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Aug 7, 2011 06:39 AM

Singapore - The Revamped Hong Lim Food Centre

One of Singapore most-beloved food centre has re-opened in April 2011 after an 11-month closure for renovation. I thought it look pretty much the same as before :-D OK, so they now have new stools & tables with little holes at the side for umbrella-toting Chinatown denizens to hook their umbrella handles.

The usual suspects are all back ... in pretty much their same stall locations, perhaps so their customers won't get disoriented:

#02-16 Tai Hwa Pork Noodles
#02-48 Ji Ji Wanton Noodles Specialist
#02-58-59 Ah Heng Curry Chicken Bee Hoon Mee
#02-67 The Old Stall Hokkien Street Famous Hokkien Prawn Noodles
#02-68 Sungei Road Trishaw Noodles

Ah, bliss!

Address details
Hong Lim Food Centre
Blk 531A Upper Cross Street
Hong Lim Food Centre
Singapore 051531

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  1. You left out Hong Lim's most famous stall Outram Park Char Kway Teow!!! Wonder if this one has opened yet?

    2 Replies
    1. re: FourSeasons

      Yes, it's there - a queue formed as early as 10am on Saturday morning.

      1. re: klyeoh

        Outram Park Fried Koay Teow stall this morning at around 10am - relatively quiet post-National Day public holiday.

    2. Oh I love the Hokkien prawn mee so much. The huge fresh prawns are the best in Singapore :)

      19 Replies
      1. re: M_Gomez

        It's back there again. But I seemed to remember that there was a rival Hokkien prawn mee stall near it on the same floor, but didn't notice one this time.

        BTW, Chinatown Point adjoining Hong Lim Food Centre is currently undergoing massive renovations (about time!) and one half of its podium has been torn downm, so going to Hong Lim FC can be a challenge if you're approaching from South Bridge Rd side (MRT exit). The other podium half (where the Mouth restaurant and Good Morning Nanyang Cafe are located) is still operating as usual for the moment.

        1. re: klyeoh

          I just tried to find Hong Lom FC for the first time, exited the MRT at New Bridge (I think), but just couldn't find the place. According to Google Maps I should have been on top of it, but all I could see was a multi-story car park and what appeared to be an apparment block:

          I can only imagine I've missed some kind of secret entrance ;


          Any tips on how to find the place?


          1. re: GordonS

            You were very close there if you saw the multi-storey carpark, GordonS. The on-going construction at Chinatown Point probably made things a bit messy - else, you could have accessed Hong Lim Food Centre if you walked thru Chinatown Point after you exit the MRT station. If you walked along New Bridge Rd then turn into Upper Hokkien Street, you can see Hong Lim Food Centre itself - the best is to ask people you see on the street there.

            1. re: klyeoh

              Thanks, I spoke to a Singaporean colleague today and he said much the same thing. I'm about to head there now, though I'm not really sure what'll be open at this time. I really wanted to try Ji Ji Wanton Noodles, but according to their facebook page they are closed today :(

              1. re: GordonS

                Gah! I should have read that facebook post a bit more carefully - the whole of the Hong Lim centre is closed today for a 'wash day'!

                Another colleague had informed me that I'd surely be able to find wantan mee on nearby Smith Street (though he wouldn't vouch for how good that might be :)

                There was a single stall selling wantan mee on Smith Street... and it was closed!

                My last night in Singapore, and no wantan mee for me :`(

                1. re: GordonS

                  What the ..., a "wash day"?! Sorry about your string of bad luck with regards to Hong Lim Food Centre, GordonS. I think most hawkers in Singapore may be closed today for the Mid-Autumn (Mooncake) Festival, whence families will hold celebratory dinners and children will go on lantern processions.

                  Maybe you should have tried other food centres listed in the CH thread for wanton noodles below:


                  1. re: klyeoh

                    Thanks for the tips, not sure when I'll be back in Singapore but I'll be sure to take a look :)

                    Will be in Kuala Lumpur for a week on Saturday (working in Port Klang, but commuting from KL), and I notice you've been posting a lot about KL recently. I'm staying in KLCC so I'll see what goodies I can find :)

                    1. re: GordonS

                      Hah! So my Singaporean colleagues took pity on me and took me to the ABC Brickworks hawker centre for lunch - because they have wantan mee - well worth the wait :D

                      Now I can leave Singapore satisifed ;)

                      1. re: GordonS

                        Yes, I relocated to KL from Singapore at the beginning of this year on a job posting, so it's been an exciting voyage of discovery for me where KL food & eating places are concerned.

                        I'd never been to Port Klang, but I assume most eateries or food there will be Malay-Muslim. If you have Chinese colleagues, they may drive you to Klang town where Chinese-Hokkien restaurants (especially those offering "bak-kut-teh" or pork-rib soup) proliferate.

                        Suria KLCC, despite its size, do not have very good eateries - the exception are perhaps Little Penang Cafe (for their Penang Hokkien prawn noodles) and Madam Kwan's (for nasi lemak & nasi Bojari). If you take the Putra LRT to Ampang Park (one stop away), you'll find a branch of the famous Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa in Ampang Park mall. Across from the mall, Doubletree by Hilton has a podium mall called Intermark where you can find a couple of very good restaurants - Kin No Mizu Japanese and Royal India, both are fine dining spots offering excellent Japanese and Indian repasts respectively which are certainly above average where KL's dining scene is concerned.

                        Doubletree by Hilton itself has a few restaurants - I'd not tried Tosca Italian there so can't comment, but Makan Kitchen - its beautiful much-talked-about buffet restaurant - is pretty much over-rated. Nice ambience but the food sucks big time :-( Makan Kitchen's got 4 separate, distinct but integrated dining areas: Malay, Indian, Chinese and Sarawakian (Borneo). None of their offerings for the 4 cuisines stood out. The Sarawak one was a let-down: the "Pansuh Manok" (chicken & wine cooked in a bamboo tube) was bland & tasteless whilst their rendition of the "Sarawak Laksa" totally bombed.

