Beef Noodle & Kaya Toast

If you happen to be in Chinatown, Singapore or more specifically China Street, there are 2 shops that you should not miss, depending on what you prefer.

Hock Lam Beef Noodle

First up is Hock Lam Beef Noodles, located at #22 China Street. This is a really ancient establishment, reportedly to be about a century old! They are still using the same ingredients as the original founder did. I was there on a quiet afternoon just after the lunch hour, everything was served within minutes.


Some prefer the dry version but if you’re looking for the original recipe, for that you need to order the soup version. It is very much commercialized already. You pick the beef noodle set that you want and they will serve it up almost instantly. Even the drinks are pre-packaged.

Beef Noodles ($10)

I like the taste of the soup which really is the mainstay of any respectable beef noodle. Plenty of soy sauce was added to get the dark colour, the beef itself was chewy and not to hard/tough. By the way, you just can’t order it rare or medium-rare, they are all well done.

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Hong Lim Food Centre

For those who have been spending their day walking around Chinatown, there is one area that you should not miss when it comes to getting good food. Get your bearings straight and make your way to Hong Lim Food Centre, you could ask the locals for directions.

Singapore is probably not that well known for its food, people usually talk about the cleanliness or about the modern city. Trust me, they are wrong. Unfortunately, the best food that Singapore could offer aren’t easily found alongside the typical tourist hotspots, most are located beneath their HDB apartments or at hawker centres dotted around the housing estates.

Hong Lim Food Centre probably houses around 40-60 hawker stalls over 2 floors. So it is a veritable treasure trove of hawker delights if you have the time. But if you don’t, then let me direct you to two of the famous ones.

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Chinatown, Singapore

Thought of trying out something different, this time sharing a bit about some place nearer to home – Singapore, which is just 750km away from where I stay.

Take the North East Line to Chinatown MRT

Our first stop would be Chinatown, Singapore. This is a bit of a misnomer considering the fact that Singapore is made up of probably 70% Chinese. Usually, Chinatown refers to an enclave for the Chinese minority. Anyhow, you can just take any MRT to Chinatown MRT on the North East Line (Purple).

Mooncake Festival in Chinatown (click to enlarge)

Stepping out from the MRT station, you will find yourself in the heart of Chinatown itself — Pagoda Street. There are a few streets that run parallel to Pagoda Street, namely Mosque Street, Temple Street and Smith Street, which are all part of Chinatown itself. You might ask, how would I know that I am at the right place? It’s easy actually, just follow the signs and the roadside stalls.

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