Bukit Merah View FC Guide: Blazingly good curry and springy handmade fishballs
Bukit Merah View FC Guide: Blazingly good curry and springy handmade fishballs
Bukit Merah View FC Guide: Blazingly good curry and springy handmade fishballs
Good food is worth the wait – and the effort! Granted that Bukit Merah View Food Centre is not the most convenient to get to, with the nearest MRT (Tiong Bahru) being an approximate ten minutes' walk away. However, you’ll find that the trip will be more than worth it, especially with the food centre’s bevy of popular stalls.
Here are some stalls to check out when you’re there:
#01-06 Bukit Merah View Blk 115
Opening Hours: Tue - Sun: 10am-10pm, Closed on Mon
Nothing says hawker food more than a good carrot cake and oyster omelette. Find both at Lai Heng, a humble stall whipping up a feast at Bukit Merah View for more than five years.
You can’t go wrong with their carrot cake ($3), which comes in either the white or black version. The carrot cake is served in two large, fluffy omelette-like discs, with fat pieces of radish interspersed with the golden egg. When cut, it falls apart easily, releasing wisps of steam with each slice.
Each mouthful is nice and creamy, with a good amount of egg in each bite. The pieces of radish are soft and chewy at the same time, with the topping of spring onions adding an inviting pop of colour.
The oyster omelette ($5) has a nice texture to it. The oysters are large and plump, hidden within a mass of crispy charred batter of flour mixed with eggs. I like that I don’t have to dig far to uncover the oysters; the number of oysters given is indeed rather generous given the price of the dish! However, I only wish that both dishes have a more distinct wok hei.
Other than the above, Lai Heng also serves fried hokkien mee, char kway teow and prawn omelette.
Wen Xin Fish Soup Lu Wei
#01-40 Bukit Merah View Blk 115
Opening Hours: Wed - Sun: 11am-2pm, 4.30pm-7pm, Closed on Mon & Tue
If the long queues at Wen Xin Fish Soup Lu Wei are any indication, you know you’re in for a treat! In fact, this stall is so popular that pre-orders start streaming in as soon as the stall opens for business in the late morning, and again in the late afternoon after a 2.5-hour break in between.
The stall owner is a little curt and unfriendly, giving off a slightly intimidating vibe. However, he does manage to deal with the high volume of orders in an efficient way, so kudos to that!
The sliced fish soup ($3) contains a generous number of thick Batang fish slices, which are fresh and firm. The broth is light without being salty, containing substantial amounts of lettuce, salted vegetables, tofu and tomatoes. Each bowl of soup is made-to-order, guaranteeing freshness with each mouthful.
Complete your meal with an additional bowl of rice for $0.30. You can also choose to dig into the fish porridge and sliced fish bee hoon or mee sua soup, with a side of mei cai. The pig’s trotter was sold out on all three of our visits to Bukit Merah View Food Centre, but it’s definitely on our list for next time!
786 Yusoff Mee Mutton Soup and Briyani
#01-02 Bukit Merah View Blk 115
Opening Hours: Mon - Sun: 6am-10pm
With an extensive menu of over 30 dishes, it’s easy to be spoilt for choice at Yusoff Mee/Mutton Soup/Briyani.
The beehoon goreng ($4) is a piping hot mess of noodles, the orangey-red colour of which is highly appetising – both in terms of looks and taste. The noodles are springy, containing a mix of ingredients such as eggs, pineapples and cabbage.
The dish does have a decent amount of heat, which kicks in as a mildly fiery aftertaste. The side of cucumber and tomato sauce helps to cut through this spice, as well as to neutralise the slight saltiness of the noodles.
The mutton biryani ($6) is one of my favourite finds, comprising a large portion of basmati rice topped with a whole chicken thigh and drumstick. The basmati rice grains are long and smooth, falling apart easily when scooped up with a spoon. The yellow rice is tasty and addictive, with the taste of the spices really shining through. The corn kernels mixed into the rice add a nice sweet crunch as well.
The rice goes well with the accompanying curry, which is mild and slightly sweet. However, I wish the curry wasn’t served at room temperature; I would have much preferred the curry to be served hot.
