Going on a food trip is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in Singapore’s rich culture, and luckily for you, this country has an abundance of hawker centers (also known as food centers). One of my go-tos is the hawker center in Tiong Bahru Market.
Tiong Bahru Market initially started as a simple wooden structure back in the early 1950s, but now it’s a two-story building with hundreds of stalls. Because of this, you can enjoy a great variety of delicious dishes—from savory meals to scrumptious desserts.
If you want to check out this hawker center but don’t know where to start, don’t worry because I’m here to help you discover Tiong Bahru Market. In this article, I’ve listed some of the most popular stalls in the market, so be sure to continue reading!
The Basics of Tiong Bahru Market
- Address: 30 Seng Poh Road, Singapore
- Operating Hours: 6 am to 11 pm (daily)
The origins of Tiong Bahru Market were actually just a series of sheds in a “temporary” market during the 1940s. These sheds became an eyesore to the residents, so the local government decided to create a new market for the community.
This new market opened in 1951, and it was initially called Seng Poh Road Market, named after the first Chinese Municipal Commissioner (Tan Seng Poh). It was only in 1993 that the building was renamed Tiong Bahru Market.
Over the years, the market has undergone several renovations, and right now, it has two levels and a large garden courtyard in the center. The market is on the first floor, while the food center is on the second level.
How do I get to Tiong Bahru Market?
Riding the MRT is the best way to get to Tiong Bahru Market. You simply have to take the East-West MRT Line, alight at Tiong Bahru Station, take Exit A, then make your way toward Tiong Bahru Market.
If you prefer commuting via bus, you can ride bus 123, 175, 33, 5, 63, or 75. You can disembark at any of the following bus stops:
- Zion Road—Blk 2b (06071): four minutes away from the market
- Havelock Road—Havelock Stn Exit 5 (06141): four minutes away
- Tiong Bahru Road—Blk 1 (10149): five minutes away
- Link Hotel: five minutes away
- Tiong Bahru Road—Blk 18 (10141): five minutes away
- Open Car Park H: nine minutes away
- Singapore National Eye Center: 13 minutes away
Where do I park in Tiong Bahru Market?
Driving is another way you can get to Tiong Bahru Market. You can park your car in the car park available in the market, and its rates are pretty affordable: S$0.60 per 30 minutes.
If the car park in the market is full during your visit, there’s no need to worry because there are still several parking lots nearby, such as
- Surface Car Park (TE9): 61/69 Seng Pong Lane
- Surface Car Park (TE22): 66/73 Eng Watt Street
- Surface Car Park (TE23): 59 Eng Hoon Street
What are the best stalls to try at Tiong Bahru Market Food Center?
There are many dining options available at Tiong Bahru Market Food Center, so you can always find something that will satisfy your cravings. Here are some of the best stalls that you should try at the food center:
Stalls Acknowledged by the Michelin Guide
I don’t know about you, but whenever I struggle with choosing where to eat, my preferred solution is to pick the most famous options. And in the food industry, fame and prestige usually come in the form of an acknowledgment from the Michelin Guide.
You’ve probably thought that only restaurants get recognition from the Michelin Guide, but food stalls in hawker centers sometimes do. Many centers in Singapore feature Michelin-recognized stalls, and Tiong Bahru Market Food Center is one of them.
Here are the bestselling stalls in the center.
Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee
- Location: Floor 2, #02-01
- Operating Hours: 10:30 am to 2:30 pm, 4:30 to 6 pm (Tuesdays to Fridays); 10:30 am to 6 pm (Saturdays); closed on Sundays and Mondays
- Estimated Cost: S$4 for regular plates, S$5 for sharing
Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee has received the Michelin Bib Gourmand for consecutive years now, and its signature dish, the Hokkien Mee, is the star of the show. The Michelin Guide inspectors claimed it’s one of their favorites in the center.
And I have to say: the inspectors were right to put a spotlight on this humble food stall. The noodles stir-fried with fish, squid, and prawns burst with so much flavor, and when you mix in their homemade chili sauce—absolute perfection!
Despite becoming more famous after the Michelin nod, the stall still offers an affordable rate, which ranges between S$3 and S$5. I prefer getting the S$4 plate if I’m alone, but if I’m with friends or family, I order the S$5 size.
Traveler Trip: This stall is popular among Singaporean residents, so you can expect long queues, especially during peak hours. So, if you don’t want to miss out on this one, be sure to come earlier!
Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice
- Location: Floor 2, #02-82
- Operating Hours: 10 am to 4 pm (Wednesdays to Sundays), closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
- Estimated Cost: S$3–4
Hainanese Chicken Rice is one of my comfort dishes, so anything that serves this dish automatically gets a star from me. The fact that the Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice stall received the Michelin Bib Gourmand Award is a welcome bonus.
Just like what I would expect, the Hainanese chicken here is smooth and juicy, and I also like that it doesn’t taste as spicy as the other renditions. Of course, the rice deserves some recognition as well; it’s fluffy and tasty and not as oily as the others.
This stall also has other offerings, such as roasted chicken rice, lemon chicken rice, and bean sprouts, so feel free to try them out if you have some cash to spare.
Traveler Trip: This stall will close once they sell out, so once again, be sure to come early if you want to try their dishes out!
Jian Bo Shui Kueh
- Location: Floor 2, #02-05
- Operating Hours: 6 am to 8 pm (daily)
- Estimated Cost: S$3 for five pieces, S$4.80 for eight, and S$6 for ten
Ah, the Shui Kueh—with its chewy rice cakes and savory preserved radish, it’s definitely one of the go-to snacks for many Singaporeans, including me. So, if you like this dish, be sure to stop by Jian Bo Shui Kueh in Tiong Bahru Food Center.
One thing I learned that Jian Bo does differently is that they use vegetable oil instead of pork lard, and this change makes their Shui Kueh taste a bit different than the rest.
But don’t let this turn you away because Jian Bo’s version of Shui Kuek is just as addictive. I could never get enough of the oily glob on top of the rice cakes as well as the mildly salty radishes—I always end up licking my plate when I finish!
Traveler Trip: This stall is prone to long lines, and in my experience, some of the aunties get really irritable when the queue gets long. If you ever find yourself in this scenario, just make sure to smile and be patient!
Lor Mee 178
- Location: Floor 2, #02-03
- Operating Hours: 7 am to 1:45 pm (Thursdays to Tuesdays), closed on Wednesdays
- Estimated Cost: S$4 for one bowl, S$5 for extra toppings
Speaking of hearty comfort dishes, Lor Mee is another one of my favorites, and I’ve tried as many stalls offering this dish. So, it really makes me happy when I learned that Lor Mee 178 was acknowledged by the Michelin Guide because I love it.
I find Lor Mee 178’s thick, flat yellow noodles and incredibly viscous gravy to be well-balanced in terms of flavor, but I know a few friends who are a bit underwhelmed because the taste is somewhat on the safe side (aka not as spicy as they want).
They also think it’s a bit lacking because the braised pork belly strips included in the bowl are usually very thin and it doesn’t have ngo hiang. Personally, I don’t mind the thin strips and the lack of toppings, but it’s still definitely worth noting.
Traveler Trip: If you’re like my friends and prefer your Lor Mee to be loaded, I suggest getting additional toppings, such as fried shark fritters, braised eggs, and fishcakes. They will add so much flavor and texture to your dish.
Koh Brother Pig’s Organ Soup
- Location: Floor 2, #02-29
- Operating Hours: 9:30 am to 2:30 pm, 5 to 7:30 pm (Tuesdays to Sundays); closed on Mondays
- Estimated Cost: S$4–5
Are you looking to taste a unique dish? Then you might be interested in trying out a pig’s organ soup from Koh Brother in Tiong Bahru Food Center.
I understand if you hesitate to try this one; I did the same thing when I first heard about this stall. But this stall has been listed in Michelin Bib Gourmand Singapore, and when I finally tried its signature dish, I had to admit the Michelin nod was well deserved.
The pig’s organ soup here is Teochew-style clear soup, and it’s made from pig bones, offal, and other organs, such as the liver, intestines, and pork balls. Salted mustard vegetables are also added here.
One thing I didn’t expect from this soup is sweetness. Of course, it’s salty from the vegetables, but the pig bones actually made the soup a bit sweet, and I really did like how the two flavors balanced each other out.
The organs also add an interesting texture, and I like dunking them in the available sauces for a more intense flavor.
Traveler Trip: I suggest you also order a plate of glutinous rice with stuffed chestnuts wrapped in pig intestine to go with your soup. The sweet and savory taste of this dish makes the dining experience even better.
If You Want Something Savory
While the Michelin-recognized stalls mentioned above are definitely worth trying out, Tiong Bahru Food Center has other underrated options that offer tasty, savory meals.
The following are some of the ones that I’ve tried and loved, and I think you might be interested in checking them out as well.
