Yishun Park Hawker Centre has all the heritage fare and Instagram-worthy hipster offerings you can want under one roof

2021-04-09

Game for some Japanese-inspired bak chor mee? Or craving a piping hot bowl of old school prawn mee with deep flavours? Yishun Park Hawker Centre (YPHC)  — Timbre Group’s first full-fledged hawker centre established in 2017 — has it all. The 43 stalls that call this place home are an exciting mix of heritage businesses and modern start-ups — including graduates of Timbre+ Hawkers’ Hawkerpreneurs Incubation Programme. This has created an interesting dynamic where older and younger hawkers can learn from and help each other. It also means you’ll find a whole spectrum of multi-cultural food offerings with a difference here, from old-school claypot rice to the most kickass lamb shank briyani from a young hawkerpreneur. So next time you’re in the north, give these stalls a go — they’re worth the trek!

Su Xin Vegetarian | 01-02

Unlike most greens-hating kids, Chan Ying Song decided to go vegetarian at the age of seven, and would often be found snacking on fresh tomatoes after school. But as an adult, he realised that it’s actually pretty difficult to find good vegetarian fare. So, working with his father — who is also vegetarian — and tapping into their family’s Taiwanese heritage, he created a range of Taiwanese-style dishes that are healthy, tasty, and served in generous portions. The Olive Fried Rice, which features mock char siew, is a good choice, and we’ve also heard good things about the nourishing Herbal Soup. And if you’re looking to get your kid into a meat-free diet, you can do worse than to start them off on Ying Song’s cheesy Potato Tart.

Opening hours: Tue-Sun 10.30am-2.30pm, 5.30pm-8.30pm

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Mum's Space | 01-04

Choo Sek Lei’s superpower is the ability to prescribe the perfect dish depending on your mood. She first became interested in the nutritional properties of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) when she realised that diet had played a key role in some of her relatives’ health issues. After taking some courses on the topic, she combined her TCM knowledge with her love for cooking, and founded Mum’s Space in 2019. The MSG-free Shrimp Paste Pork Chop Set with Curry is a popular order during lunchtime, but if you’re drained after a long day, or don’t mind a bit of gastronomical surprise, let Sek Lei know how you’re feeling that day, and let her recommend something that will taste good and also make you feel good!

Opening hours: Wed-Mon 11am-8pm

 

Bismi Briyani | 01-05 

At the point that Sheik Mohammad bin Mohammed Anifah of Bismi Briyani signed the contract for his stall at YPHC, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced Circuit Breaker measures that included the suspension of dine-in at all F&B establishments. As diners, we are thankful that the young hawker took the plunge anyway. His signature dish is a majestic sight: a huge shank of lamb, slow cooked for eight hours, sitting on a generous bed of briyani rice. The tender meat falls off the bone, and each mouthful presents a robust blend of flavours from the rich spice marinade. Little wonder that up to 200 portions of this are sold each day! But the magic of Bismi lies in the rice. Choose between the fragrant briyani, ghee-infused kabsa, or beautifully smoked Arabic mandi rice. Whatever you go with, we just recommend swapping out the curry sauce for the indulgent lamb broth to enjoy with your meal. And go early — many dishes sell out before 6pm on weekends.

Opening hours: Tue-Sun 11am-8pm or until sold out

68 Spinach Soup & Yong Tau Foo | 01-11

The mushrooming of spinach soup stalls has been one of the best hawker trends in recent years, and riding on the wave, Tan Say Wee and his dad set up this stall in YPHC in 2020 with support from the rest of the family. While the spinach soup — made fresh with veggies picked up from the market each morning — is a comforting treat, what also piqued our interest was the fried rice selection. Three options are available here: Egg Fried Rice, the more “wok-hei-ful” Yangzhou Fried Rice, and the slightly sweeter Shanghai Fried Rice. But the best part is that you can jazz it up with anything you like from the yong tau foo selection. Hot dog? Fish ball? Enoki mushroom? You got it — they’ll fry it into the rice for you. And if you’re lucky, they might even have some homemade sambal to give the dish an additional kick.

