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  • Writer's pictureAlan Ho

Singapore Street Food at Haig Road Market Food Centre

Haig Road Market & Food Centre
Haig Road Market & Food Centre

SINGAPORE: Haig Road Market & Food Centre was built in 1977 and has gone through a few renovations. Located at the corner of Tanjong Katong, which is “turtle point” in Malay, it used to be flanked by Hollywood Theatre, Lion City Hotel and Oriental Emporium. It was a famous dating spot in the 70s and 80s. Now, the hawker centre is standing awkwardly beside a shiny new mall, KINEX.

Haig Road Market & Food Centre is often overshadowed by its bigger brother further up Geylang Road, the Geylang Serai Market and Food Centre. However, this Hawker Centre is still within the area where the annual Hari Raya Bazaar is usually held, mainly serving the Muslim communities. The first thing you will notice is that the proportion of Halal food stalls seems higher than other hawker centres elsewhere.

There are quite a few good stalls in this hawker centre, and I happen to gravitate towards these five.

My top 5 picks in Haig Road Market & Food Centre

  • Haig Road Putu Piring

  • Hollywood Canteen Zheng Guang Wantan Noodles

  • Lin Yu Mei Sarawak Laksa & Kolo Mee

  • HJ Waliti HJ Mazuki

  • Rosy & Nora

Haig Road Putu Piring

Seriously, this has always just been a good Putu Piring stall that I will go without thinking twice about it. However, everything has changed after they were featured on Netflix, Street Food: Asia. It has become a household name for street food, with branches sprouting all over Singapore.

Putu Piring, a Malay dessert, is a steamed cake made from rice flour, usually in a round disc shape with palm sugar in it. This is often eaten with some shredded coconut. Pieces of pandan leaves are sandwiched between the cakes, enhancing the dessert with a sweet, floral aroma.

For S$2.5, you will get five pieces of the hot cake. Each cake has two or three nuggets of palm sugar. So you have to eat this dessert hot when the palm sugar is still soft and melty. Then, when you have it with the cool coconut, you will get the hot and cold together, just like eating a hot lava cake with ice cream, but with texture. It is simply divine.

Hollywood Canteen Zheng Guang Wantan Noodles

Zheng Guang has been selling wanton noodles for more than 60 years. It used to be located in the Hollywood canteen behind the old Hollywood Theater, right up to 2011, before it moved to Haig Road Market & Food Centre. Many older locals who live, work or go to school in this area would have known about them.

This old school noodle stall still makes wanton mee the old way. The noodle is flavoured using lard, scallion oil and soy; and served with al-dente wantons in gingery soup. Don’t eat the noodle immediately. Instead, let it sit for a few minutes so that it can absorb the savoury sauce. It tastes even better this way.

Lin Yu Mei Sarawak Laksa & Kolo Mee

This is one of the best Sarawak Kolo Mee around. Lin Yu Mei has received a lot of rave reviews. This Malaysian dish of dry noodles is tossed in a savoury minced pork and shallot mixture, topped off with fragrant fried onions. It is as authentic as I can remember. Everything is the same, except for the price. At S$4 for a small bowl and S$5 for a big one seems to be a tad expensive for a stall at Haig Road Market & Food Centre. Nevertheless, this is a serious good bowl of noodles. The leading actor for this dish is just the noodles, and everything else is the supporting cast. Add some inhouse made chilli sauce and the pickled red chilli. The taste transported me back to Sarawak when I was holidaying there. It is a taste I still remember till today.

HJ Waliti HJ Mazuki

There are many Halal stalls in this hawker centre, and among them, there are two stalls that specialise in Mee Rebus and Mee Siam. It comes down to a personal choice of which one you like more. I like HJ Waliti HJ Mazuki more, simply because they don't overcook the noodles too much. However, this bowl of Mee Rebus is straight-up noodles with gravy and don't expect anything else in the noodles except for an egg. Everything else is garnish. I like to have my Mee Rebus with a lot of fresh-cut green chilli, which adds an extra crunch. The Mee Rebus is flavourful and leaning towards a sweet note. It's a good bowl of noodles for S$3.

Rosy & Nora

You can always spot a queue at Rosy & Nora. This stall's specialities are Roti John and spring rolls (Popiah). They also have other items on the menu like burgers and Ball Kentang, but I never noticed anyone ordering them. Maybe there are, but I have never witnessed it.

Roti John is a simple dish. It is like french toast but uses a soft local baguette, not the hard kind you usually associate with a french baguette. The loaf is cut in half, and the inner side is dipped into an egg mixture with onion and minced mutton before pan-frying it. It is a very eggy and oniony sandwich with occasional tastes of mutton.

Unlike other places, Rosy & Nora make their Roti John straightforward, which has no mayonnaise or cheese sauce. However, you do what the option to add cheese for an extra S$0.5. The Roti John is served with a sweet chilli sauce which I can hardly taste any spice, but the sweetness complements it very well. This is a S$4 snack you have for tea or supper, but for some, it is enough for a meal.

Roti John
Roti John

Rosy & Nora
Rosy & Nora

There are other dishes that I want to try, which includes Mee Goreng, Indian Rojak and the other wanton mee stall. I will leave it for next time and update this blog when I do. In the meantime, happy eating!

Haig Road Market & Food Centre
Haig Road Market & Food Centre

Address: 14 Haig Rd, Singapore 430014


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