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What I Eat In My Hood: Long-Time Serangoon Resident

“For 30 years, I lived in an estate wedged between Serangoon North and Serangoon Gardens and, most times, would choose to eat on the North side,” says content specialist Audrey Phoon. “Serangoon Gardens may be better known to non-residents for its food, but I think the Serangoon North area is where the more delicious grub is at. These are just some of the stalls in the area worth visiting – there are others which I won’t reveal lest they get too crowded!”

Xiao Di Fried Prawn Noodle

Location: 153 Serangoon North Avenue 1, #01-512

“No introductions needed since this is one of the most well-known Hokkien mee stalls in Singapore. It became popular when Xiao Di was “discovered” as a young hawker passionate about cooking Hokkien mee the traditional way, without shortcuts. He’s not that young anymore and I’m guessing he’s probably less enthusiastic about his craft too since the stall’s opening times can be unpredictable. But the noodles are still pretty good — slow-cooked in a rich stock with prawns and pork and a hint of wok hei. You usually have to wait at least 20 minutes for a plate and the regular portion is quite stingy, so I order the $7 portion which comes with more seafood to make it worth the wait.”

Chindamani Indian Restaurant

Location: 151A Serangoon North Avenue 2

“Not a restaurant, but a stall tucked away in the corner of a coffeeshop and probably one of the most popular prata stalls in Singapore. On weekends, you may have to wait for up to an hour for your prata, so late weekday mornings are the best times to go. The prata is really crispy and layered, and it’s always hot and freshly made (maybe because the turnover is so high). Damn shiok! They make their own prata dough, not like so many stalls these days, which use a premix. The curry isn’t a letdown either. The prata comes with a punchy, tangy fish curry but I’m a carnivore and like mine with meat, so I always order the chicken curry as well. It is thicker and more lemak, with tender chicken.”

Hong Kong Street Chun Tat Kee

Location: 154 Serangoon North Avenue 1, #01-388

“A surprising find in the middle of a cluster of low-rise HDB blocks. This is one of those old-school non-aircon restaurants (okay, more like a coffeeshop) where you can still see the aunties pour generous swigs of XO brandy into your fish soup. I like that they are not stingy with the fish. It’s fresh and you really get a whiff of the brandy with each spoonful. There are a few other stalls of the same name around the island, but I’m not sure if this belongs to that chain because it looks different from the rest. They also do very decent zichar dishes like har cheong gai and cereal prawns, which you can ask to be shelled for you!”

Chang Wang Cake Shop

Location: 154 Serangoon North Avenue 1, #01-404

“Your classic neighbourhood bakery that sells everything from cakes to hot waffles and packets of tau sar piah. I’ve been buying from them for more than 25 years and the quality is always consistent. The owner says he makes everything in the shop, which is hard to believe since they have a huge variety of bakes (some of which look pre-packaged). But hey, nobody’s complaining. I love their old-school doughnuts, which are pillowy soft, slightly chewy and dusted with crystallised sugar, not icing sugar which is so fashionable but I don’t understand why since it a melts too quickly into the doughnut in our weather. Prices are really reasonable too — most things are under $2. Those with a penchant for old-school buttercream birthday cakes will also find happiness here.”

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