The chicken is tender, easily falling off the bone. The side portion of vegetables is a nice complement to the rice and chicken. The crispy papadum is also a nice touch! If you’d like, you can even add on an extra portion of mutton for $4.
Bukit Merah View Fishball Minced Meat Noodle
#01-45 Bukit Merah View Blk 115
Opening Hours: Wed - Mon: 7am-11pm, Closed on Tue
Who doesn’t love a piping bowl of fishball noodles, no matter the time of day? Drop by Bukit Merah View Fishball Minced Meat Noodle for a satisfying bowl of fishball soup, pork ribs and prawn noodles or laksa.
The mee pok dry ($3) is deliciously fragrant, with piquant notes of sour vinegar wafting from the bowl. The noodles are springy and eggy, with a silky-smooth texture. Do ask for chilli to be added to your bowl; the spice adds an addictive edge to the dish, leaving you wanting more.
The noodles are topped with beansprouts, slices of fishcake, minced meat, as well as a few pieces of lard, which offer a nice crunch. The fishballs have a good bite to them; however, I feel that they can be softer. The same goes for the meatball, which is a little too chewy. The soup, on the other hand, is refreshing without being oily.
The satay beehoon ($3) is, regrettably, a disappointment. No ingredients are discernible at first glance, hidden by a smattering of crushed peanuts and copious amounts of sauce. Only upon mixing the ingredients will you discover the noodles and pieces of cuttlefish within. Despite having a thick gooey texture, the sauce does not taste fresh and is short on flavour. Sadly, what the dish lacks in presentation, it does also lack in taste.
The Food Steps
#01-55 Bukit Merah View Blk 115
Offering classic Western fare, the Food Steps is an eye-catching stall adorned with a bright red signboard. With no stipulations on opening and closing hours, the stallowner operates his stall as and when he pleases. Hence, if you happen to see The Food Steps open for business, do grab the opportunity and go for it!
The spring chicken ($8) is nicely seasoned, with a crisp skin that isn’t too greasy. The dish is fragrant; however, the meat does tend to be slightly salty. The chicken is served in its entirety, with deep cuts along its body to facilitate easy eating. As with all spring chickens, the chicken itself is small, making for a satisfying meal that’s suitable for one person. The chicken comes with a soft bun, as well as a bed of tangy, refreshing coleslaw.
The Fish Burger ($2.50) is a tad disappointing, consisting of a typical frozen fish fillet sandwiched between two fluffy bread buns. The fish fillet sits on a square of cheese; I wish the cheese could be a little more melted, which would have added an extra gooey element to the dish. The onion mayonnaise sauce adds a nice sweet crunch, which together with the sesame seeds on the buns, offer an array of interesting textures.
However, I would say that this no-frills dish is pretty decent for the low price of $2.50! If you wish, you can top up an additional $2.50 for a choice of two sides.
Happy Snacks Claypot Rice
#01-32 Bukit Merah View Blk 115
Only order from this stall if you have time to spare, as the dishes here are cooked to order. However, wait it out and you’ll be rewarded with a large, steaming claypot filled to the brim – with flavourful rice that has absorbed all the juices of the ingredients it contains. Seasoned with dark soya sauce, oil and a touch of chilli, the rice grains are cooked from scratch in the claypot before the other ingredients are added.
The claypot rice ($10) comes with plenty of ingredients, such as gloriously fatty pork belly, mushrooms, lup cheong, chicken chunks and more. The rice is mouth-wateringly aromatic, with a delightful smoky flavour.
The ingredients, however, do tend to be a little on the salty side, with the chicken pieces being a little too small for my liking. The star of the show, however, doesn’t disappoint; this comes in the form of guo ba, or the scorched rice that sticks to the bottom of the claypot, which is in abundance.
The claypot sesame oil chicken ($3.50) offers sizable chunks of chicken, which are cooked till tender. For the low price, I would say that this dish has great value for money! The chicken pieces glisten with a nice sheen, drenched in a thick and viscous sauce. The sauce isn’t oily but I would have liked a little more sesame taste. However, the sauce is rather salty; it’s hence best to have it together with the claypot rice for a better balance of flavours.
