[Updated Dec 8] Singaporeans love their hawker food, so it’s no surprise that there are some “atas” stalls that have set up shop around the island to experiment and up the game. From burgers to sophisticated French cuisine and craft beers, here’s where to go the next time you plan a food trail.
3rd Culture Brewing Co.
This craft-beer-in-hawker-stall at Maxwell Food Centre offers 12 beers on tap (they rotate weekly) that currently include Holgate Brewhouse’s Norton Lager, Modern Times’ Trueland Pale Ale, Maisel Brauerei’s Hefeweizen and more. The selection’s pretty solid, and you can have it with Tian Tian chicken rice. #01-33, Maxwell Food Centre,1 Kadayanallur St.
Part of Loh Lik Peng’s Unlisted Collection group (Esquina, Burnt Ends), this eatery in one of Tiong Bahru’s art deco blocks leads a double life. In the day, it’s an old-school mee pok stall and at night, it transforms into a so-hip-it-hurts Japanese yakitori bar. The prices are far from hawker, though. Be warned. 78 Moh Guan Terrace. 6438-4567.
Another hipster joint for you to check out is the Coffee Break stall at Amoy Street Food Centre. We’ve been told that the stall’s been in operation since 1999 and that the coffee business has been passed down for generations. The new generation owners offer interesting twists with their pumpkin-spiced lattes, sea salt mint lattes and more. They also offer their own homemade jam like taro, matcha coconut, rum and raisin creme along with others if you’re looking for an alternative to your kaya toast routine. #02-78, Amoy Street Food Centre, 7 Maxwell Rd.
Day & Night
Previously known as Two Face Pizza & Taproom, this spot is a kopitiam by day and by night, it’s a self-service pizzeria (well okay, maybe the kopitiam tradition of self-service is still kept alive) serving locally-inspired grub and craft beer. #01-46, 56 Eng Hoon St. 6222-6881.
The Good Beer Company
As one of the first alternative hawker stalls to pop up around town, this place specializes in craft brews from all over the world. They stock over 60 different labels from places like America, Taiwan and the Netherlands. Although situated in a fairly traditional hawker, it doesn’t hurt to have some good suds to accompany that plate of char kway teow. Their all-taps sister stall, Smith Street Taps is nearby. #02-58, Chinatown Complex, 335 Smith St. 9430-2750.
Coffee Break at Amoy Street
An adorable young couple runs this stall at Beauty World Centre. Your options are few but solid and intriguing: classic beef, crispy pork belly, baked Dory fish, ayam buah keluak and pulled pork, all hovering around the $5 mark. Don’t miss the handcut Fairy Fries that are $1 extra with any burger. #04-49, Beauty World Centre, 144 Upper Bukit Timah Rd. 9475-1457.
Jack The Ripper
This homemade burger stall is a collaboration between Absinthe’s Nicholas Reynard and an existing German stall in the Salut Coffeeshop, Stew Kuche. Each burger has a female name, like Annie oozing with spicy guacamole, jalapenos and roasted capsicums, as well as the signature Fairy Fay (that comes with 150g patty, cheese and a special sauce. If you’re feeling super hungry, go straight for the Emma and Martha that comes loaded with a 300g double patty stuffed with cheese. #01-40, Salut Coffeeshop, 119 Bukit Merah Lane 1. 9665-0785.
A Noodle Story
A hip hawker specializing in what it calls Singapore-style ramen, A Noodle Story was set up by culinary school graduates whose training is apparent in their fixings: sous vide char siew, luscious HK-style wonton, Vietnam-inspired potato-wrapped prawn and other goodies. Around for almost three years, it still draws a crowd—especially when a bowl starts at a mere $5. #01-39, Amoy Street Food Centre, 7 Maxwell Rd.
A Swiss-German stall on the corner of the busy upscale kopitiam, Salut, that also serves fish n chips and other goodies, Stew Kuche has stalwart favorites like pork knuckle and tons of sausages sourced from Huber’s Butcher and Indoguna. They’ve also got a huge menu of safe bets like pastas and meats with mashed potato. #01-40, Blk 119, Bukit Merah Lane 1. 6276-6445.
Timbre +, an industrial-themed food court by nightlife and restaurant group Timbre, is a 24,000 sq ft non-airconditioned space that features graffiti-ed shipping containers and gleaming caravans that will house hawker stalls like Wong Kee Noodles & Roasted Delights. There are also areas set aside for restaurants like Portico Platos, which serves Spanish cuisine, The World Is Flat by Tanuki Raw, which specializes in gourmet pizza, and Garcons, a casual French bistro, not to mention a bottle shop and bar offering craft beers and whisky. The food court also plays live music from Wednesday to Saturday nights. JTC LaunchPad @ one-north, 73A Ayer Rajah Crescent.