8 hawker and coffee-shop stalls to visit in Yishun

By Joy Fang April 18, 2023
8 hawker and coffee-shop stalls to visit in Yishun
Photos: Joy Fang/HungryGoWhere, Coba Coba/Facebook (bottom right)

We all know Yishun enjoys a less-than-stellar reputation. Yes, it’s been the butt of many jokes, including pointed jabs by streaming service Netflix, which made reference to the neighbourhood in promos for its Stranger Things series.

As a former resident of Yishun, it amuses me to see it in the news for all the wrong reasons. Because if you live in this part of town, you’d know that it’s a region teeming with food gems — both old-school and new. 

This guide will zoom in on coffee-shop and hawker options, because those in malls such as Northpoint City — a thriving food hub in its own right — need little introduction. 

Nestled within unassuming HDB blocks and lively hawker centres, these stalls are unpretentious and underrated — many of them well-kept secrets among residents.

Here are eight hawker and coffee-shop stalls to check out the next time you venture to the north of Singapore.

1. 928 Yishun Laksa 

928 Yishun Central 1, 01-155
Open: Monday to Saturday (7.30am to 7pm)

02 jf Yishun coffeeshop and hawker centre stalls-928 Yishun Laksa-HungryGoWhere
Photo: Joy Fang/HungryGoWhere

Why visit? This fuss-free stall is a stalwart in Yishun, serving homely, unpretentious bowls that are consistently good. Each bowl is packed with rich flavours and boasts al dente noodles with plenty of ingredients in a thick, creamy broth — no wonder it draws snaking queues during peak hours.

Price range: $

Crowd faves: The laksa (from S$3) features fishcake, hard-boiled egg, tau pok (fried tofu puffs), cockles and beansprouts with your choice of noodles. We recommend adding extra cockles (S$1) for a truly unbeatable experience.

2. Yishun 925 Chicken Rice

Blk 1, 925 Yishun Central, 01-249
Open: Daily (11am to 8.30pm)

03 jf Yishun coffee-shop and hawker stalls-Yishun 925 Chicken Rice-HungryGoWhere
Photo: Yishun 925 Chicken Rice/Facebook

Why visit? Residents in the area swear by this chicken rice purveyor — and the queues during lunch hour are testament to this. Glistening and soft chicken pieces are drenched in a flavourful sauce and paired with fragrant, slightly oily rice that has just the right amount of bite. The meal feels light but is oh-so-satisfying.

Price range: $

Crowd faves: Only steamed chicken is served here (sorry, roast-chicken fans). You can opt for the basic chicken breast rice (S$3.50) or order the chicken drumstick rice (S$5) if you prefer more tender and juicy meat.

3. Hai Xian Zhu Zhou

233 Yishun Street 21, 01-472
Open: Thursdays to Tuesdays (6am to 3pm)

04 jf Yishun coffee-shop and hawker stalls-Hai Xian Zhu Zhou-Kekou mian-HungryGoWhere
Photo: Joy Fang/HungryGoWhere

Why visit? Although this stall sells a variety of porridge, it’s most famous for its ke kou mian (or Koka instant noodles). Be prepared to wait if you’re there during peak hours, as each flavourful bowl is cooked a la minute and comprises springy instant noodles in a rich broth that’s topped with vegetables and other ingredients. 

Price range: $

Crowd faves: The pork Koka noodles (S$3.50) are a standout, with each bowl heaped with lean pork meat, minced meat and pork liver. Opt for an egg (50 cents), which gives your soup a creamy texture. The meat is perfectly marinated and the broth is not too salty. If you prefer a kick, go for the tom yum Koka noodles (S$3.70). This is intense and not for the faint of heart.

4. Coba Coba

156 Yishun Street 11, 01-106
Open: Wednesday to Monday (8am to 7.30pm)

05 jf Yishun coffee-shop and hawker stalls-Coba Coba-nasi ambeng-HungryGoWhere
Photos: Coba Coba/Facebook

Why visit? Well-loved by residents in the area, Coba Coba is a homely eatery that serves amazing nasi padang and nasi ambeng (sharing platter). While it’s not air-conditioned, it’s airy and spacious, with plenty of seating. Choose from the plethora of Malay-Indonesian dishes that are available in single and communal servings.

Price range: $$

Crowd faves: If you wish to try a bit of everything, its deluxe nasi ambeng (S$43.90 for two pax) is your best bet. The generous serving has a combination of dishes, such as udang balado hijau (spicy shrimp), ikan kering (dried fish), ayam kalio (chicken in spiced coconut gravy), sambal goreng (stir-fried tofu, tempeh and long beans), and begedil

If you want to go for individual dishes, the beef rendang, tahu telur (Indonesian tofu omelette), lemak siput sedut (sea snail) and sotong sumbat (stuffed squid) are highly lauded, too.

