15 top Geylang food spots for bak kut teh, Hokkien mee, frog porridge and more

By Claudia Tan November 10, 2023
15 top Geylang food spots for bak kut teh, Hokkien mee, frog porridge and more
Photos (clockwise from top left): Donburi Maruya/Facebook, ilovebali.sg, @sywensik/Instagram and Tanserseng.oddle.me

Yes, we all know Geylang has a reputation for being Singapore’s bustling red-light district. However, beyond this infamous status, did you know that Geylang also holds another honour — that of being a bonafide foodie paradise with an array of amazing food options available round the clock?

While the buzzy district is known for coming alive at night with a myriad of supper haunts for late-night cravings, there are actually numerous hawker options, zi char stalls and eateries offering international cuisines, which you can visit during daylight.

Apart from the well-known Geylang Serai market, and Geylang East Market and Food Centre, Geylang is a melting pot of foodie gems just waiting to be explored!

From authentic Hong Kong dim sum and traditional herbal bak kut teh to a nourishing bowl of frog porridge, no matter what you are craving, Geylang’s good food will satisfy you — there’s always a dish out there for you, no matter what time of the day.

Here are HungryGoWhere’s top 15 picks for the best food in Geylang that you can find.


1. Eminent Frog Porridge Seafood Restaurant

323 Geylang Road
Open: Sunday to Monday, Wednesday and Thursday (4pm to 3.30am), Friday and Saturday (4pm to 4am)

geylang food
Photo: Eminent Frog Porridge/Facebook

Why visit? After a hectic day, nothing beats the satisfaction of  indulging in a bowl of geylang porridge. An iconic Singaporean delicacy, frog porridge is known for being low-fat and rich in protein, making for a healthy and delicious dish. Featured on the Michelin Bib Gourmand’s recommendation list in 2018, Eminent Frog Porridge is a long-standing household name that sees hour-long queues on the weekends.

Alongside white congee cooked in earthen pots, Eminent serves its frog leg dishes cooked to perfection in different sauces, from gong bao and spring onion to chicken essence and Chinese herb soup. 

It also features two store-exclusive flavours, garlic and white pepper and special home-made chilli. But no matter what flavour you opt for, the frog meat is cooked to perfection, succulent and tender, the perfect vessel for the fragrance of the different herbs and spices. This is the best place to go for frog leg porridge in Geylang.

Price range: $$

Crowd favourites: Frog meat dishes start from S$8 per portion, and its gong bao flavour is a bestseller, a perennial favourite that lands with a bold and spicy kick harmonised by the comforting congee (from S$2). 

Get your money’s worth with the restaurant’s famous “buy two get one free” store promotion for frog meat portions, and if you’re looking for other side dishes to accompany the porridge, the restaurant also does well with the typical zi char dishes on its menu, such as sweet and sour pork (from S$10) and a variety of crab dishes (based on seasonal pricing).

Do note that the restaurant only accepts cash, so remember to bring your wallet along and pay the old-fashioned way!


2. Leong Kee (Klang) Bak Kut Teh

251 Geylang Road
Open: Monday to Sunday (11.30am to 11.30pm)

geylang food
Photo: Leong Kee Bak Kut Teh/Facebook

Why visit? Some people like their bak kut teh peppery, and some love Malaysia’s herbal bak kut teh. The latter is a pretty rare find in Singapore, but Leong Kee Bak Kut Teh does a great rendition, with a robust pork stock and fork-tender ribs infused in an aromatic but light herbal broth.

Most regulars swear by this Geylang bak kut teh spot, which often attracts a long line during peak hours.

Price range: $

Crowd favourites: If you’re a fan of herbal bak kut teh, you should try its signature Leong Kee bak kut teh (S$8.80), which oozes a light herbal flavour. Order some beancurd skin and fried youtiao (dough fritters) (S$1) on the side for the perfect balance of crispy texture and rich flavour. 

Its dry bak kut teh (S$12) comes highly recommended, too. The restaurant’s true must-try “hidden gem”, however, is its stewed pork leg (S$8.80). Braised just right with the perfect amount of fat over tender pork meat, it is the perfect vessel for its richly aromatic broth.


