For boutique beers
Chinatown Complex probably isn’t where you’d go to look for unusual beers, but Daniel Goh, 36, has put together 50 types of bottled beers and ciders ($6-$15) from over a dozen countries at The Good Beer Company, most of which you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere in Singapore. As to the question of why at a hawker stall? ‘Why not?’ Goh answers. He’s even happy to recommend beer-hawker food pairings: the Taiwanese Lychee beer ($10) goes well with the vinegar-laced bak chor mee (minced meat noodles), while the Rogue American Amber Ale ($10) is ‘really good with the claypot rice just down the row from our stall. It also works with char siew.’ He’s got local brews in his fridge, too – we like the rich, homely Jungle Beer Kiasu Stout ($15). The Good Beer Company #02-58 Chinatown Complex Market and Food Centre, Blk 335, Smith St (www.goodbeer.sg). Chinatown. Mon-Fri (except last Tue of the month) noon-2pm, 5-11pm; Sat noon-11pm.
For Wagyu burgers
Australian Wagyu or striploin? Pork, lamb or beef? Kopitiam stall De Burg has juicy, pink 100g and 200g pure patty options (no binders or herbs) that make up towering burgers. Formerly at Ghim Moh, flipper extraordinaire Andrew Sim has moved to a larger, more conspicuous location along Bukit Merah Lane, albeit still with chequered red tablecloths and no air-con. The laminated menu lists 15 burgers, including the eyebrow-raising Choco Lamb Burger – Nutella with lamb ($15.50 for 200g). Prices are high – The Desiree (chips, cheese and bacon stuffed in between a beef and a lamb patty) will set you back $29.95 – but the quality is too, and you can get craft beers and gelato with your meal. Wallet- and artery-watchers should go for the plain beef burger set (all sets include thick-cut fries and salad), which starts from $12. Alternatively, head over to De Burg Lite (Stall 42, Pasir Panjang Food Centre, 121 Pasir Panjang Rd) – their first franchise, which only sells 100g patties. De Burg #01-40, 119 Bukit Merah Ln 1. Queenstown. Tue-Thu 11.30am-3pm, 6-9pm; Fri-Sun 11.30am-3pm, 6.30-9pm.
For Asian-fusion ramen
Brothers Cai Weili and Weisheng, 28 and 25 respectively, started out selling home-made cookies on their website – hence the stall name of HomeBaked Dough in Tanjong Pagar Plaza. They soon added Asian-fusion ramen to the menu, and the dish has become their signature, though they still sell the cookies. Treading the fine line between ramen, Chinese hand-pulled noodles and bak chor mee, HomeBaked Dough’s bowl of noodles in porkbone broth ($5.50) comes with chewy noodles, discs of char siu (rolled braised pork, Japanese-style) and a generous helping of crisp beansprouts and chopped spring onions. They’ve been around for almost a year, and seem content to stay: ‘We’re not looking to move. Rent is high everywhere now,’ says elder brother Cai Weili. HomeBaked Dough #02-04/05 Teck Kee Coffeeshop, Blk 1, Tanjong Pagar Plaza (9437 7267, www.homebakeddough.com). Tanjong Pagar. Mon-Fri 11.30am-3pm.
For high-grade rojak
Rojaking! – the verb to describe rojak making – was the name chosen for this stall by twentysomething Rion Ong, who took over this Bedok spot from his father Ong Siong Pek. The senior Ong’s rojak made him akin to hawker royalty – aficionados would line up patiently for his pungent, sweet, salty, sour and crunchy rojak – though Ong Jr’s version (from $4) is no less addictive than his father’s. The queues remain, but Rion Ong has taken the family’s classic recipe further with his own trade secrets: you tiao (fried dough sticks), cuttlefish and tofu puffs are all toasted, then coated with Ong Sr’s homemade chilli sauce and a special rojak paste that’s made with fermented prawn paste imported from Penang. Rojaking! #01-405, Food Hub @ Chai Chee, 26A Chai Chee Rd. Bedok. Daily noon-2am.