Was searching for somewhere to lunch in Hougang after my therapy session and happened to stumble upon this new hawker centre that is located within a community centre. Just love how spacious, clean, airy and well-ventilated the hawker centre is.
Ci Yuan Community Club Hawker Centre is the first new-generation hawker centre to be built as part of the Singapore Government’s initiative to encourage young people to become ‘hawkerpreneurs’ in a bid to preserve our local hawker food heritage. The hawker centre is managed by the Fei Siong Group which has earlier launched an ‘Entrepreneurship Programme’ to provide hawker-wannabes the opportunity to operate their own cooked food stalls while learning the trade from the older generation of hawkers.
There are currently 40 cooked food stalls and a number of them operates 24-hour which makes this hawker centre an ideal place for supper if you live in the vicinity.
What impresses me the most is how the hawker centre has incorporated technology into its daily operation like this bright red self-payment kiosk that is located at every stall. Basically you just place your order with the stall-holder who will then key it into the system. The screen on top of the payment kiosk will show the total amount you need to pay and then you just need to insert notes and/or coins into the machine and wait for your food to be prepared. Don’t worry if you only have big notes because the machine will be able to give you change back. Apparently, they are trying to set-up a self-ordering system too in the time to come.
Below were some of the stalls I had tried out in my last three visits –
The Hokkien Mee ($4) had more bee hoon than yellow noodles which I didn’t mind. I liked how wet it was but it would be better if the prawn stock was more robust and flavoursome. I recommend to mix the sambal belachan up with the noodles so to give it more flavour, otherwise it would be a little bland. Overall, it wasn’t the best Hokkien mee I had but it wasn’t that bad either.
The Oyster Omelette ($5) was one of the better ones I had so far. Even though it wasn’t as crispy as the one from Ah Hock Fried Oyster Hougang at Whampoa Drive Makan Place, at least it wasn’t as greasy. The oysters here were fresh, plump and juicy and I liked that there were a lot of egg in it.
Yes, this is the same Fatty Cheong as the one from ABC Brickworks Food Centre. So happy to find my favourite char siew and siew yoke stall here. 🙂 Here was my usual order of Char Siew & Roast Pork Rice ($4.50), drenched with that robust sweet and savoury black sauce. Char siew was succulent and tender and the roast pork had a deliciously crispy crackling. Absolutely flawless!
Most of the stalls here would have at least one dish that starts from $2.80 just to keep prices relatively affordable.
The Bak Chor Mee ($2.80) was normal but was pretty satisfying with a generous amount of pork liver slices. Ok, maybe because I hadn’t had bak chor mee in a long time, lol. The accompanying soup wasn’t very salty or laden with too much MSG and the noodles had a nice springy bite to it.
Moving on to Hainanese curry rice next. Well, $2.80 for a pork chop set sounds quite cheap but obviously when you look at the real thing, you’d know why it’s only worth that price, lol. Portion was really small but if you aren’t super hungry, it should be good enough anyway. The curry gravy was quite starchy as though a lot of thickening solution went into it. Also, it tasted more sweet than savoury which really wasn’t my thing. The saving grace was perhaps the pork chop that had a lovely flavour of prawn paste in its marinate. Though the meat was quite thin, it still had a meaty bite to it and the exterior wasn’t too oily too. Fried egg and braised cabbage, well, wouldn’t go wrong I guess.
The Chendol ($1.80) was a cooling and refreshing treat on a hot afternoon though it still couldn’t be compared to the best chendol I had in Penang, lol. I loved the richness of the gula melaka that wasn’t overly sweet or cloying but wished there were more ingredients in this dessert.
If you’re in the vicinity of Hougang, do check this hawker centre out with its wide array of food offerings, affordable prices and a nice and clean environment.
Ci Yuan Community Club Hawker Centre
Ci Yuan Community Club
51 Hougang Avenue 9