3. Swee Guan Hokkien Mee

5 Lorong 29 Geylang
Open: Thursday to Tuesday (4pm to 10pm)

geylang food
Photo: @sywensik/Instagram

Why visit? Located at a coffee shop that’s a seven minute walk from Aljunied MRT station, Swee Guan Hokkien Mee first opened in 1968, and is now run by a second-generation chef who took over the stall from his father. Known for its unique charcoal-fried hokkien mee, Swee Guan has crowds that start way before dinner, with snaking queues by the time the store opens at 4pm.

The wait is well worth it, as the owner fries the Hokkien mee one serving at a time. Each plate comes perfectly charred with a generous amount of egg and seafood, its umami, smoky broth coating each strand of yellow noodle. You can’t go wrong with this Geylang Hokkien mee.

Price range: $

Crowd favourites: Each batch of hokkien mee (from S$8) is evenly soaked in seafood stock before it is cooked to the perfect consistency, and the charcoal imbues the dish with a smoky barbeque aroma. The prawns are also taut and fresh, and along with bite-sized sotong rings, these lend a chewy texture to the plate of Hokkien mee.

We would recommend a S$10 portion for a filling dinner that hits the spot.


4. Gong He Guan

​​217 Geylang Road
Open: Daily (10am to 2am)

geylang food
Photo: Gong He Guan/Facebook

Why visit? Open from morning until late at night, Gong He Guan is the perfect midnight Geylang dessert spot. Designed like a traditional Hong Kong dessert joint, it serves 17 different varieties of traditional Chinese desserts within its humble space.

From traditional pastes such as black sesame, almond and peanut paste, to the authentic gui ling gao and popular mango pudding and rock melon with sago, Gong He Guan is the perfect late-night supper spot to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Price range: $$

Crowd favourites: Gong He Guan is known for its signature gui ling gao (tortoise jelly, S$8.60), which comes in generous portions and boasts an authentic herbal flavour. Other in-house favourites include its mixed pastes (S$3), which give you the option to try two different flavours of paste in a single bowl. For an additional S$1.20, you have the option to add three tang yuan (glutinous rice balls) to go with your dessert paste.

And if you’re looking to give yourself a big treat, the most expensive item on the menu is its fresh top grade bird’s nest with rock sugar (S$33), which is boiled for hours with premium-grade ingredients to justify its hefty price tag. 


5. Mongkok Dim Sum

214 Geylang Road
Open: 24 hours

geylang food
Photo: Mongkok Dim Sum/Facebook

Why visit? If you’re craving Geylang dim sum at an ungodly hour, Mongkok dimsum in Geylang is open 24 hours a day, so dedicated dim sum lovers never have to go without their fix. Named after the buzzing district in Kowloon, Hong Kong, Mongkok Dim Sum serves up authentic quality dimsum dishes in generous portions and at wallet-friendly prices.

Price range: $$

Crowd favourites: Mongkok Dim Sum does well with the typical dim sum dishes you would find on a regular dim sum menu. From the perfectly sweet and salty flowing custard of its liu sha bao (custard bun, S$5) to its crispy deep-fried yam pastry with meat filling (S$7.80), Mongkok Dim Sum serves up consistently good quality when it comes to dim sum. It also does a mean xia jiao (har gow or prawn dumpling, S$3.50) with delicately thin crystal dumpling skin wrapped around fresh prawns.

The three yolk crab porridge (S$9) is the highlight here, boiled to the consistency of Cantonese congee and topped with chopped century egg, soft-boiled egg yolks and crumbly salted egg yolk. A turn of your spoon will reveal generous portions of fresh crab meat, which adds a natural sweetness to the congee.


6. Donburi Maruya

56/58 Lorong 25A Geylang 
Open: Daily (11am to 10pm)

geylang food
Photo: Donburi Maruya/Facebook

Why visit? Serving up affordable classical Japanese meals, Donburi Maruya prides itself on specializing in donburi, using only the freshest and finest cuts of pork and chicken. Apart from the usual rice bowls such as tonkatsu don and beef donburi, Donburi Maruya also has a wide variety of options available, such as udon, ramen and curry rice sets.

