Whether you’re on a hunt on the city’s best street art or hungry for an assortment of noodle dishes, look no further than the two-storied Amoy Street Food Centre. It is decked with wall art that reflects its heritage, as well as a smorgasbord of hawker choices, from spicy Thai dishes and hearty congee to delicious pasta and traditional biryani. For a caffeine fix, head upstairs to Coffee Break for a cup of flavoured lattes and mochas, in place of your regular kopi.
During peak lunch hours (anytime between 11.30am and 1.30pm), queues are long and there’s nary a seat that isn't chope-d – even in these times. In the evenings and on weekends however, it’s pretty much a ghost town, with few stalls even open. Given the assembly line queues, quality and service certainly aren’t the reasons for coming – the food can be inconsistent at stalls where food is cooked to order – but in terms of a range of options for a cheap lunch, Amoy can’t be beaten.
Unfortunately, the food centre will be closing for three months from October 11 for renovation works. While we're unsure if most of the stalls will be returning when it reopens again, we can only show our love by supporting the hawkers before its long hiatus. If you're in the area before October 11, do hit the shops at Amoy Street Food Centre. And if you need some help making up your mind, here are some of the Time Out team's favourite haunts in this hawker wonderland.
Fried Kway Teow, #01-01
It's the first stall you see – and smell – when you enter Amoy Street Food Centre and there's only one thing on the menu: fried kway teow. A serving comes packed with cockles, beansprouts, fishcake, lupcheong and a mix of yellow noodles with kway teow. Some days, the uncle who mans the shop cooks up an intense and flavourful batch, and on some days, a less tasty version – but he never skimps on the ingredients. If you're feeling overwhelmed with the choices at Amoy, this humble stall is a great safety choice.
Rayyan's Waroeng Upnormal, #02-86
Feeling a little hungry today? The selections at Ayam Penyet Rayyan come with a little extra value. Not only are the servings huge, it also comes with a side of salad, crunchy bits and sambal (optional). The signature dish here is the Penyet Set where you can choose your protein of choice: a fried chicken leg, honey glazed grilled boneless thigh, breaded chicken cutlet and more. Not a fan of rice? Swap it for bami goreng – mee goreng with generous kicap sauce.
Le Kitchen Seafood Pao Fan, #02-120
Pao fan is all the craze now and we know exactly why. Something about pouring soup over rice and drenching it in the broth to eat like a gruel is somewhat comforting. And at Le Kitchen, the key to what makes it a good dish is the broth. Choose your seafood of choice (there's even a lobster option) – our go-to is the fried fish, with all the frills like crispy puffed rice and egg floss. The soup is served separately and it is slow-cooked, resulting in that smooth and rich flavour. What can we say? It's good soup.
J2 Famous Crispy Curry Puff, #01-21
Trying to eat a J2 curry puff without a mess takes some skill. The outside layer is so delicate and flakey that every bite will leave a sprinkling of crust everywhere on your clothes. Proceed with caution or the filling (choose between curry potato, sardine and black pepper chicken) might just spill out easily. The curry puffs sell out very quickly so get 'em early!
Lin Da Ma – Lei Cha, #02,127
Some days, we like to eat healthy and lei cha is our go-to. This traditional Hakka dish is a version of gruel with a tea-based soup or broth. Lin Da Ma sells a fragrant and nutty lei cha which is savoury and tasty. You can opt for healthier options like brown rice and also add on non-vegetarian sides like meatballs and tofu with minced pork patties to satisfy the meat lovers. Pro tip: add some fresh chilli padi in the mix to elevate the flavours.
Ah Liang Ipoh Hor Fun, #02-122
The bestseller at this popular Amoy stall is its famous shredded chicken Ipoh hor fun. Silky smooth kway teow noodles sit in a thick gravy that has a slight herbal taste – which is unlike a standard plate of hor fun. While you're here, order some plump fried fish wontons to go, especially if you need a little more meat in your dish.
Syed Muhammad Drinks Stall, #01-66
What's a trip to a hawker centre without some drinks. Our drink of choice? Some of that sweet, frothy teh tarik. Because it's just the right amount of sweet and milky, a cuppa from Syed Muhammad Drinks Stall is good for any time of the workday.