The best grub in the West
The West side of Singapore is no longer the industrial zone it used to be. It's so well developed now that we've managed to find 23 things to do there! With Singapore's fast paced developments, new shopping malls like Jcube, JEM, Big Box and West Gate sprouting up, and the abundance of good food, the West has come a long way.
Today, we bring you a list of 25 of the best food places in the West, well kept secrets by the residents who live here. For those living in the other regions of Singapore, these are 25 reasons you need to travel to the West. From cafe foods to hearty local delights and even lip-smacking halal goodies, the West is a treasure trove of delicious grub.
1. For Fish Lovers - Zai Shu Curry Fish Head
Let’s start with something really local, and there's nothing more local than curry fish head. Though it’s summer all year round in our little island of Singapore, we're always chowing down on something spicy or curry. We love our spice too much.
Zai Shun is famous for both their fishes, done a la Curry Fish head style or steamed. The fish is super fresh, no fishy smell and it comes in generous, meaty portions. Their curry fish head is not too spicy but is more on the sour side. Portions are generous, so prepare to order more rice to be soaked with your curry.
Address: Blk 253, Jurong East Street 24, #01-205, s600253
Opening Hours: 7am- 3pm
2. For Cafe Lovers - W39 Bistro & Bakery
With such a lively cafe scene in Singapore, new joints are opening (and closing) faster that you can say "Abracadabra!".
Not as raved about as other cafes in the West (think D’Good Cafe and Sunday Folks), W39 is one of my favorite cafes. Not as accessible as the rest, this cozy home-styled bistro and bakery serves up comforting grub. They have brunch, lunch and dinner menus complete with a range of sweets for the sweet-toothed. I especially love their Bread Basket ($7) and their Seared Tuna ($12.50).
Address: 39 Jalan Mas Puteh, Off West Coast Road, s128637
Opening Hours: 11am - 10pm
3. Supper till 4am - Joo Seng Teochew Porridge and Rice
Their variety alone beats most Teochew porridge stalls. Though their food is priced higher than usual, the variety and taste more than compensates for it. One of their must tries is the boneless duck which is tender, lean and well seasoned.
While not all the dishes are well executed, one plus point is the braised sauce served together to douse your porridge with which makes it absolutely comfort food.
Address: 14 Cheong Chin Nam Road s599738 (Bukit Timah District)
Opening Hours: Mon to Sun: 0930 - 0400
4. For the Sweet-Toothed - My Fat Lady Cakes & Bakes
Passionate baker Edna aka Fat Lady founded this boutique bakery bringing indulgent, unique and gorgeous cakes baked to perfection to the masses. Some of this bakery's best sellers include Sticky Date Pudding, Rich Chocolate Cake, and Red Velvet Cake. They also have a range of cupcakes with 8 flavors all bearing hilarious names like “Missy Scarlet” and “The Boy Next Door”, representing Red Velvet and Cookies and Cream respectively. They also offer custom made cakes.
Address: 149 Silat Avenue, #01-52, s160149
Opening Hours: Open 12pm - 7pm, Wed to Sat; 12pm - 5pm, Sun and Public Holidays
5. For the Vegetarians - The Boneless Kitchen
So aptly named, The Boneless Kitchen is of a rarer breed than a normal vegetarian store - it's a Korean Vegetarian store! Piqued your interest yet?
Korean vegetarian food is rare in Singapore. Instead of the usual huge communal servings, the owners, NTU grad Rose Tan and her NUS-grad pal Wang Xiudian, decided to serve their food in single serving portions so anybody can pop by for a meal by themselves. The Korean hot sauce and kimchi are handmade using all vegetarian ingredients.
In their menu are also dishes like Italian pastas if you like some variety.
Address: 11 Jalan Bukit Merah, #03-4458, S150011
Opening Hours: 11.30am to 9pm, Closed Mon
Formerly situated at Tai Seng.
6. Smoky goodness - New Lucky Claypot Rice
Here, they still cook their claypot rice using the traditional charcoal, explaining a minimum waiting time of 15 min even during off-peak hours. But the wait is worth it as the rice is well cooked, fragrant and full all the juicy goodness of the generous chicken pieces given. They also offer several other dishes like oyster sauce vegetables and soup.
