It’s 9.30pm. Heaving a sigh of relief, you close your laptop after a long day of working at home. But wait! A low, menacing growl rises from the pit of your stomach. You’ve not had dinner, and the telltale sound of falling shutters means that the nearest coffee shop has closed. What do you do? A brightly-lit green and orange sign beckons at the corner of your vision – it’s 7-Eleven to the rescue.
I know what it’s like. Although ready-to-eat food is rarely anyone’s first choice, having a warm plate in front of you, even at the most ungodly hours, can be a comforting presence. Now, with 7-Eleven’s latest inclusion of twenty-four hawker food favourites, microwavable meals might just be a tad less depressing. My verdict? After trying two meals from this collection, I find that they’ll never beat dishes straight out of the kitchen, but can stave off your hunger for the rest of the night.
Whether you’re looking for Laksa, Ban Mian, or Satay Bee Hoon, head to the nearest 7-Eleven to grab these popular Singaporean classics. The brand also teamed up with iconic local brands like Old Chang Kee, Astons, and well-loved hawker stalls to create these culinary delights. From light bites to heavier meals, there’s something to satisfy that rumble in your gut.
Tradition is reinvented in an intriguing snack – Old Chang Kee’s curry puff filling is combined with a milk sandwich to create the 7-SELECT X Old Chang Kee Curry O’ Sandwich (S$3.50). Packed full of curry chicken and potato complemented by hardboiled egg, enjoy the savoury goodness of Curry O’ to power through the rest of your day.
Meanwhile, have you ever tried satay in a bun? The Satay Chicken Burger (S$3.50) follows a similar combination, featuring tender chicken marinated in a variety of spices and drenched with a sweet fruity peanut sauce between two soft buns. Roasted onion and pickled cucumber give the burger an extra kick.
Riding on the fusion food trend comes the Thunder Tea Onigiri (S$2) – thunder tea rice packaged as an onigiri. The snack is encased in seaweed and contains rice spread with tea, basil and mint for a refreshing flavour. Tofu, peanuts and long beans provide extra crunch, while preserved radish gives a savoury punch.
Moving away from the solid food for a moment, you can also check out the 7CAFÉ Ondeh Ondeh (Hot S$2.30/Hot Latte S$2.50/Iced Latte S$3.50). This is an Ondeh Ondeh-inspired drink infused with pandan and brown sugar. Great for the sweet tooths out there craving a sugar fix!
If you are a fan of the Jian Bo Tiong Bahru Shui Kueh stall, you’ll be glad to know you can now easily sample them from your nearest 7-Eleven! Just like the original dish from Tiong Bahru Market, the Jian Bo Shui Kueh (S$3.50) soft steamed rice cake is sprinkled with preserved radish, chai boh and dried shrimp chilli paste.
Jian Bo Chee Cheong Fun (S$3.30) is another speciality from the famous stall. These steamed rice rolls are doused in homemade sweet sauce and white sesame seeds.
7-Eleven is also adding fanciness with a collaboration with Celebrity Chef Arifin! With over 40 years of culinary experience under his belt, Chef Arifin has cooked up a mouth-watering staple for your supper cravings. His Tomato Basmati Rice ($4.50) contains Tandoori chicken slices marinated in fragrant Indian spices, that sit on a bed of tomato basmati rice with mint chutney.
The Famous Eunos Minced Chicken Noodle Soup ($4.30) is also available now at 7-Eleven. Springy noodles are immersed in a tasty broth complete with minced chicken and handmade dumplings, additionally having crispy deep-fried chicken skin for extra tastiness.
Popular Ban Mian joint Qiu Lian Ban Mian also is joining the party. Their Dry Tossed Ban Mian ($5.80) meal contains that familiar spicy vinaigrette sauce drenched over handmade noodles, minced chicken and braised mushrooms.
If your palette veers toward Western cuisine, try the Grilled Black Pepper Chicken with Mac & Cheese (S$6.50) made in partnership with Andes by Astons. The creamy Mac & Cheese dish is complemented by chargrilled chicken dribbled in black pepper sauce. There are also BBQ baked beans on the side to complete the meal.
For some spice to excite the taste buds, the Terry Katong Laksa (S$4.30) is the one to go for. Rice vermicelli noodles, egg, fishcake and bean curd puffs are mixed into the coconut milk-based soup. Consisting of an aromatic blend of chilli and dried shrimp, the laksa sambal takes the meal up a notch when added to the gravy.
Chew Kee is also bringing their comforting Braised Soy Sauce Chicken Hor Fun (S$5.80) dish to 7-Eleven, featuring silky hor fun coated with their signature dark soy sauce. Braised quail eggs, chicken, tau kwa (bean curd puff) and chilli mixed in with the lot will help to keep your belly full.
What We’ve Tried
To test out the latest releases for myself, I popped by a few of 7-Eleven’s stores during lunch hour for quick surveys of their refrigerators. What I came to realise is that you’ll probably not find the complete collection stocked in any one outlet – but I did cop two of the dishes for my meals.
The first is a version of Lao Chao Zhou’s famous Satay Bee Hoon (S$5) from Ghim Moh. Peanut sauce is drizzled over tender chicken slices, cuttlefish slices, kangkong, tau kwa and chilli to create a multicultural blend of flavours. Personally, the bee hoon is a little too soggy for comfort, but the sauce features an interesting blend of nutty, sweet, savoury and spicy flavours.
The Legend Scissors Cut Hainanese Curry Chicken Cutlet Rice with Cabbage & Egg (S$4.50), comes in the form of a mini bento set. Separate compartments house Hainanese curry sauce, cabbage and egg, all waiting for you to dig into.
Thin slices of breaded chicken cutlet lay on top of a helping of rice. However, the chicken isn’t the crispiest – it has more starch than meat, and the curry takes on a watery texture. The curry does taste authentic, though, so it must have been the extended periods of storage that deteriorated its texture. That, of course, is the downside of all microwavable foods.
So if you’re in need of something quick to fill your belly and don’t have the time (or energy) to cook your own food, 7-Eleven’s got your back. These twenty-four new hawker dishes will cater to different tastebuds – just no guarantees on them harbouring the most *ahem* exquisite taste.
Visuals Courtesy of 7-Eleven Singapore.