In Singapore, human activity continues far into the night: whether it’s a few friends out for a late night catchup, or people looking to wind down after a full day’s events, supper has become an indelible part of the Singaporean culture and lifestyle. Typically used to describe any meal or gathering after dinner, it usually falls anytime between the timeframe of 9 PM to even 2 AM. With a vibrant food culture being one of Singapore’s trademarks, and eating affectionately dubbed an unofficial national pastime, one would reckon we take this 4th meal of the day seriously – and rightly so.
The thing is, there are many places open for supper all across the island, and how is one to choose? Well, let this entry introduce some of the tastiest, heartiest places in Singapore which open till late, zeroing in on good ol’ local hawker fare and concentrating mostly along the northeast area of Singapore. Bonus – they are totally affordable too. Prepare to linger a little longer with your buddies.
Ask any Singaporean what the area of Serangoon is famous for, and it is likely that they will mention Chomp Chomp. It is an outdoor cluster of hawker centre stalls with many benches for communal dining, filled with wonderful food smells and sounds. It is perfect for soaking in the hustle and bustle of the local scene. The whole smorgasbord of local Singapore delicacies (aka hawker fare, or “street food”) can be found here! These include barbecued chicken wings (do drizzle lime juice over them from the lime offered at the side), various types of satay, hokkien noodles, sambal stingray, sugar cane juice, and more. A must-visit! However, come earlier in the evening to avoid disappointment or having to wait as the public seating spaces get occupied fairly quickly.
Also situated in the Serangoon area is 8 Degrees Taiwanese Bistro, a cosy Jay Chou-themed place (think wallpaper and menu plastered with images of the Taiwanese pop star) with welcoming décor serving up traditional Taiwanese fare. Choose from the great variety of dishes offered, such as the famous Taiwanese dish of mee sua (oyster noodles), or cold noodles. They also have an impressive array of drinks and dessert, offering a sizeable selection of both hot and cold. A great feature is that they open till 11 pm on Sundays to Thursdays, and till 2 AM on Fridays and Saturdays!
Suriya Curry House
Just around the corner and down the street from 8 Degrees is Suriya Curry House, offering traditional Indian food. Although a relatively small space, it is the go-to for residents living around the area. Order the teh tarik, any kind of prata you’d like, and perhaps share a chicken mee goreng dish. The servers are helpful and attentive, and this is the kind of place to have a quiet moment in the calmness of the night, or wind down with your buddies.
Xin Wang Hong Kong Café
This is another go-to place for those nights where you just want to hang out a little longer with your buddies, especially at a place with creature comforts, such as air-conditioner, waitresses and the like. Xin Wang Hong Kong Café offers a huge (and I mean HUGE) variety of Hong Kong as well as Chinese food, plus drinks and even breakfast items like French toast! If you’re up for something new, order their unique type of noodle soup made with papaya fruit. Best thing is, they are open till 4 AM. Bring on the dim sum.
Do we really need more open-air areas selling hawker food, you ask? The answer is YES, there can never be enough! Lau Pa Sat is delightfully located in the Central Business District of Singapore, and likewise, offers many local delicacies, although slightly pricier as compared to the heartlands. However, it is also filled with good ol’ local hustle and bustle, and the experience of dining amongst the skyscrapers at tables sprawled across city roads is quite a novel experience. Talk the night away with hokkien mee, satay and many assorted drinks!
There is a saying that there exists in everyone a separate stomach for desserts. I cannot disagree. For those of us with a penchant for sweet stuff, I would recommend Udders Ice Cream. My personal favourite flavours are Earl Grey, Cereal Killer, and Tira-miss-u. Do try their local-inspired flavours like D24 Durian as well! They have a few outlets, such as Serangoon Gardens (a stone’s throw away from Chomp Chomp) and Upper Thomson Road. Their outlets have closing times ranging from 11 PM to 2 AM, so it is just the place to satisfy your sweet tooth AND your nocturnal tendencies!
ABC Brickworks Market and Food Centre
For all the westies out there, or anyone who happens to be hanging around the western part of Singapore, ABC Brickworks Market and Food Centre (more commonly known as just ABC market, or even just ABC) is a great place to visit. It is an open-air hawker centre that stays open till late, even on Sundays. Order the huge claypot rice (from a specific stall) for sharing, then finish it off with legendary Chinese desserts offered at another stall here. Perhaps the most well-known dessert would be ‘Gangster Ice’ – a delightful take on the popular mango ice dessert, topped with a scoop of durian and drizzled with condensed milk. If durian is not your thing, choose from a wide array of other Chinese desserts available! It will not disappoint.
The list here is by no means exhaustive, especially when there are so many more awesome supper places across Singapore, perhaps even more being discovered right now as this entry is being read! Hopefully, though, this offers variety enough for one to try something new or different. Here’s to satisfied tummies and meaningful conversations. The night is still young.