As a working professional in the CBD, Amoy Street Food Centre is one of my go-to lunch places whenever I am looking for authentic hawker fare. Other food centres such as Lau Pa Sat are actually nearer to my office but that eatery is more of a food court nowadays rather than a bona fide hawker while my other favorites such as Maxwell Food Centre and Chinatown Complex Food Centre are a bit farther for me.
The 2-storey Amoy Street Food Centre was built in 1983, around the same era as nearby Maxwell Food Centre. This period coincided with Singapore’s “cleanliness drive” and many hawkers who originally peddled on the streets near Chinatown were moved to proper “food centres” with this hawker centre being one of them. Today, Amoy Street Food Centre is one of Singapore’s most prominent. It has the most number of Michelin-listed stalls in one place and establishments here comprise a mix of decades-old stalls to outlets opened by enterprising youngsters.
If you don’t work in the CBD and intend to come here outside of a weekday lunch timing, do note that most stalls are shut on Saturdays and Sundays and at night. For weekends, your best bet is up to noon on Saturdays when at least half of the stalls are open.
In this list, I present some of my favorite stalls in Amoy Street Food Centre. I have been here dozens of times and have tried most outlets. These are not arranged in any particular order.
Han Kee Fish Soup
Han Kee is quite a tricky place to dine. Despite my efforts to come in early for this well-known Amoy Street fish soup, the queue is still long. They open at 11AM. I try to leave my office at 11AM and reach 10 minutes later to already find a snaking queue right by this stall. The good news however, is that it clears pretty quickly. I estimate my usual waiting time to be around 15 to 20 minutes.
Many people swear by their Fish Soup and I can understand why. The portions are far bigger than the usual fish soup places and the fish slices tend to be chunkier. I rarely feel full after eating fish soup but I can say the one at Han Kee fills me sufficiently. You can also request for other parts of the fish like the roe/eggs which the stall owners are happy to provide.
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 11AM to 3PM
Stall Number: #02-129
A Noodle Story
This Michelin Bib-Gourmand stall is probably one of the most well-known stalls in Amoy Food Centre. They’ve expanded recently to nearby Guoco Tower but still call this food centre their home base. Diners can expect a plethora of toppings with every bowl of noodles here, from fatty pork sous vide for several hours to deep-fried wanton wrapped in potato as well as onsen egg. The noodles here are a departure from the usual types found in Singapore and the generous toppings also mean that one portion is filling enough even for a big eater like myself.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, 11AM to 8PM (til 3PM on Saturday)
Stall Number: #01-39
Mad Roaster is run by an admirable lawyer turned hawker named Madeline. She started Mad Roaster with the intention of donating a portion of sales to refugees in Thailand. I have been buying coffee and matcha lattes from them since they first started and today, Mad Roaster has a number of outlets in Singapore including a standalone outlet in Depot Road. The Amoy Street stall however, is their very first one. Specialties here include the Honey Butter Latte although I personally swear by their Matcha Latte, which is made from first-flush tencha from Nishio, Japan. Food-wise, they attract a following for their Chocolate Babka and Cinnamon Brioche, which is often sold in entire loaves for takeaway.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, 8AM to 3PM (opens at 9AM on Saturday)
Stall Number: #02-107
Swan City Noodle House
Kolo Mee stalls may abound in Singapore but have you heard of its cousin, Kampua Noodles? Swan City Noodle House sells a variety of dishes from Sarawak, focusing on dishes that are popular in cities like Sibu. Kampua Noodles in particular, reminds me of Kolo Mee but with lighter sauces and a bit drier. Other specialties include the Sibu Bien Nuik – a wanton-like dumpling but with less meat filling – and the Kompia – a Foochow style bagel with meat filling inside.
Opening Hours: Daily except Saturday, 9AM to 3PM
Stall Number: #02-105
The simply-named Good Day is run by a very friendly couple and specializes in stir-fried dishes such as Hor Fun and Sin Chew Noodles. My go-to dish here is their Beef Hor Fun. Although it doesn’t possess a strong “wok hei” flavor, I like it that the beef is super tender and generous in portion, while possessing a sweet-savory flavor that always keeps me coming back for more.