Opening hours: Thu-Tue 10am-8pm

Hideki | 01-17

Hideki was one of the success stories that came out of YPHC’s Hawkerpreneurs Incubation Programme . Founded in 2020 by Nicholas Loh, a self-made hawkerpreneur who worked his way up from dishwasher to chef, the stall serves up customisable donburi at affordable prices, and has done so well that it now has a second outlet at Shenton Way. It’s especially popular with the younger crowd as you can pick your favourite base, proteins, sauces, and sides. Alternatively, if you’re hungry and in a hurry, then go straight for the Triple Threat — a bowl of fluffy Japanese rice that is topped with sous vide chicken, salmon, and pork belly that are then torched to perfection.

Opening hours: Daily 11.30am-2.30pm, 5pm-8pm

18 Claypot & Steam Food | 01-18

A veteran with 40 years of cooking experience under his belt, Low Chin Peng moved his claypot rice stall from ABC Brickworks to YPHC in 2020 when he realised there aren’t a lot of other places selling it in the neighbourhood. And on a cool and wet afternoon, his Claypot Chicken Rice hits just the spot. Succulent pieces of boneless chicken leg, sweet Chinese sausage, and crispy cabbage come together in a comforting pot of rice, and all for just $4.50. Another old school option is the Claypot Pigs Trotter with Black Vinegar, which is based on a recipe he learnt from his mother. While there’s nothing fancy about the dishes here, we do love the nostalgic, traditional flavours.

Opening hours: Mon, Sat, Sun 11.30am-8.30pm; Tue, Thu, Fri 5.30pm-9pm

JJ Prawn Noodles | 01-21

The secret behind a great bowl of prawn mee always boils down to the soup. The version that veteran hawker Bhet Sew Chin concocts is inspired by a recipe he learnt from another hawker at Beo Crescent Food Centre, back when he had a zichar stall there. The broth takes over four and a half hours to cook, and comprises more than 10 ingredients. The dish itself comes with two deshelled prawns, fish cake slices, and either pork slices, pork ribs, or — more unusually — pig tail pieces. You can always add chilli or ketchup to spice things up, but if you want the really special stuff to enhance the savoury flavours, be sure to ask for the Malaysian black sauce that only regular customers know about. Well, and now you know too.

Opening hours: Wed-Mon 8am-8pm

51 Noodle House | 01-27

What do you get when you marry Japanese ramen with local bak chor mee? You get 51 Noodle House’s signature dish, a bowl of vinegary noodles, with the option of having udon as the base, topped with tender hand-rolled char siew, and wobbly onsen egg. The stall’s co-owners, Darren Teo and Henry Yap, have always been fans of the local dish, and were inspired to put a fusion spin on it after Darren attended a three-day ramen course in Osaka. And as Henry also used to own Yap's Noodles, the pair decided to bring back his beloved Ipoh-style curry noodles here too. Do note that this dish is only available on weekends and sell out quick, so go early.

Opening hours: Daily 8am-9pm

Nasi Lemak Ayam Taliwang | 01-33

Noorman Mubarak and his wife Puti Henry met when they were cabin crew at Singapore Airlines, but decided to give the hawker life a go after they had their first taste of ayam taliwang in Lombok, Indonesia. They loved the taste of the grilled chicken and chilli so much that they spent months coming up with their own recipe. This, they marry with the Singaporean nasi lemak, which Noorman’s parents had taught him to cook from a young age. The resulting dish is a morish platter of fragrant coconut milk rice served with a succulent grilled meats slathered in a spicy, sweet, tangy marinade. What’s more, the couple make a point of helping those in need by employing people who have difficulty finding jobs elsewhere, and have even partnered with the Yellow Ribbon Project before. We love good food for a good cause.

Opening hours: Tue-Sun 7am-6.30pm

Ayu's Indonesian Cuisine | 01-34

Fans of fried chicken: here’s your invitation to flock to Ayu. This stall specialises in ayam dishes hailing from all over Indonesia, and each comes with a different house-made topping of chilli sauce blends. For those of you who can’t handle your spice, the Ayam Penyet or Ayam Bakar will serve you well. But if you’re feeling adventurous, we’d suggest going with the Ayam Geprek, which is slathered in a fragrant, ultra spicy sambal that goes fantastically with the coconut rice. And don’t skip the clear hot and sour soup that comes with the set - it’s got a distinctly Indonesian flavour that will instantly transport you to the tropical archipelago.

Opening hours: Fri-Wed 11am-8pm

Address: Yishun Park Hawker Centre, 51 Yishun Ave 11, Singapore 768867
Tel: 6481 7573

https://yishunparkhc.sg/

https://www.facebook.com/YishunParkHC

https://www.instagram.com/yishunparkhc

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