Word has it that the food centre located at the fourth floor of Beauty World Centre is rumoured to close, with hawkers being asked to move out by the end of the week. While the stallholders puzzle over the sudden announcement – and the public laments the possible fate of this nostalgic place that has recently become hip again thanks to stalls like burger joint Ham Bao Bao and ramen shop Buta Kin – here at Her World Plus, we’re not taking any chances. We’ve rounded up alternative food options around Beauty World Centre should the food centre close its shutters come 11 Feb. Enjoy exploring, and bon appetit!
He Zhong Carrot Cake
To get your hawker food fix, make your way to nearby food haven Bukit Timah Market & Food Centre, which closely rivals Beauty World Centre’s Food Centre when it comes to the number of popular stalls. We recommend the carrot cake at He Zhong Carrot Cake. A plate costs just $2, and there’s only the white version available. Charred to perfection, we love the sprinkling of chye poh (preserved radish) bits that add just the right amount of saltiness and crunch.
51 Upper Bukit Timah Road, #02-185, Bukit Timah Market & Food Centre
Yong Seng Satay
We tend to frequent this stall for supper, but the satay usually sells out by 9pm, particularly during weekends, so go early. Zero in on the pork, which is superbly tender and juicy. Otherwise, the chicken is decent, which boasts a sticky-sweet exterior that pairs well with the peanut sauce that is in turn tinged with pineapple puree for a slightly tart and zesty finish.
51 Upper Bukit Timah Road, #02-123, Bukit Timah Market & Food
Sin Chew Satay Bee Hoon
Be prepared to wait for up to an hour for your satay bee hoon at this stall. What’s glorious about this version is the incredibly fragrant peanut sauce, which is simultaneously sweet and spicy. It’s slathered generously over the bee hoon that’s topped with crunchy kang kong and cuttlefish. The latter deserves mention for its deep umami notes and soft yet chewy texture.
51 Upper Bukit Timah Road, #02-162, Bukit Timah Market & Food
Carpenter & Cook
This whimsical artisanal bakery – a porch swing fronts the café while the insides are decked in peranakan tiled surfaces – doubles as a shop selling vintage wares, and makes for the perfect high tea spot. You get a range of pastries like croissants, tarts and quiche as well as other sweets. We recommend trying the Passion Fruit Meringue Tart, which features a smooth and creamy filling that has just the right acerbity to serve as a foil to the crusty and buttery tart.
19 Lorong Kilat, #01-06
Rise & Grind Coffee Co.
For brunch, visit Rise & Grind, which is located at Bukit Timah Plaza (do note that the entrance faces the main road), which is of course the mall just beside Beauty World Centre. The brunch menu features a delectable Pulled Pork Benedict, comprising shredded pork and poached eggs atop a chewy sourdough toast and slathered with apple cider hollandaise. Feeling health conscious or want to try something new? Go for the Avo-ka-dukkah, which is a beautiful mess of guacamole and bread, decorated with bits of haloumi cheese, wild mushrooms, confit tomato, and dukkah.
1 Jalan Anak Bukit, #L1-CA1, Bukit Timah Plaza. Brunch is served till 3pm on weekdays, and 5pm on weekends
For something local, there is May’s Kafe located within Beauty World Centre itself. This joint serves up good old local breakfast foods like kaya butter toast, nasi lemak and roti prata. We love the rice dish, which is an indulgent plate of goodness consisting of fragrant coconut milk rice serves with a fried egg, achar, ikan bilis and stir-fried chicken. The soft-boiled egg on toast, featuring a wobbly yellow centre that oozes golden lava, also makes for an insta-worthy moment.
144 Upper Bukit Timah Road, #B1-K20, Beauty World Centre
Three Meals A Day
There are a number of Korean restaurants in Bukit Timah, but none serves meals that are quite as authentic as this Korean family restaurant. We may be biased, but the long queue during peak meal times is indication enough of the quality of the nosh. Try the Kimchi Pancake, which features a strong eggy fragrance. We love the spicy stews too, which are bursting with flavours and boast just the right amount of sourness and spiciness. Another must-try is the Jjajangmyeo, which for the uninitiated refers to a Korean dish of springy noodles slathered generously with a thick, fragrant black bean sauce.
12 Chun Tin Road
Joo Seng Teochew Porridge & Rice
The stretch of eateries just outside Beauty World MRT is mostly known as a supper spot, but Joo Seng is a must-visit if you want comforting Teochew muay to power start your day. The porridge is neither too starchy nor too watery, and there is a good range of dishes to choose from. Highlights include the spicy lala (clams), braised duck meat, beancurd skin and minced meat tofu.
14 Cheong Chin Nam Road
Dulukala The Peranakan Home
Located just next to Beauty World’s food centre, this Peranakan restaurant serves up traditional Nonya flavours in a fuss-free setting. You can’t dine at a Peranakan place without sampling the Babi Pongteh (pork in a bean paste sauce). This version is somewhat milder in taste, but still very aromatic. We would also recommend the Ayam Buah Keluak, featuring tender chicken chunks and the eponymous black Indonesian nuts stuffed with prawn paste. It is only slightly let down by the fact that it wasn’t spicy enough. Finish off with the desserts, including tried-and-tested pulut hitam and chendol.
144 Upper Bukit Timah Road, #04-04, Beauty World Centre