dessert stall. A favourite spot in the neighbourhood, Kim Lotus Dessert sees perpetual queues for their comforting sweet treats. It helps that the desserts are priced affordably — most average at $2, and there are over 40 options to choose from. Try the Mango Ice Kachang ($2.80), which puts a fruity spin on the familiar dessert, or the Mango Sago ($3.10) if you want big mango chunks instead. The generous ingredients see the likes of attap chee (palm seeds), red beans, sweet corn, grass jelly and agar agar. Tastemakers Wei Zhi Chiang and Zhihui Lim note that even though the mountain of shaved ice had been thoroughly drenched in a variety of flavoured syrups, condensed milk and mango purée, it didn't taste artificial and wasn't overwhelmingly sweet. For something a little richer, go for the Bo Bo Cha Cha ($2.30), available both hot and cold. Bear in mind that only the hot version sees the addition of red rubies!
Avg Price: $5 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Acamas Teo

For Quality Western in a Coffeeshop

Located next to Yuhua Village Market & Food Centre, this evening-time Western stall (they only operate from 4:30 to 10:30pm) turns out some really quality plates that belie its coffeeshop setting. Most dishes are under $20, and they certainly don't skimp on the portion sizes. You won't go wrong with their steaks, which they do pretty well. Try the Striploin ($20), perfectly grilled and served with a side of ratatouille that Tastemaker Fabian Poon is a fan of. Alternatively, consider the Fish and Chips ($9.50), which sees an almost grease-free, lightly battered fish paired with a house-made tartare sauce; or the fall-off-the-bone Sticky Pork Ribs ($16) served with a tangy orzo salad that Tastemaker Emily S felt paired really well together. Pro tip: Bring enough cash, as they neither accept NETS nor credit card.
Avg Price: $15 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Fabian Poon

For Steamed Chicken and Porridge

If there's one stall to visit at Jurong West 505 Market & Food Centre, this is it. The food centre has recently reopened after several months of renovation, and it's finally time to once again taste Soh Kee Cooked Food's amazing steamed chicken. For an honest and simple breakfast, bring the family here in the morning and order the Cantonese-Style White Cut Chicken (from $10 for half a chicken) to pair with a bowl of velvety smooth Plain Porridge ($1). The chicken is extremely tender with a layer of gelatin right under the skin that gives it its great texture, while the silky smooth porridge is tasty even on its own. A long-time fan, Tastemaker Vanessa Kou also loves the gravy-soaked cucumber slices, and how the savoury sauce is just spot-on.
Avg Price: $5 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Vanessa Kou

For Excellent Roast Meats

On days when you're craving some meaty comfort, head to this stall in Taman Jurong Market & Food Centre for roast duck, roast pork and char siew, all of which will certainly hit the spot. Prices start from $3, but we recommend that you get a combination of all three meats ($5) instead. The roast duck is fragrantly spiced and succulent to the bite, with a slight smokiness to taste. The roast pork is chunky, and has a balanced ratio of meat and fat. Tastemaker ni eats loves how the char siew sports a lovely char around the edges as well as how they are melt-in-the-mouth tender. Try her tip to create the perfect chilli sauce — to balance out the spiciness of the nutty sambal chilli, add chicken rice chilli for sweetness! This DIY sauce goes really well the duck. Don't be shy to ask for more of the deeply-flavoured braised sauce — it pulls everything together into one meaty, sensational plate. Pro tip: The roasted meat sells out by 12:30pm, so make sure you come early for lunch!
Avg Price: $5 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker ni eats

For Classic Char Siew Noodles

There's a reason why hungry hordes queue up for Fei Fei's char siew noodles — standards are consistently high, as they have been for a long time now. The meat is roasted over charcoal daily, resulting in perfectly caramelised skin. The springy egg noodles are tossed in the char siew sauce, giving the classic noodle dish a lovely umami-rich element. A friendly reminder from Tastemaker Irene Arieputri: the char siew is only available from 10am, and typically runs out by noon-ish on weekdays and 11-ish on weekends. Plan your visit VERY carefully and be sure to generously factor in at least 30 minutes of queuing time.
Avg Price: $5 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Irene Arieputri

For Super Shiok Carrot Cake

This stall in NTI Food Court (near the NTU campus) may be known for its oyster omelette, but as our Tastemakers found out, it is the carrot cake that's truly worth the trek. Tastemaker Emily S loves how the carrot cake has just the right level of sweetness, is served piping hot and nailed the ratio of egg to bouncy radish cake cubes. Taste the best of both worlds with the Black & White Carrot Cake ($5), which allows you to toggle between the cleaner flavours of the white with the sweet-savoury lushness of the black (the latter is a favourite). We also like that this combination plate comes in a sizeable portion that's good for sharing between two modest appetites — perfect for cash-strapped university students looking for a hearty breakfast option.
Avg Price: $5 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Emily S

For Juicy Roast Duck Rice

Next time you plan to make a beeline for the popular ban mian stall here, we implore you to try this stall that specialises in charcoal-roasted meat instead. Tastemaker Xing Wei Chua reveals that while he was attracted to this Jurong West stall for its glistening char siew, it was the Roast Duck (from $3.30) that wowed him. Sliced rather thinly along the grain, the duck ticks all the boxes with its tender, juicy and succulent meat. It's easy to bite through, and the skin offers a nice savoury dimension. The plum sauce that's drizzled over adds a lovely sweetness to the meat, while the accompanying chilli has a potent kick. Yum!
Avg Price: $5 per person
Photo by Tastemaker Xing Wei Chua

For Silky Smooth Congee

Located within Yuhua Market & Hawker Centre, this stall draws the crowds in with its silky smooth congee. Business starts at 7am in the morning, so plan to have this for an early breakfast before heading to work. Otherwise, expect to wait 15 minutes during peak hour, as each bowl of congee is made upon order. Follow Tastemaker Amanda Liu's lead and order the Century Egg with Lean Meat Congee ($3) that comes topped with fried shallots, spring onions and a freshly fried dough stick (you tiao). Be sure to add on an Egg ($0.50) too! Don't be fooled by the congee's lacklustre appearance. Tastemaker Amanda loves the consistency of the rice grains and how every spoonful is so rich and flavourful!
Avg Price: $5 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Amanda Liu

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