Maxwell Food Centre is back in business after its three-day spring-cleaning closure from Monday, 10 June to Wednesday, 12 June 2019.
Just minutes away by foot from Chinatown and Tanjong Pagar MRT stations, Maxwell Food Centre is conveniently nestled amidst the high foot traffic of office workers and tourists alike.
Maxwell Food Centre is lauded by both locals and tourists as the go-to hawker centre for cheap, authentic Singaporean cuisine. Ranging from cheap buys that have withstood the test of time, to experienced hawkerpreneurs and new-generation hawker stalls, here are some stalls that you should check out during your next visit.
Maxwell Fuzhou Oyster Cake (#01-05)
A dying local delicacy, Fuzhou Oyster Cake in sells these scrumptious fritters at only $2 each. Beneath the crisp exterior lies a warm, savoury mixture of minced pork, sweet prawns, celery and a generous serving of chopped oysters. The oyster cakes may be slightly oily, but their chewy goodness makes up for it. They are also best eaten with some sweet chilli sauce on the side.
Tong Fong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice (#01-17)
Tian Tian Chicken Rice may be the most revered dish in Maxwell, but some food critics feel that – despite being awarded a Michelin star by none other than Gordon Ramsay – the quality of its renowned chicken rice has dropped.
If you’d like to skip the snaking queue during lunch hours, check out the underdog – Tong Fong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice. True to its trait of selling boneless chicken rice, patrons can easily identify the stall by its trademark display of chicken carcasses – unlike the conventional whole chickens that one would expect. The rice is cooked with a small amount of rock sugar, and a secret sauce made from 12 ingredients is doused onto the chicken. Coupled with some tender chicken meat, Tong Fong Fatt’s chicken rice provides a burst of flavour with a sweet aftertaste.
Meanwhile, Uncle Sky Singapore Hainanese Chicken Rice (#01-02) is giving out plates of chicken rice for free every Wednesday to 100 Pioneer Generation seniors, whereby each patron is entitled to two meals. Also, Singapore Merdaka Generation and Pioneer Generation seniors can buy a plate of Hainanese chicken rice for half price ($1.50) – for as long as the stall stays open.
Tong Xin Ju Special Shanghai Tim-Sum (#01-92)
Tong Xin Ju Special Shanghai Tim-Sum is one of the first hawker stalls to offer Shanghainese dishes during the 1950s. Currently run by a fourth-generation hawker, Special Shanghai Tim Sum is well-known for its Steamed and Fried Dumplings. The made-to-order dumplings are filled with succulent minced pork and chives, and are served with the stall’s special chilli sauce and ginger slices with vinegar on the side. Another popular dish in the stall is its Shanghai Rice Cakes.
Hum Jin Pan (#01-28)
Hum Jin Pan only has one item on its menu – fried dough fritters. Yet it remains as a popular stall among patrons – especially tourists – as the stall lets customers cook their own order.
The fry-it-yourself concept came about when – under the previous owner’s time – customers would offer to help fry the fritters when there were high-volume orders. The dough fritters are sold in two variations – Five Spice Salt and Sweet Red Bean – and cost only $1 for six pieces!
Lad & Dad (#01-79)
If you’d like to step up your game from the old school western Hainanese cuisine, check out Lad & Dad. A pioneer of the hawkerpreneur generation, Lad & Dad is run by a 29-year-old man and his father. The stall moved from Serangoon Gardens Hawker Centre to Maxwell Food Centre in 2017 and is best known for dishing out affordable “British comfort fare” without compromising on taste and quality. Highlights include the Bangers & Mash ($8), Bacon & Chip Butty ($4), and the English Fry-Up Platter ($12).
Hangar Coffee Express (#01-33)
Hangar Coffee Express gets artisanal coffee brewing in Maxwell Food Centre at relatively cheap price points. The value-for-money coffee stall promises only freshly-roasted 100% Arabica beans from the best estates in the world, as well as speciality teas from A.Muse Projects. Great for working personnel at nearby offices, Hangar Coffee Express offers cheap coffee fixes, such as $3 Espressos and $4 Flat Whites.
Ramen Taisho (#01-32)
Ramen Taisho is yet another stall that serves up artisanal dishes at competitive prices – almost half the price charged at specialist ramen shops to be precise. The ramen stall was opened by Tan Hock Soon, a ramen fanatic committed to serving authentic flavour Japanese ramen to locals. Almost everything is made from scratch and – unlike other ramen restaurants that offer a variety of broths to choose from – Ramen Taisho only serves tonkotsu. A bowl of tonkotsu ramen costs as low as $6.80 and special flavours, such as Salted Egg Tonkotsu Ramen and Black Garlic Ramen starts at $7.80 for a bowl.
Worried about the lunch crowd, or does the thought of eating in an open-air hawker centre during Singapore’s sweltering afternoons deter you from making that trip to Maxwell Food Centre? Fret not as Fairfield Methodist Church (FFMC) has got you covered!
Located just opposite Maxwell Food Centre, FFMC invites patrons to purchase their food to-go and have lunch at the church’s Encounter Lounge instead. Open to the public on Thursdays and Fridays, from 11.30am to 2.30pm, the Encounter Lounge is air-conditioned and even provides free Wi-Fi!
Maxwell Food Centre
Venue: 1 Kadayanallur Street, Singapore 069184
Fairfield Methodist Church
Venue: 1 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088437
Photos by Soloman Soh of the DANAMIC team.