                        You can walk from KLCC to Bukit Bintang area and have great hawker food in Lot 10's basement food court - Ho Weng Kee's wanton noodles knocked ANYTHING we had in Singapore for dead!

                        Let me know if you're looking for any particular dish, or would like some dining tips.

                        1. re: klyeoh

                          Thanks again for more tips :D

                          I'll probably be on my own most nights in KL, so hawker food or casual street-front places are ideal for not feeling like a norman sitting eating on my own :)

                          I went to the Lot 10 food court when I was in KL on vacation in January and was really impressed with the selection and quality - I'l probably go back, and I'll be looking out for Ho Weng Kee :)

                          I also previously went to the Jalan Alor food street - quite touristy, but I recall it was quite good. I think the place I ate at may have been called 'Dragon View' or something like that.

                          1. re: GordonS

                            Oh yes, Dragon View on Jalan Alor, one of the first places I wrote about when I got to KL:


                            I liked its BBQ chicken wings as much as the ones at Wong Ah Wah at the opposite end of Jalan Alor. But Dragon View also offered to-die for KL-style curried noodles which were also very tasty.

                            I think Lot 10's foodcourt will keep you very much occupied for at least a week: Kim Lian Kee dishes out some great Hokkien fried noodles, Soong Kee does great beef noodles (only if the old man is there mind you! DON'T patronize it when only their young Burmese chefs are cooking), Mo Sang Kor "bak kut teh" (pork-rib soup) and Hon Kee rice porridge with raw fish. All branches of legendary eateries in KL in one spot.

                            BTW, if you should ever pop over to Sungei Wang Plaza opposite Lot 10 (more bustling & raw at the edges), seek out Esquire Kitchen which had been serving Shanghainese food (with big doses of Malaysian-Cantonese influence) to KL-lites for decades. Some time ago, Esquire Kitchen bought over Nam Heong (a 70+ years old chicken rice restaurant) & incorporated the famous Hainanese-style chicken rice & accompanying dishes into its extensive menu.

                            I'd not dined at Esquire Kitchen at Sungei Wang recently, though I'd walked past it numerous times - I last ate there in 1982! I remembered the year distinctly as I was in KL at that time when the first McDonalds in Malaysia opened on the corner of Jalan Bukit Bintang & Jalan Sultan Ismail (it's still there!) opposite Sungei Wang Plaza, three years after the first McDonalds had opened in Singapore at Liat Towers, corner of Orchard Rd & Paterson Rd (the spot was first taken over by Burger King in the 90s, and then Wendy Burger a year ago).

                            1. re: klyeoh

                              Hey, hey, hey, boys! Isn't this thread SUPPOSED to be on Singapore?! ;)

                              Anyway, klyeoh, you're back in Singapore next week, right? Fancy going to Hong Lim for curry noodles? All this talk about the food there is making me hungry!

                              1. re: M_Gomez

                                Heh, sorry, my fault for mentioning KL first :D

                                Back to Singapore - what is the Hong Lim Centre like in evenings? Are many stalls open? If not, are any other hawker centres recommended for evening eating?

                                1. re: GordonS

                                  I was just joking, my dear. Always a pleasure to hear about eating out in KL and other places in this region.

                                  Hong Lim FC is a ghost town in the evening. Different Singapore food centres have different times when their business peak. Hong Lim FC, Amoy Street FC, Maxwell Road FC & Old Airport Road FC - all do lunch time business, and they quieten down by the early evenings when most of their more popular hawker stalls close down.

                                  The more popular and good food centres in the evenings are Chomp Chomp in Serangoon Gardens, Adam Road FC and Lavender FC (wanton noodles very popular there).

                                  1. re: M_Gomez

                                    Interesting to read about.

                                    As for the KL stuff, keep 'em coming, I don't mind too - although perhaps it might be difficult to search for the info later if one did not quite remember it was on a Singapore thread!

                                    1. re: M_Gomez

                                      Thanks for the evening tips :)

                                      My next trip to Singapore won't be until next June, but that'll be for a holiday instead of business - so more time for eating - I'll bookmark this so I don't forget.

                                      1. re: GordonS

                                        GordonS - not sure how the linkway to Hong Lim Food Centre from Chinatown Point will be like by the time you go back to S'pore next June, but last weekend, I went back there and had no problem accessing it like the last time. What you do is:

                                        1) Use Exit E when you come out of the Chinatown MRT station, take the escalators up to the road level and Chinatown Point will be right in front of you;

                                        2) Enter Chinatown Point using the main entrance (between Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Swensen's);

                                        3) Walk towards the escalators (and behind the lift lobby) on the left side of the mall atrium;

                                        4) You'll see a temporary signage which says "Exit" & "Hong Lim Complex" there (left corner of the atrium). Just follow the path which snakes past the construction work currently going on at Chinatown Point (they are tearing down the north part of the podium block, which is why the place is such a mess at the moment)

                                        But once you get past that, you'll be at Hong Lim Food Centre already - and business is bustling as usual there.

                                        1. re: klyeoh

                                          That's the route I took on the day it was closed for a 'wash day' :)

                                          I'll save a link to those directions though, since I will almost certainly forget them before June :)


                                          1. re: GordonS

                                            GordonS - knowing that it's Singapore and the rate things get pulled down, you probably won't recognize the place by next June :-D

          2. Placemark for Hong Lim Food Centre

            Hong Lim Food Centre
            531A Upper Cross St, Singapore 051531, SG