It’s been a year since we wrote our first Tai Seng eats blogpost, and much has changed since then. Aside from some new additions to the industrial area’s culinary landscape and new additions to the team, the biggest change for us to date is moving to our own office space! However, this also meant bidding farewell to our lunch haunts from the past year.
That said, we’re always up for new makan discoveries; just ask our CTO and resident lunch bell, Kenneth S. So, armed with our appetites and a spirit of adventure, we’ve scoured the vicinity for a new list of places to have lunch in Tai Seng and Ubi – and here they are, in our own words!
Start point (our NEW office!):
61 Ubi Road 1, Oxley Bizhub, S’408727
1. For a quick lunch fix:
1 Ubi Road 1, #01-17, Oxley Bizhub, Singapore 408727
Food Hub (L); the popular Nasi Padang (R)
Having Food Hub just three floors below us is convenience personified! This is especially helpful on a tight schedule, because we can steal away for a few minutes to buy lunch and dine ‘al-desko’.
This hub for food (what else could it mean, right?) has eight stalls offering standard food court fare, like yong tau foo (Ah Chong Yong Tau Foo, Stall 1, from $4.20), roasted meat rice/noodles (Rong Kee, Stall 4, $3.50-$4), and nasi padang (Mr Nasi Padang, Stall 2, $3 for dishes and $5.50 for rice sets), which close to half the colleagues raved about when polled.
“Mr Nasi Padang has the BEST nasi padang in Tai Seng. Confirm plus chop. If that’s not convincing enough, I chop again.”
– Kelly, Junior Designer
There are also three vending machines located at the back door: a snack machine, a Pop Box machine that sells popiah ($2) and wraps ($3.50), and an Ice Cream Fun Vending Machine – a sure win catcher game that allows for unlimited attempts at just $2.50. All we needed was four tries to get a vanilla cone – sure win, indeed!
(L-R) The sure win ice cream machine and the Mr Popiah vending machine at Food Hub
Try at your own risk: “The wanton mee here gave me diarrhoea for three straight days, but hey, it could allow you maximum diet efficiency if that’s your goal!” – Arvin, Managing Director
“My pork rib soup [from the Pig’s Organ Soup stall, stall 2] was rather bland… not great.” - Lizzy, Junior Digital Strategist
AKÏN-sider tips: “The fruit slices sold here are pricier than some of our other eating haunts, so you might as well bring your own from home! I certainly won’t be parting with my $1.60 for a small slice of rock melon. Although the mixed fruits box ($2.50) is pretty decent.” – Michelle, Jedi Wordsmith
“There’s a nice guy (maybe the manager) who always waves us over to a table as he’s clearing it. If you have the fortune of meeting him, maybe he’ll find you a table too. Huat ah!” – Kenneth S
2. For a hearty (and very filling) meal:
81 Ubi Avenue 4, UB.ONE, S’408830
C&L Cafe (L); a mountain of food from the economic rice stall (R)
A month into patronising this eatery located just next to the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) headquarters, one question continues to eat at us: what exactly does the C and the L stand for?
Could it refer to how the Coffee is Legit – so legit that it even has a queue system for its customers? Or how the economy rice (or caifan) stallholders love serving Crazy Loads of food to the hungry hordes?
The drinks ordering system (L); the amazing, multitasking caifan uncle (R)
“If I had the authority to issue Michelin stars, I'd give the caifan stall a moon.”
– Harris, Strategy Lead
Whatever the name might mean, one thing’s for sure: there are always Consistently Long queues at most of the stalls, so time yourselves to ensure you can grab a table for your group!
AKÏN-approved makan: “Amirul had a plate of steamed chicken rice ($3) from the Muslim Hainanese Chicken Rice stall one day, and it looked so good! I totally regretted not having it then, but now I make sure I have it when I visit. The owners have certainly perfected the recipe of this Singaporean favourite, with its flavourful rice and tender chicken.” – Michelle
“It is indeed chicken rice bestowed by the gods that govern Tai Seng.”
– Amirul, Junior Designer
AKÏN-sider tips: "If the aunty at the noodle stall tries to sway you into ordering their zhajiangmian ($3.50) , hold your ground and order whatever else you’d initially wanted! Their noodles are really handmade though, and has a nice chew to it.” - Michelle
“Post-lunch food coma is real, especially here.” – Liz, Brand Marketing Lead
3. For those in the mood to walk:
Hoha Eating Place (好合上餐室)
33 Ubi Avenue 3, #01-35, Vertex, S’408868 (access via Ubi Road 2)
Hoha Eating House (L); try the roast meats from KL Charcoal Roasted Delights (R)
Hoha Eating House is one of two eateries located at the Vertex building (the other being Ubi 33 Eating House, reviewed below), known for their vegetarian food and Ken’s Kitchen caifan - no relation to either of our Kens, though!
We rarely visit this eatery usually referred to as ‘Vertex 1’, but we still have some food memories lingering in our minds:
AKÏN-approved makan: “When a stall has 'KL' in its name, you know for sure the food will be good - just like how the roast pork at KL Charcoal Roasted Delights is da best.” - Harris
“Nasi padang served by cool vendors! Super spicy gravy and their sambal takes me back to my Indonesian roots. Portion is great, though more meat = greater hole in your wallet.” - Kelly
4. For a taste of IPO kopi-o:
Ubi 33 Food House
33 Ubi Avenue 3, #01-08, Vertex, S’408868
Ubi 33 Food House (L); bak chor mee from Qiang Ji Minced Meat Noodle (R)
Yes, you read that right. Kimly Limited, the operators of Ubi 33 Food House, made the news a while ago for their strong trading debut at the Singapore Exchange. The good news aside, it’s still business as usual at the Vertex building’s other canteen, which serves up a range of local food and drink staples across eight stalls. But is their food just as worth investing in?
