Lau Pa Sat reopened earlier in July and it seems as if they have lost their charm. We size the place up to bring you old favourites and new dishes
Lau Pa Sat is a legend; it is arguably the most iconic market in Singapore. When it closed for renovation, it raised uproar with many folks worrying that their old favourite stalls would be gone. Their reopening has so far been quiet and toned down, a far cry from the old days.
So we went with an empty stomach and attempted to conquer the place! Is it truly worth a visit? You be the judge! We bring you a guide to eight of Lau Pa Sat’s food stalls and I was surprised that they kept their touch of magic.
Here is our guide to the newly renovated Lau Pa Sat:
Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee: 3.5/5
Have you seen such beautiful prawns? I asked Seng Kee to serve me their best dish and they presented this proudly to me. The prawns are well-cooked and soft, with the noodles savory and completed with a generous dotting of ingredients. Here I admit my guilty pleasure – I especially liked how oily the dish is!
I tried their laksa as well after seeing another customer order it. How could I resist this? Personally, I think what makes a laksa dish is how well the soup tastes by itself and this was marvelous. The prawn is satisfying and tender, my only complaint is the beansprouts but it is a personal disdain.
Pig Organ’s Soup & Kway Chap: 3/5
The most important element of any Kway Chap is the braised sauce. If it isn’t savory enough, then the entire dish would be a flop. I love the tenderness of the trotters and the velvety texture of the innards. The kway is smooth but would be tasteless without the soup.
Ban Mian: 2.4/5
At a glance, the ban mian looks ordinary and lacking. The soup was bland and while the ingredients such as ikan blis were supremely well done, it did not help in improving the dish. It got tiresome after a while, I would not come back for this dish.
Siew Mai and Har Gao: 3.5/5
I had low hopes for this. Most hawker centers have a customary dim sum stall but it hardly is any good. It was hence a pleasant surprise when I found the har gao smooth and soft. The siew mai was up to standard too, with a great aroma and succulent meat.
Chicken Pasta: 4/5
I am home. Being a foreigner to all local dishes despite being Singapore-born (I am a disgrace), this was one dish I can properly judge. For what it’s worth, I think this is the biggest selling point of Lau Pa Sat. The noodles were soft and well-seasoned, the sauce was thick and fragrant, the chicken bits were tender and succulent and the dish came together wonderfully. Definitely my pick!
I am quite new to Vietnam cuisine so when I tried pho, I was surprised at how bland it is. The stall owner is Vietnamese so this dish must be as authentic as it gets! I liked the soft, chewy pork and the modest noodles serving but all in all, it is too tasteless for me.
Wanton Mee: 3.4/5
While I do not commend the service of the staff, this remains one of the top offerings of Lau Pa Sat. The wanton was soft and juicy, the char siew was succulent and savoury and the noodles were fantastic – and this is two hours after buying it. That’s right, if a dish can taste good tabao’ed, it can taste good any time.
Did we miss any out? Let us know!
All food stalls are from Lau Pa Sat, 18 Raffles Quay, 048582
By Nicole Lee