Lau Pa Sat (also known as Telok Ayer Market) is a popular food centre located in the heart of Singapore’s business district (CBD). This octagonal building with beautiful Victorian roof and column structures houses many stalls selling awesome hawker food. Even though it is more of a tourist trap at night, one can still find much delicious hawker fare here during daytime on weekdays. After eating here for a few years, I have consolidated a list of my favourite 12 stalls in this article, arranged in alphabetical order. Enjoy!
1. Budding Chef (Noodle Evolution)
Premium Noodle 29 ($4.30)
Chicken Cutlet Noodle ($4.50)
Starting off the list is Budding Chef (Noodle Evolution), a stall that sells a variety of noodle dishes. It is helmed by 58 year-old Mr Peter Mok, a graduate of the Hawker Master Trainer pilot program organized by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA). It is easy to spot him with his trademark singlet and bandana serving customers at the stall. I enjoyed the signature Premium Noodle 29 ($4.30) with its savoury char siew pieces and springy noodles. However, I preferred the Chicken Cutlet Noodle ($4.50). The cutlet was fried to perfection and went nicely with the noodles. I liked this simple dish very much!
2. Fishing Fish Soup
Fishing Fish Soup sells a variety of fish dishes. I ordered the signature Fried Fish Thick Bee Hoon Soup ($4.80), a simple dish consisting of fried fish with soup and thick white noodles. The fried fish had a crisp and savoury skin, covering the tender fish meat beneath. The highlight of the dish was the soup, which had a subtle but distinct savoury flavour that did not overpower. Together with the noodles, this was definitely a satisfying dish.
3. Fragrance Garden Chicken Rice
I usually visit Fragrance Garden Chicken Rice when I am looking to indulge in sinful comfort food. The chicken-flavoured rice is rich and savoury, and is complimented perfectly by tantalizing chicken meat. I love the glistening chicken skin which has wonderful texture, and the tender chicken meat which is tender and juicy. A normal plate of chicken rice costs $4.
4. Indian Curry House
There are many Indian food stalls in Lau Pa Sat, but my personal favourite is Indian Curry House. I will usually order the super satisfying Mutton Briyani ($7), a classic Indian mixed rice dish. The briyani rice was really rich and fragrant, with a hard texture that I liked. The mutton and curry was a sensory enjoyment on another level: I simply loved the curry which had me hooked from the first taste with its gutsy, tangy, and spicy flavours. And it went perfectly with the succulent mutton meat which had an alluring and distinctive taste.
5. Korean & Japanese Cuisine
If you are craving for Korean & Japanese food, you can check out Korean & Japanese Cuisine. I ordered the Chicken Cutlet + Ebi Tempura Set ($6.50). This simple bento set (Japanese home-packed meal) comprised two pieces of ebi tempura, chicken cutlet, and Japanese rice. The ebi tempura had a really crispy skin and tasted quite fresh. The chicken cutlet was fried nicely and the meat was succulent.
6. Lai Heng Fried Kway Teow
There was a period of time when I ate the delicious Fried Kway Teow ($4) from Lai Heng Fried Kway Teow almost every other day. I was literally addicted to this classic Singaporean noodles dish from this stall! It had really good texture and flavour, and I would usually pair it with the dark chilli sauce which enhanced the dish’s taste. It’s always so satisfying to indulge in the smooth noodles with its seductive savoury flavour.
7. Loy Kee Yong Tau Foo
Loy Kee Yong Tau Foo is a very popular stall in Lau Pa Sat. Yong tau foo in Singapore is a dish with a variety of healthy ingredients (beancurd, mushroom, vegetables, etc) matched with soup or gravy. Each piece of ingredient costs $0.60, and you have to order a minimum of six pieces. It’s easy to see why this stall is so well-liked; all my yong tau foo ingredients tasted very fresh, and the soup had a nice savoury taste that was strangely addictive. I will usually order my yong tau foo with clear soup, but on days when I’m feeling racy I will have it with curry instead. The curry is not too spicy and has a slight creamy texture.
8. Pig Organ Soup & Kway Chap
Kway Chap ($4.80)
Braised Duck Rice ($4)
Whenever I have a craving for Kway Chap, I will visit Pig Organ Soup Kway Chap for its signature Kway Chap Set Meal ($4.80). The classic Teochew dish at this stall consists of broad rice sheets in a herbal broth, served with a variety of sides like pig offal, braised pork belly, tau kwa, tau pok, preserved salted vegetables, and braised hard-boiled eggs. This flavourful dish was definitely quite satisfying. None of the ingredients were exceptional, but they came together nicely to form a decent dish. The Braised Duck Rice ($4) here is not bad too.
9. Qiu Lian Ban Mian
Qiu Lian Ban Mian is famous for its delicious noodle dish consisting of handmade noodles served in a savoury soup base. I ordered the Qiu Lian U-Mian ($4), which had the usual ingredients of minced meat, fried anchovies, vegetables, and “U-mian” (thin yellow noodles). As I took my first bite of the dish, I immediately understood why this stall was so popular. The impression was one of artful balance in the varied flavours, which combined to form a delicious noodles dish. The minced meat was savoury and tender, and the noodles had just the right amount of bite. If you are looking for an awesome bowl of noodles, this is the stall for you.
10. Seng Kee Local Delights
Personally, I feel that Seng Kee Local Delights serves one of the best Hokkien Mee ($5.50) in Singapore. This delicious noodle dish is made from yellow noodles, vermicelli and shrimps. Seng Kee’s variant has a smooth and juicy texture, along with a really tasty and rich flavour. It felt really good in my mouth as I chewed on the noodles. Be prepared to encounter bad service here, though I would say it is worth it for the delicious noodles.
11. Song Kee Fishball Noodles
I usually order the Mini Pot with Noodles ($5) from Song Kee Fishball Noodles. This sumptuous dish set consists of a steaming mini hot pot filled with a variety of ingredients like minced meat, fish ball, crab stick, vegetables. It is paired with a separate bowl of thin yellow noodles. At just $5, this dish represents great value. The portion is quite large, and the ingredients are all very fresh. And I always enjoy slurping down the savoury soup base. You can’t go wrong with ordering this dish.
12. Thunder Tea Rice
Last but not least, Thunder Tea Rice’s eponymous dish ($5) is a good choice for the health-conscious crowd. Think of it as the Chinese version of the Western “healthy bowls”. Thunder Tea Rice consists of a rice bowl topped with long beans, basil, mint, other vegetables, fried anchovies, and peanuts. This healthy bowl is paired with a greenish “tea soup” prepared from tea, nuts, sesame and herbs like mint and basil (which gives it the green hue). This healthy rice and grain bowl had a colorful presentation, though on first impression it looked a bit too healthy for me. However, I decided to take a chance on it, and I was not disappointed. The varied greens complimented each other nicely for a refreshing and crunchy taste in my mouth. I washed it down with the tea soup, which had a savoury taste punctuated by a subtle minty flavour (and yes don’t worry, it tasted much better than it looked). Instead of queuing up for expensive Western healthy bowls, I would suggest that you check out this much more affordable stall in Lau Pa Sat!