The 10 best hawker stalls to try at Old Airport Road Food Centre

PHOTO: Instagram/chocolatetbasil, Instagram/makoeats

As one of Singapore’s most popular foodie haunts, Old Airport Road Food Centre needs no introduction. It was constructed in 1972 as a permanent home for street hawkers from the neighbouring Kallang Estate, and most recently underwent a facelift in 2007. Today, it boasts over 150 food stalls and is a go-to culinary hotspot.

With the sheer plethora of highly rated dishes here – including multiple competing vendors selling prawn noodles, char kway teow and oyster omelettes – there’s no way to fit all of the top establishments into a list of ten. That being said, we tried our best. Here are some of our favourite eats for you to sample during your next visit.

Old Airport Road Food Centre | 51 Old Airport Road

Whitley Road Big Prawn Noodle


Fancy some comforting prawn noodles? Then make your way to this stall, which boasts a Michelin Bib Gourmand mention. It’s made a name for itself as one of the city-state’s top purveyors of the dish – everything is cooked-to-order, and the rich and aromatic broth is redolent of savoury, umami notes that will have you happily slurping away until the very last drop.

Each bowl is filled with fresh and succulent prawns, firm noodles, fried shallots and beansprouts. You can go for either the dry or soup version, both of which start at $5.


Xin Mei Xiang Zheng Zong Lor Mee


Patrons from both near and far flock to this crowd-favourite establishment. To nab a serving of their popular lor mee, you’ll have to arrive early: this is often one of the first vendors to sell out for the day.

A portion comes with your choice of noodles topped with a myriad of ingredients such as braised egg, fish flakes, braised pork and plenty of minced garlic and chilli sauce. The gravy isn’t too thick or starchy and has a great vinegary kick, making this a flavourful meal that’s well worth the trip. Prices begin at $4.


To-Ricos Guo Shi


One of the most famous stalls here is To-Ricos Guo Shi. Its claim to fame? Herbal, earthy and aromatic helpings of kway chap that landed it a spot on the Michelin Bib Gourmand list. The large noodle sheets are silky and slippery, with a nice bite to them.

Pair your kway chap with a side of various fixings: including braised egg, braised pork and innards. Their chilli sauce, which adds a refreshing oomph to the dish, is a must, and you can also opt for a serving of preserved vegetables. Expect to pay upwards of $3.


Toa Payoh Rojak


For a delightful and refreshing plate of rojak slathered in a piquant gravy, head to Toa Payoh Rojak. An order of their standard fare comes with all the requisite items: including sweet pineapple, cucumber cubes, crunchy turnip, beansprouts, dough fritters and tau pok.

Everything is then drenched in a sauce that’s heavy on the shrimp notes (we’re not complaining) and sprinkled with lots of crushed peanuts. You can add items such as cuttlefish and century egg if you wish. The smallest portion goes for $3.


Hua Ji XO Fish Head Bee Hoon


Fans of fish head soup – and, let’s be honest, who isn’t – would do well to stop by this joint. The stall is a firm favourite among regular patrons of the food centre, so expect to join a long line to score a serving of their creamy, silky, XO-spiked specialty.

Each generous bowl of the signature dish comes piled high with crispy fish and includes thick rice noodles, fried ginger slivers and vegetables submerged in a rich, fragrant and flavourful broth. You can opt for succulent slices of fresh fish instead of the fried option. Prices start at $6.


ALSO READ: 10 best hawker stalls to try at Seah Im Food Centre

Freshly Made Chee Cheong Fun


If you want some classic chee cheong fun for breakfast, this outfit is your best bet. It serves its popular rice rolls Hong Kong style. Classic ingredients such as char siew and shrimp – as well as more novel additions like otah and century egg – are tucked between soft and velvety sheets of rice noodles.

Each plate is doused in a light soy sauce and a smattering of spring onions and fried shallots, as well as a dollop of chilli sauce. They also offer congee and dumplings for the full experience. A plate will set you back $2.50 and up.


Famous Old Airport Fried Oyster


Old Airport Road Food Centre is home to two rival oyster omelette stalls, both of which dole out great renditions of the dish. But we’re partial to the offering at this spot for its ample use of batter, which yields a fluffy and crispy texture that contrasts perfectly with the soft eggs and slippery oysters.

The oysters are fresh, plump and generously sized, and have a lovely briny taste without being too fishy. Be sure to help yourself to their zingy chilli sauce to kick things up a notch on the spice front. Prices start at $4.


Hua Kee Hougang Famous Wanton Mee


This Michelin-rated establishment was founded in the 1940s, and it’s been keeping hungry diners well-fed with its scrumptious bowls ever since. We suggest going straight for their signature wanton noodles.

For $4, you get a large bowl of chewy, eggy and al dente noodles, moist and plump wantons, char siew slices and leafy greens. The real highlight, though, is the array of condiments that crown the dish: a smoky and spicy chilli paste, fried shallots and crunchy pork lard, all of which work to elevate it to the next level. 


Roast Paradise


Salty, sweet and oh-so-succulent char siew is what you’ll find at this relatively new arrival (it opened in 2016, while some outlets have been here for multiple decades). Roast Paradise cooks their char siew Kuala Lumpur style.

This means fattier cuts of meat and a longer roasting time to yield a caramelised exterior and tender interior – without being too oily on the palate. They also offer roasted pork with a crisp crackling, which is best paired with mustard to cut through the richness. A meal here goes for around $4.


Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow


If you prefer your fried kway teow a little drier and less oily, then you’ve come to the right spot. This outfit has been slinging up mouth-watering, Michelin-rated servings of the dish for over three decades and counting.

Each plate is piled high with the requisite flat, chewy noodles mixed with a liberal amount of cockles, juicy prawns, beansprouts, eggs and slices of sweet-salty Chinese sausage. It’s a beautiful mess, and one that we’d be happy to indulge in any day of the week. Expect to pay upwards of $5.


ALSO READ: Tekka Centre: 10 best hawker stalls to try

This article was first published in The Singapore Women's Weekly.

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