Weng Kee Hainan Boneless Chicken Rice
#01-34 Bukit Merah View Blk 115
At Weng Kee, the steamed chicken rice ($3) comes with a plate of rice, as well as a plate of succulent chicken that’s drizzled with a generous serving of soy sauce. The chicken pieces are tasty yet tough, despite looking soft on the outside. And true to its name, the chicken pieces are all de-boned expertly.
The chicken comes accompanied with slices of cucumber and sprigs of coriander, with just a dash of sesame oil. The rice is fragrant and smooth; I only wish that the rice grains are slightly stickier. The rice is served with a side portion of achar, containing a variety of pickled vegetables and fruits.
Have the chicken rice with a combination of chilli sauce, sweet dark soy sauce and ginger. The chilli is nice and tangy, helping to cut through the mild saltiness of the chicken. If you’d like, you can even complete your meal with the thai style beancurd, crystal chicken feet, or a portion of chicken gizzards.
Sisaket Thai Food
#01-01 Bukit Merah View Blk 115
Opening Hours: fri - Wed: 10.30am-9.30pm, Closed on Thu
When the owner, who is Thai, arrived in Singapore around 14 years ago, she opened her first stall at Maxwell Food Centre in 2014, where her dishes were extremely well received. She then expanded to Bukit Merah and Telok Blangah Crescent, where her success continues. The stall owner is cordial and forthcoming with menu recommendations; you’ll be spoilt for choice with their rather extensive menu!
The basil pork rice ($5) is a sure crowd pleaser, offering a good balance of textures. The long beans are fresh and crunchy, infused with tantalising hints of holy basil. The minced meat is tender and nicely seasoned, topped with a fried egg that comes with a still runny yolk. The dish does have a good fiery kick, which complements the rice well.
The tom yum fried rice ($5) is fragrant and tasty. It contains a good mix of ingredients, such as pieces of egg, tomato, green vegetables and fresh prawns. The tomato and leafy vegetables add a nice pop of colour to the dish, the tom yum taste of which isn’t too overpowering. However, the dish is only mildly spicy. I would have liked a little more heat to elevate the overall taste. However, this can easily be fixed with the addition of more chilli powder that’s available upon request.
Other than the classic dishes above, tuck into a seafood salad or sweet and sour fish, and finish off your meal with a decadent mango sticky rice.
Na Na Curry (Marina South)
#01-47 Bukit Merah View Blk 115
Opening Hours: Mon - Sat: 11am-7pm, Closed on Sun
Much like the curry that it offers, the Na Na Curry stall boasts a rich history. Dating back to 1989, the first Na Na Curry stall was established in Marina South Food Centre. Fast forward to today, and Na Na Curry has since expanded to five different outlets, including the one at Bukit Merah – which has even been listed in the Michelin Bib Gourmand’s Singapore Guide!
Staying true to the original recipe, Na Na Curry is famed for its potent and spicy Peranakan-style curries. Be prepared to break into a sweat when tasting the curry; it’s extremely fiery, both in terms of colour and taste.
The curry chicken ($3.50) is soft and tender, with meat falling easily off the bone. Have a choice of either chicken breast, or chicken thigh and drumstick, which comes with half a large potato. There are copious amounts of chilli oil floating on the surface of the curry, which is thick, rich, and delightfully mouth-numbing.
The curry vegetables ($3) consists of a good mix of soft vegetables and tau pok that aren’t too limp. I especially like the smooth consistency of the curry; relish every bit of it with a plate of rice ($0.50) or a generous portion of bread ($0.50 or $1), which is nicely toasted and sliced into thin pieces for dipping.
The best part of the whole experience? The incredibly friendly owner who will engage you in cheerful banter as she dishes out bowls of robust curry.
#01-39 Bukit Merah View Blk 115
Opening Hours: Mon - Sun: 1pm-Midnight
Grab your supper fix at R&D Wanton Noodles, which is open until 12am daily! Their menu is simple and fuss-free; comprising only four items: wanton or dumpling noodles, as well as wanton or dumpling soup.
