Healthy kopitiam food



With the copious amounts of added MSG and sodium in hawker food, mum must have warned you about the dangers eating out poses to your waistline. Eating healthy isn’t easy – at some point of our lives we’ve all tried kickstarting a fish soup/yong tau foo diet that probably lasted less than a week. 

The #fitspo struggle is real, especially when you’re out and rushing for time. We feel you, so we’ve scouted out the healthiest alternatives to keep your eat-clean game going when you’re tired of fish soup. Read on to find out our top picks!


1. Hakka Thunder Tea Rice at Lau Par Sat



This traditional Hakka dish easily takes one of the top spots. Thunder Rice Tea, also known as lei cha rice,  is a low fat and low cholesterol option that’s quickly become many a health-conscious CBD warrior’s go-to lunch option. 

This Signature Thunder Tea Rice ($5.50) you can find in Lau Par Sat comes with brown rice, three types of vegetables, crunchy ikan bilis, and unsalted peanuts. Vegetables you can pick from include chye sim, cabbage and french beans, some of which have over a thousand years of history with thunder tea rice!  


The ikan bilis and nuts add a satisfying crunch to each bite, and your meal comes complete with a bowl of matcha-coloured herbed soup.

The accompanying green soup is a little bitter at first taste, but the bitterness subsides after the second or third sip. That’s when you’ll start to appreciate it better!

Thunder Tea Rice
Address:  18 Raffles Quay, Lau Pa Sat, Stall 01-26/31, Singapore 048582 
Opening Hours: Daily 9 am – 9.30pm 
Nearest MRT: Raffles Place 


2. Onion Bagel with Cuban Mojo Chicken at Bishan Interchange 



We’ve found a whole foods stalls at the kopitiam above Bishan Bus Interchange! THIS Onion Bagel with Cuban Mojo Chicken and Guacamole Sauce ($9) is without a doubt healthier than your oily food court cai png.

Unlike processed burgers, their chicken hasn’t been cooked in high-sodium marinades but were bathed in orange zest, oregano and some spices. Prices here are decent and your meal is fully customisable – replace the bagel with a wholewheat wrap or swap your chicken for some tofu or sweet potato. 


Their chilled desserts look great too but you’ll be surprised at how no refined white sugar was involved in their preparation and how all of them are dairy-and-gluten free. 

The Wholefood Kitchen 
Address: 514 Bishan Street 13 2/F, Bishan Cafeteria (Above Bishan Bus Interchange) 
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday (12 pm – 8pm). Saturday ( 11pm – 7pm) 
Contact: 8666 9740
Nearest MRT: Bishan 


3. Chicken Congee at Maxwell Food Centre



If you’ve always thought there was nothing more to chicken congee than being a sick person’s comfort food, you’d be shocked to find out it’s one of the best dishes you can have regularly without feeling guilty. If done right, congee is low in sodium, cholesterol and fat! 


Source: @cicilaja 

The best type of congee is the one that’s been simmered for hours for a silky smooth consistency. Zhen Zhen’s at Maxwell perfects a simple bowl of congee with generous meat portions and toppings. 

Zhen Zhen Porridge 
Address: Maxwell Food Centre, 1 Kadayanallur Street, Singapore 069184 
Opening Hours: Wed – Monday, 5 am – 2pm, Closed on Tuesdays 
Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar 


4. Seared Salmon and Soba Bento at Lau Par Sat



White rice isn’t the healthiest carb around, but it’s so readily available that we often just settle for it. But healthy eaters can be choosers – at Lao Pa Sat’s Kang Lu Organic Stall, your favourite mains come only with either low calorie cha soba or healthy brown rice. 


A popular value-for-money pairing is their $6.80 salmon bento that comes with a weighty palm-sized salmon slice and a 5-vegetable salad. 

Kang Lu Healthy Carbs
Address: Stall 18, Lau Pa Sat, 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582
Opening Hours: 10 am – 10 pm 
Nearest MRT: Raffles Place 


 5. Steamed Fish + Teochew porridge at Jurong East



Source: @angwman 

Steaming is one of the healthiest ways to prepare your food but it’s correspondingly one of the rarest preparation methods you’ll find in hawker centres or kopitiams. Westies are glad because Zai Shun at Jurong East is easily one of the most shiok places to go for steamed fish. Zai Shun has been around for 20 years, and opens from 7am to 3pm daily, showing their popularity.


Source: Fabian Poon 

They’re also known for their Teochew porridge style of dishes, so balance your meal out with a plate of vegetables or a pot of soup to share. Prices would be extravagant for portions this generous anywhere else. Just remember to come before the queue hits! 