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 7AM to 4PM
Stall Number: #01-25
J2 Famous Crispy Curry Puff
This humble looking stall at the ground floor of Amoy Food Centre is noted for possessing a Michelin Bib Gourmand. J2 is well known for their delightfully flaky curry puffs with flavors such as Crispy Curry Chicken Puff, Crispy Sardine Puff and Crispy Black Pepper Chicken Puff. The reason why their puffs attract a good following is because the crust is crispy enough without being too thick while the fillings tend to be bigger in portion.
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 8AM to 3PM
Stall Number: #01-21
Coffee Break is somewhat of a hybrid. It is not a purely local kopi stall and at the same time, it is not a third wave coffee stall either. What it does offer are inventive flavors of what is otherwise traditional Nanyang coffee. Think: Hazelnut, Macadamia, Salted Caramel and more. For tea lovers, they can pretty much do the same with their range of tea lattes (Matcha, Chai, Earl Grey, etc) and fruit teas. Of course, if you’d rather just have a cup of traditional kopi-o, they have that as well. For breakfast, I would recommend grabbing some of their toasts as well. A particularly notable one is their Black Sesame Toast, consisting of utterly thin crispy toast with a rich black sesame and butter filling in the middle.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, 7:30AM to 2:30PM (from 9:30AM on Saturday)
Stall Number: #02-78
Mr Batang Fish 96
Amoy Food Centre has at least 3 notable fish soup stalls and I would say Mr Batang Fish 96 is probably the least known among the 3, despite also having long queues during lunch time. Relatively newer compared to Han Kee or Piao Ji, Mr Batang Fish 96 differentiates itself by offering tom yum flavors for their fish soup as well as additional seafood toppings such as prawns and cuttlefish. I personally found their serving size quite generous. I ordered their smallest S$5 bowl of fish soup and it came with several meaty chunks.
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 9:30AM to 3PM / 10AM to 3PM on Sunday
Stall Number: #02-96
Most people who come to Pepper Bowl come for their Black Pepper Beef Hor Fun (optional onsen egg add-on) featuring super tender beef but my guilty pleasure is their Spring Onion Pork Rice which is essentially cooked with the same ingredients but uses pork instead of beef. Utterly delicious, especially with the sauce. I say it’s a guilty pleasure because the sauce is quite oily but I suppose it’s fine for an occasional meal.
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 11AM to 2:30PM
Stall Number: #02-102
Sarawak Kolo Mee (Jin’s Noodle)
This is the older of the 2 kolo mee outlets (what are the chances to find 2 in the same hawker centre?) in Amoy Food Centre. Jin’s Noodle Sarawak Kolo Mee attracts a steady following and some regard it as the best kolo mee place in Singapore although my preference is still for the one at Haig. The noodles here are springy, curly and have a subtle aromatic flavor coming from the lard.
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 11AM to 2:30PM
Stall Number: #02-110
Ah Ter Authentic Teochew Fishball Noodle
Run by a 3rd generation hawker who was once named the Most Handsome Hawker by The Straits Times, Ah Ter Authentic Teochew Fishball Noodle is another stall that attracts a snaking crowd, often well before 12 noon. As the name suggests, their Fishball Noodle is very popular, especially because of the flavorful broth that comes in a separate bowl when ordering their Mee Pok or Mee Kia. Along with the soup comes a myriad of ingredients such as fishball, liver, minced meat, etc. The gravy that comes with the noodles is also noteworthy. Their chili is cooked for 6 hours with prawn paste, onions, pork lard, etc.
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 7AM to 8PM, Until 3PM on Saturday
Stall Number: #01-14
Wah Kee Noodle
Everyone knows that a decent plate of Wanton Mee needs to have springy and chewy noodles and by that measure, Wah Kee Noodles, located at level 2 of Amoy Food Centre, does not disappoint. The char siew pieces that come with each plate are relatively thin but generous in number, possessing just the right amount of “char” or smokiness and relatively lean. Aside from Wanton Noodles, you can also order other variations such as Mushroom Noodles, Dumpling Noodles or Shredded Chicken Hor Fun.