Address: Holland Drive Market & Food Centre, 44 Holland Drive #02-19, S270044
Opening Hours: Thurs to Tue: 11:30am to 1:30pm/5:00pm to 8:30pm, Closed on Wed
7. For Hotpot Fans - Hai Di Lao
Craving for something piping hot on rainy days? The West is now home to the popular Sichuan hotpot chain restaurant Hai Di Lao at IMM, much to HDL’s fans' delight. This outlet has been a well kept secret amongst West-dwelling Singaporeans and thankfully, the queue is not as daunting as its town counterparts. Plus, the complimentary fresh fruits and manicures provided by HDL help to pass the time as you wait.
Hai Di Lao is known for their numbing spicy soup bases and the freedom to customise your own dipping sauce. Alternatively, cool down with their free flow of fruits and soy bean pudding. Regulars recommend the fresh tasting meat, especially the Gongfu noodles - it's served along with a performance you don’t want to miss.
Tip: Make a reservation two weeks in advance to guarantee yourself a table!
Address: IMM Building, 2 Jurong East Street 21 #03-01, S609601
Opening Hours: Daily 10.30am - 4am
8. For a meal of sweet, sour and spicy - A Rashid Khan
Mee Siam comes in two forms here - with ($5) and without ($3.50) mutton cubes. So far one of the best I’ve tasted with its slightly sweet, peanut-ty gravy and orange tinged vermicelli finished with neither too chewy nor gamey mutton cubes. The mee siam here is light on the tongue and not too jelat .
Address: Ayer Rajah Food Centre, Stall 58, 503 West Coast Drive, S120503
Opening Hours: Mon to Sun: 0800 - 0130
9. Greasy goodness - Queenstown You Char Kway
We love our fried food. Queenstown You Char Kway makes a simple fried dough fritter taste so good we wouldn’t mind having it every day. Mr Lee has been frying these tasty dough treats for decades using his father’s recipe.
Offering only four items, his You Tiao has a crispy and chewy bite to it, perfect with a bowl of Tau Huay. The other items are the sweet and salty Hum Chin Peng and the Butterfly fritter, each costing 50c only.
Address: Yuhua Village Market and Food Centre, Blk 254 Jurong East Street 24, #01-54 S600254
Opening Hours: 4.30 am to 2pm daily
Formerly at Margaret Drive Food Centre
10. Sticks & Meats - Chai Ho Satay
At 38 cents per stick, this has got to be one of the cheapest non-halal satay stalls in Singapore. The pork satay here has succulent meat with a slight sweetness complete with a smoky flavor. Though they can be inconsistent at times with some overly charred or dry sticks, overall the fragrant peanut gravy together with the juicy pieces of meat are worth queuing for.
Address: Clementi Central Market & Hawker Centre, Blk 448 Clementi Ave 3, #01-10, S120448
Opening Hours: Wed - Sun: 3pm - 9pm
11. Soup for Your Skin - Tsukada Nojo
It is hard to find quality Japanese hotpot at affordable prices. But here at Tsukada Nojo, you get to savour their specialty hotpot Bijin Nabe, a chicken collagen hot pot served with organic vegetables.
There’s a catch though: the hotpot is only available for dinner on weekdays and there’s a two person minimum order. That said, you get a generous portion of locally-grown organic vegetables, amongst other hotpot regulars like prawns and enoki mushrooms. Queues snake around the corner for this outlet so be prepared to wait for more than 30 minutes.
Address: Westgate, 3 Gateway Drive, #03-04/04A, S608532
Opening Hours: Daily 11.30am - 3pm; 5pm - 10pm
12. For a vegetarian midday snack - My Cosy Corner
Another popular hole-in-the-wall would be My Cosy Corner. Situated in a corner of Coronation Plaza, their signature dish is the popiah filled chock full of ingredients, bursting with flavors. I waited close to 30 minutes for a single roll of popiah the last time I was there so expect to wait during peak hours. The chilli they put in their popiahs is not for the faint hearted so be warned.
They also sell a large variety of food from Western to Japanese and even local favorites like Mee Siam.
