Sims Vista Market and Food Centre which is located in 49 Sims Place and a few minutes walk from Aljunied MRT Station, has always seemed pretty underrated to me. Size-wise, it is considered quite a big hawker centre with 5 “blocks” translating to at least 10 rows of food stalls. At first glance, the size of this hawker centre seems disproportional to the neighborhood it is serving. A casual visit revealing a number of stalls with limited opening hours and even some totally vacant ones seem to reinforce this observation.
To understand why such a large hawker centre is built in a neighborhood of modest size, it is more apt to derive some perspective on the estate of Sims Drive/Sims Place. It used to be a denser neighborhood than it is today. The area around Sims Drive used to be filled with HDB blocks that have been slowly demolished over the years. Some of the HDB blocks have been replaced with condos, condos under construction or are empty lots now waiting for the next government tender. There are still some of the older HDB blocks that remain inhabited. These were constructed in 1976 – the same year Sims Vista Market and Food Centre was built. It was upgraded in 1976 and underwent its most recent renovation in 2021. I used to be quite bothered by the rather dark environment (even in the day) as well as the number of pigeons flocking to feed on scraps – but these issues were mostly taken cared of after the 2021 renovation.
Sims Vista Market and Food Centre is one of my most frequently visited hawker centers in Singapore so here are my recommendations on where to eat the next time you head down here. The stalls are arranged in no particular order.
Table of Contents
Green Chilli Chicken Rice
As of this writing, this is probably the stall with the longest queue in Sims Vista Food Centre. The chicken rice here is rather addictive and there are a number of reasons which makes it worth a try. First is the long-grain basmati rice used which gives the entire dish an added fragrance. The green chili used here is not too spicy. It’s suitable even for those who can’t tolerate very heaty, numbing food. Rather, the green chili actually enhances the sour/savory notes of the chicken. It is best to slather the green chili sauce on top of the chicken itself and enjoy while peeling off and gulping down the crispy skin.
Tip: They open at 11AM but it’s best to head down a few minutes earlier to beat the queue.
Opening Hours: Daily, 11AM to 2PM
Phone: +65 8280 0096
Nain Food Stall
Nain Food Stall is a dependable nasi padang establishment in Sims Vista. While the selection isn’t particularly broad, their staples, such as Beef Rendang and Ayam Masak Merah usually do the trick.
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 9AM to 7PM
Fried Carrot Cake
Sims Vista Market has at least 2 carrot cake stalls. The one that seems to be more popular is the one simply called “Fried Carrot Cake” or with the name “顺利” in Chinese – as opposed to the other one called Kim Lee Carrot Cake.
One serving costs S$2.50 at the minimum, and even though I chose the smaller sized option the portion was rather generous. My plate came with the right proportion of the radish, egg as well as spring onions. Remarkably, my plate (I chose white carrot cake) turned out less greasy compared to carrot cakes I’ve had elsewhere.
Opening Hours: Daily, 6AM to 2PM
Heng Wang Coffee Stall
The uncle selling coffee here is usually up and about as early as 4AM in the morning. While there are plenty of coffee stalls in the vicinity, Heng Wang seems to be the most popular, and for good reason as well. The black coffee tastes robust and is delightfully fragrant while the tea is good as well. The coffee here is also among the lowest priced I’ve encountered in Singapore, starting at 70 cents for a cup of kopi o.
Opening Hours: 6 Days per Week (rest day varies each week), 5AM to 2PM
While a number of confectioneries in hawker centers simply resell sweets and pastries made from elsewhere, Jia Confectionery bakes the majority of their products inhouse. The stall is well known for its bakes like wife’s biscuit, walnut cake and the like. I personally swear by their swirly teochew puffs which come in different flavors. My favorite is the purple potato one. During major festivals, they also sell seasonal products such as mooncakes and pineapple tarts.
Opening Hours: Daily, 10AM to 8:30PM
Phone: +65 8198 7393
Hollywood Duck Rice
Originally known as Lian Kee Duck Rice and previously located in Tanjong Katong, the well-known outlet renamed to Hollywood Duck Rice after moving to Sims Vista Food Centre. They are famous for the dark sauce in their braised duck that provides for plenty of flavor and goes nicely with plain rice. Aside from duck, they also sell kway chap.
Opening Hours: Daily, 9:30AM to 3:30PM
Phone: +65 9084 3407
Warong HJH Kamisah
Warong HJH Kamisah is known for its Indonesian fare. Their popular dishes include the Ayam Penyet (smashed fried chicken) or the Ikan Penyet. If you like your fried chicken to come in the dried sort, check out this stall. Aside from these fried dishes, the stall also gets a lot of orders for its satay.
If I have any complaints about them, it’s that they tend to run out far earlier than their published closing time of 2:30PM. I usually come here when I decide to have an early lunch at around 11-ish.
Opening Hours: Daily, 8AM to 2:30PM
Soya Bean Drink
You would think that a stall serving just soya bean drinks would be regarded as part of the periphery where hawker centers are concerned. On the contrary, the simply named “Soya Bean Drink” stall at Sims Vista seems to be perpetually drawing the crowds. The queue here rivals some of the cooked food stalls especially on weekends with regulars always coming back for the familiar taste of their preferred soya bean drink. Their popularity is astounding once you consider that this isn’t even the only soya bean drink stall here and there’s plenty around Geylang as well. Having been one of the original tenants in this hawker center since it opened in 1976, the stall also serves Beancurd, Grass Jelly and Lime Juice.
Opening Hours: Daily, 6AM to 4PM