Go There Eat What: Adam Road Food Centre
This series is inspired by the National Heritage Board's new digital photography project entitled "Our Hawker Culture: Built for Great Taste", in which four local photographers have captured oft-overlooked features of 12 hawker centres in Singapore. In each edition, we'll highlight one awesome hawker centre and the mouth-watering makan you can find there.
First opened in 1974, Adam Road Food Centre (2 Adam Rd, Singapore 289877) has since been upgraded several times, with its most recent renovation occurring in 2016.
Despite these upgrades, this iconic food centre - captured beautifully by photographer Lee Yik Keat for NHB's digital project "Our Hawker Culture - Built for Great Taste" - retains much of its old self, preserving the heart of this place. For instance, the building's unique nine-sided foundation remains untouched, making it a geometrical delight while providing plenty of space for diners.
Along with five old angsana trees that stand guard outside, providing shade while muffling the sounds of traffic from the noisy highway nearby.
In addition, once the upgrading was completed, all the old stallholders returned to Adam Road Food Centre out of a sense of community, ensuring the food remains as scrumptious as ever. Here are a few standout stalls among them:
Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak
If the name of this stall sounds familiar, perhaps you've eaten at one of the many Crave outlets islandwide. Yes, this is the famous Adam Road Nasi Lemak stall that branched out into a franchise, and it's easy to see why it's continued to thrive over the years. Boasting fragrant basmati rice (fluffier, lighter and healthier than the usual jasmine rice), sweet-spicy sambal chilli that strikes just the right balance and juicy fried chicken with a thin, keropok-like shell, Selera Rasa's nasi lemak stands at a cut above the rest.
Stall number: #01-02
Cheng Ji (成记)
This stall sells a variety of typical stir-fried noodle dishes, but the standout has to be its Pork Leg Bee Hoon. Made with canned pork trotters, this deceptively simple dish may not look like much at first, but you'll be hooked upon taking your first bite. Steaming, aromatic bee hoon that's neither too dry nor too wet, tender pork legs that manage to be deliciously savoury yet not overly salty, and, of course, lime and chilli sauce to add that sour and spicy kick, elevating this dish from a mere gourmet delight to a divine experience.
Stall number: #01-24
Warong Pak Sapari
Be sure to bring a tongue of steel (or a lot of water) if you're trying this stall. Specialising in Mee Soto and Mee Rebus, Warong Pak Sapari is a must-try for spice lovers. Let's start with the Mee Soto: The robust, flavourful soup is loaded with spices that pack a punch, giving it a satisfyingly shiok kick, and the shredded chicken is so tender that it practically melts in your mouth. As for the Mee Rebus? Hearty, rich gravy that's beautifully thick and just as spicy as the Mee Soto's soup; in other words, practically perfect.
Stall number: #01-09
Teck Kee Hot & Cold Dessert
This stall is famous for its Tau Suan dessert, and here's why: Unlike most dessert stalls which are uber stingy with their you tiao portions, Teck Kee's Tau Suan promises a mountain of crispy dough fritters atop its bean soup. The crunchy you tiao pairs wonderfully with the warm, starchy and sweet but not overly saccharine Tau Suan, making it a fantastic dessert to round off your meal. Do note that the Tau Suan is only available from 3pm due to the extensive preparations needed to steam and cook it; all the more reason to take an extra-long lunch, right?
Stall number: #01-31