It is highly unlikely that Macpherson would light a bulb when we talk about the best eats around the island, considering that it is a pretty quiet housing estate with ubiquitous industrial warehouses.
Sure, you’ll find standard hawker fares for roast meats and chicken rice and the default Macpherson Hawker Centre for a variety of comfort food. But in the quietness of this neighborhood are uniquely delicious food stops that are enjoying a discreet buzz among the food hunters and locals.
We’re not a fan of gatekeeping, so here are our top favorites that will make your visit to MacPherson worth it.
1. KL Traditional Chili Ban Mee
If you’re familiar with the ultra-popular Kin Kin Chili Pan Mee, well, they have a strong rival. Albeit the simplicity and pleasantly clean dining space that will welcome you, the flavors and aroma from the kitchen are pretty traditional. A sign of authentic deliciousness. The eponymous Chili Ban Mee ($7.90) is the piece de resistance that you must order in a heartbeat.
A rustic arrangement of QQ handmade noodles, layered with light and crisp ikan bilis, crispy shallots, meatballs, minced meat, and a soft poached egg on top is just simply fantastic. If you’re feeling fancy, the signature Abalone Combo Chili Ban Mee ($18.50) is made to please an emperor.
Address: 476 MacPherson Road, Singapore 368191
Hours: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM Daily
Since their success at their flagship store in the heritage landmark of Khong Guan Building, Alchemist has established its reputation for being an authority in the Singaporean cafe scene. And, yes, everything started here. Just a short distance away from Macpherson Road, the retro-chic cafe has its own roastery and a library of superb coffee beans to enjoy. A perfect mid-day snack or brunch is the Chicken Ham & Cheese Danish ($6) and the classic Almond Croissant ($.5) that are best paired with a fresh Pour Over Tres Dragones Colombia ($8). This would make a splendid date spot.
Address: 2 MacTaggart Road, Khong Guan Building, Singapore 368078
Hours: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM Daily
3. Chuan Ji Bakery
Tucked away inside the Macpherson Mall, this Hainanese bakery and eatery have a strong and loyal following. Preserving the heritage flavors of a Hainanese family legacy, the steady favorites are the Hainanese flaky biscuit mooncake with rich buttery goodness and the fried curry puffs, which are also delightful with their thin and crispy shell and a mildly sweet and spicy filling.
If you’re on a hearty appetite, the Hainanese Porkchop ($8.50) and the very comforting Beef Stew ($9.50) with very tender chunks of beef and aromatic gravy will wake up the happy kid in you. Make room for a dessert of Koh Swee and Kueh Onde Onde, and be prepared to be blown away.
Address: 401 MacPherson Road, Macpherson Mall #01-17, Singapore 368125
Hours: 12:00 PM – 5:30 PM (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat)
4. Tai Seng Fish Soup
Ask the locals where to find the best Fish Soup near MacPherson, and they, without bias, would direct you towards Bing Garden Eating House at Ubi Road to find a simple food stall with an unsurprisingly long queue. If you have a chance to get served shortly, congratulations! Although you’ll find a few other items on the menu, the real showstopper is the Double Sliced Fish Soup Bee Hoon ($5.50) of thick slices of fresh Batang fish, noodles, and light broth with a depth of flavor. A result of years of fish soup expertise that you can only savour at Tai Seng.
Address: Bing Garden Eating House, 3024 Ubi Road 3, #01-99, Singapore 408652
Hours: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM (Mon – Fri), 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM (Sat)
5. Yan Chuan Roaster
Just a short walk from Macpherson MRT Station, this family-favorite spot is famous for its whole roast duck of crisp skin and juicy meat that are exceptionally affordable ($16 for a whole duck). It’s so good with the char siew sauce and chili; it makes a great main entree when you have to host a meal on short notice. They also have Roast Pork ($10/ 500 grams) with crackling skin and tender meat with a fragrant smoky flavor. An absolute value for money that’s big on taste.
Address: 3020 Ubi Ave. 2, #01-0111/0113, Singapore 408896
Hours: 7:30 AM – 6:30 PM Daily
Indeed, there is plenty of good stuff that is waiting to be indulged in. You just have to know where to find them.
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