8 must-try stalls at Seah Im Food Centre
Good news: Seah Im Food Centre finally reopened in March after six months of renovation! The beloved hawker centre now sees new amenities, an upgraded ventilation system and a cleaner environment for diners.
It also welcomes the return of 38 cooked food and drink stalls, with familiar household favourites such as Daliman’s Korner and Aspirasi Food Galore. There’re also six non-food vendors. The remaining vacant stalls are up for bidding, so we’ll hopefully see more entrants to the hawker centre soon.
Seah Im Food Centre is a popular haunt for yummy lunchtime fixes — and understandably so. One is spoilt for choice here, what with the plethora of food options available.
Fret not, we’ve got you covered. This guide compiles some must-try stalls at Seah Im Food Centre that are bound to provide a satisfying meal.
1. Kheng Nam Lee Curry Rice
Seah Im Food Centre, 01-53, 2 Seah Im Road
Open: Monday to Saturday (9am to 3pm)
Why visit: There’s something irresistible about flavourful curry gravy laden on a heap of ingredients atop a fluffy bed of rice. It’s the ultimate comfort food, for the dishes are reminiscent of homecooked meals.
And at Seah Im Food Centre, Kheng Nam Lee Curry Rice is the closest you’ll get to savouring a taste of home. There’s a myriad of cai (dishes) to choose from, and the stall is famed for serving tasty goodness on a plate. The curry here is on the lighter side and the dishes are cheap and delicious – just the way we like our curry rice.
Price range: $
Crowd faves: You mustn’t miss the signature Assam fish, which boasts succulent flesh drenched in a tangy Assam sauce. It’s a star item that usually sells out by noon, so fastest fingers first!
Seah Im Food Centre, 01-36, 2 Seah Im Road
Open: Monday to alternate Saturday (6am to 3pm)
Why visit: This halal-certified stall is reputed for its handmade epok epok, also known as Malay-style curry puff. Bite into the crisp, buttery pastry, and it reveals a generous amount of warm filling. Ingredients include tangy, slightly spicy sardine or curried potato with egg.
Each umami-filled bite will have you reaching for more, thanks to its golden brown flaky crust. Note that the epok epok is available from 11am until it sells out.
Those popping by the stall can also indulge in the other grub on display. Believe us, there’s no dish that’s not a hit with the crowd.
Price range: $
Crowd faves: We’ll go back for the samosas (four pieces for S$2), which are sold only on occasion. It features a toothsome filling made from potatoes and spices. While the portion may be small, it makes for a great snack after meals.
3. Thaksin Beef Noodle
Seah Im Food Centre, 01-44, 2 Seah Im Road
Open: Monday to Sunday (10am to 9pm)
Why visit: Should the word “Thaksin” ring a bell, that’s because it’s the name of Thailand’s first prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra. You guessed it – Thaksin Beef Noodle is named after the man himself!
The halal-certified stall is famous among locals for its hearty and authentic Thai beef noodles, and for a good reason — the owner picked up the recipe from a Thai lady who used to sell it in Bangkok. Prepared Thai-style, each spoonful of broth is chock-full of herbaceous flavour.
Why travel to the Land of Smiles when you can relish authentic Thai fare right here at Seah Im Food Centre?
Price range: $
Crowd faves: The beef noodles (S$8/S$12) are the highlight of the menu. Each bowl touts an aromatic broth, flat white noodles and tender beef. Alternatively, go for the beef pad thai (S$7.50), where silky-smooth noodles are stir-fried and tossed to aromatic perfection.
4. Yong Tau Fu
Seah Im Food Centre, 01-52, 2 Seah Im Road
Open: Monday to Sunday (8am to 8pm)
Why visit: We can all agree that yong tau foo (stuffed tofu) is a go-to lunch option, especially when we’re spoiled with a drool-worthy bowl comprising a heap of ingredients.
For the uninitiated, yong tau foo refers to a dish that bears similar traits to mala hotpot – just without the spice. You can take your pick from a range of proteins, greens and carbs, which are served in a pool of broth or served gan (dry).
At Yong Tau Fu, previously known as Tian Ji Niang Dou Fu, you don’t get the liberty of choosing your own ingredients. You can, however, pick a fixed set comprising seven different ingredients (S$4.20) or you can go for the fixed set of six pieces with your choice of noodles or rice (S$4.30). You can also add on extra ingredients at a cost.
