Food Tasting: Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre & Market at 2 Bukit Panjang Ring Rd, Singapore 679947

Do you know that hawker centres are like pandas in Singapore? Loads of these public 'al fresco' eating places were built in the 70s, 80s when town centres sprung up in estates like Toa Payoh and Queenstown, but they have since fell out of popularity when food courts and privately-owned coffee shops sprung up. That's why there's none of them in newer estates like Punggol or Bukit Panjang, where more and more young couples are moving to. However during our 2015 Budget announcement, the government announced 20 more hawker centres to be built by 2027, which is good news. And the first of those 20 to open last year in December is the new hawker centre and market in Bukit Panjang by NTUC Foodfare, which saw over 27 stalls and seats 500.

Credit: The Straits Times

It was to my amusement when I was invited to a food tasting session at the new Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre last month, as I have never actually been to a hawker tasting session before. I asked my father along, the original Foodie in our family - since I know Pa Pa Cheong is quite the expert in hawker food!

Here we have the "Die die must try" tasting menu of all 27 stalls, which means we will be tasting... 54 dishes in 3 hours! That was not expected - I first thought we are going to taste the first page, without realizing there's a second. It shall become known as, the day Alexis tried 54 hawker dishes in 3 hours.

So we were supposed to try 2 dishes from each stall and pick the best one from each and at the end of the session vote for the top 3 best stalls. Actually the selection from between each stall was a little unnecessary, since a lot of them are just known for one or two dishes, but still it was a fun way to compare/judge. I might also have to say that the judging could be a little unfair as we were hungrier at the beginning compared to the end and could end up overlooking them. Here are my tasting 'notes' (click to expand).

Bukit Panjang Hawker CentreBukit Panjang Hawker Centre

The hawker centre itself is very bright and airy, with super high ceilings. Prices for the food items are also considerably cheaper than other hawker centres, with dishes ranging from $2.50 to $3.50!

And what's the verdict, you'll ask? Here I have indicated with a thumbs up on the dishes I liked per stall (each 2 across the row are from the same stall). The name of the stall can be referred to in the notes above. Sorry, 54 is too many for me to list down. Of note - Abang Teh Tarik Stall #6 is not pictured here, but I really liked the teh tarik from there - not too sweet and really thick and fragrant! Must try! For now here's some food porn. 

Wow, this is also possibly the longest post I have ever done on this blog. Many firsts here. Most of the hawker food really impressed me with their quality and value-for-money. While I read from MissTamChiak that the lor mee from #9, braised meat rice from #25, teochew noodles from #13, big pau from #13 and ban mian from #16 are her top 5, I could only agree with her ban mian pick. I found the lor mee to be rather odd-tasting (off day?) and while the rest are ok, it didn't stand out much. 

My personal pick for the top 3 hawker stalls to visit are:

1) #16 辛板面 Xin Ban Mian, because the pork belly in the Ban Mian was really quite special, and I liked the texture of the noodles - really silky soft and delicious!
2) #11 Yew Lee Wanton Noodle because of their Ipoh Horfun, which had really delicious gravy on well-cooked rice noodles
3) #23 Father & Son's Fried Carrot Cake and Fried Kway Teow - really nicely fried with hints of wok hei, springy noodles that aren't too wet nor dry.
+ Also don't forget to try the teh tarik from #6 Abang Teh Tarik!

I wonder who won the voting contest? Well, let your tastebuds vote for yourself - have a go at Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre if you live nearby and treat yourself to an affordable, delicious hawker meal!

Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre & Market
2 Bukit Panjang Ring Rd, Singapore 679947
6am to 10.30pm daily

Thanks to The Curator and NTUC FoodFare for inviting me.

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