North-easties are evidently excited about the opening of One Punggol Hawker Centre on Oct 31. With 34 stalls and more than 700 seats, it’s the new go-to food haven for hungry residents.
Hours past lunch at noon, the place was still packed with people. It isn’t hard to see why, given that popular stalls such as Kwang Kee Teochew Fish Porridge and Eng Kee Chicken Wings have found a home there.
Braving the crowds, HungryGoWhere rounds up five stalls that are a hit in our books at the new hawker centre.
1. Botak Cantonese Porridge
One Punggol Hawker Centre, 02-14, 1 Punggol Drive
Open: Thursday to Tuesday (7.30am to 9pm, or until sold out)
Botak Cantonese Porridge is a family-owned business that started selling Cantonese-style porridge at Our Tampines Hub. The stall at One Punggol Hawker Centre is its second outlet.
Most known for its handmade meatballs that are freshly kneaded and shaped every morning, you’ll have to head down early in order to snag a bowl of the popular handmade meatball porridge (S$3.50).
What sets it apart from other porridge stalls is its effective use of ginger — the subtle tang in the porridge wasn’t overpowering, incorporating a refreshing sweetness to the dish.
What to order: Handmade meatball porridge (S$3.50), sliced fish porridge (S$5.30), minced pork century egg porridge (S$4)
2. Uncle Penyet
One Punggol Hawker Centre, 02-01, 1 Punggol Drive
Open: Daily (9am to 9pm)
With multiple outlets across the island, most Singaporeans wouldn’t be strangers to Uncle Penyet. It was a pleasant surprise that despite the numerous outlets opened, Uncle Penyet maintained its high calibre at its newest stall.
While the signature smashed fried chicken (S$6.50) is on the pricier side, it’s well worth the money. The chicken thigh is huge with a crunchy exterior.
Fans of spice shouldn’t skip on the chilli — it was sharp with a slight tang, building a complex flavour when paired with the rest of the ingredients in the dish.
What to order: Smashed fried chicken (S$6.50), ayam panggang set (S$6.50), ayam kukus with brown rice set (S$5.90)
3. 75 Ah Balling Peanut Soup
One Punggol Hawker Centre, 02-13, 1 Punggol Drive
Open: Tuesday to Sunday (11am to 8pm)
It isn’t easy to find tangyuan, a chewy glutinous rice ball stuffed with filling, in Singapore. Perhaps that is why there was a snaking queue at the hawker centre just to get a piping-hot bowl from 75 Ah Balling Peanut Soup. It’s the fourth outlet opened by the popular brand, which started its first stall at Golden Mile Food Centre.
Soup bases available at the stall include peanut, almond milk, ginger and longan red date. You can opt for four to six glutinous rice balls (S$2.40 for four pieces, S$2.80 for five, and S$3.20 for six) in the soup.
While yam and matcha glutinous rice balls are the more novel flavours, we highly recommend the original three: Peanut, sesame and red bean.
What to order: Peanut soup with sesame, peanut and red bean glutinous rice balls (from S$2.40)
4. Fei Zhuang Yuan Herbal Bak Kut Teh
One Punggol Hawker Centre, 02-18, 1 Punggol Drive
Open: Daily (11.30am to 8pm, or until sold out)
Fei Zhuang Herbal Bak Kut Teh is one of the more underrated gems at One Punggol Hawker Centre.
The robust herbal taste was prominent in the pork ribs herbal bak kut teh (S$6), giving it a deep and earthy flavour that’s especially soothing on an overcast day. While the pork ribs weren’t melt-in-your-mouth soft, it had decent chew and slid off the bone easily.
We’d give the youtiao (S$1.50) — a long strip of deep-fried dough — a miss, though. It’s relatively expensive and tough.
What to order: Pork ribs herbal bak kut teh (S$6), premium loin ribs herbal bak kut teh (S$9)
5. Chwee Kueh
One Punggol Hawker Centre, 02-20, 1 Punggol Drive
Open: Daily (7am until sold out)
This stall means business. Its signboard simply features Chinese characters “水粿”, which is the name of the only dish the stall is selling — chwee kueh (S$2 for four pieces, S$3 for six and S$4 for eight).
The kueh served here was delightfully warm, soft and fluffy. While the preserved radish wasn’t overly salty, it could have been served warmer as the temperature difference between the two components was slightly jarring.
What to order: Chwee kueh (S$2 for four pieces, S$3 for six and S$4 for eight)