What it’s like: After a ten-month refurbishment, the Tanjong Pagar Food Centre reopened for business at the start of 2014. Originally built in 1977, the centre has gotten its plumbing and tiling completely refitted, while more seating, cleaner toilet facilities and better ventilation (each stall has now been appointed with shiny new mechanical exhaust systems) were all much needed improvements. With energy-efficient sky lighting, it feels much brighter than before; tables are also more spaciously laid out across the seating area. At press time, not all of the 50-some stalls have retenanted quite yet, with about one in three spaces remaining empty. Still, it’s as bustling as it used to be – you’ll need to be quick to chope a seat at lunchtime.
What to eat: While you’ll find plenty of classic hawker staples on offer – satay bee hoon, char kway teow, Hainanese chicken rice, nasi lemak (as well as coffee, bean curd and grass jelly drink stalls) – one of our favourite stops is Traditional Hakka Rice (#02-22), which is one of the few places in the CBD you can get Hakka grain tea rice (from $3) – also known as thunder tea rice, served with a hot bowl of thickened green tea on the side. But a word of warning: get in early for lunch, as they’re so popular that they regularly sell out by 1pm. Another perrenially popular stall is Issan Thai (#02-13) across the aisle, which always has a long queue during rush hour for their authentic and delicious phad Thai ($4) and fragrant green curry ($4). Other highlights include the teriyaki chicken rice set ($5) from Kazan Japanese Cuisine (#02- 18), and the hugely popular and waistline-friendly herbal chicken soup with rice ($4.50) from Herbal Kitchen (#02-17); to finish up, snare a dessert of green bean soup ($1.80) from Ren Mai Desserts (#02-12). Thomas Moir
|Venue name:||Tanjong Pagar Food Centre|
Second Floor, Block 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza
|Opening hours:||Various timings|