The wanton noodle ($3) comes with moist and eggy noodles that sit in a pool of dark sauce. The noodles are cooked al-dente, making them firm and springy. The dish comes with a generous number of lean char siew slices which, albeit marinated nicely, are a little thin for my liking.
Help yourself to a few pieces of pickled green chillies available at the stall, which add a nice tartness to the overall taste. The noodles also come with an additional bowl of soup, which contains three plump dumplings. The dumplings are meaty and chewy, encased in thin and soft skin.
The dumpling soup ($3) is served steaming hot, with smoke billowing from the soup long after it’s dished out. The soup comes with five large dumplings, which are filled with a chewy and earthy minced meat mixture. The soup, however, is a little on the sweet side, which might taste a little peculiar due to the savoury nature of the dish.
Hock Ann Prawn Noodle Lor Mee
#01-36 Bukit Merah View Blk 115
Opening Hours: Mon - Sun: 1pm-11.30pm
True to its namesake, Hock Ann Prawn Noodle/Lor Mee only sells… prawn noodles and lor mee. With such a simple menu, it’s little wonder that the dishes are executed to near perfection by a cordial stallowner who greets each customer with a smile on his face.
The prawn mee ($3) is irresistibly aromatic, with a delectable prawn stock that’s addictive to the very last drop. The soup embodies a strong prawn taste, which stops short of being too overpowering. In fact, the taste of the dish feels light and clean, which is something that one wouldn’t expect from the rich prawn overtones.
The noodles are silky smooth, accompanied by pieces of lean meat, fish cake, as well as prawns that are shelled and halved. Eating the prawn mee is a delicious and fuss-free affair, which is exactly how we like it!
The lor mee ($3) is a thick, gooey and savoury mess, consisting of a bed of broad noodles engulfed in a starchy sauce that clings to the noodles. The gravy is a glorious blend of spices, with a strong garlic taste. The noodles are chewy, going well with the pieces of fried batter – which add a nice crunch! – as well as the beansprouts and pieces of meat.
My only grouse is that I wish there were more stirred-in egg fragments. Nevertheless, add a dash of vinegar for a little zing, and you’ll have yourself a filling and satisfying bowl of sheer goodness.
Fahqilaah Halal Food
#01-52 Bukit Merah View Blk 115
Opening Hours: Mon - Sun: 10am-11pm
Draped with twinkling lights, Fahqilaah Halal Food is one stall that’s hard to miss. Offering dishes like mee goreng, mutton chop, nasi goreng ayam, bee hoon ikan bilis and more, the stall also boasts an eye-catching display of ingredients neatly arranged on a multi-tiered shelf.
Choose your own ingredients to make up your plate of indian rojak ($7; price varies with ingredients). There’s a good variety available; pick a combination of pre-fried carrots, eggs, potatoes, cucumber and so on. Once you’ve made your selection, the owner will fry the ingredients once more, resulting in a crisp, fragrant batter.
The chilli dip is the star of the show – it’s spicy and sweet at the same time, with plenty of fresh peanuts mixed in. The chilli has a thick consistency, coating each ingredient in a glorious gooey mess.
The mutton soup ($4.50) makes for a very filling dish that’s good for a meal on its own, especially if there are slices of bread to go along with it. Also known as soup kaki, the soup is thick without being oily, and is smooth on the palate. My only grouse is that the mutton pieces are a little too small; I would have liked them to be more tender as well. However, I do like that the mutton pieces are lean and chewy, without any trace of any gaminess.
#01-16 Bukit Merah View Blk 115
True to its name, Spinach soup specialises in only one type of dish. Choose from three varieties of spinach soup - a seafood variation, one containing century and salted eggs, or another that has the addition of yong tau foo.
The spinach with century and salted egg egg soup ($3.80) comes in a large portion. The soup is cloudy at first glance, with most ingredients hidden beneath the surface. Containing an abundance of soft spinach leaves, minced meat and large slices of mushrooms, the soup is hearty, but regrettably a little salty as well.
