Good food @ ibis Styles Macpherson area – Truly Test Kitchen, Circuit Road Foodcourt, chicken rice

During my 3D2N stay at ibis Styles Macpherson I have had some time to explore the area.
Being a monthly “tourist” to Singapore, I had always made it a point to stay at different areas of Singapore each time.

So far I’ve experienced “living” in the Balestier, Yi Shun, Bukit Timah, Orchard, Tg Pagar/Little India/Chinatown, Geylang/Aljunied, Clark Quay, Lavendar and Katong/Joo Chiat/Paya Lebar area.

This trip in April 2016 marked my first visit to the Tai Seng MRT and Macpherson area.more known for the in is an old HDB estate has pockets of industry. It is a sleepy estate and parts of it are inaccessible by public transportation. The industrial parts of Macpherson, however, are a little busier. The district is set to become more lively and vibrant, with a new MRT station under construction at its edge.

I have always like the suburban areas of Singapore as there is a notable peacefulness and slower pace of lifestyle in such areas.

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And I’ve realised whoever you are in Singapore, there are bound to be a nice, well maintained park nearby.
I took off like a happy puppy each morning to explore the surrounding areas of ibis Styles Macpherson.

And of course, after all that “exercise” I would need to FEED.

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I was in ibis Styles on Macpherson for 3D2N and had the opportunity to explore a few food places.

One of them is Circuit Road Foodcourt which is open from morning until late night.
That translates to approximately 12 hours of makan as different stalls open at different hours.
There is a few blocks so take a stroll and check the whole stretch out before deciding on your meal, just like we did!

1. Block 78, 79, 79A Circuit Road Market & Food Centre


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1. Mermaid Steamboat:
For $5 per person, you get to choose from a variety of soup base (I chose Tom Yam) and some ingredients. These ingredients include pork slices, cabbage, some other vegetable, mushrooms, sausages, crab sticks and even tang hoon! It is not only my favorite steamboat but my favorite pick of Circuit Road’s Hawker Center. Kudos to my dad for finding such a great gem! Note that it is not open everyday, and as the owner is a China lady (she manages the whole stall herself).

mermaid steamboat


2. Cheng Mun Kee, 正文记猪什汤

A good braised pork must have the b/m followings.
1. Soft but not mushy.
2. No trace of porky smell.
3. The flavors infused into the pork.
4. Mouth melting fat.
Loved pig organs ? Loved pig organs soup? Come head over here! It’s not those strong pig smells soup and really nice

I cannot recall when is the last time I had such a delicious plate of braised pork belly. Each piece is fairly thick rectangles and the meat has soaked up the rich dark soya sauce braising liquid very well.

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Circuit Road Hawker Centre,
Blk 79/79A Circuit Road,
#01-104, Macpherson, 371079.
Opening Hours
Mon.-Sun. 10:00-23:00 Closed two weeks once on Monday
Braised Pork Leg, 鹵猪脚 This was the 3rd or 4th introducing braised pork.

3. Yong Lai Fa Ji Shu Shi
$5 bowl of fish head soup and what you get is a very generous bowl with lots of fresh and tasty ingredients. Cooked individually on the stoves, expect to wait especially during lunch time. But trust me, it is worth it
Go for their fish head for a sweet and more full bodied soup.

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4. Mua Chee by Mr Andy Tan
The “yuan yang” muah chee – a mix of both white and black sesame muah chee – is served in a boat-shaped dish with decorative tooth picks. If you order it to go, it comes in a pretty paper gift box.

The black sesame version, my favourite, comes with a muah chee dough that is infused with black sesame flavour. The glutinous rice dough is less sticky and oily than most local versions. But it is not like Japanese mochi either, as it has quite a bit more bounce to it.

The sesame coating is fragrant, but not too sweet, and there is a light crunch.

Another flavour worth checking out is the pandan muah chee with grated coconut topping (SGD3). This has a light pandan aroma due to the essence of real pandan leaves used.

The coconut topping is his own – a mix of toasted and untoasted coconut flakes and a blend of five different types of sugar. To add a dash of glamour, he sprinkles some silver mini balls on them. It is unconventional, but pretty.

