CENTURY SQUARE (2 Tampines Central 5)
Within walking distance from Tampines MR T and Tampines 1, Century Square has a direct linkway to Tampines Mall. Inside this six-storey shopping mall are fashion stores like blogshop KissJane (#01-13), Pretty Fit (#01-05) and The Underground (#01-04); plus dining options such as Ayam Penyet President (#B1-27), Japanese noodle shop Men Men Don Don (#B1-06) and Prata Wala (#B1-K21). Many nearby residents come to catch the latest blockbusters at Shaw cinema–boasting a state of the art sound system and larger than-normal seats, exclusive to Century Cineplex.
Toast @Work (#03-12 to 20/29)
Serves local delights at its best–quality kaya and butter toast ($1.80), traditional iced kopi ($1.60) and tea, mee siam, a bee hoon set with egg, ngo hiang and luncheon meat ($2.90) and prata (plain for $1.20). If you are having one of those I-need-breakfast-for-dinner kind of days, this is the place. Tel: 6781 3114
Punggol Nasi Padang (#B1-22/23)
Signature dishes here include ayam panggang ($5.80), mee soto ($4), mee rebus ($4), masala thosai and egg prata ($2). Pick your favourite decadent add-ons–these include rendang, begedil, fried omelette and soup. Too early for dinner? Swing by to settle your snack time cravings with murtabak and a cup of hot teh tarik ($1.50). Daily 10am-10pm. Tel: 6260 8011
TAMPINES STREET 81
Usual patrons from nearby schools include students from St. Hilda’s secondary school and Temasek Polytechnic. Expect fresh market buys, fried hokkien prawn mee, breakfast coffee shops aplenty–patrons come as early as 7am to queue for nasi lemak, chwee kueh and many other delish dishes on weekends.
Soi Thai Kitchen (Blk 824)
Alumni and current Temasek Polytechnic students will tell you that this is their regular value-for-money lunch hang-out. Fragrant pineapple rice ($6), spicy pad thai ($6), basil pork/chicken with rice and egg ($6) and Thai style kang kong ($7) are just some of their favourites. Down the spiciness with authentic Thai iced tea ($3) or lemongrass tea ($3). End the meal on a sweet note with refreshing red ruby ($3). Daily 11am-2.30pm, 6-10pm. Tel: 6784 2421
Bubble Tea (Blk 826A)
Students, housewives, and office folk alike love this drink. Not a fan of pearls? Try their shakes (banana milk shake, $1.70; chocolate banana milk shake, $2.20) or popular Oreo ice blended options or simple choices like grass jelly milk tea ($1.50) and organic soy blended ($1.70). I-tea opened beside it (Blk 828A)–starting from $1.50, it offers a large range of bubble tea flavours including signature green tea macchiato and honey lemon ai-yu and Q ball grass jelly ($3.50).
Alt-Yard (Tampines West Community Club, 5 Tampines Ave 3)
A cafe by the same folks behind Penny University (Katong), Alt-Yard edges out its sister by offering fresh churros (original/ondeh-ondeh); seven pieces for $3.80, and churros ice cream at $5.30. Also popular for cupcakes; flavours include salted caramel, salted egg yolk mooncake, Horlicks and Nutella red velvet. Grab a hot cup of espresso ($3.50) or long black ($4.50). Non-coffee drinkers can opt for hot cereal milk ($3.50), chai steamer ($5.50) or simply chocolate ($5). Tue-Sun 1-9.30pm. Tel: 9008 9314
Papa John’s Singapore
Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, this is the world’s third-largest pizza delivery company. Their traditional hand-tossed pizza features a soft crust, perfect for dipping in their buttery garlic sauce! Pizza flavours include cheese, Mexican Ole, margherita and chicken sausage ($18). Families love the popular Hawaiian, Garden Fresh and BBQ Chicken ($19)–available for dine-in and takeaway. #01-279, Blk 801, Tampines Avenue 4 Tel: 6262 6262
TAMPINES 1 (10 Tampines Central 1)
The first suburban mall with a dedicated swimming pool, it also has a wildlife-themed rooftop water playground for children. Tenants include popular brands like Forever New, Sephora, MUJI, Daiso, Awfully Chocolate and 4Fingers. Beauty shops are aplenty here–from aesthetic clinics (Beauty Language, Body Perfect), to wig boutiques (Fortune Wigs).
Miam Miam (#B1-05)
This French cafe with a Japanese twist dishes out quintessential French toast ($15.80) and Miam Miam spaghetti ($16.80). Our pick: teriyaki chicken pasta–flavourful with the perfect blend of bacon, leek, mushroom, seaweed and pan-seared chicken with Nippon sauce. Sun, Mon-Thu 11.30am-9.45pm, Fri & Sat 11.30am-10.15pm. Tel: 6634 5518.