Address: #02-02, Coronation Shopping Plaza, 587 Bukit Timah Road (No popiah on Sundays)
Opening Hours: Mon - Sat: 10:00 - 21:00, Sun: 11:00 - 18:00
13. For the meat lovers! - Joo Siah Bak Kut Teh
I used to frequent this BKT stall daily since I was young. Occupying 3 stall spaces, they see a constant stream of customers daily. My favorite would be the free flow hot, peppery soup they offer. Some also rave about their soft and melt in your mouth braised pork trotters which is a delight to have with white rice.
Address: Blk 347 Jurong East Ave 1 #01-220/221
Opening Hours: 9am- 9pm (Tue- Sat) 9am- 4pm (Sun) (Closed on Mon)
14. For the occasional indulgence - Boon Lay Power Nasi Lemak
Its name speaks for itself - this is one “power” nasi lemak which attracts the throngs. Their chicken wings are freshly fried and served crispy and piping hot. The soft coconut rice and kickass chilli are perfect complements.
Address: Boon Lay Food Village, Blk 221B Boon Lay Place, #01-106, Singapore 642221
Opening Hours: 5pm - 2am
15. Round the clock Halal snacks - Richie's Crispy Puff
One of the rare curry puff stalls who sell their puffs round the clock, Richie's Crispy Puff is one of the more underrated ones. Having tried their puffs before, I must say they're really delicious, albeit a little too oily for my tastebuds. The pastry skin is handmade and freshly fried in the shop, with a medley of fillings offered from sardine to even durian! They're halal certified so our Muslim friends can enjoy them too.
Address: Blk 349, Jurong East Ave 1, #01-1201
Opening Hours: 24 hours
16. Vintage charm & delicious sweets - Carpenter and Cook
If you’re craving for some sweet treats, Carpenter and Cook is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Not to be confused with Baker and Cook, this vintage home store and cafe is beautifully decorated where even the food and drinks are served elegantly in cute tea cups and plates.
Though I feel that prices are a little steep for the portion sizes, the taste makes up for it. One of my favorites is the Passionfruit Meringue Tart ($6.20), sweet yet with a slight tang.
Address: 19 Lorong Kilat, #01-06, s598120
Opening Hour: Tue to Sat: 10am – 10pm, Sun: 10.00am – 7.00pm
17. For the Freshest Sashimi - Itacho Sushi
Whenever the sushi craving strikes, Itacho Sushi is the place to go. Located on the second floor of JCube, Itacho Sushi serves fresh cut sushi without breaking the bank, with prices starting from as low as 40 cents per sushi during promotions.
I go to Itacho Sushi for one dish - the Roasted Fatty Salmon Sushi. Freshly cut salmon belly is lightly flamed with a blowtorch upon receiving an order, perfuming the room with a scent nobody can resist. Opt for the fatty salmon - it adds a melt-in-your-mouth effect to complete your sushi experience.
Address: JCube, 2 Jurong East Central 1, #02-35, S609731
Opening Hours: Mon - Thur, Sun 11 - 10pm; Fri-Sat 11 - 11pm
18. For the avid #foodstagrammer - Sunday Folks
This place is known for their crisp, eggy waffles topped with a smooth soft serve coming in 6 flavors with the choice of additional toppings. The waffles are so photogenic you can’t not Instagram them.
Address: #01-52, Chip Bee Gardens, 44 Jalan Merah Saga
Opening Hours: Tue - Fri: 16:00 - 21:30, Sat - Sun: 12:00 - 22:00, Closed: Mon
19. Drinks and hearty Mexican - El Patio Mexican Restaurant and Wine Bar
Looking for some Mexican fare on a Friday night out? El Patio has you covered with some of the best tacos around. Not to be missed is their El Patio’s Tacos de Pescado ($17) for some well marinated, soft and tender fish wrapped in your choice of soft or hard taco shells. Celebrate the night over their variety of house pours, cocktails and beers.
Address: 34 Lorong Mambong, Holland Village, S277691
Opening Hours: Mon - Fri: 12:00 - 23:00, Sat & Sun: 11:00 - 22:30
20. For fusion burgers with a twist - Little Hiro
Ever heard of a ramen burger? If you’re a carb fiend, this is YOUR burger. Think ramen patties sandwiching a crispy chicken patty AND a creamy egg mayonnaise to top it off. Best comfort food ever. Previously called “The Burger Shack”, it has undergone a revamp. They whip up some amazing burgers supplemented by killer fries.