The downside of his commitment for personally preparing every portion is that every order takes about 5 – 10 minutes to prepare.

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The above are the ones that was recommended by many online sites.
I however, only enjoyed the mua chee and a bit of the pork soup.

Both carrot cakes were too sweet and the satay were just ok.

carrot cake


20 -25 minutes walk from ibis Styles on Macpherson.

What other stalls to expect: PLENTY!
You can choose to savour a whole family meal with fish, chicken, vegetables and rice or just a one dish meal; which could be Hokkien Mee, popiah, fried rice, chicken chop and various western food and grilled chicken wings.
There are Muslim -friendly stalls (pork-free/halal) as well as Indian food.


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2. Truly Test Kitchen

This was one place that you have to visit when you are in Macpherson!
The food is more than decent for the price but it was the story behind it that got my support.
And the type of food itself was a mix of traditional (Hainanese curry rice) to the modernized but with a local twist such as the pasta and waffles.

The best part about here?
The truly value for money prices!

So what should you order here :

1. Hainanese Rice: Price from SGD3 onwards depending on your order. The pork cutlet was juicy and big for the price, the curry delicious, the stewed radish and cabbage tasty having absorbed all the flavours from long hours of braising.

2. Chicken Waffle : SGD4.50

One of the cheapest savoury waffle in SG!

3. Radish Cake – SGD2

Superb texture and ridiculously value for money!

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6-8 minutes walk from ibis Styles on Macpherson.

Truly Test Kitchen
Jun Jie Industrial Building,
153 Kampong Ampat #07-05,
Singapore 368326.
Hours: Mon – Sat: 7:00 am – 2:00 pm.
Off: Sun.


3. When in Singapore, eat chicken rice.

Like seriously.
Anyhow the team at ibis Styles on Macpherson heard my plea for chicken rice and bought me to the V Kitchen Chicken rice which is a mere 3 minutes walk from the hotel.
While it is not the best I’ve had, the chicken is smooth and succulent, the chilli decent and the rice wasn’t greasy and was in well separated grains.

In need of better chicken rice?
There’s Boon Tong Kee just 5 mins from ibis Styles on Macpherson!

3-5 minutes walk from ibis Styles on Macpherson.

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V Kitchen Chicken
379 Upper Aljunied Road,
367864 Singapore.
Tel: 65 6280 8690
Hours: Daily: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm.

4. Duck Quan Lai Kway Chap – Sin Fong Restaurant


Quan Lai Kway Chap 泉来粿汁 @ Macpherson Road

Sin Fong Restaurant
560 Macpherson Road,
Singapore 368233.
Tel: +65 67441252
Hours: Daily: 8:00 am – 12.30 am.

5. Others:

Kin Kin Chilli Pan Mee, Japanese food, Boon Tong Kee chicken rice, 24 hours mamak, Himalayan cuisine, Aroy Mak Mookata and Thai steamboat, a few famous Chinese restaurants like Swa Garden and Pu Tien Chor Huat Seafood and the famous Quan Lai Kway Chap 泉来粿汁 @ Macpherson Road.

As you can see from the images below, there are plenty of F & B choices on the main road itself, all within walking distance.

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Many of them offer economy rice which is freshly cooked and reasonably priced.

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If you want to eat local, economy rice “chap fun” is a wonderful potpourri of ingredients, flavours and textures in one (or more) plate!

economy rice

If you take a walk toward Circuit Road HDB flats, there are plenty of restaurants and food outlets as well.

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6. Cafes in the area

1. Carol Mel Cafe
Recommended for their home cooked food, gourmet coffee and delicious cakes in a cosy Scandinavian-styled hideout.
2. 23 Jumpin
Recommended for specialty coffee and brunch menu in a warm environment!
3. Supermilk
Recommended for freshly-made ice cream, and other milk-based products like Butter Chicken.
4. Liberty Coffee
Recommended for coffees brewed from the signature Speakeasy blend and delicious cakes!

There you go! Do check out these restaurants and food outlets if you’re in Macpherson area, Singapore!

If you want to know more about my stay at ibis Styles Singapore, check out my comprehensive review and VIDEO here –>


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