Price range: $
Crowd faves: If you’re not keen on a classic soup broth, the laksa (six pieces with noodles for S$5) won’t disappoint. It’s creamy, mildly sweet and packs a spicy punch.
5. Az Zumar
Seah Im Food Centre, 01-47, 2 Seah Im Road
Open: Monday to Sunday (6am to 10pm)
Why visit: Round off your meal with an array of drinks, courtesy of Az Zumar. This Muslim-owned stall is a favourite among regular patrons, often drawing long queues at lunchtime. When we arrived at the stall, we quickly joined the line, determined to find out why Az Zumar is so well-received.
Turns out, there’s a vast range of beverages to choose from, spanning from Thai red milk tea (S$2 for a small cup, S$3.50 for a big cup) to iced lychee (S$1.70). Az Zumar is also reputed for its creamy teh halia (S$1.40), a slightly spicy and sweet blend of ginger tea.
Price range: $
Crowd faves: Craving a refreshing thirst quencher? Then, the sugarcane lemon (S$2.50) is the perfect beverage to beat the heat on a sunny afternoon.
6. Teochew Fish Porridge Da Pai Dang 潮州鱼粥大排档
Seah Im Food Centre, 01-24, 2 Seah Im Road
Open: Monday to Sunday (11am to 8.30pm)
Why visit: Nothing quite hits the spot on a rainy day like a comforting bowl of fish soup served in a piping-hot claypot. Teochew Fish Porridge Da Pai Dang 潮州鱼粥大排档 is the one to make a beeline for if you’re craving sliced fish soaked in a tasty broth.
Seafood lovers can also swap out the standard fish protein for seafood.
To complete the meal, diners may choose to add yam rice (S$1.50) or braised pork rice (S$1.50). You can add on other ingredients, too, namely the fish maw (S$2/S$4/S$6) and fish roe (S$2/S$4/S$6).
Price range: $
Crowd faves: Order the bestselling item, the claypot porridge soup (S$8.50/$12.50). It features tender fish slices simmered in a rich soup, made even more flavourful with the hearty porridge.
7. Zhan Yuan Pig Organ Soup 展源猪杂汤
Seah Im Food Centre, 01-27, 2 Seah Im Road
Open: Thursday to Tuesday (8am to 8pm)
Why visit: True to Singaporean belief, if there’s a line, the food must be fantastic. Zhan Yuan Pig Organ Soup certainly sees long queues, and its pork organ soup (S$5) is indeed worth the wait. The dish is served with a multitude of ingredients, such as pig offal and lean pork slices.
We think the soup is the star of the show, though. The light-tasting broth is enriched by the sweetness of the pork, and there’s a gentle tanginess from the kiam chye (salted vegetables). It also has a slight peppery kick, which adds to the addictiveness of it all.
Price range: $
Crowd faves: The pig’s stomach soup (S$5) is another well-received item. Not only can diners savour its creamy richness, it’s also packed with a moreish, umami flavour.
8. G Meal
Seah Im Food Centre, 01-18, 2 Seah Im Road
Open: Monday to Sunday (11am to 9pm)
Why visit: Hands up if you love fried chicken as much as we do! Look no further than G Meal to satiate your fried chicken cravings, for the stall dishes up mouthwatering chicken that’s fried to crisp perfection.
The fried chicken can be paired with either fries or fragrant chicken rice. There’s a host of delights to go for; we recommend ordering the fried wing rice (S$4) or fried chicken cutlet rice (S$6.50).
The stall also serves two different types of chilli, but our favourite is the Hainanese chicken rice garlic chilli. It’s definitely not for the faint-hearted, for it packs a spicy punch.
Price range: $$
Crowd faves: If you’re sharing with your loved ones, the super big smoked chicken rice (S$3.50 for one pax, S$9 for two pax, S$15 for three pax) can feed up to three persons. It’s a popular item, thanks to its smoky and tender chicken meat.
EDITOR’S NOTE: In an earlier version of this article, MakanBoleh said that its epok epok was available from 5pm. The stall has since clarified that the epok epok is available from 11am and that its samosas are available only on occasion.
For more ideas on what to eat, check out our guide on affordable economic rice stalls and food spots along the Thomson-East Coast line.
All stores except for MakanBoleh, Yong Tau Fu, Zhan Yuan Pig Organ Soup 展源猪杂汤 and G Meal are on the GrabFood delivery service and offer free delivery (up to S$3 off) with GrabUnlimited. You can also book a ride to their stores.
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