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 7AM to 2:30PM
Stall Number: #02-125
Hong Kee Beef Noodle
Another Michelin Bib Gourmand stall at Amoy Food Centre is Hong Kee Beef Noodle. They are well-known for their Hainanese style Beef Noodles which come with a relatively gooey, gravy-like soup. Go for their mixed beef parts (lean meat, tripe, brisket, beef balls) for a more well-rounded taste of what they have to offer.
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 11AM to 7:30PM / Saturday and Sunday, 9AM to 2:30PM
Stall Number: #01-42
Grandma Ban Mee
Grandma Ban Mee differs from other ban mee stalls in the sense that they don’t overly rely on external flavors for their noodles. The broth that comes with each bowl of Ban Mee is relatively clear and is less hearty. The soup’s flavor comes mostly from the mushrooms and spinach – of which they are quite generous with the greens. I would say that it’s relatively lighter in terms of taste profile as well as on the tummy. If you are a heavy eater, go for a bigger bowl. It’s also a good option if you are looking for something healthier to eat in a hawker centre.
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 10AM to 8PM (til 3PM on Friday)
Stall Number: #01-07
Fried Kway Teow
The very first stall that most people see when they enter Amoy Food Centre is this generically-named “Fried Kway Teow” outlet. Don’t be fooled by the unassuming name however, this is one of Amoy Food Centre’s longest tenants thus far. The biggest selling point of their Char Kway Teow here, in my view, is the relatively generous portion of cockles.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9AM to 2:30PM
Stall Number: #01-01
Lagoon in a Bowl
Lagoon in a Bowl is bit different from other stalls in Amoy Street Food Centre in the sense that they focus more on dishes that you’d expect to find in more upmarket places. They only have 3 items on their menu – Mentaiko Salmon, Mentaiko Wagyu Beef or Surf n Turf. All bowls come with their signature blue pea rice. What I love is that they are quite generous with the mentaiko.
I tried their Mentaiko Salmon which was also the original dish they came up with when they first opened and it was sous vide and very tender. The fish also melted in my mouth like cream with its softness. The bowl also came with an onsen egg.
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 11AM to 3PM
Stall Number: #01-48
Soon Lee is the place to go for fragrant You Tiao (dough fritters), Ham Chim Peng (Chinese doughnuts in various flavors) as well as Sesame Balls. I am quite fond of their Sesame Balls which are always freshly cooked and possess a highly chewy and glutinous texture, unlike other places where the balls are usually tough and starchy.
Stall Number: #01-09
308 Coffee Shop
This coffee stall in Amoy Street Food Centre may not be as prominent as the more modern drink stalls upstairs but 308 Coffee Shop has been attracting long queues for coffee every morning. It may be due to the competitive pricing or because of their good coffee. I tried their Kopi O one morning and found it strong, with a distinct burnt chocolate taste. You can also order toast as part of their sets that come with a hot drink and eggs. Their toast wasn’t as crispy as I had hoped but the kaya butter filling was just right without being too sweet.
Stall Number: #01-60
Luan Jie Mei Shi
I stumbled upon Luan Jie Mei Shi accidentally one morning while looking for a second breakfast because the toast I had just beforehand was not filling enough. What a discovery it was! This store sells just 5 items – Yam Cake, Pumpkin Cake, Glutinous Rice, Soon Kueh and Chee Cheong Fun. The most popular items are the Soon Kueh and Chee Cheong Fun. The latter is notable for being silky smooth with an addictive savory sweet sauce. While they officially open until 2pm, it is advisable to head there by 9am to avoid disappointment as many items get sold out fast.
Opening Hours: Daily except Sunday, 6AM to 2PM
Stall Number: #01-30
What’s your favorite stall at Amoy Street Food Centre?