Immerse Yourself in a Unique Food Culture at Lau Pa Sat
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Immerse Yourself in a Unique Food Culture at Lau Pa Sat

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in Singaporean society is by getting into its local food culture. And what better way to do other than dining in a hawker center?

Hawker centers are a dime a dozen in Singapore, and among the most popular is Lau Pa Sat. Lau Pa Sat is housed within a historic building, and its stalls offer a wide range of cuisines—from local favorites to Western delights—so you’ll be spoiled for choice!

Head to Lau Pa Sat (preferably with an empty stomach) and treat yourself to marvelous food. For recommendations on which stalls to try, check out this article. 

Things to Know

Address: 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582
Operating Hours: Open 24 hours

History and Background

Also known as Telok Ayer Market, Lau Pa Sat started as a fish market on the south bank of the Singapore River in 1824. The market was relocated to its current location on Raffles Quay and was also rebuilt to become a food court. 

The Lau Pa Sat building is one of the oldest Victorian structures in Southeast Asia and one of the first structures built using pre-fabricated cast iron in Asia. 

In other words, Lau Pa Sat is more than just a hawker center; it’s also a historical landmark.

How to Get There

MRT: Since Lau Pa Sat is located in the central area, commuting via the MRT is very easy. You just have to ride the train and disembark at Raffles Place station. 

Take Exit 1, then walk to the market, which should only take about a few minutes.

Bus: Aside from riding the MRT, you can also get to the hawker center by riding any of the following bus services: 10, 568, 785, and 97E. These buses will pass by Lau Pa Sat.

Taxi or Ride-Hailing App: If you don’t want to undergo the hassle of public transportation, you can simply ride a taxi or book a ride from a ride-hailing app.  

Car: For people who want to drive to the hawker center, the nearest parking lots can be found in One Shenton, One Raffles Quay, Hong Leong Building, and SGX Center.

Best Time to Visit

Even though Lau Pa Sat is open 24/7, it’s still recommended that you visit the hawker center during the day. It’s best if you come here as early as possible.

This is because most popular stalls tend to sell out fast, so if you don’t want to miss your chance, you have to come early. Also, the stalls here tend to close by 10 pm, so if you come late at night, you won’t have many options left. 

Top Stalls to Try

Food Folks

Location: Main Dining Hall
Operating Hours: 10 am to 10 pm 

Start your Lau Pa Sat experience with a bang by stopping at Food Folks. Located on the first floor of the hawker center, Food Folks is an award-winning F&B and retail hybrid that sells traditional and innovative products inspired by Singaporean cuisine. 

The great thing about it is the variety of dishes. You can purchase savory dishes like pizza and Singapore laksa-flavored potato chips from GoPizza, Smol, and Shi Hui Yuan, and then treat yourself to something sweet at the gelato shop Creme and Cone.

Its dining space is located along the perimeter of Lau Pa Sat, and it’s decorated with fairy lights, making it a perfect spot for a romantic date. So, bring a special someone here with you!

Swatow Bai Le Braised Duck

Location: Stall 9
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—10:30 am to 11:30 pm

Swatow Bai Le Braised Duck is a beloved stall at Lorong 37 Geylang, and now it has a location in Lau Pa Sat as well! So, you don’t have to travel to Geylang just to get a taste of the succulent braised duck sold here. 

If you’re hungry and in the mood for something filling, I recommend the braised duck noodle set. It has a generous serving of braised duck on top of soft, chewy noodles, and the broth is perfectly thick and flavorful, so sipping it is like a warm hug.

There’s also a chili sauce on the side, so if you want to spice up your noodles, feel free to add a dollop of it to your bowl. 

Happy Beans

Location: Stall 46
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—11:30 am to 9:30 pm

Also known as Su Xiang, Happy Beans is the stall to go if you’re looking for delicious plant-based dishes. 

If you’re craving a savory dish, you can’t go wrong with their noodle dishes, like the pickled vegetable and mushroom mian xian or the vegetarian fried “seafood” udon. Both have comforting broth, making them perfect to eat during rainy days. 

For something sweet, choose the beancurd pudding with mini q balls (also known as taro balls). There’s also soya milk infused with fruit tea if you want something to quench your thirst. 