Zai Shun Curry Fish Head
Address:  Block 253 Jurong East Street 24, #01-205, Singapore 600253
Opening Hours: Thurs – Tues, 7 am – 3pm 
Nearest MRT: Chinese Garden 
Contact:  6560 8594 


6. Traditional Charcoal Boiled Soup at Marymount



When watching your diet, creamy soups are a huge no-no. We recommend traditional boiled soups such as this Ginseng Chicken Soup ($7.30). Within this pot of wonder, you’ll find a pack of Chinese herbs, wolfberries and even a legit piece of ginseng. 


A soup haven for those working at Sin Ming and Midview City, the best thing about Earth Jar Treasure is that each little pot is individually brewed for at least 3 hours in a big “urn”. This means you’re promised the same amount of liao (ingredients) in each portion! 

Earth Jar Treasure 
Address: Block 22, Sin Ming Road #01-244, Singapore 570022 
Opening Hours: 10 am – 8.30pm 
Nearest MRT: Marymount 


7. $4.90 Salads at Amoy Food Centre



Source: @pinkypiggu 

Salads are a no-brainer but we’ve included this because it’s so hard to find non-overpriced salad joints, especially in the CBD. This grab-and-go Salad Corner at Amoy Food Centre is one that CBD warriors should not miss! 

Snatch a bowl filled with your favourite 5 greens for just $4.90. Generous and worth every penny, there are more than 28 toppings and 15 dressings to choose from. Go for a one-week salad detox and find out just how many combinations you can try!


Source: @nicolewonng 

The Salad Corner 
Address: 7 Maxwell Road, #01-41, Amoy Street Food Centre, Singapore 069111 
Opening Hours: 9 am – 7pm 
Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar 


8. Korean Bibimbap at Suntec City



Check out this colourful Dolsot Bibimbap ($6.90) – hot stone mixed rice – which combines lean meat, vegetables and korean spicy paste. Topped off with a beautiful raw egg in a heated stoneware bowl, this nutritious mix is an all-in-one booster for spicy lovers. 


It’s hard for our daily meals to be as well-balanced as this – we tick off both our protein and fibre needs at the same time. This concoction does a great job by simplifying your daily must-haves and chucks them altogether conveniently into a bowl. Good job, Koreans. 

Address:  Stall 5, 3 Temasek Boulevard, Suntec City Mall,
#03-367/68/69/70, Singapore 038983
Nearest MRT: Promenade 


9. Vietnamese Mango and Papaya Salad



Even though I’ve never been to Vietnam, my love for their street food is pho real. As a fan of their clear soup broths, I’ve always appreciated how Vietnamese cuisine goes easy on the tastebuds without being too savoury or heavy. 


It doesn’t always have to be a handful of iceberg lettuce, romaine and vegetables drenched in creamy sauces from the West. This Mango and Papaya Salad ($5) is a refreshing change so your lunches wouldn’t feel like a Subway sandwich in a bowl. Carb-free, we like it! 

Sunny’s Vietnamese Cuisine 
Address: #01-94, Lau Pa Sat, 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582
Nearest MRT: Raffles Place 


10. $1 Rickshaw Noodles at Maxwell Food Centre 



Source: @melissahoe 

By far one of the cheapest finds in the CBD, this $1 kan chia mee (rickshaw noodles) is for the health and budget-conscious. It might not look as fancy as ba chor mee, but you get a bowl of soft yellow noodles in a flavourful pork broth that’s been simmered for hours. 

A hit reminiscent of our grandparent’s era, this humble bowl of noodles used to cost as low as 5-cents and fueled rickshaw pullers through long days in the sweltering heat. 

Don’t expect too big a portion, but it’s definitely a good fill if you need a quick soupy fix. Chiong there once lunchtime hits because the noodles run out fast! 

China Street Rickshaw Noodles  
Address:  #01-87 Maxwell Food Centre, 1 Kadayanallur Street, 069184
Opening Hours:  Sat – Thurs ( 6.30 am – 1.30 pm), Closed on Fridays
Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar 


Keep your diet sustainable



From Raffles Place to Sin Ming, there’s an abundance of healthy food bandwagons you should totally be jumping on. 


Source: reactiongifs 

However, we don’t really know what qualifies as healthy and what doesn’t. Most of us know from our parents that fruits and vegetables are “good”, and deep fried stuff are “bad”. Unfortunately, nuggets of truth can get lost amidst conflicting information, such as when we’re told eggs are good… except when we eat too many. 



Keep your food facts sorted by talking to professional dietitians who can get your food intake back on track. Most people think of dietitians as people to consult when they’re overweight or pregnant, but they can help you in so many other ways.  

Dietitians can come up with personalised nutritional plans, helping you identify potential deficiencies before they get blown into full fledged problems. For example, find out if you’re getting enough calcium for your weight range or if you might get osteoporosis in your old age. Alternatively, if you’re not getting enough Vitamin A, you could develop night blindness. Talk to a dietitian to be safe, and you might be saving thousands in potential medical bills. 

Book an appointment with a dietitian today!


This post was brought to you by Mount Alvernia Hospital.

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