Qing Feng Yuan
- Location: Floor 2, #02-49
- Operating Hours: 9 am to 7:30 pm (Tuesdays to Sundays), closed on Mondays
- Estimated Cost: S$4.50 for Batang Fish Head Soup, other soups cost S$5
I’m not much of a fish soup kind of person, but I have to admit that after I tasted the fish soup at Qing Feng Yuan, I’m so close to changing my mind.
Most of the fish soups I’ve tried are usually on the saltier side, and I’d need to add evaporated milk to cut through the saltiness. But the one I tried at Qing Feng Yuan tasted mellow, and the chunks of fish included were so plump and well-seasoned.
I also really liked the seafood soup sold here. This one had a slight hint of sweetness, thanks to the sea prawns, Lala clams, and bits of fried Batang fish—and if you know anything about me, I always have a fondness for anything sweet.
All in all, Qing Feng Yuan made me realize that eating fish soup can be a comforting experience. I’m not saying I’m a big fan, but I do like the idea of sipping fish soup during stormy weather.
Traveler Trip: You might want to order their homemade ngoh hiang as well. The crunchy exterior and meaty interior adds texture and pairs well with the soup.
Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice
- Location: Floor 2, #02-67/68
- Operating Hours: 8 am to 2:45 pm (Fridays to Wednesdays), closed on Thursdays
- Estimated Cost: S$2 for a plate of pork belly, S$2 for a plate of Chap Chye, S$0.50 for a cup of rice
When it comes to Hainanese Curry Rice, I have to say that Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice in Tiong Bahru Food Center serves some of the best renditions in Singapore. If you don’t believe me, just look at the queue here; it can get very long.
What impresses me about this stall is that their batches of curry are prepared for days because there’s so much to do. And this dedication pays off because the curry they serve you is incredibly smooth and aromatic.
When the curry is drenched over plain rice, it might seem messy, but my goodness, the flavor just hits all the spots. With its mild spice level, creamy coconut taste, and refreshing ginger flavor, Loo’s curry rice is the perfect example of hearty indulgence.
Traveler Trip: In my experience, most of their bestselling dishes sell out by 1 pm, so I suggest coming earlier so that you won’t miss out on anything.
Zhong Yu Yuan Wei Wanton Mee
- Location: Floor 2, #02-30
- Operating Hours: 7 am to 1 pm (Wednesdays to Thursdays, Saturdays to Sundays), closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays
- Estimated Cost: S$5 for regular wanton noodles, S$6 or S$12 for premium
Zhong Yu Yuan Wei Wanton Mee is more locally known as the Bu Jian Tian Char Siew Stall because the primary meat uses is bu jian tian, which literally translates to “roast pork that doesn’t see the sky.”
Essentially, the meat used here is from the armpit of the pig, and it’s marinated for hours before being roasted over charcoal. And let me tell you, the taste is so good: it has a nice char on the outside, and it also features a slight, honey-sweet taste that I love.
The noodles that come with the char siew are also great: they’re long and springy, and together with the sauce, they explode with savory goodness.
Meanwhile, their dumpling soup is just okay. I mean, it’s not bad per se; it’s just that it’s pretty average flavor-wise, and personally, I would need more seasonings for it to really stand out.
Traveler Trip: Waiting times here can get really long—even if there are only a few of you in line. So, just be patient if you want to order something here.
Hui Ji Fishball Noodles and Yong Tau Foo
- Location: Floor 2, #02-44
- Operating Hours: 5:30 am to 2:30 pm (Thursdays to Tuesdays), closed on Wednesdays
- Estimated Cost: S$3–4
Fishball noodles are some of the most beloved street foods in Singapore, and this stall in Singapore serves one of my favorite versions of this snack.
Hui Ji’s fishball noodles have all the essential characteristics: springy noodles and bouncy fishballs. But where this stall stands out is its sauce: for the fishball noodles, it’s vinegary, while the sauce for the Yong Tau Foo is a bit sweet and savory.
On their own, they don’t sound like much, but it’s when you combine them together that the magic happens. The new sauce is jam-packed with all the flavors balancing each other, and it also smells heavenly—truly, a combination you won’t want to miss out on.
Traveler Trip: In my opinion, the fishball noodles work great as a breakfast, so you might want to come here early in the morning.
Hwa Yuen Porridge
- Location: Floor 2, #02-74
- Operating Hours: 7 am to 3 pm (Tuesdays to Sundays), closed on Mondays
- Estimated Cost: S$3–7
Whenever it’s cold outside, nothing satisfies my soul other than consuming a hot, hearty porridge. And that’s why Hwa Yuen Porridge at Tiong Bahru Food Center has a soft spot in my heart.
