Tanjong Katong is turning out to be another exciting food hub in the East. There are a number of cool bars, ice-cream parlours, hip cafes, eateries offering fish & chips, roti prata, steamboat and bak kut teh. French bakery, Italian restaurant, Teochew porride stall, million dollar roast meat restaurant, Peranakan fare and Korean bingsu can all be found along the short stretch of Tanjong Katong Road between Mountbatten Road and Dunman Road. There are a handful of places that are popular among the locals for their cheap and good food. These are places where you can get a delicious meal for about $5 or less per person. We list here The Ordinary Patrons’ favourite Cheap and Good Food in Tanjong Katong.
Eng’s Wantan Noodles (Temporarily closed for relocation)
Eng’s Noodles House has a long history which started with an itinerant hawker selling “kok kok mee” in Joo Chiat in the 1950s. They moved into their standalone shop in Tanjong Katong in 2012.
The eating house is plain and spartan and the noodles there also look simple and ordinary. The wantan noodles at $4.50 per small bowl ($5.50 for big bowl) are served with a house sauce based on pork stock and lard. The egg noodles are nice and springy. What make Eng’s noodles special are the deep-fried lard (lar pok) and the super hot chilli – both of which you add to your own taste. Their wantans are tender and tasty. Side orders of boiled wantan, fried wantan and vegetables are available from $3 to $5.
287 Tanjong Katong Road
Tel : +65 8688 2727
Opening Hours : 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Closed on Alternate Mondays
Nan Xiang Chicken Rice
There seems to be always a queue at this chicken rice stall in Keng Bee Coffee Shop, next to the Caltex station. The chickens are usually sold out within a few hours. Those who go there late are left with the roast meats – roast duck, char siew and roast pork belly. The latecomers would not be shortchanged because the roast meats are very good too.
A plate of chicken rice or char siew rice is $3. The portion of meat given is generous – almost double the amount they serve at some food courts. The chicken rice is fragrant and savoury and good enough to eat on its own without any sauce or even meat to go with it. The chili sauce and ginger will enhance the enjoyment of the chicken rice.
271 Tanjong Katong Road
Tel : +65 6397 6823
Opening Hours : 10 am – 10 pm
Sheng Cheng Tau Kwa Pau
Sheng Cheng Tau Kwa Pau which started business in 1959 is sort of an institution in the East. It was operating in now defunct coffee shops at the East Coast Road-Joo Chiat Road junction. It moved to the Tanjong Katong Village Food Centre a few years ago and then to Dunman Food Centre. You see customers driving up and buying tau kwa paus by the dozens. They operate from 8 am to 6 pm or when they run out of tau kwa paus to sell.
Each tau kwa pau is $1.50. The bean curd crisply fried is stuffed with a generous filling of chopped crispy fish cake, egg, cucumber and fried yam. Duck rice gravy and chili sauce complete the dish. The mix of tastes and texture of the ingredients makes the simple snack item a really yummy one. Two pieces can be a complete meal. This is really cheap and good food. They also serve pretty good duck rice.
Dunman Food Centre
271 Onan Road #01-05(basement),
Tel : +65 9068 5188
Opening Hours : 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Closed on Mondays
Ponggol Nasi Lemak
Ponggol nasi lemak is not the basic banana leaf variety with just egg, cucumber, fish and sambal. There are different types of fish and vegetables and the range of other side dishes is extensive. It is difficult to pick just a few items when all those dishes on display look so attractive. Maybe that is another reason why there is always a queue at Ponggol Nasi Lemak Centre at Tanjong Katong.
The dishes available to go with the nasi lemak include chicken wings, fried luncheon meat, fish cake, peanuts and ikan bilis, otah otah, ngoh hiang, sayuh lodeh, lady’s fingers and long beans. The fried chicken wings, which are crispy and delicious, are highly recommended. The coconut milk rice (nasi lemak) is really fragrant. The sambal is slightly sweet and not too spicy. The nasi lemak with 5 items cost about $5.
238 Tanjong Katong Road
Tel: +65 6348 3303
Opening Hours : 5:30 pm – 2:30 am
Closed on Thursdays
Heng Long Teochew Porridge (兴隆潮洲粥)
A very wide variety of Teowchew porridge dishes at very reasonable prices. Roastmeats and live seafood also available.
Heng Long Teochew Porridge 兴隆潮洲粥
240 Tanjong Katong Road