Check out our visit here.
Address: #01-01, King’s Arcade, 559 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269695
Opening Hours: 11.30am to 9.30pm (Sun-Thurs, last order 9.00pm), 11.30am to 10.00pm (Fri-Sat last order 9.30pm
21. When the noodle cravings strike - Kok Kee Wanton Mee
Add another one to the list of good wanton mee in the west! For those who don’t know, there’s also a Kok Kee Wanton mee branch at Jurong West, no need to travel all the way to Lavendar whenever the craving strikes. The queues are pretty long come lunch time but the QQ noodles with nary a hint of lye smell to them is worth the wait.
Address: Jurong West Food Centre, 505 Jurong West Street 52
Opening Hours: 7.00 am until sold out. Usually at around 12.30pm, Closed on alternate Wednesdays
22. For Sunday Brunch - Choupinette
Another of my favorite brunch restaurants, Choupinette is known to sell one of the bests egg benedicts in Singapore. True to that, my eggs benedict came perfectly poached with a creamy hollandaise sauce to top it off. The restaurant is pretty small, so go early or be prepared to wait.
Address: 607 Bukit Timah Road #01-01
Opening Hours: Tue to Thu: 9am – 8pm, Fri: 9am – 10pm, Sat: 8am – 10pm, Sun: 8am – 6pm
23. To curb the late night hunger pangs - ENAQ Restaurant
Aching for some crispy hot off the pan prata? ENAQ is an underrated prata stalls hidden in the west. My advice would be to drive here. Not only do they serve prata with a special ikan bilis chilli, they also serve a range of other indian favorites like biryani, murtabak, thosai, oothappam and many more.
They used to operate 24 hours, however opening hours have since been revised due to several noise complaints. What a pity.
Tip: tell them to hold on the oil if you prefer your pratas less oily.
Address: Block 303 Jurong East Street 32, Singapore 600303
Opening Hours: 6am - 11pm
24. For some hearty, spicy local delights - Nasi Padang
As simple as its name goes, this stall’s nasi padang is definitely not to be frowned upon. Their signature dishes include Fried Long Beans with Tempeh, Brinjal with Sambal, Beef Rendang and Assam Fish. Prices are reasonable for their nasi padang however if you’re more of a 'noodles' person, they offer an equally good Mee Rebus ($3) complete with a tasty, thick piquant sauce.
Address: Alexandra Village Food Centre, Blk 120 Bukit Merah Lane 2 #01-65 S150120
Opening Hours: 7am - 3pm, closed Sunday
25. A taste of nostalgia - Hock Sin Kee Tze Char
Hock Sin Kee Tze Char has been cooking up such old school delights for decades. Their dishes elicit nostalgia such as the Pork Chop (from $6) tossed in a slightly tangy, thick and sweet ketchup-based sauce, Sweet and Sour Whole Fish (from $19 - $30) and a fried egg omelette cooked differently than the normal. Usually served dry, Hock Sin Kee does theirs doused in a thick homemade sauce which would go so well with a bowl of white rice.
Address: Alexandra Village Food Centre, Blk 120 Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-02 S150120
Opening Hours: Daily 10am- 9.30pm
Go Forth and Explore!
With so much awesome food in the West, no wonder so many of them Westsiders are so reluctant to meet in town for lunch. Whether you're a healthy eater, a Japanese food lover, or are best satisfied by the quintissentially Singaporean satay, there's bound to be something that will please your tummy here.
In fact, some first-time tourists were recently given an all-expenses paid, 4-day trip to Singapore with one condition: they could only visit the West side of Singapore. The novel idea was one thought up by SingaporeWest.sg to put Singapore on the map not just for Orchard Road and Sentosa, but also for more heartland attractions.
They had a great time sampling the best of our local food and had as great a shopping experience as any other tourist. On top of that, they had an excellent time in Singapore, go-karting, canoe-poloing, rock-climbing, brewery-touring, and trampoline-jumping. Check out some videos of their adventures, which are part of their "My Singapore West Adventure" experience:
This post was brought to you by SingaporeWest.sg, with contributions by Hilary See.