While the Japanese eatery has a few outlets around the island, the Geylang branch, tucked away in Foodloft coffeeshop near Aljunied MRT station, has arguably, one of the cheapest prices of the bunch, making it a must-visit for foodies in Geylang.

Price range: $

Crowd favourites: Donburi Maruya is best known for its traditional teishoku tonkatsu, a crispy breaded pork cutlet propped up by a metal grill served with shredded cabbage. It goes for S$7.50 a la carte and S$10 for a meal with rice and miso soup — a hearty lunch sorted.

Its menu also boasts of the deluxe unagi don (S$14.50), which comes in an extra-large portion and a cut of Japanese eel that is well-marinated and full of umami. Well-grilled to a light crispy char, the unagi is plump and fresh and wrapped in a blanket of egg and onions over rice. It’s no wonder some foodies have crowned this store the best curry rice in Geylang.


7. Lor 9 Beef Kway Teow

237 Geylang Road
Open:  Daily (11am to 12.30am)

geylang food
Photo: @iris.__.nihao/Instagram

Why visit? An iconic hawker spot in Singapore, Lor 9 Beef Kway Teow is known for its signature Geylang beef hor fun, and was at one point, awarded a Michelin plate for the dish. Characterised by its generous helping of succulent beef slices and wide silky smooth kway teow mixed in soy sauce and bean paste gravy, the dish is perfectly stir-fried and comes with slight peppery notes and an aromatic wok hei.

Price range: $$

Crowd favourites: Lor 9’s beef hor fun comes in various sizes, starting from an S$8 portion that is good for solo dining. The S$14 portion is best for a pair, while its largest S$30 plate can feed up to four people. Either way, the tender beef slices in gooey sauce will make for a satisfying meal. Contrary to its name, the stall also serves a solid seafood hor fun (from S$6) and zi char dishes.


8. Penang Seafood Restaurant

32 Aljunied Road
Open: Daily (11am to 12am)

geylang food
Photo: Penang Seafood Restaurant/Facebook

Why visit? Known for its vibrant street food culture, Penang Seafood Restaurant is every foodie’s paradise. Offering an array of tantalising dishes, from crispy prawn rolls to the amazing wok hei of its char kway teow and the spicy kick of its assam laksa, Penang Seafood Restaurant is the closest we’ve come to getting a taste of authentic Penang cuisine in Singapore.

Price range: $$$

Crowd favourites: Our top recommendation would be the assam laksa (S$8). Painstakingly simmered for a minimum of four hours each day, a deep, rich fish broth envelopes the noodles together with fresh vegetables and spices, producing a refreshing sour and spicy palate. Infused in a smoky wok hei flavour and boasting a more savoury taste than the Singaporean version, the Penang char kway teow (from S$8) is a must-try dish. 

Apart from representative dishes that speak to Penang’s rich gastronomic culture, the restaurant is also popular for its wide variety of fresh seafood dishes cooked to perfection and available at reasonable prices. It does a brilliant job with its crab dishes, offered in a series of delectable flavours, including the nation’s favourite chilli crab, the ever-popular salted egg crab and the classic black and white pepper crab (all available at seasonal prices).



9. Tan Ser Seng Herbs (Turtle) Restaurant

29 Lorong Bachok
Open: Daily (11am to 8.30pm)

geylang food
Photo: Tanserseng.oddle.me

Why visit? Originally reserved for royal feasts in China, turtle soup quickly established itself as a nutritional dish with many health benefits in Singapore. Tan Ah Sai, the founder of Tan Ser Seng Herbs Restaurant had brought his unique trade of turtle soup from China in 1946, and began peddling his herbal broth along Orchard Road and later, Mei Shi Jie (Beauty World). The founder then continuously improved his recipe before passing it down to his family’s younger generation.

Price range: $$$

Crowd favourites: Simmered in more than 20 different herbs, the claypot turtle soup (from S$31.10) is the star of the menu. The soup is sweet and full-bodied but with a light and smooth texture, boasting a refreshing tinge of fresh herbs and a faint aftertaste of rice wine.