5. Pak Mandor Nasi Lemak

645 Yishun Street 61, 01-320
Open: Saturday to Thursday (7.30am to 1pm)

06 jf Yishun coffee-shop and hawker stalls-Pak Mandor Nasi Lemak-HungryGoWhere
Photo: Joy Fang/HungryGoWhere

Why visit? Housed in a nondescript coffee shop, Pak Mandor is a hidden gem that residents rave about. Wallet-friendly and delicious, the stall is known for its fluffy and fragrant pandan-infused coconut rice that comes in an alluring shade of green, as well as its piquant and slightly sweet sambal chilli.

Price range: $

Crowd faves: The nasi lemak is an obvious choice. You get to pick four of your favourites — for S$3.50 — from a spread of fried dishes, or you can go with the stall’s set combos. We recommend the lightly battered crispy chicken wing, crunchy ikan bilis, begedil and fried kuning (yellowstripe scad fish) for a satisfying and complete meal. 

 

6. Ah Tan Wings

Yishun Park Hawker Centre, 01-40, 51 Yishun Avenue 11
Open: Wednesday to Monday (11am to 9pm)

07 jf Yishun coffee-shop and hawker stalls-Ah Tan Wings-Yishun Park Hawker Centre-HungryGoWhere
Photo: Ah Tan Wings/Facebook

Why visit? As its name implies, Ah Tan Wings specialises in chicken — specifically, of the shrimp-paste kind, otherwise known as har cheong gai. The fried chicken here is crispy and fragrant, and when paired with rice and a fried egg, makes a satisfying meal.

Price range: $

Crowd faves: The Wing Wing Meal (S$5.70) is a popular choice, comprising two shrimp-paste wings with rice, egg and chilli. Otherwise, the Atas Cutlet (S$7.20) is great for big eaters, boasting a large shrimp-paste fried cutlet that will have you holding your stomach in satiation.

7. Nasi Lemak Ayam Taliwang

Yishun Park Hawker Centre, 01-33, 51 Yishun Avenue 11
Open: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday to Sunday (6.30am to 7pm), Thursday (7am to 7pm)

08 jf Yishun coffee-shop and hawker stalls-Nasi Lemak Ayam Taliwang-Yishun Park Hawker Centre-HungryGoWhere
Photo: Nasi Lemak Ayam Taliwang/Facebook

Why visit? This Michelin Plate recipient’s OG stall in Yishun has been a favourite among foodies in the area. It serves a generous plate of Indonesian-style nasi lemak that’s accompanied by a large chicken leg heaped with homemade sauces.

Price range: $

Crowd faves: You can’t go wrong with its signature nasi lemak ayam taliwang (S$6.20). The chicken is well-marinated in its homemade taliwang sauce, with a taste that’s a wonderful mix of sweet, spicy and tangy. It combines delightfully with coconut rice, egg and ikan bilis for a textured meal. You can also try the nasi lemak ayam cabe ijo (S$6.20), which is served with green chilli mixed with ikan bilis, and is equally piquant and satisfying.

8. Huat Kee Kway Chap

171 Yishun Avenue 7, 01-01
Open: Thursday to Tuesday (6.30am to 1.30pm)

09 jf Yishun coffee-shop and hawker stalls-Huat Kee Kway Chap-HungryGoWhere
Photo: Joy Fang/HungryGoWhere

Why visit? Huat Kee Kway Chap has been operating for more than six decades, so it stands to reason why this is the stall residents make a beeline for when they are craving a warm, comforting bowl of kway chap on a rainy day. There’s a long wait and it sells out quickly, so head there early.

Price range: $

Crowd faves: The kway chap set for one (S$5.50, top-ups apply for extra ingredients) comes with a plate of braised items such as egg, pork belly, intestines and tau kwa (firm tofu). Everything about this meal is delicious, from the rich, flavourful broth and the silky-smooth rice sheets swimming in it, to the generous portion of ingredients drenched in a savoury sauce. The intestines, in particular, are thick but tender. Even the slightly tangy homemade chilli accompanying the meal is a winner.

For more ideas on what to eat, read our guides on affordable Japanese restaurants and Seah Im Food Centre.

Yishun 925 Chicken Rice’s Ang Mo Kio, Jurong, Serangoon, Bukit Panjang and Potong Pasir outlets, as well as Coba Coba, Ah Tan Wings and Nasi Lemak Ayam Taliwang, are on GrabFood and offer free delivery (up to S$3 off) with GrabUnlimited. You can also book a ride to any of these eateries.


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Joy Fang

Author

Joy has more than 14 years of experience as a journalist, editor and content creator. She has a soft spot for good food and strongly believes there’s nothing better than hot tea, cake and a good read on a rainy day.

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