10 best hawker stalls to try at Commonwealth Crescent Food Centre
While this may not be the most easily accessible of hawker centres, you’ll be rewarded with a plethora of scrumptious dishes for your troubles.
Commonwealth Crescent Food Centre initially opened in 1969 and was most recently upgraded in 1998. It’s a bright and breezy space, and makes for an ideal place to graze on everything from old-school desserts to crowd-favourite burgers boasting oh-so-succulent patties. Here are some notable vendors to check out.
Commonwealth Crescent Food Centre | 31 Commonwealth Crescent
Recently back in business after a brief hiatus and short stint as a nasi lemak stall, Hammee’s doles out restaurant-quality burgers at wallet-friendly prices (roughly $10 including fries). Besides their signature juicy cheeseburgers, they also do a mean fried chicken burger and a solid fish burger made using 100 per cent Alaskan pollock coated with crispy panko crumbs. Try not to visit during peak periods if you can, as the wait can often stretch up to over an hour.
Hong Kee Porridge #02-89
Fuel up on a cold, rainy day with a nourishing meal of piping-hot porridge from this popular outfit. Hong Kee Porridge serves comforting bowls of traditional, Cantonese-style porridge highlighting various ingredients such as pork, century egg, fish and cuttlefish. Our favourite is the pork option. It’s packed with sliced pork, minced pork and liver, plus a dusting of spring onions and white pepper to finish. Prices start at $3.
Asip Drinks #02-85
The vendor is known for its vibrant cold-pressed juices (around $3) made with all manner of fresh fruits and veggies. Create your own concoction by mixing and matching ingredients, or opt for one of their signature drinks. We like the refreshing Aircon that features cucumber, lime and mint; plus the ABC Yakult, which jazzes up the classic apple, beetroot and carrot juice with a hit of the beloved probiotic drink. Don’t forget to take a picture of your colourful beverage for the ‘gram.
Jian Kang Noodles #02-77
Feast on springy wanton noodles and comforting bowls of dumpling soup at this outfit. For upwards of $3, you can get a plate of springy, al dente egg noodles coated in a light sauce, and accompanied by slivers of char siew, plump wantons and some leafy greens. You may choose to add pork ribs for a heartier meal, and those who want a spicy kick should grab some pickled green chillies or extra chilli sauce. Prefer a soup dish? There’s the dumpling soup with large and juicy pockets filled with plenty of meaty goodness.
Henry’s Chicken Rice #02-84
This chicken rice stall is one of the food centre’s more popular establishments. It’s run by an elderly couple (fun fact: they reportedly named the stall after their son) that’s been dishing out their version of the humble staple for over two decades and counting. A helping of the specialty roasted chicken rice comes with lightly flavoured rice, pieces of fresh cucumber and chicken that’s moreish, moist and tender. Be sure to load up on the stellar chilli sauce as well. Prices start at $2.50 for a single serving.
Salai by Meatdrop #02-71
If you’re after a hearty, meat-centric feast, then make a beeline for Salai by Meatdrop. This Muslim-owned establishment doles out a bombastic range of meat dishes. There are wagyu burgers complete with thick, juicy patties; grilled steaks; smoked lamb ribs; and nachos smothered in pulled beef and various fixings. Expect to pay upwards of $10.
Liang Liang Fried Carrot Cake #02-69
For $3, you’ll receive a heaping plate of white or black carrot cake that’s been fried to perfection. The white option is made with lots of egg and salted preserved radish. Meanwhile, the black version is coated in a generous layer of dark sauce for a pleasing sweet-salty taste. Both offerings have a lovely fluffy texture and a good amount of wok hei.
Chinatown Ah Po Braised Duck Rice #02-95
A favourite among the area’s residents, Chinatown Ah Po Braised Duck Rice specialises in just one dish. The long queue you’ll likely encounter during the busy lunch period is a testament to that fact. Each serving includes succulent duck meat swimming in a scrumptious sweet-salty braising sauce and topped with a few sprigs of fresh cilantro, plus fragrant rice. Order an additional braised egg if you wish, and don’t forget to grab some tangy chilli sauce as well. Anticipate forking out about $3.
Huang Da Fu #02-94
Huang Da Fu is known for its affordable, top-quality minced meat noodles. For $3, you'll get a bowl of noodles of your choosing, with each strand coated in a delicious mix of chilli, black vinegar and other sauces. Firm meatballs, pork slices, mushrooms, liver and a generous amount of minced meat complete the dish. The joint operates pretty much round the clock between Monday and Saturday (from 6am to 3pm, and again from 6pm to 3am), making it a convenient choice if your cravings hit at odd hours.
Xi Le Ting #02-70
End your meal with a sweet treat from Xi Le Ting, where nostalgic Chinese desserts are served by an adorable elderly owner. Go straight for the signature cheng tng, which is just $1. Your order will be delivered in a blue-and-white bowl filled with dried longan, dried persimmon, white fungus, barley and sago floating in a sweet liquid. Other offerings include green bean soup, red bean soup and sweet wheat porridge – the latter is pretty hard to find these days, so do take the chance to try it here.
This article was first published in The Singapore Women's Weekly (womensweekly.com.sg/).