Bishan was one of the first neighbourhoods in Singapore to instil cohesive community living amenities like parks, sports facilities, a library, and shopping centres. But do you know that the Bishan estate still lacks a dedicated integrated wet market and hawker food centre, save for Shunfu?
Bishan New Town, consisting of Shunfu, Bishan East, Bishan North and Bishan West (later renamed Sin Ming Garden), became a prime residential choice due to its central location. This factor makes connecting to the rest of Singapore via public transportation like the MRT and buses a breeze. Furthermore, reputable schools like Raffles Institution, Catholic High, and Ai Tong Primary also draw prospective residents to stay in this district. As the neighbourhood grows, the estate will need to equip with vital amenities, like food centres serving hawker dishes.
Stalls in coffee shops are the key to hawker food in Bishan
The self-contained estate has everything and anything needed without stepping out of the neighbourhood fringes, even without an anchor market and hawker food centre. Residents can still get affordable cooked food from coffee shops (like the famous Kim San Leng) and satellite markets (Chung Ling Wet Market) for fresh produce. In addition, grocery supermarkets managed by FairPrice and Giant also supply priced essentials to the neighbourhood.
Besides cardinal directions of east, north, and west, street numbers also differentiate the core Bishan hub. From Street 11 to 15 (East) and 22 to 24 (North), every HDB block cluster has coffee shops that serve hawker favourites like chicken rice and fishball noodles throughout the day. One notable haunt is a cafeteria located above the Bishan bus terminal interchange.
Other mouthwateringlocal dishes in Bishan include the likes of Kway Chap, Chinese La Mian, Duck Rice, Rojak, Wanton Noodles, Western grills, Heng Hwa Lor Mee, Prata, and Minced Meat Noodles. The next time you’re in the Bishan neighbourhood and are craving delicious eats, here are the best stalls to get your food from.
Try Out The Best Mee Rebus In Singapore At These 7 Hawker Stalls
8 Best Stalls At Margaret Drive Hawker Centre Offering The Most Delicious Local Food
8 best hawker stalls to visit for good food in Bishan:
Jump To / Table of Contents
Known for its ivory-white chicken which are ice-bathed after steaming, Ming Kee Chicken Rice is most likely the representative hawker stall of Bishan. The bouncy chicken skin and tender meat pair harmoniously with fragrant rice seasoned with chicken oil which, surprisingly, isn’t greasy. The 40-plus-year-old establishment, currently helmed by its third generation, only sells steamed chicken alongside chicken feet, gizzards, and oyster sauce vegetables. You know this is a must-visit stall when it’s confident enough to have steamed chicken as its sole star.
Image credit: @davefoodtrail/Instagram
Another heritage food establishment that’s also off the radar for non-Bishan residents is Cai Ji Wanton Mee. Having lived in Bishan during my adolescent days, this over 30-year-old stall became one of my go-to places whenever I crave a comforting hawker meal. The wanton noodles – their signature dish – feature springy and thick egg noodles drenched in a flavoursome old-school chilli tomato sauce with crunchy pork lard. The handmade plump wantons, although small, are stuffed adequately with seasoned minced meat.
Image credit: @jimmyfooddiary/Instagram
You can find an authentic bowl of Chinese La Mian in the heart of Bishan too. Specialising in Shanxi cuisine, specifically Beef La Mian, Shi Xiang Ge is owned by a former Crystal Jade La Mian Director with 28 years of experience under his belt. The dark and rich beefy broth provides plenty of flavour to your chosen handmade La Mian or Shaved Noodles. Completing this dish is thinly sliced Chinese-style beef from portions containing tendon and lean meat. Other highlights on the menu include Zha jiang Mian, Hot and Spicy Intestine Shaved Noodles, and Poached Szechuan Dumplings in Spicy Sauce.
Image credit: @hungryybearr/Instagram
Those staying near Bishan Street 22 and are craving some good Kway Chap will have to wait till the night comes to get their hands on some. During the day, 284 Kway Chap only offers economic mixed rice while the Kway Chap menu is only available from 8:15pm to 3am, making it an excellent supper destination. This eatery is also known by residents as one of the oldest food stalls in the Bishan neighbourhood.
Compared to other counterparts, the ingredients are lightly braised and this soy sauce-based broth is also used to flavour the thin-sheeted rice sheets (kway). Those who are averse to innards can opt for a set which consists of pork belly, fish cake, tofu, beancurd, egg, and diced salted mustard vegetable.
Image credit: @justeatsleep/Instagram
Bored of Asian cuisine? Select a variety of old-school Western options from Chef Recipe located at S-11 Food Court Bishan. Their signature, the Chef Recipe Kurobuta Pork, is succulent and tender despite using lean meat. It’s also value for money as the slabs of juicy grilled black pork are accompanied by two generously-sized side dishes – one fixed and another of your choice. Another favourite is the Chef Recipe Salmon, which is seasoned with aromatic herbs before being grilled.
Image credit: @ChefRecipeSG/Facebook
As one of the few 24-hour hawker eats in Bishan, Ding Ji Mushroom Minced Meat Noodles is a comforting supper option for night owls. The Fei Siong-operated stall serves their signature Teochew Minced Pork Noodles in both soup and dry versions. But here, go for the fish maw soup to pair with your al dente noodles instead.
Available only here and at the Eunos outlet, this collagen-rich dish also contains heaps of sliced pork, pork liver, and minced meat. The addition of dried sole fish also gives the broth a savoury and aromatic finish.
Image credit: @followlin/Instagram
Another long-standing hawker stall in the Bishan district is Million Fishball Noodles. What makes them a standout is that they only offer fishballs and your choice of springy noodles which accompany on the side. Some may find the dish here well, vanilla, without other ingredients but the lightly-salted fishballs here have bouncy consistency and a tasty piscine flavour. There’s no need for other condiments except for fried shallots, spring onion, and bits of pickled Chinese cabbage to elevate this clean and simple dish.
Image credit: @paleridersg/Instagram
As with all Putian stalls and restaurants, the signature has to be the hearty Putian Lor Mee. It comes in a bowl of savoury seafood broth filled with clams, prawns, chewy noodles, pork slices, julienned chives, and cabbage. There’s a slight smokiness (wok hei) which suggests the other ingredients may have gone through a round of stir-fry before combining them into the broth. Other noteworthy dishes to order include Putian fried mee xian and fried yam sticks.
Image credit: Ng Chong Yao/hawkerpedia
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore