Singapore’s Hawker Food Culture


When it comes to our local Hawker food, we would associate it with oily fried food like Char Kuay Teow and Fried Carrot Cake. Sadly, there isn’t any famous hawker food which can we truly label it as ‘healthy’. Nutritionally-speaking, hawker food may not be that wholesome but cultural-wise, it is part of our Singapore story. Our local traditional roots could be represented by our hawker food. And you can’t say that you’ve visited Singapore until you try our hawker food which is often dished out in style. It will not disappoint you because our hawker has been perfected in taste over the years.

A couple of weeks back, I joined Canon and Singapore Tourism Board on a Hawker Spotlight 2017 Heritage tour around Maxwell Food Centre. It is organised to honour and celebrate Singapore’s distinctive hawker culture. Local celebrity Moses Lim was there to host the media tour. I used to watch Moses Lim on TV as a kid and it was certainly a delight to meet him up close in person after so many years! He is still as hilarious and jovial as ever.

1) Hajmeer Kwaja Muslim Food stall

We visited seven hawker stalls and the first one was Hajmeer Kwaja Muslim Food stall which specialises in Prata. It’s a family-owned business which has been passed down from Mr Kassim’s grandfather. Their popular items on the menu include Sup Tulang Merah, Mutton ribs, ghee rice and fried Kampong Chicken.


2) China Street Fritters 

The second stall we’ve visited was China Street Fritter, an award-winning stall selling traditional handmade Ngoh Hiang. This stall is owned by Mr Ng who took on their family business together with his elder sister, younger brother and sister-in-law.



3) Hock Soon Roasted Duck Rice

The owner of this Duck Rice stall is Mr Chan who is the third generation hawker. They are famous for their roasted duck, roasted pork and signature char siew. It was originally Mr Chan’s father-in-law business which first started out as a Fried Kway Teow stall. Mr Chan has managed to persuade his father-in-law to convert the business into selling roasted meat.


4) Rojak, Popiah and Cockle

This Rojak stall has been around for over 25 years and it is owned by Mrs Lim. They use premium prawn paste and the freshest ingredient to create the rojak which has gain in popularity over the years.



5) Third Culture Brewing Co.

3rd Culture Brewing Co. is the new kid on the block and it was started by Mr Singh who had this vision of pairing local food with craft beer. It has an extensive array of global craft beers ranging from Lagers to Ales to Stouts from its twelve beer taps. Beer with good local food? That really sounds like a good idea.


6) Hum Jin Pang 

This fry-it-yourself Hum Jin Pang hawker stall is one of a kind hawker stall at Maxwell Food Centre. You basically have to fry handmade dough filled with either sweet or savoury fillings. This dough fritters will expand under hot oil. It’s like our Chinese version of doughnuts.


I took part in the Hum Jin Pang frying contest and I came in the first! Not bad for making my own Hum Jin Pang for the very first time.


7) Ho Peng Coffee Stall

Last but not least, we visited this drink stall which was awarded the Green Hawker Award for its use of empty milk cans for drink takeaways for over 60 years. It’s the most eco-friendly drink stall you can find in town!



After the tour, we were treated to some of the best delicacies served by each stall. And my favourite was the rojak which is dusted with so much peanut powder!


What are your favourite hawker stalls or food in Singapore? Are there any healthy hawker food stalls in Singapore? Do let me know in the comment box below.

Maxwell Food Centre

1 Kadayanallur Street

Singapore 069184

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