Bedok Fengshan Market, or "that hawker centre at Bedok North Blk 85", or "that soupy bak chor mee hawker centre", is one of our all-time favourite food centres.
Yes, it's all the way in the far-flung East, and yes, it takes a while to get to (especially if you live in the West), but its stalls are mostly open till the wee hours, and offers a gamut of local foods, many of which are outstanding. Besides, it's Singapore, 'far' is really more a local construct, and if you've lived anywhere else, travelling to Bedok North is actually relatively short, objectively speaking. And I like that parking at Bedok Fengshan isn't as nightmarish an endeavour as Chomp Chomp at Serangoon Gardens, it sure is a whole lotta less touristy than East Coast Lagoon, and isn't an overrated tourist-trap like Newton.
Minced Meat Noodles (Bah Chor Mee)
It is well publicized the two stalls, located side-by-side, that serve up nearly indistinguishable bowls of soupy minced pork noodles. I say "nearly" because I feel Seng Hiang is a teensy weensy itsy bitsy smidgen better ($3 for large). The meatballs at Xing Ji have the occasional speck. And the guy who takes the orders has NEVER once forgotten to hold off the coriander leaves/spring onions in our takeaways. And I love that the noodles here are delightfully springy (you know, a lot of the time, I wish the noodles at the Michelin-starred Hill Street Tai Hwa was like this). Ask for chilli padi if you like a little kick to your soup, the default ones are very mild.
The shop front for reference.
Seng Hiang Bak Chor Mee
Open daily from 5pm to 1am
Tel: 9018 9846
Barbecued Chicken Wings
Sin Bedok are my favourite grilled chicken wings in all of SG. And they're even better than the ones at Chomp Chomp or East Coast Lagoon. The wings are, for one, meatier, and the marination is more thorough, so even the bones are steeped in flavour. And that awesome chilli, it's equal parts potent and piquant and refreshing, a superb contrast to the smoky succulence of the chicken.
They also sell Otah ($1), get the "premium" one, I like its smooth, almost custard-like texture and mild spice.
The shop front for reference. There are a couple of stores hawking grilled chicken wings, but this is noticeably superior, I think.
Sin Bedok North BBQ Chicken Wing
Open daily from 4pm to 1am
There's sambal sotong, and there IS Sambal Sotong ($15 for large) here at Chan BBQ. These ringlets, set out on banana leaves and fanned over hot coals, are consistently cooked to perfection. There's never once been any time the seafood was overcooked in the slightest. Add to that the amazing sambal, heady and made lively by the pineapple mashed into the chilli blend, and you've got an addictive plate of robust flavours. We sometimes order 2 portions, just so we don't have to share.
The Sambal Stingray ($12 for medium) is no shrinking violet either, and the sambal blend here boasts toasty smoky notes and a slightly sweeter contrast to the spice kick. No pineapple in this one, which would probably detract from the delicate flavour of the flesh.
Again, there are a few bbq-ed seafood stalls at Bedok Blk 85, but Chan BBQ (with its facade below for reference) is the best. Service is also one of the fastest here in this bustling hawker centre, we usually order our dishes here the last, knowing they'll usually be ready first.
Open daily from 5pm to 1am
Chai Chee Porridge serves up one of the best versions of this comforting classic. The gruel is smooth and velvety, and the pork stock infused into the porridge is rich but balanced. But there's a caveat. Order the Pork Ball Porridge ($3.50), which proprietary seasoning balances the full-bodied lavour of the mince. Skip the pork slices, which are less than lusciously tender, and add on an egg ($0.50), just because.
The shop front for reference. Because each bowl is painstakingly cooked separately, waiting times at this popular stall can stretch up to 35 minutes during peak dinner period.
Chai Chee Pork Porridge
Open daily from 12noon to 2.30am
Bedok Fengshan Food Centre & Market
Blk 85 Bedok North Road