If the thought of eating turtle meat makes you uneasy, rest assured that Tan Ser Seng does not use endangered or wild turtles in its soup. Instead, the meat comes from a local company that imports softshell turtles from Indonesian farms and is prepared exclusively for consumption.

But as an alternative for those who are not adventurous enough to try turtle soup in Geylang, the restaurant also sells other nourishing soup options such as its cordyceps chicken soup (S$16.80) and black chicken soup (S$16.80).


10. Liu Da Ma BBQ

26 Lorong 11 Geylang
Open: Daily (12pm to 12am)

geylang food
Photo: @jamietan04/Instagram

Why visit? If you’re looking for a late-night dinner or supper spot where you can catch up with some friends, Liu Da Ma BBQ offers a plethora of authentic Chinese barbequed delicacies at affordable prices.

Whether you crave the succulence of lamb skewers seasoned with cumin and chilli, the smoky notes of perfectly charred beef, or the irresistible aroma of chicken wings glazed with sweet and savoury sauces, Liu Da Ma BBQ caters to every preference.

Price range: $$

Crowd favourites: While the beef and pork skewers (S$6.80 for five) are great, the place is known for serving great lamb dishes. The grilled lamb shoulder (S$78 to S$88) and lamb leg (S$78) are the house speciality, or you can go for a more affordable bite-sized option with its lamb skewers (S$6.80 for five), which are a standout.

Lightly charred to a smoky barbecued crisp on the surface, the meat is plenty succulent and tender, instead of being too gamey or dry on the inside.


11. Hong Qin Fish and Duck Porridge

134 Geylang East Avenue 1, 01-217
Open: Thursday to Tuesday (5.30am to 3.30pm)

geylang food
Photo: Hong Qin Fish and Duck Porridge/Facebook

Why visit? First opened in 1985, Hong Qin Fish and Duck Porridge has had a long history of whipping up tasty Teochew-style porridge and dishes. It’s already a pretty rare sight to see one stall specialising in both duck and fish porridge, and Hong Qin Fish and Duck Porridge goes a level higher by selling three different types of meat (fish, duck and pork). 

Its signature fish soup is cooked in a rich flavourful pork shank soup for four hours before fish bones are added and further brewed into a rich broth, resulting in a sweet and savoury taste. The soup is then served Teochew-style, with a side of steamed rice to be mixed in the soup.

Price range: $$

Crowd favourites: The sliced fish soup (S$8) comes highly recommended, with its hefty portion of thick-cut boneless mackerel fish fillets, both fried and boiled slices, garnished with lettuce, seaweed and crisp coriander that lend the soup a grainy and earthy sweet flavour.

Its braised pig trotters (S$8) are also perfectly stewed in a rich braised pork gravy that penetrates deep into the collagen-rich trotters, leaving meat moist and tender on the inside.


12. L32 Handmade Noodles

558 Geylang Road, Lorong 32 Geylang
Open: Tuesday to Sunday (11.30am to 9.30pm)

geylang food
Photo: L32 Handmade Noodles/Facebook

Why visit? A bowl of ban mian from L32 Handmade Noodles is the ultimate comfort food experience. Run by a couple, the noodles here are al dente, firm and bouncy, setting them apart from the commonplace factory-made noodles you can find in many stalls.

The use of fresh ingredients is enveloped in a rich but not greasy broth, which makes digging into this bowl an utter pleasure from first bite to last sip.

Price range: $

Crowd favourites: Customers can choose from ban mian, you mian or mee hoon kueh for their noodles and opt to have the noodles dry or in soup. But apart from its freshly hand-made noodles, L32 Handmade Noodles’ ban mian (from S$7) stands out for its wide range of options for toppings. 

Apart from the usual minced pork and egg, the dish features additional ingredients such as meatballs, fishballs, seafood and chicken slices. Its housemade ikan bilis is super crispy, and so popular that customers often top up a dollar to have more added to their bowl for an extra dash of umami.