The best thing about Hwa Yuen Porridge is that it has a good variety of porridges—congee if you want to be specific. There’s the plain one that we all know, but you can also find congees with fish, fried intestine, and pork.
My favorite has to be the century egg congee. The richness of the century egg really adds a new layer of flavor to the otherwise simple porridge.
Chicken congee is a close second. Its sesame oil aroma is enough to make my mouth water.
Traveler Trip: Do make sure that you squeeze a lime on your congee before eating. The lime’s zest will undoubtedly make the flavors stand out even more.
Tiong Bahru Fried Kway Teow
- Location: Floor 2, #02-11
- Operating Hours: 11 am to 10 pm (Fridays to Mondays), closed on Tuesdays to Thursdays)
- Estimated Cost: S$3–5 per serving
Generally speaking, Fried Kway Teow isn’t exactly my favorite dish, but I do like eating it from time to time with my family. So, whenever we come to Tiong Bahru Market, it’s practically our tradition to also get a steaming plate of Kway Teow from this stall.
One thing I like about the Kway Teow here is that its taste is a perfect combination of sweet, savory, and salty. The noodles also have a springiness to them, so it’s kind of fun to slurp and chew them.
Traveler Trip: Portions served here are incredibly generous. So, if you’re with someone, you might want to order just one plate because it’s probably enough to make the two of you full.
Tiong Bahru Lee Hong Kee Cantonese Roasted
- Location: Floor 2, #02-60
- Operating Hours: 9 am to 8 pm (Fridays to Wednesdays), closed on Thursdays
- Estimated Cost: S$4–7.50
Whenever I’m starving, I like going to Tiong Bahru Lee Hong Kee Cantonese Roasted because I can easily stuff my face with its dishes and feel satisfied afterward.
This stall offers pork, chicken, and duck options, so you can enjoy a variety when dining here. Before they even serve your dishes, you can already smell the wonderful aroma, and when you take a bite, you can taste the smoky char on the meat.
And the sauce—I have to say the sauce is the game-changer. Its flavor is a combination of sweet and herbal, and when you mix it with the spicy chili, it complements really well.
Seriously, I always end up ordering several cups of rice and additional orders of roasted meat because I can’t get enough.
Traveler Trip: From my experience, this stall attracts long lines no matter what time, so I suggest preparing yourself for the worst when you visit.
Tow Kwar Pop
- Location: Floor 2, #02-06
- Operating Hours: 9 am to 3 pm (Tuesdays to Sundays), closed on Mondays
- Estimated Cost: S$4–5
Are you just looking for a light yet satisfying snack? Then, I highly recommend Tow Kwar Pop.
If you’re unaware, Tow Kwar Pop are tofu puffs that are freshly toasted over charcoal. The tofu puffs are then stuffed with vegetables (usually cucumber and bean sprouts) and then finally topped with peanuts.
I love snacking on Tow Kwar Pop whenever I get the chance. There’s something addictive about the crunch and the burst of freshness inside the tofu.
Plus, the sauces, especially the sweet and tangy one, just elevate their flavors even more.
Traveler Trip: I actually use Tow Kwar Pop as an appetizer before I eat a hearty meal in the food center.
Min Nan Pork Ribs and Prawn Noodles
- Location: Floor 2, #02-31
- Operating Hours: 8 am to 2:30 pm (Tuesdays to Sundays), closed on Mondays
- Estimated Cost: S$5–10
If hearty indulgence is what you’re looking for, then Min Nan Pork Ribs and Prawn Noodles may just have what you need.
A bowl from this stall feels like a warm hug. The pork ribs are so tender that they fall off the bone, the prawn just bursts with so much flavor, and if you’re ordering the soup version, the broth is hot and rich.
I actually prefer the dry version of the stall’s signature dish. Adding lots of chili to it just hits the spot for me.
But when the weather is rainy, the soup version is undeniably the better choice.
Traveler Trip: For a bit more flavor, I suggest adding a bit of light soy sauce to your bowl. Of course, if you love all things spicy, don’t hesitate to add lots of chilies.
Tiong Bahru Pau
- Location: Floor 2, #02-18/19
- Operating Hours: 5 am to 7 pm (Mondays to Saturdays), 5 am to 3 pm (Sundays)
- Estimated Cost: S$7.60 for two big bao, two char siew bao, and four siew mai
Tiong Bahru Pau is another perfect place for a little snacking. This stall offers several kinds of food fingers: there’s the classic bao, char siew bao, and siew mai.
I have a soft spot for the big bao because it’s stuffed with juicy pork, so it’s very filling even though it’s just a snack.
