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Singapore has long been known as a culinary capital for foodies. From cheap yet delicious meals at hawker centres and food courts to fine dining at Michelin-starred restaurants, picking the right places to dine at can be daunting.
While you might expect to be spoilt for choice when it comes to dining in the day, Singapore also has a bustling food scene after hours. Wander our streets at night, and you’ll notice numerous food centres, restaurants and bistros that stay open till late. We are one of the few countries in the world where you’ll never have to go to bed hungry!
That said, the local food scene is constantly changing. With new food centres and eateries popping up regularly, you must know where to go to invest your day’s calories in the best that Singapore has to offer. We have shortlisted some of the most popular eateries to curb your late-night cravings within the Lion City:
1. Maxwell Food Centre
As the sun sets in the Central Business District, the area around Ann Siang Hill and Tanjong Pagar transforms into a hotspot boasting several notable watering holes.
So, whether you’re looking for some post-drink nosh or something to have before you start your bar hop, pop by the venerable Maxwell Food Centre to get your fill of reasonably-priced local delicacies.
One of the most popular food stalls located here is the Tong Fong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice (open till 8.30pm). Serving the quintessential local dish that offers a slice of Singapore’s history, this Chicken Rice stall stands out for its sauce — made from a tightly guarded secret recipe containing 12 different ingredients. The savoury and fragrant rice is matched with the tender and juicy pieces of chicken, each glistening with a sliver of slippery smooth chicken skin.
If you’re looking for a Singaporean take on salad, head to Rojak, Popiah & Cockle (open till 8.30pm) for the local rendition of a fruit and vegetable salad called Rojak, filled with crunchy dough fritters, preserved eggs known as century eggs, and bean sprouts topped with an addictive spicy-sweet sauce as well as a generous sprinkling of peanuts.
Address: 1 Kadayanallur St, Singapore 069184
Operating hours: Opens daily - 8:00am to 2:00am*
How to get there: It should take you about eight minutes from Chinatown MRT Station to get to Maxwell Food Centre by foot
2. Swee Choon Dim Sum
With over 40 years of history, Swee Choon (open till 3:00am) is arguably one of Singapore’s oldest established dim sum restaurants. It used to operate out of a single shophouse at Jalan Besar but now occupies six connecting shop-houses with additional tables that spill out into the back alley.
Today, the business continues to thrive as one of the best dim sum places having won the hearts — and tummies — of the younger generation. Its range of dim sums and variety of menu items have become instant favourites with their supper crowd. This includes popular dishes like the crispy Mee Suah Kueh, made with thin wheat noodles known as mee suah deep-fried with shrimps and Chinese sausage until golden brown. Then, there’s the Fried Prawn and Banana Fritters where the juicy prawns and sweet bananas offer a delectable balance of flavours and textures.
Of course, Swee Choon is also known for its Shanghai Xiao Long Bao, delicate dumplings each containing a tasty filling of pork swimming in a heavenly broth that bursts with intense flavours the moment you bite into the dumpling skin.
While the Internet continues to debate on the ‘right’ way to eat a xiao long bao, Swee Choon’s staff members actually recommend that diners start by nipping the skin firmly with their chopsticks, slurping the soup, before proceeding to eat the filling. Then, dip what’s left of the dumpling in vinegar and ginger strips to cut its richness.
Address: 183/185/187/189/191/193 Jalan Besar Singapore 208882
Operating hours: Lunch service: Monday to Friday - 11:00am to 2:30pm, Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays - 10:00am to 3:30pm; Dinner service: Sunday to Thursday - 6:00pm to 2:00am; Friday, Saturday & Eve of Public Holidays - 6:00pm to 3:00am
How to get there: It should take you about five minutes from Jalan Besar MRT Station to get to Swee Choon by foot
3. Newton Food Centre
After spending a day shopping along Singapore’s world-famous retail stretch of Orchard Road, head to Newton Food Centre to sample some of our best barbecue seafood dishes. If the food centre looks familiar to you, it may be because you saw its cameo appearance in the Hollywood blockbuster, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’.
While Newton Food Centre is home to numerous food stalls, one of the most popular ones is Guan Kee Grilled Seafood (open till midnight) which serves up its famous Spicy Grilled Stingray slathered in fragrant sambal that packs quite a punch. Having your own BBQ at home might be a fun culinary experience but nothing beats the sambal, fleshy fish and side of chinchalok and lime that accompanies this flaming dish.
Besides selling the usual selection of Satay, or skewered meats, such as chicken, mutton and beef, TKR Honey Chicken Wing (open till 12:30am) also offers pork satay. The tantalisingly marinated skewers of meat are barbecued over hot coals until they are slightly charred and caramelised, giving them a different depth of flavour.
Address: 500 Clemenceau Avenue North, Singapore 229495
Operating Hours: Opens daily - 12:00pm to 2:00am
How to get there: It should take you about four minutes to walk from Newton MRT Station to Newton Food Centre
4. Adam Road Food Centre
If you prefer to explore the food options in the suburban heart of Singapore, hop into a private hire taxi and make your way to the famed Adam Road Food Centre. Featured in the “Our Hawker Culture: Built for Great Taste” project, the nice neighbourhood feel and Botanic Gardens across the street are the best accompaniment when you sample scrumptious — or, some might say, sinful — local favourites.