Sake Inn (#B1-17)
Catering to the increasing demand for Japanese sake, Sake Inn offers the best deals for a wide range of tipples: Mei Jiu, iichiko, Sapporo beer, healthy vinegar, Tamanohikari sake and other beverages imported directly from Japan. Featured sakes include Ozeki sake ($56), Daishinshu ($73) and Kanjuku ($30). Daily 11am-9.30pm. Tel: 6783 3931.
TAMPINES MALL (4 Tampines Central 5)
Tampines Mall is one of the leading suburban malls locally. Located next to Tampines MR T station and bus interchange, it provides a varied mix of shopping including newly-opened H&M (#03-24/25), Timberland (#01-15), Victoria’s Secret (#01-10/11) and dining options such as Itacho Sushi, Paris Baguette and Long John Silver’s for residents residing in the high-density residential area of Tampines.
Sushi Roll -Out (#B1-K11)
Mountains and waves on the logo represent ingredients from land and sea. Sushi rolls infused with local flavour come in three categories: deluxe ($3.90), signature ($4.90) and premium ($5.90). Best-sellers include Electric Tuna (unagi with kabayaki sauce and spring onions), Emperor of the Sea (salmon sashimi with ebiko, avocado and wasabi sauce) and The Quacks (black pepper smoked duck with hoisin sauce). Tel: 6900 4372
Old Street Bak Kut Teh (#B1-K17)
Replacing Ah Loy Thai’s space, is Old Street, good for both its dry and soup versions of bak kut teh, made using a healthier and non-oily special recipe. We love the thick, unctuous specialty Dry Bak Kut Teh ($6.50), along with additional rice or mee sua soup. Other dishes on the menu include pork ribs soup ($5.50), braised chicken feet ($3.50), kai lan ($5) and tau kee ($3.50). Refill your bowls with broth as you slurp away in bliss, dipping youtiao ($1) into the soup.
Koo Kee Yong Tau Fu (Kopitiam #04-28)
Indulge in popular homemade yong tau foo, with specialty dry noodles and minced meat by local brand Gao Ji Food. Their Koo Kee set meal ($5.90) is a must-try, and the set comes with a plate of veggies topped with special sauce. Other dishes include laksa yong tao foo ($4.50) and hotplate spicy mee tai mak ($4.90) Tel: 6260 2969
TAMPINES ROUND MARKET AND FOOD CENTRE (Blk 137 Tampines Street 11)
The BiTES team arrived at 9.30am when snaking queues were already forming at popular stalls: Chai Chee pork porridge (#01-39) sells pork, chicken, cuttlefish porridge ($3); Tiong Bahru fried fish ball (#01-38) offers fried fish balls, prawn meat balls, chilli fish balls (from $1); Rajarani Thosai (#01-33) has thosai, putu mayam; famous Hai Chang fish steamboat (#01-03) and all-popular Xin Yun kway chap (open only Fri-Sun). The market is closed on Mondays.
Yummy Sarawak Kolo Mee (#01-45)
With bright yellow signage and media pictures plastered on the board, this stall grabbed our attention. Fifteen dishes range from Sarawak Sibu QQ spaghetti ($3) to Penang bee hoon ($3). We had a taste of their signature kolo mee set ($4) and it was love at first bite. The dumpling meat was generous, tender and soft; springy noodles dipped in chilli is a must.
Lao Lee Pig’s Viscera Pork Rib’s Prawn Noodle (#01-43)
Sporting the longest queue, this place gets it right. Order a bowl of piping hot pork ribs prawn noodle soup ($3.50), pig’s viscera noodle ($3.50), handmade meat ball noodle soup ($3) and get recharged to face the day. Worth the wait.
House of Dessert (#01-12)
At $1.50 a bowl, comforting hot desserts like bubur terigu, bubur pulut hitam, sweet potato soup and white fungus longan soup hit the spot. After our hearty breakfast, we needed something cooling and opted for the cold watermelon ball. Fresh chunks of watermelon, topped with sweet corn and not-too-sweet icy coconut syrup. One word–bliss. Closed Mon & Thu.
Tok Ayah Nasi Padang Muslim Corner (#01-36)
Side by side with another Muslim stall, Kayat Nasi Padang (#01-37); both have their own fiercely-loyal fans in tow. This one sells mee rebus ($2.50), lontong ($2.50) and mee soto ($3). We couldn’t resist getting our own plate of lontong goodness here ($2.50). Veggies are fresh and crunchy, topped with a dollop of chilli and crunchy bits of shallots.