13. Banh Mi Thit by Star Baguette

543 Geylang Road
Open: Tuesday to Sunday (10am to 9pm)

geylang food
Photo: Banh Mi Thit/Facebook

Why visit? In recent years, the banh mi (a Vietnamese sandwich comprising a baguette filled with meat and vegetables) has risen in popularity as a favourite Vietnamese dish among diners here. But good banh mi is not easy to come by. Banh Mi Thit, however, is as close as we can get to authentic Vietnamese banh mi in Singapore, all available at a wallet-friendly price. Many now make a beeline for it when searching for Geylang food.

Price range: $

Crowd favourites: Sandwiches at Banh Mi Thit are priced at S$5 across the board. Customers get to choose the ingredients filling the sandwich, from chicken, beef or egg to fresh vegetables, finished with a special sauce. To wash it all down, the humble eatery also sells Vietnamese coffee (S$1.50).


14. Sia Kee Duck Rice

659 to 661 Lorong 35 Geylang
Open: Sunday to Friday (11.30am to 4.30pm)

geylang food
Photo: Sia Kee Duck Rice/Facebook

Why visit? Founded in 1979 by Oh Kim Seng, who had over a decade of experience at a Teochew braised duck stall, Sia Kee Duck Rice is a staple in the neighbourhood and a top spot when looking for good Geylang food.

Known to be home to Singapore’s best boneless braised duck rice, the famous stall has been handed to the second generation and is now being run by the founder’s sons, Albert, Lawrence and Ron. While the stall’s name is listed as Sean Kee Duck Rice online and on their storefront, Sia Kee is the accurate pronunciation of the stall’s name in dialect.

Price range: $

Crowd favourites: A good old-fashioned plate of Sia Kee duck rice (S$5) boasts tenderly marinated duck meat that has a delicate balance of sweet, savoury and herbal notes, enveloped in a tantalising crispy skin. Topped off with fragrant rice and a generous drizzle of special braised gravy sauce, the dish is served with a herbal soup made in fresh batches daily.

If you are dining in a group, try the mixed duck platter (S$18), which comes with bountiful servings of duck meat, egg, and fishcake, topped with peanuts and beansprouts.


15. Bali Nasi Lemak

2 Lorong 15 Geylang
Open: Monday to Saturday (5.30pm to 3am)

geylang food
Photo: ilovebali.sg

Why visit? Bali Nasi Lemak is a renowned restaurant helmed by Madam Susan Koh, who has been peddling nasi lemak since 1985. A plate of Bali nasi lemak is easily recognisable from its Thai basmati rice seeped in the light fragrance of coconut milk and pandan leaves.

And true to its name, Bali Nasi Lemak lends a unique Indonesian influence to its dishes, standing out with a sambal that delivers a slow, addictive burn and ikan kunning (yellowstripe scad) that is fried to be crispy on the outside, but tender on the inside.

Regulars will be sad to know that it’s moving to a swanky new location at 142 Sims Avenue come mid-November, after close to 30 years at 2 Lorong 15 Geylang. However, the eatery has reassured us that prices, thankfully, will remain the same.

Price range: $

Crowd favourites: While pre-selected sets are available, the a la carte option drives a bigger crowd because it allows patrons to choose each element according to their preferences.

Each meal starts from S$2 for a decent portion of rice, and while vegetable side dishes cost S$1 per portion, meat side dishes range from S$2 for an ikan kunning or chicken wing add-on, to S$3 for a chicken drumstick.

Still hungry? Read our stories on the best fish head curry in Singapore and Patisserie Cle’s new River Valley flagship store.

Leong Kee Bak Kut Teh, Gong He Guan, Mongkok Dim Sum, Donburi Maruya, Penang Seafood Restaurant, Hong Qin Fish and Duck Porridge, L32 Handmade Noodles and Bali Nasi Lemak are on the GrabFood delivery service and offer free delivery (up to S$3 off) with GrabUnlimited. 

Alternatively, book a ride to these food options in Geylang.

Do check out amazing deals on the GrabFood Dine-in service.

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Claudia Tan


Claudia is a passionate writer who enjoys eating good food without exercising. But recently, her foodie musings have started to distract her during meals. This new food writing gig may just be the best diet she has ever been on.

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