Try at your own risk: “The beef in the Korean stall's BBQ beef hotplate ($5.50) is pale, sad, and mixed together with the funkiest garlic. Don’t even get me started on the soup. If you’re ever in the mood for Korean, do NOT pay a visit here. You’d just be in a bad mood after that.” - Amirul
5. For good food to boost the mood:
Wong Poh Kopitiam
Blk 3004 Ubi Ave 3 #01-124 S’408860
Wong Poh Kopitiam (L); prata from Bani Prathas (M); wanton mee from Hai Sheng Noodle House (R)
Just across the road from Ubi 33 is Wong Poh Kopitiam, which the Kenneths and Harris chanced upon on a random exploration. The rest of us had their lives changed a little later - but better late than never, we say!
“I like that Kopitiam because it's well lit and bright. It’s happy place to come to.”
– Kenneth S
Indeed, this eating place is probably the most aesthetically pleasing out of the lot, with its brightly-lit and well designed interior. It also offers an interesting variety of food, and is quite possibly the few places in the area with a roti prata stall (Bani Prathas Best Crispy Prata – prices start from 90 cents for a plain prata – minimum purchase of 2). There is also a bakery (Juz Bake) that sells different kinds of bread, tarts and mini-cakes, perfect for an afternoon bite back at the office.
AKÏN-approved makan: “$3.50 for a bowl of wanton mee (from Hai Sheng Noodle House) that is as nice as and cheaper than Fei Fei Wanton Mee! Fresh noodles with generous serving of lean and tender char siew slices, tossed in flavourful chilli and pork lard oil.”
“The plain prata was crispy-crispy to perfection and the egg prata ($1.50) was soft and crisp at the edges, just that the portion was small. I ordered an additional chicken drumstick ($2.50) with my curry and it was so tender. But how can one drumstick be more expensive than 2 pratas?!” - Kelly
Try at your own risk: “The iced Milo ($1.50) that I ordered was quite diluted. A rather unfortunate way to end a decent meal.” - Michelle
6. For a Michelin-star taste of civilization:
18 Tai Seng
18 Tai Seng Street, S’539775
Exterior of 18 Tai Seng (from Tai Seng Street)
18 Tai Seng was under steady construction for most of our time at the previous office, and had its soft launch just two weeks before we moved further up the road.
The F&B offerings here bring a much needed variety to the industrial vicinity, featuring familiar names like Fun Toast (#B1-01), LiHo (#B1-11), Long John Silver’s (#01-31/32) and Harry’s Bar + Dining (#01-23/25), along with new eateries like 18’Grill (#01-26), Green Croft (#01-K2) and Huggs Coffee (#01-K1) adding to the tenant list. But that’s not all – it also boasts its own selection of Michelin star restaurants, like Tim Ho Wan (#01-34/39), Liao Fan Hawker CHAN (#01-02) and Tsuta Ramen (#01-01).
“Hawker CHAN already has a Michelin star, so I guess the only thing I can give is MY RESPECT.” - Harris
The service offerings at 18 Tai Seng are also most certainly a joy for office workers in the area, who can now go grocery shopping at FairPrice (#B1-13), get a haircut at kcuts (#01-18), or drop off their washing at Lagoon Laundry (#B1-17) during lunchtime.
“I’m just glad we have a supermarket within walking distance now!” – Rachel
AKÏN-approved makan: “I really like Hawker CHAN because despite it being Michelin-starred and air-conditioned, a plate of noodles or rice is around $5. Finish off your meal with a soya ice cream ($1.50) at Mr Bean (#B1-12).” - Liz
“Sunny Korean (#B1-03/04) offers very affordable Korean food! The rice cake soup was not bad, though there weren’t many ingredients but the rice cakes were nice and chewy yay. The hot plate dishes also look and smell good.” - Deborah
Try at your own risk: “Saddest Mr Bean porridge ($3) in the history of Mr Bean porridge in Singapore. ‘An idiot sandwich!’ as chef [Gordon] Ramsay would say. They gave me a portion for ants - 1 tiny tofu and 1 vege-meatball with 7 edamame beans. The porridge was so bland, eating plain rice would’ve brought me more joy.” - Kelly
AKÏN-sider tips: “I had life-changing wanton mee at Jia Xiang Sarawak Kolo Mee (#01-30). It’s oil based, kind of like Fei Fei Wanton Mee on steroids, with abalone included! Don’t be fooled by the size though, you’ll get real full after just one bowl. Eat after 8pm and you may even get extra ingredients!” - Arvin
Other recent lunch haunts:
Pasta King – a cozy Italian restaurant run by a couple from Rome.
81 Macpherson Lane, #01-53, S’360081
One KM Mall – for days we feel like driving out of the area. So far, we’ve eaten at Fika Swedish Café and Bistro (#02-K3) and Old Town White Coffee (B1-K26/27)!
11 Tanjong Katong Road, S’437157
Lorong Ah Soo Market – duck rice all day err day (Ming Fa Duck Rice, #02-01)!
105 Hougang Ave 1, S'530105
We hope this ‘AKÏN-sider’ list serves as a helpful guide for cheap eats in Tai Seng and Ubi. We’re also always up for new lunch haunts – recommend us a place around the area in the comments and we’ll give it a go! Happy lunching!