I also really like the char siew bao. It has the same savory flavors as the big bao, but it’s also on the sweet side.
Traveler Trip: If you’re on a budget, eating a bao—or two—here is more than enough to fill your stomach for a few hours.
Skirt and Dirt
- Location: Floor 2, #02-66
- Operating Hours: 11:30 am to 8 pm (daily)
- Estimated Cost: S$4.80–8.80
Noodles, soups, and Hainanese chicken rice meals are delicious and filling, but sometimes, you’re not in the mood for them. Instead, you’re craving a classic Western meal—burgers and fries—and if this is your case, Skirt and Dirt is here to serve you.
Skirt and Dirt is actually on the more expensive side of the food center, but it’s still worth checking out all the same. Their bestselling dish is the Cheese Skirt Beef Burger, but they also have other burger kinds available.
Whenever I have the cash to spare, I like to indulge in their Truffle Mushroom Swiss Cheese and Rockets or their Hamburg Steak and Sausage with Rice. By the time I finish, I’m so full, I’m ready to go into a food coma.
Traveler Trip: To keep things interesting, I recommend ordering the Burger of the Month. You never know what it is until it’s served, so you might be in for a little surprise!
If You Want Something Sweet
Ah, yes, desserts—these are my favorite part of any meal. I know it’s essential to eat vegetables and proteins, but sweet things will always have my heart.
Luckily, the Tiong Bahru Food Center doesn’t disappoint when it comes to desserts. There are so many stalls here offering delectable cupcakes and luscious drinks, and out of the ones I’ve tried, the following have caught my attention.
Liang Liang Garden Desserts
- Location: Floor 2, #02-75
- Operating Hours: 11 am to 9 pm (daily)
- Estimated Cost: S$2–5
Ice kachang is one of my guilty pleasures—especially during the summer—and if it’s yours too, then you’ll love what Liang Liang Garden Desserts has to offer.
This stall comes with a wide variety of ice kachang (shaved ice cream) to try, and after careful deliberation, I have to say the Milo Dinosaur one is my favorite.
Aside from the fact that I just really love Milo, I enjoy the texture that comes with the beans, ice, and powder.
Other ice kachang variants worth trying are the Shark Fin Cheng Ting and the Honey Pearl Aloe Vera. No matter which you choose, you’ll definitely end up with a sugar rush after all this.
Traveler Trip: Try to consume your ice kachang as fast as possible. You wouldn’t want to consume it once it’s melted (I mean, it’s still delicious, but it doesn’t have the interesting texture anymore)!
Teck Seng Soya Bean Milk
- Location: Floor 2, #02-69
- Operating Hours: 4:30 am to 12 pm (Tuesdays to Sundays), closed on Mondays
- Estimated Cost: S$1–5
When the weather is so hot the pavement looks like it’s steaming, you better order a soya bean milk drink here to cool down. There’s just something smooth-tasting and fresh about their drinks here, which is why I like coming back here whenever I can.
My go-to order has to be the “Michael Jackson,” which is essentially soya bean milk with glass jelly.
In addition to the sweet flavor, I love chewing the glass jelly in between sips. It’s just so fun!
Traveler Trip: This stall tends to sell out before its closing time, so be sure to stop by earlier than you’re initially planning!
Long Ji Soya Bean
- Location: Floor 2, #02-63
- Operating Hours: 6:30 am to 4 pm (daily)
- Estimated Cost: under S$10
Speaking of delicious soya bean milk drinks with grass jelly, the Long Ji Soya Bean stall is another option you can try. The drinks here are just as refreshing and sweet, which is more than enough to satisfy my sweet cravings.
That said, I have to say that the highlight of this stall is the cold beancurd. It’s incredibly smooth and fine, and since it’s smothered in sugar syrup, it’s just an explosion of sweetness when you eat it.
Traveler Trip: If you think that your beancurd isn’t sweet enough, you can always request more sugar syrup.
Wang Wang Sugar Cane
- Location: Floor 2, #02-27
- Operating Hours: 7 am to 3 pm (daily)
- Estimated Cost: S$1.90–6.30
Have you ever tried drinking a sugarcane drink? If not, then you’re definitely missing out, and one way to rectify this is by ordering a drink from Wang Wang Sugar Cane.
Sugarcane juice actually doesn’t taste that much different from your typical drink: it’s slightly sweet and refreshing when you drink it during a hot day.
But drinking sugarcane is still worth it because it’s healthy. Sugarcane is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants!
Traveler Trip: I suggest ordering the sugarcane with lemon. The zing from the lemon really adds a nice kick to the sugary drink!