Offering plenty of flavours and variety, the Ci Yuan Hawker Centre welcomes you with an abundance of choice. As almost every stall was open, the selection ranges from traditional Bak Kut Teh stall and Indian prata to Japanese bento boxes and modern fusion hawker-preneurs.
The centre is home to a mix of young and creative hawkers as well as to very experienced and established stall owners. This seemingly results in a very rich combination of dishes, flavours, and cuisines. As the centre offers something for every taste, it is a daily destination for families and groups. Every stall is also equipped with a self-service paying kiosk, reducing your queuing time.
A Sea of Choice: Wanton Noodle Stall
First up was a bowl of delicious Dumpling Soup at the Wanton Noodle stall. Offering a rich vegetable stock with a slight fish aftertaste, the soup included a few pieces of fresh pak choi and five dumplings that were filled with a mix of steamed meat, seaweed, and small spring onions.
While the soup itself was quite rich already, the dumplings were offering a mix of different textures – varying from tender meat and soft dough to fresh greens.
Next on our feast through the Ci Yuan Hawker Centre were the Salted Egg Prawns. The eight big prawns came with a very heavy and delicious salted egg crust.
Freshly prepared at the stall, the prawns were soft, while the crust was still melting in my mouth. Although the prawns were on point, the flavour-intense and salty crust was definitely the overpowering taste. This combination alone was to die for.
Traditional and Modern: Speciality Braised Duck Rice
Strolling through the corridors, I found a good old favourite of mine. As I simply couldn’t resist, I had to try the Speciality Braised Duck Rice – and I wasn’t disappointed.
Coming with a generous portion of rice, the thinly sliced duck pieces on top of the rice were very tender.
The dish came also with a few sides, such as beans, a little bit of soft and vinegar-drenched cabbage, and the delicious braised sauce.
The intense and dark colour suggests a heavy and dominant taste, but it was actually very soft and comforting, not overpowering the taste of the duck.
One stall that immediately caught my attention was the Pasta Stop. Offering various creative pasta combos, such as Aglio Olio Seafood as well as Ham & Mushroom Creamy, I chose the Crabmeat Pasta.
While the spaghetti was perfectly al dente, the creamy crabmeat sauce was the absolute crowning part of my Ci Yuan Hawker review. Very rich and heavy, the tomato sauce was mixed in with fine crabmeat, giving the sauce texture but not being too chunky.
Topped with some Parmesan cheese and parsley as a garnish, the Crabmeat Pasta alone was already worth the trip. Although I live on the other side of the city, the trip to Hougang and the Ci Yuan Hawker was rewarded with a wonderful feast. The best thing about it is that actually every dish at every stall will soon be available for delivery via foodpanda.sg. Stay tuned!