When visiting Singapore, one should go for things that are unique to our island. Hawker food is definitely right at the top of the list. Chicken rice, hokkien mee, char kway teow, and laksa – Singapore is a foodie paradise.
One of the more popular hawker centres in the West is Clementi Market and Food Centre. Besides Bukit Timah Hawker Centre, this is the place that I always frequent when I want a cheap and simple meal.
Like other hawker centres, Clementi Food Centre has its own star tenants: stalls with extremely long queue throughout the day. Tanglin Halt Western Food, Clementi Fish Soup, Nam Kee Hokkien Mee, Chen Ji Ke Jia Niang Dou Fou, and Yong Fa Hainanese Curry Rice have been around for quite some time, and they are among the most popular stalls in the market.
My favourite is definitely Tanglin Halt Western Stall (#01-11) which has good Western Food. I’ve been going back for many years, and I’m pleased to say that standards have not dropped.
When you mention Clementi Food Centre, the famous Clementi Fish Soup (#01-41) immediately comes to mind. There’s a perpetual queue for their Fish Porridge, Sliced Fish Soup and Fish Head Bee Hoon; the only way to beat the queue is to go during off-peak hours.
Just behind the Fish Soup stall, there’s Nam Kee Hokkien Mee (#01-12) where you need to wait at least twenty minutes for a plate of Hokkien Mee, which by the way, is basically fried noodles cooked in Hokkien (Fujian) style. The good thing is you don’t have to stand in line as they will take down your table number and serve it to you. I like Hokkien Mee, but I don’t really fancy Nam Kee’s version as I find it a little too dry.
Chen Ji Ke Jia Niang Dou Fou (#01-27) – known for their Yong Tau Foo – only opens during the day. Their business is so good that they usually close after lunch.
Just a few stalls away, you can always find a madding crowd waiting in line at Yong Fa Hainanese Curry Rice (#01-25).
There are a few chicken rice stalls in the market, and it can be quite a headache if you don’t know who to order from. I usually go to Song Xing Chicken Rice (#01-25) and stall #01-18, simply called ‘Hainanese Chicken Rice.’
If you feel like having Prawn Noodles, check out Kim Meng Prawn Mee (#01-38). They also have Lor Mee and Laksa.
At night, Chai Ho Satay (#01-10) is the place to go for satay – a dish of skewered and grilled meat (chicken/pork/beef/mutton), served with a peanut sauce.
The famous Bedok Chwee Kueh (#01-32) also has a branch at Clementi Hawker Centre. Chwee Kueh – a steamed rice cake topped with fried preserved radish – is the perfect way to start a hawker feast.
For Pig’s Organ Soup and Bak Ku Teh, I’ll go to Zheng Zhi Wen (#01-19). Right beside it, there’s this stall – Snow Mount (#01-17) – selling fried Pisang Goreng. Speaking of which, they also serve Char Kway Teow (I know, it’s a little weird). I had it once and I thought that it was okay. Otherwise, I’d satisfy my Char Kway Teow craving at Stall #01-34, the only vender in Clementi Food Centre that sells Oyster Omelette, Carrot Cake, and Char Kway Teow.
Clementi Central Market & Food Centre is located at Block 448 Clementi Avenue 3. It is just a few minutes walk away from Clementi MRT Station.