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Jan 15, 2008 09:24 AM

Seafood in S'pore versus JB & a few other questions

I'm about to head to Singapore for my second time for three days. Yes, I know it's foodie heaven, but I must say that the last time I was there was during Chinese New Year's, and I only had a very short time in the City, since most of my time was spent with families in southern Malaysia.

Anyway, I'm a little familiar with the food (I've also spent a good deal of time in Malaysia), and not to get into a big fight about this, but I was wondering what people thought the best hawker center--stall for stall--is. Of course, I know I can get excellent food in the more "touristy" centers, but wanted to know what the great mind here thought.

Also, a friend of mine there mentioned that she would like to take me across the causeway to Johor Bahru for seafood. (I've been to JB before, and really don't feel the need to see the sights there), but am just wondering if anyone here thinks it may be worth the smallish hassle to get there for the seafood?

Finally, laksa! I'm staying not far from Bugis MRT. I will want this for breakfast. Is there any place rather close by that I should be on the lookout for?

Many, many thanks!

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  1. THere is no such thing as the best hawker center. People will tell you where their best Chicken Rice stall, best Laksa stall, best Char Kway Teo stall but they are all spread out in different hawker centers. Most will just go to where they feel is convenient.

    I have never tried the seafood in Johore but most go there because it is much cheaper, and at the same time to do grocery shopping and pump some gasoline to save money.

    As to laksa, my favorite one is in Hong Lim Food Center which I have described in previous threads. You can take the MRT from Bugis to Chinatown. I am not sure if it is opened for breakfast.

    1. Where exactly are you staying? Bugis area is about 20 minutes' walk to Kelantan Lane where you can get Sungei Road Laksa. It's located at:

      Block 31 Kelantan Lane
      #01-12 Seng Chuan Eating House
      Opening hours 9am - 6pm
      closed on first Wednesday of the month

      It's a bit hard for me to suggest "the best hawker centre". Like FourSeasons said, it's impossible to have the "best hawker centre" as you tend to find the best hawkers in Singapore spread out across different parts of the island. A hawker center may only be known for its Fried Hokkien Mee, but the other stalls around could be lousy.

      But you can try these hawker centres, which have better choices of food:

      1) Tiong Bharu Food Centre - it's located in a quaint neighborhood & quieter than other hawker centres, and open from very early each morning till late in the evening. Famous for its fried carrot cake (Chinese-style), steamed rice cakes, Teochew pig's organ soup, roast pork/duck rice, Teochew rice cakes/turnip cakes;

      2) Hong Lim Food Centre - behind Chinatown Point on the edge of Chinatown. The laksa, Hokkien mee, curry noodles are great. Can be very crowded at lunch-times;

      3) Amoy Street Food Centre - near Tanjung Pagar MRT. Try their fish soups, Loh Mee, fried koay teow, steamed rice dumplings (bak chang). Also, try and avoid peak lunch hour;

      4) Newton Hawker Centre - for barbecued seafoods at night. It's centrally located (near Newton MRT) but can be quite touristy though. Prices are high for seafood items, but you get to try all other types of hawker food around there. My favorite is a duck noodle stall.

      5) Maxwell Food Centre - great chicken rice, Hainanese curry rice, steamed potato cakes/ondeh-ondeh dessert. 15 minutes' walk from Tanjung Pagar MRT towards Chinatown.

      Sorry, can't advise you on JB seafood vis-a-vis S'pore. I used to go over to JB on weekends at least once a month for very cheap seafood dinners (costed less than half of what we pay in S'pore), but haven't done so for last 5 years due to recent media reports on soaring crime rates/carjacking cases there.

      1 Reply
      1. re: klyeoh

        Thanks for these replies. I"m staying on Waterloo St at the South East Asia Hotel.....

      2. I third what fourseasons says. everyone in singapore travels to find their favorite stall. so people will travel to their favorite stall no matter where it is .... AMK for chili crab or geyland for chili crab .... maxwell for chix rice ... zion rd for nasi padang ... zion rd for kway teow etc.

        I wasn't aware the anyone goes to JB ..... there are sights there???

        1 Reply
        1. re: Hot Chocolate

          Yes, many go to JB for the cheap thrill...but lately has been deterred by the high crime rate there.