In this halal food paradise, you can find some of the most beloved Malay dishes in Singapore, including Nasi Lemak - fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf with decadent sides like fried chicken wings and fried eggs, Mee Rebus – a hearty noodle soup, and Mee Soto – a traditionally spicy Indonesian noodle soup dish.
For more than 46 years, the Adam’s Delights (open till 9:00pm) stall situated in the food centre has been cooking up scrumptious Indian halal food dishes such as their own Mee Goreng Combo, delicious fried noodles that come with cheese fries on the side.
If you’re looking for the perfect comfort food, Bahrakath Mutton Soup King (open till 3:00am) is an authentic food place worth considering. It offers its signature Mutton Leg Soup that is lovingly cooked until it is fall-off-the-bone tender and enveloped in a thick blanket of scrumptious gravy, topped with scallions and toasted onions for added crunch. If slurping through this bowl of steaming hot mutton soup late into the evening sounds like an ideal dinner plan, be sure to bring along a couple packs of tissues and wipes so that you can ravish in the bone marrow with your fingers.
Address: 2 Adam Road, Singapore 289876
Operating Hours: Wednesday, Friday & Sunday - 8:00am to 4:00pm; Thursday & Sunday - 8:00am to 3:00pm
How to get there: It should take you about five minutes from Botanic Gardens MRT Station to get to Adam Road Food Centre by foot
5. Chomp Chomp Food Centre
Ask any local for a dining recommendation around the Serangoon Gardens neighbourhood in Singapore and you’ll most likely be greeted with enthusiastic replies for you to check out “Chomp Chomp” — or Chomp Chomp Food Centre to be specific.
At this hallowed food centre, you can tuck into a delicious plate of Hokkien Mee from Ah Hock Fried Hokkien Mee (open till midnight). There is no denying that Hokkien Mee is one of the most treasured local hawker centre foods, and here is where you can find exquisitely fried noodles that are topped with plump morsels of shrimp and squid, cooked to perfection in a gravy made with prawns and pork bones for at least three hours. Of course, the hidden star of the show is its chilli sauce made with a fiercely guarded recipe that gives the noodles an extra kick of spicy goodness.
For one of Singapore’s most confusingly named yet incredibly delicious treats, head to the Carrot Cake Stall (open till 11.30pm), which sports a white signboard and is not to be mistaken for other similar stalls in the food centre. Unlike the Western dessert that shares its name, the Singaporean carrot cake does not actually contain carrots. Instead, it is made with steamed radish cakes, stir-fried with eggs and preserved radish to combine smoky, sweet, and savoury flavours on a plate.
Address: 20 Kensington Park Rd, Singapore 557269
Operating Hours: Opens daily - 4:00pm to 12:30am
How to get there: From Serangoon MRT Station, take a short walk to Serangoon Bus Interchange and board either Bus 315 or Bus 317 before alighting at Serangoon Garden Way bus stop, near the roundabout next to Chomp Chomp Food Centre.
6. East Coast Lagoon Food Village
If your ideal supper location must include the sound of crashing waves or the feeling of sand between your toes, East Coast Lagoon Food Village is your perfect destination.
At Song Kee (open till 9:30pm), you will be able to enjoy both the Fried Oyster and the Oyster Omelette. While appearing to be the same dish, true foodies will know the subtle difference between them. The Oyster Omelette is made with a mix of fluffy fried eggs and succulent oysters while the Fried Oyster — or commonly referred to as Orh Jian in Hokkien — is an omelette mixed with a little starch that gives it crispy edges which provide a contrasting texture to the slippery-smooth oysters.
If you’re in the mood for poultry perfection, be sure to give the Braised Duck Rice from Cheok Kee Duck Rice (open till 6:00pm) a try. Each plate comes with slices of refreshing cucumber, rice covered in gravy, and a generous amount of duck meat braised in soy sauce and herbs. Add a tasty heap of spicy chilli sauce to your dish to give it another dimension of taste.
Address: 1220 East Coast Parkway, Singapore 468960
Operating Hours: Sunday to Friday - 5:00pm to 12:00am; Saturday - 12:00pm to 12:00am
How to get there: Take a private hire taxi to East Coast Lagoon Food Village
7. Joo Seng Teochew Porridge
Porridge for supper may be a unique concept for many, but it’s long been an incredibly popular supper option. For many Singaporeans, Teochew porridge is almost synonymous with soul food. Unlike normal porridge, Teochew porridge is more akin to rice served in a hot broth paired with a selection of side dishes that include meat, fish and vegetables.
As a go-to dining destination late at night that sees sizable crowds well into the wee hours of the morning, Joo Seng (open till 4:00am) serves up piping hot bowls of delicious porridge along with a feast of different side dishes to its adoring fans.
Popular choices range from its signature tender Braised Duck Leg coated with savoury-sweet soy sauce to Chye Poh Egg, a fluffy omelette accentuated by its filling of crunchy and salty preserved turnip bits.
Address: 14 Cheong Chin Nam Road Singapore 599738
Operating hours: Opens daily - 9:30am to 4:00am
How to get there: It should take you about four minutes from Beauty World MRT Station to get to Joo Seng by foot
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