The opening of the Downtown Line 2 is a sigh of relief for the eateries and shops around the Bukit Timah Food Centre, Bukit Timah Shopping Centre, Beauty World Centre, Bukit Timah Plaza and even food outlets along Cheong Chin Nam Road, all within shouting range of the Beauty World (DT5) MRT station. As predicted, it brought the crowds back (even better it seems) than the pre MRT station days. This new MRT station has also improved the chronic parking issue in this part of Bukit Timah, somewhat.
If you are wondering what we fancy in the area...
1/ MI CASA,
51 Upper Bukit Timah Road #02-199 Bukit Timah Food Centre Singapore 588215
Operating Hours: 11.45 am to 2.00 pm (Wed to Sun) / 5.45 pm to 9.00 pm (Tue to Sun)
Micah Jarrod Lim, the chef and also owner used to work in different hotels before starting Mi Casa, which means ‘My House’ in Spanish, in April 2015. Micah suggested Seafood Paella ($13.50) and Roasted Pork Cheek ($8.30) when I asked for recommendation. Single portion of Paella with Garlic Roasted Chicken or Meatballs ($5.80) is also available. Another interesting dish to look out for is Grilled Octopus ($8.80). They will be moving to a shop at 102 Jalan Jurong Kechil, just a stone’s throw away at the end of April and will be renamed to Mi Casa Kitchen & Bar.
2/ PENANG SIGNATURE,
51 Upper Bukit Timah Road #02-28 Bukit Timah Food Centre Singapore 588215
Operating Hours: 12.00 pm to 10.00 pm (Daily)
There is just a single item on their menu of this slightly more than a month old stall; they are only serving Assam Laksa and nothing else. For just $3.50, it consists of their specially made thick noodles with ingredients like shredded fish, slices of onions and tamarind, pineapple chunks and topped with a thick sweet prawn paste. Assam Laksa is popular in Malaysia but not quite as so in Singapore and this stall serves one of the better ones here.
3/ YONG SENG SATAY, 166 Upper Bukit Timah Road #02-123 Bukit Timah Food Centre Singapore 588172
Operating Hours: 11.30 am to 8.00 pm (Closed on Tuesdays)
This is one of the few Chinese satay stalls that are still serving Pork Satay, which is not commonly found these days. Other choices like Chicken and Mutton satay are available too at $0.50 per stick. Like most satay stalls, they grilled it upon order and is served with peanut based sauce with added pineapple puree to give it a slight tangy sweetness, this is a typical Hainanese way of serving it. There is a good amount of fat in between the chunks of satay meat and is served with slightly burnt ends to give it a smoky flavor.
4/ MAY’S KAFE,
144 Upper Bukit Timah Road #B1-K20 Beauty World Singapore 588177
Operating Hours: 8.00 am to 8.00 pm (Daily)
This unpretentious café has been around since April 2015 and is located at the quiet basement of Beauty World serving comfort local dishes. Their menu includes Nasi Lemak ($5.00), Laksa ($4.00), Curry Chicken ($5.00) and different types of toasts. You could enjoy these local delights with their traditional coffee ($1.20) or with their special Floral Infusion Tea ($2.50). Their Nasi Lemak is a pleasant surprise; it is serves with sambal chicken wings rather than the usual fried chicken wing, fried egg, achar, ikan bilis & peanuts with fragrant coconut rice.
144 Upper Bukit Timah Road #04-49 Beauty World Singapore 588177
Operating Hours: 12.00 pm to 8.00 pm (Wed to Sun)
A young hawker, Ryan and Clare, his girlfriend, runs this no-frills stall. Their menu is kept simple with just burgers and fries. There are a total of five different types of burgers that they make with love and passion, and are served at affordable prices. There are The Classic Burger ($4.50), Broiled Dory Fish Burger ($5.00), Crispy Pork Belly Burger ($4.50), Spiced Pull Pork Burger ($5.00) and their signature, Ayam Buah Keluak Burger ($5.00), with Nonya Chap Chye which you are unable to get it anywhere else.
6/ TOP 1 HOME MADE NOODLE,
144 Upper Bukit Timah Road #04-44 Beauty World Centre Singapore 588177
Operating Hours: 9.00 am to 8.30 pm (Closed on Wednesdays)
This stall has been around since 1989 serving resilient yet soft handmade noodles with different types of soup base to go with a selection of ingredients. Their tom yum and mala flavors are the popular choices but their dry version that is served with an extremely spicy chilli paste is equally sought after. Most of their customers would choose to have it with meatballs or prawns but you can also have it with sliced fish, fish maw and even abalone.
7/ NONYA DELICATESSEN,
1 Jalan Anak Bukit #B1-K69 Bukit Timah Plaza Singapore 588966
Operating Hours: 11.30 am to 4.00 pm (Daily)
This childhood haunt for some has been around for decades serving homely Nonya delights like Curry Chicken, Mee Siam, Laksa and snacks. You may try their Nasi Kunyit, or turmeric rice, ($8.50) that consists of curry chicken, achar, boiled egg with yellow rice, it is highly recommended by their regular customers but do leave some stomach space for their Nonya Kueh as they are really good. This little kiosk is so popular that there is usually a queue during lunch and weekends.
8/ RISE & GRIND COFFEE CO, 1 Jalan Anak Bukit #L1-CA1 Bukit Timah Plaza Singapore 588996
Operating Hours: 10.00 am to 9.00 pm (Mon to Thu) / 10.00 am to 10.00 pm (Fri) /
9.00 am to 10.00 pm (Sat) / 9.00 am to 9.00 pm (Sun)
This café has been around since April 2015. Their newest creation, Pulled Pork Benedict ($15), is quite a pleasant surprise. It comprises of a good portion of slow-cooked then shredded pork shoulders together with two perfectly poached eggs, served on sourdough toast then garnished with apple cider hollandaise. Their Tom Yum Seafood Pasta ($17) and Burger The Gold Standard ($18) are also worth a try, ideally paired with their coffee for a hearty meal. Their dishes are nicely executed and also reasonably priced.