A favourite with both the locals as well as the tourists, Maxwell Food Centre has a lot to offer. A casual stroll round the food centre located in the midst of high-rise modern buildings reveals many of its old world charms.
Many of the old-time stall holders are still around, serving rarities from yesteryear such as the Fuzhou Oyster Cake (see photo below). Prices have been going up and up and a piece costs $2.00 today. Still it is worth every cent. The fillings are loaded with a generous serving of meat, oysters and peanuts.
As for the tourists as well as the locals, their lunchtime favourite is the Tian Tian Chicken Rice stall. Queues can snake all around the stall, so do come early.
My personal favourite is the Zhen Zhen Porridge stall. The old couple has been serving this dish for as long as I can remember. Be careful not to call it "moay" when ordering. She'll correct your Hokkien and aptly instruct you to order "choke" instead. For a full meal, add .30 cents for an egg to be added into the porridge.
Speaking of porridge, another local favourite is the Fish Soup & Porridge stall. Again queues begin to form way before noon time. If you want a more "atas" meal, ask for the gourmet (expensive) Pomfret fish to go along with your soup or porridge.
Besides the Fuzhou Oyster Cake, there is no end to the number of stalls serving a wide selection of local desserts ranging from peanut soup all the way to fritters, ondeh-ondeh, tapioca cake and soya bean curd.
Maxwell Food Centre is a must-visit for all wanting a truly Singaporean food experience. The blend of old and new may not last for long though. New stalls are fast replacing the traditional local favourites, as the old timers start fading away and their next generation not wanting to follow their footsteps.