The amounts of salted and century egg within the soup, however, are a letdown; there isn’t much of either, with just a few small, crumbly and frankly negligible pieces tangled within the spinach leaves. The dish in reality is a far cry from the picture displayed at the stall, which promises large chunks of both types of eggs.
To make it a meal on its own, you can add on a side of thin bee hoon, macaroni, mee tai mak, koka noodle or rice at an additional $0.50. If you wish, you can also add on extra servings of eggs, century egg, salted egg or spinach at $0.50 per serving; or minced pork and prawns at $1 and $2 per respective serving.
Due to the size of the dish, I would say that it more than suffices as an entire meal on its own; however, if you’re dining with company, the soup is best shared as a side dish.
Yong Chun Wan Ton Noodle
#01-56 Bukit Merah View Blk 115
Opening Hours: Mon - Sun: 5.30am-2.30pm
Start the day on the right note with Yong Chun Wanton Noodle, a famous stall helmed by next-generation hawkers. The young couple heads to the food centre at around 2.30am each day to prepare ingredients before their stall opens at 5.30am, which attracts consistently long queues until they sell out – which is usually around 1.30pm.
They adopt a ‘Ma Jie’ style of cooking their wanton noodles, where the char siew is cooked in a wok instead of being roasted. The couple prides themselves on not being stingy on the quality of their ingredients, which is truly what sets them apart. This is despite facing stiff competition in the food centre, where there are a total of four wanton mee stalls! They source for ingredients on a daily basis, the freshness of which is evident in their cooking.
The wanton noodle ($3) comes with eggy noodles, which are delightfully springy with each bite. The noodles soak up the sauce well, which tends to be a little on the sweet side. The char siew was unfortunately sold out by the time it got to my turn; however, I was informed that cooking their lean char siew meats in a wok results in a juicier and healthier version – albeit without the usual caramelised exterior.
My dish’s lack of char siew was compensated by more dumplings, which come with a meaty filling of minced pork and water chestnuts. However, the dumpling skins are a little too thick for my liking, and I feel that they can be seasoned better.
Yuan Li You Tiao
#01-70 Bukit Merah View Blk 115
Opening Hours: Mon - Sun: 5am-11.30am
Yuan Li has a simple and straightforward menu, comprising the classic dishes of chicken, char siew and roasted meat rice.
The braised chicken rice ($3) is a three-plate affair: a heap of steaming rice sits on one plate, another contains slices of braised chicken, complete with a side bowl of soup. The rice is fragrant, with just the right amount of stickiness.
The chicken slices are soft and tender; however, unlike other braised meat stalls, the meat here is the white chicken meat that’s served in their chicken rice dishes. This white chicken meat is then slathered with a spiced braising sauce, which is tasty but slightly on the saltier side.
Jazz up your meal by adding on a side of roast pork for $1. The number of roast pork slices is rather generous; however, the roast pork itself is a little dry and tough, without much ‘roasted’ aroma. The bowl of soup isn’t oily and offers the right balance between sweet and salty, complementing the saltiness of the meat.
Have your meal with liberal amounts of dark soya sauce and chilli; the chilli, especially, is worth a mention, consisting of a well-blended mixture that doesn’t contain too much heat.
#01-19 Bukit Merah View Blk 115
Opening Hours: Wed - Sun: 11.30am-1.45pm, 4.30pm-8.45pm, Closed on Mon & Tue
You know something’s being done right when a stall attracts long queues despite having only eight items on the menu. Choose from chicken chop or cutlet dishes, fish and chips, lamb or pork chops, beef steak, as well as pork or chicken sausage.
The pork chop ($6) is served in a generous portion, with every inch of the plate more or less filled to the brim. The dish comes with two thick pieces of pork chop, the meat of which is gloriously lean, with little to no visible fat. Despite this leanness, the pork chop maintains a juicy tenderness, with a nice chewy texture – something that’s unlike the lean yet tough pork chops usually found at other stalls.
The pork chop comes with a side of fries which, while nicely fried, tend to be a little on the greasy side. The side of coleslaw is refreshing, comprising shredded cabbage slathered with mayonnaise. It would have been nice to have carrots in the coleslaw for a little pop of colour, but that’s just some slight nitpicking on my end. A pool of baked beans completes the plate, adding a sweet tangy aftertaste that helps to cut through the saltiness of the fries.
