Best Cheap Food Spots in Singapore
If there is something people who have been there could agree unanimously, it’s the fact that Singapore is expensive. Ask your friend, ask your relative, read blogs, go ahead and Google it, you’re basically gonna get the same information. In fact, Economist Intelligence Unit, a British business that provides forecasting and advisory services has declared Singapore as the priciest city.
Given the fact that Singapore has a high standard of living, one of the highest in Southeast Asia, is it even possible to find food that are cheap but delicious? You’d be surprised to know that the answer is yes. Here, we’ve listed out the best spots to visit in Singapore where you can try some of the amazing food without breaking your bank account.
1. KEK Kopitiam
In Singapore there are a number of coffee shops that locals like to frequent called, “kopitiam,” a term derived from Malay/Hokkien words, kopi (coffee) and tiam (shop). Here, there are over 2,000 kopi tiams, usually found in residential and industrial business districts.
One of the well-known kopitiams can be found in the Queenstown area called Keng Eng Kee (KEK) Kopitiam. The place is almost always jampacked, mostly by locals who are out having meals with their families. Some of the best food to try here are beef horfun with black bean sauce (S$5 – ₱187.95), seafood fried rice (S$5), claypot duck with sea cucumber (S$20 – ₱751.81), salted egg prawns (S$18 – ₱676.63), choy hiang beancurd (S$12 – ₱451.09), sliced fish/fish head soup (S$5), and the famous spicy crab (S$90 – ₱3383.16).
Note that the spicy crab is one of the most expensive dishes in Singapore. In other restaurants, a single plate will cost you about $150 or 5,638.60 in peso. KEK Restaurant is one of the few that offers it cheaply without sacrificing the taste and food quality.
Another must-try is the steamed bun or siopao (S$6 – ₱225.54). It has no filling and it is perfect as an appetizer. It goes well with the sauce of the spicy crab.
The serving is big, hence it is good for families or a group of people. The food, despite being cheap is made with quality and is absolutely delicious.
KEK Kopitiam is open daily from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. It can be found at Blk 124 Bukit Merah Lane 1.
One of the busiest food establishments in Cheong Chin Nam is Al-Azhar, a restaurant that offers a great selection of food that is cheap and certified halal. The place is like a melting pot of different nationalities as it is frequented by Indians, Chinese, Malays, as well as the tourists. Understandably so as their menu is pretty diverse, from Thai cuisine, India, muslim, to even western dishes.
Among their must-try dishes are the following:
Buttered chicken masala (S$7 – ₱263.13)
Plain naan (an oven-baked flat bread)
Martubak (stuffed pancake commonly found in Saudi Arabia)
Al Azhar is open 24 hours. It is located at 11 Cheong Chin Nam Road (near Beauty World).
3. 328 Katong Laksa
Along East Coast Road is Katong, an old Peranakan (Straits-born Chinese) neighborhood. Here you can find a small cafe called 328 Katong Laksa, which food price goes between S$5 to S410 (₱187.95 – 375.91).
As the name implies, the best-selling dish here is laksa, a spicy rice noodle soup. A small bowl of laksa is only $S5 while a large one is $S7 (₱263.13). This is the famed dish that the British celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay tried to recreate but unable to match. If 328 Katong Laksa’s version won over Chef Ramsay’s then you should definitely pay attention.
4. Chinatown Complex Food Court
Chinatowns all over the world are famed for their wide arrays of Chinese restaurants, and the Singapore Chinatown is no exception. For food options, go to the Chinatown Complex Food Court where you can find the old-fashioned hawkers and food market.
Despite the not-so-sanitary conditions and the rundown state of this place, it is always teeming with people who only want the best-tasting food. Do not miss the delicious satay bee hon, a rice noodle dish with peanut sauce that was invented by the Teochew immigrants.
If you ever miss home and you want to eat somewhere where you can be assured that it is going to be cheap, then go to the Lucky Plaza and eat at Jollibee. Lucky Plaza is where most overseas Filipino workers hang out, so much so that even the vendors in the mall can speak a little bit of Tagalog. The Jollibee branch in this area is quite famous, not only to the Filipinos but also to the Singaporeans.
You’d be glad to find that most of the Jollibee offerings in the Philippines are also available in its Singapore branch, such as the jolly spaghetti, chicken joy, and jolly hotdog.
If you know of any other cheap, but great places to eat in in Singapore, let us know in the comments section!