Fragrance Garden Chicken Rice

Location: Stall 19
Operating Hours

  • Monday—10:30 am to 9 pm
  • Tuesday to Saturday—10 am to 9 pm
  • Sunday—10 am to 3 pm

A simple yet good plate of chicken rice is enough to bring a smile to my face, and that’s exactly what Fragrance Garden Chicken Rice achieves every time I order from them.

In this stall, you choose whether your chicken is roasted or steamed; both styles are great because they’re smothered in a savory sauce. You’ll also be given black sauce and chili, which you can use as a dip to add a bit of spicy kick to your chicken. 

Nasi Lemak Ayam Taliwang

Location: Stall 71
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—9 am to 12 am

Nasi Lemak Ayam Taliwang is the first Michelin-rated nasi lemak hawker in the world, so you definitely don’t want to miss out on this one. Luckily, this stall has locations all around Singapore, and you can find one in Lau Pa Sat. 

Order the titular dish, which features a tangy and hot sambal chili, a tender and juicy chicken leg, fragrant coconut rice, and more. Everything comes together so well, and every bite is a flavor explosion.

Aside from nasi lemak, another one I recommend you try is the chicken fillet curry rice. The chicken is crispy, and the rice is drenched with fragrant curry—oh, I’m drooling just typing this!

Feng Xiang Bak Kut Teh

Location: Stall 27
Operating Hours

  • Monday to Friday—10:30 am to 9:30 pm
  • Saturday and Sunday—11 am to 10 pm

While Hokkien-style and Teochew-style bak kut teh is popular in Singapore, the Cantonese counterpart is pretty tricky to find. Fortunately, this stall in Lau Pa Sat serves Cantonese-style herbal bak kut teh, so you can finally give it a try if you want. 

The herbal bak kut teh is heady and comforting, and I love biting into the pork ribs and tau kee. If you want something hearty, I recommend the mixed pig pork organ fried porridge; you’ll feel satisfied after eating it. 

Thunder Tea Rice

Location: Stall 12
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—7 am to 11 pm

Thunder Tea Rice is a Hakka dish that you must try! Essentially, it features a bowl of rice (either brown or white rice) topped with chopped greens, peanuts, and fried anchovies. 

That dish alone is a delight—salty and savory, with a perfect crunchy texture thanks to the peanuts—but you can also go for the Thunder Tea Special, which gives you a protein of your choice (fish fillet, chicken patty, or prawn meat roll). 

Mr. Rice Pao Fan & Fried Rice

Location: Stall 18
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—9 am to 10 pm

If you need something filling, you can never go wrong with a rice meal, and Mr. Rice Pao Fan & Fried Rice has plenty of options for you. 

Personally, my favorite thing to order is the seafood with poached crispy rice. It’s basically white rice submerged in a rich broth and topped with your deep-fried rice grains and a selection of seafood. 

I also really like the chicken cutlet with fried rice. After all, I’m always a big of crispy chicken doused in a delicious gravy. 

Seng Kee Local Delights

Location: Stall 10
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—11 am to 1 am

Seng Kee Local Delights is the ultimate destination if you’re craving local favorites like laksa and Hokkien mee. The laksa, in particular, is my personal favorite; the spicy seafood and creamy coconut broth are a match made in heaven. 

The Hokkien mee is a big winner for me as well. The yellow noodles are perfectly springy, the dark soup is rich and hearty, and the seafood and meat pieces are juicy and flavorful—it’s so addictive!

This stall attracts a long queue every single day. If that’s not proof of how good the dishes are, I don’t know what is. 

Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow

Location: Stall 74–75
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—11 am to 10 pm

Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow is one of the few stalls serving char kway teow that have been recognized by the Michelin Guide, so you know that it’s the real deal. 

The cooks here use fresh ingredients every time, and you can tell in the final products. The char kway teow served here is sweet, savory, and a bit spicy, and the bean sprouts add a nice little crunch; everything just goes so well together that I can’t stop eating it!

Aside from char kway teow, this stall also sells a hearty bowl of laksa and boiled cockles. 

The Warung Bali

Location: Stall 63
Operating Hours

  • Monday to Saturday—11:30 am to 8 pm
  • Closed on Sunday

You don’t have to go to Bali to enjoy ayam betutu; you can simply buy the ayam betutu set here in The Warung Bali. 