I would have preferred a bigger plate to help separate the sauces of the different components a little more; however, who’s to complain about having such a value-for-money portion? If you can’t get enough, you can even top up $3 for a giant pork or chicken sausage for a rib-sticking feast.
Xi Shi Fu Vegetarian (Main Branch)
#01-25 Bukit Merah View Blk 115
Run by a friendly elderly Chinese couple, Xi Shi Fu Vegetarian is an unassuming Indian Vegetarian stall that offers the usual suspects of nasi briyani, mutton soup, roti prata, indian rojak and more.
Dig into the vegetarian beehoon ($3.50, price varies with choice of ingredients), where you can choose from an array of ingredients to go with your main noodle base. Take your pick from various mock meats, vegetables, crispy beancurd skin, different types of tofu and the like, with a portion of curry drizzled over the dish.
The mock char siew is regrettably a little too sweet, tasting a little like pieces of savoury candy. The tau kwa is sliced thickly, with a good bite to it. The vegetables are fresh, going well with the silky beehoon. I only wish that the dishes are somehow kept hot throughout the day; they’re displayed in metal trays without any form of heating, resulting in them being served cold.
The nasi goreng ($3), on the other hand, is fried to order. It’s served piping hot and is incredibly fragrant. The rice is tasty, with a little crunch from the bits of mixed vegetables. However, the rice is admittedly a little hard and leaves a greasy film on the lips. The sambal is worth a mention, its piquant flavour juxtaposed against the tartness of the sour chopped green chillies served on the side.
#01-27 Bukit Merah View Blk 115
Nestled in a corner of the food centre, discovering Guan Kee is like uncovering a diamond in the rough. Tantalising pictures are prominently displayed on their cheery yellow signboard, where the star ingredient here is braised everything, including duck, pig’s trotter and kway chap.
Indulge in the works – the braised duck set a ($5.5) – which come with a generous amount of yam rice, a whole egg, beancurd, cucumber, peanuts, pickled vegetables and, of course, multiple slices of tender braised duck. I like that the rice is served separately from the ingredients, which are doused with a large serving of spiced gravy. The rice is tasty and flavourful; pair it with their sambal chilli for a fiery kick. The lean slices of duck are stewed till tender with just a hint of sweetness, resulting in a beautiful brown colouring.
The braised duck noodles ($3) is a steaming bowl of goodness. The noodles are silky and addictive. The noodles are topped by slices of braised duck and sit in a sea of gravy, which is thick and fragrant. Each dish comes with a bowl of soup, which has been boiled for hours with spices and herbs. The soup is aromatic and not oily in the slightest, which sets it apart from the usual greasy duck soups.
The standard and taste of the dishes here at Guan Kee gave me a pleasant surprise; I daresay that this stall is truly one of Bukit Merah View’s hidden gems!
Hong Xing Handmade Fishball Meatball Noodle
#01-07 Bukit Merah View Blk 115
Opening Hours: Thu - Tue: 7am-6pm, Closed on Wed
Judging by the long queues generated during and after the lunch hour, I had high expectations for Hong Xing Handmade Fishball. Revolving around their specialities of fishballs and meatballs, these come in a variety of noodles and soups.
The fishball kway teow mee ($3) comes in both the dry and soup versions, with the former accompanied by a side bowl of soup. I ordered the dry version, where the noodles are springy to the touch. The taste is unfortunately a little bland, albeit with a good acidity from the vinegar.
The bowl of soup is a little salty, containing four fishballs and – to my surprise – two meatballs as well. The fishballs and meatballs are lovingly handmade every morning, which shows through the irregular and inconsistent size of each fish or meat ball – something that’s a far cry from the uniformity of machine-made ingredients.
The fishballs are incredibly soft and have a fine consistency. They also have a good bounce to them! The meatballs contain bits of dried sole fish, which add an interesting texture.
A big portion of noodles plus four fishballs and two meatballs for just $3? It’s great value that just can’t be beat.