Keng Eng Kee Seafood Restaurant
Keng Eng Kee is a family-run zichar stall whose modest location belies its exemplary cuisine. Patrons can sit at the more spacious coffeeshop, or in the more comfortable air-conditioned area, just within shouting distance. Started in the 1970s by chef Wayne Liew’s grandparents, the restaurant has amassed a litany of gut-busting crowd-pleasers. According to Geraldine Liew, sister to the chef and operations manager, must-tries include the coffee pork ribs, slathered in a decadent film of coffee powder and oyster sauce, and the claypot liver, a wine-enhanced pork liver stew. You’ll do good to end off a meal with the fried hor fun, perfectly laced with wok hei and topped with a raw egg.
124 Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-136; Tel: 6272 1038; www.kek.com.sg
Everything in this neighborhood bakery – from the kitschy font of its front sign to the neon-hued cakes displayed in glass-plated wood cabinets – screams “nostalgia.” There are no concessions to organic flour, low-sugar or low-fat tastes here. For decades, locals have been popping by for their custard puffs, butter cakes, and sliced cream cakes. Don’t miss their peanut cake, a butter cream cake topped with crushed peanuts – but come early. Most days, this version sells out by 2pm.
Bukit Merah Lane 1 #01-50; Tel: 6278 2385
This small corner outfit at Bukit Merah Lane 1 has been around for about 30 years. They sell a variety of freshly made steamed cakes such as ang ku kueh (the yam version is highly recommended), golden kueh ambon, steamed kueh lapis, and kueh dadar. Their best-seller is the baked Indonesian kueh lapis. The small-scale production means that items run out quite fast, so get there early.
#01-138, 124 Bukit Merah Lane 1
This family-run corner coffeeshop draws in long queues during meal times. Established for almost 30 years, Poh Cheu is one of the few places that continue to make their own kueh by hand. The stall offers about 10 ang ku kueh flavours including black sesame, red bean, peanut, pineapple, green tea and coffee. The owners ensure that the products are handmade daily using fresh ingredients. Poh Cheu is also known for their soon kueh, glutinous rice and other savoury snacks.
01-230, Block 127 Bukit Merah Lane 1, Tel: 6276 2287
Alexandra Food Village
Alexandra Food Village is best known for the slew of stores selling avocado juice – a thick, creamy drink pepped up with the mellow sweetness of gula melaka. Those in the know head to Mr. Avocado Exotic Juice (#01-19) or King Avocado (#01-17) both of which churn out top-tier renditions of the juice. The Village doesn’t disappoint with its other offerings, either. There’s a daily line for the Depot Road Zhen Shan Mei Claypot Laksa (#01-75). Coupled with the heating properties of the claypot, and this bubbling bowl of unctuous spice will satisfy you for hours afterwards.
Blk 120 Bukit Merah Lane 1