The ayam betutu served here is a heavily seasoned and spiced chicken or duck that’s then steamed or roasted. The result is an aromatic dish that boasts a flavor explosion with every bite; it’s also a bit spicy, so expect your taste buds to tingle. 

Don’t forget to try sate lilit as well, which is basically satay. It doesn’t cost much per piece, and the meat is perfectly juicy. 

Satay Street

Location: Boon Tat Street
Operating Hours

  • Monday to Friday—7 pm to 3 am
  • Saturday and Sunday—3 pm and 3 am

Located at the hawker center’s back part (by Boon Tat Street) is Satay Street and it truly is heaven for people who love satay. 

Satay Street is made up of 10 stalls, which means you can find all kinds of satay—lamb, beef, chicken, and pork. These skewers are also prepared in different ways; some are prepared Malaysian-style, while others are inspired by other Asian cuisines. 

Since this spot is open at night and until the early hours of dawn, it’s the perfect destination for a night out with loved ones. Be sure to pair your plate of satay with a bottle of cold beer. 

Qiu Lian Ban Mian

Location: Stall 16
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—10 am to 8 pm

Qiu Lian Ban Mian is one of the most popular ban mian stalls in Singapore. It has multiple locations on the island, and one can be found in Lau Pa Sat.

In this stall, you can order the signature ban mian (simple handmade noodles drenched in flavorful soup). But if you’d like a spicy alternative, I suggest getting the tom yum ban mian. 

Other than ban mian, this stall also serves mee hoon kuey, yi mian, and dry noodles with fish fillet, big prawns, or braised meat.

Kallang Airport Wanton Noodle

Location: Stall 57
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—8 am to 10:30 pm

This stall was first seen in the hawker center at the now-defunct Kallang Airport, but fortunately, it’s managed to survive the test of time. Now, Kallang Airport Wanton Noodle has a location in Lau Pa Sat, so you can enjoy the classic wanton noodles here. 

The signature noodle bowl features springy noodles and a hefty portion of tender char siew. You’ll also be served with a savory-sweet sauce, so feel free to pour it into the char siew for more flavor. 

Other add-ons you can purchase include fried wantons and dry spicy dumplings.

Project Acai

Location: Stall 2
Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Friday—11:30 am to 8 pm
  • Saturday—11:30 am to 6 pm
  • Closed on Sunday

Sweet and healthy, an acai bowl is the perfect snack for everyone. If you’re craving for one, be sure to hit up Project Acai in Lau Pa Sat. 

This stall offers a variety of cup sizes, but no matter which you choose, your cup will be filled with a generous serving of blended acai base with fruits, superfoods, and granola as toppings. 

And when the weather is hot, cool down by ordering the Yogi Wannabe-rry smoothie. It’s a blend of apple juice, banana, blueberries, strawberries, bee pollen, and organic acai, and it’s so refreshing!

Munchi Pancakes

Location: Stall 61
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—8 am to 8:30 pm

Craving for a sweet treat? Munchi Pancakes has got you covered!

Munchi Pancakes specializes in man jiang kueh, which is basically a pancake but with a sweet filling. There’s a variety of filling flavors to choose from, such as peanut, coconut, black sesame, and biscoff. 

This stall also sells smaller dorayaki-like forms of min jiang kueh if you prefer a more on-the-go kind of snack. For these mini-delights, your flavor options are strawberry cheese, oreo cheese, and Thai milk tea. 

Butter & Cream Bakery

Location: Stall 5–6
Operating Hours

  • Monday to Thursday—10 am to 9 pm
  • Friday—10 am to 10 pm
  • Saturday—10:30 am to 10 pm
  • Sunday—10:30 am to 9 pm

Another place you can go to if you’re craving something sweet is Butter & Cream Bakery. This stall in Lau Pa Sat sells so many delicious desserts, and some of them are pretty unique, like the donut-muffin hybrids, which they name “doffins.” 

For doffins, I recommend the Hokkaido flavor, which tastes milky and sweet, or the Cheese-Me-Up, which is more on the savory side. Other pastries I love here include the sweet and tangy blueberry tart and the silky smooth original egg tart.