At a Glance

Celebrate Singapore's no. 1 heroes with DBS PayLah! Hawker Awards

Give some love to our hawkers

Recognize our hawkers with 8 new award categories

Check out the categories below

Nominate and vote for your favourite hawkers

Winners will be announced 9th October

Say hello to Singapore’s top hawkers

The votes are in! The people have spoken!

Congratulations to the winners of this year’s DBS PayLah! Hawker Awards. Competition was stiff, but these are the most popular stalls across our 8 different categories.

Thank you to everyone who voted and nominated! We salute your sayang spirit.

 

2023 Hawker Award Winners

Best Chinese Food Hawker

Mr Ong of Hoe’s Hokkien Mee started out in the old-school banquet catering business but now he focuses on just one dish: his signature hokkien mee. He does all of the cooking whilst his wife, Mdm Lucy, handles the orders, packing and logistics.

His stall is especially popular with taxi uncles. Their usual routine is to park near the food centre, use the bathroom and then order their hokkien mee. On one unlucky occasion, however, they emerged from the toilet only to discover that Mr Ong was already turning out the lights and shutting down his stall!

Since then, the taxi uncles have made it a point to order before their bathroom break—just to be on the safe side.

Best Malay Food Hawker

Sajian Mak Dara is run by Mr Noi Firqhan, who took over the stall over 15 years ago. The brand itself was started over 25 years ago by his mom with minimal capital and it faced many hurdles before reaching its current popularity.

The stall’s number one priority is quality and price. Mr Firqhan has kept the menu simple so he can keep food quality high. He also struggled for a long time to keep his prices low so the many elderly regulars in the neighbourhood could afford their makan. It was only this year that he raised his price by 50 cents to keep pace with rising cost of ingredients.

Best Indian Food Hawker

If you know Heavens, it’s probably for their decadent Princess Appam with fried egg and melted cheese. What you probably don’t know is how early Mr Suren Daniels wakes up to make the deliciousness happen. Everyday starts at 3am because everything is made fresh, made daily and made by hand. 

He’s a second generation hawker who’s been helping out his mom since he was a kid, Some of his customers are the same, they’ve been eating her Thosai and Appam since they were still in their mother’s belly!

Best Western Food Hawker

Holy Grill is run by the husband-and-wife team of Johnny and Grace. It began life in Tanjong Katong Girls School Canteen before striking out to become a hawker at Old Airport Road nearby.

Even though the location has changed, the food and the clientele remains the same. Holy Grill’s simple-yet-yummy chicken chop remains just as popular, with many TKGS alumnae bringing their family to eat at Old Airport Road.

Best Drinks Stall

Once upon a time, Amos’s mother was working as a nurse when she witnessed first-hand the power of fruits and vegetables. Many of the patients who suffered from high-blood pressure got much better after drinking celery juice.

This inspired her to set up her very own juice stall, offering not just celery beverages but avocado milkshakes, ice blends and more. Today, Amos runs the stall alongside his parents after leaving SMU to be a full-time hawker. He hopes the younger generation will continue to eat their fruits and veg!

The Gula Melaka Award for sweetest personality

Tian Kee Carrot Cake started out because husband and wife were always ‘fighting’… over who gets to cook for the other. After some thought, Ms Elayne Ang and Mr Samuel Tan Min Kiat decided to trade their Army and banking careers for carrot cake and hokkien mee. 

Customers are always their number one motivation, but the husband-and-wife duo are also looking for ways to give back to the community as grassroots leaders and teachers. Since becoming hawkers, they also helped out junior hawkers through the NEA mentorship programme.

The Chilli Padi Award for the best under-30s hawker

Since young, Sarah has always wanted to be an entrepreneur. Nyonya Pok Pok Kay marries the two sides of her family heritage—her mother’s Peranakan cuisine traditions and her father’s culinary experience. 

It’s been tough dealing with the inflation this year, but she is keeping her dream of affordable Peranakan food alive. In some instances, she’s had customers telling her they’ve teared up because the home cooked dishes she serves reminded them of their mother/grandmother’s cooking.

The Spicy Ginger Award for the best over-50s hawker

If you live anywhere near Tiong Bahru, Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice is an institution that requires no introduction. It’s the one with the longest queue every day, serving up the most richest and most delicious curry since 1946 (!!!).

Loo Kia Chee, the 2nd generation curry master, took over the stall way back in 1979, when he was still fresh from the army. He is grateful for his customers’ unwavering support over the years and his dream is to make curry rice iconic and part of the Singapore Airlines menu.

 

Meet our runners-up

Got some spare room in your belly? Check our runners-up and support their stalls when you’re hungry!

In the running for Best Chinese Food Hawker

Golden Mile Porridge and Seafood Soup: Growing up at the hawker centre was how Ms Chew found her passion in cooking for others. For the past 32 years, she’s been serving up her signature sliced fish and yam rice all while helping the less privileged.

Xiao Di Roasted Charcoal Delights: Jun’s stall is only 2 months old, but he’s actually been roasting meat for a decade. He started with his mom’s roast duck stall, before doing six years at Tian Cheng!

In the running for Best Malay Food Hawker

Annie’s Halal Cuisine: Muliami Bte Abdullah, 58, started cooking in 2019 after a career switch. Her motivation is to feed not just her family, but to belanja more food for the less privileged in her community.

Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak: Even though the work of being a hawker is extremely tiring, working together as a family makes it easier and fulfilling.

In the running for Best Indian Food Hawker

Saamsudeen: Saamsudeen has been a hawker since the 1990s, when he took over from his parents' stall. His dream is to open up a family-style restaurant where he has the room to cook up healthier Indian vegetarian dishes.

Sabeen Sara Prata and Briyani Stall: Every day starts at 5AM for Sara and Abdul, who work together to prepare 4 types of curry. Their Mutton Biryani is the most popular. One customer even brought it all the way back to London!

In the running for Best Western Food Hawker

Wow Wow West Genuine: Before becoming a hawker in 2001, Eric was already in the food business at Raffles Instituiton’s canteen. When he’s not serving up sizzling chicken chops with fries, Eric works as a community counsellor and a volunteer with the Singapore Prison Service.

In the running for Best Drinks Stall

Coffee Break at Amoy Street: This 3rd gen kopi stall serves up treats both new and traditional. Probably the only place in Singapore where you can have a Sea salt caramel latte with your kaya toast.

Mad Roaster: Mad roaster is run by Madeline, a litigation lawyer who wanted to make a bigger difference in the world. The stickers on her coffee cup are made by refugees in Thailand and they help provide a stable income for the community.

In the running for The Gula Melaka Award for sweetest person

Guan Seng Carrot Cake: Mr Guan goes above and beyond to serve his customers the best carrot cake ever. His secret ingredient? His wife’s homemade, 4-hour, craveworthy chilli sauce.

The Headless Baker: After years of boredom, Amber quit her corporate life for a career in croissants and coffee. Nothing makes her day like seeing a customer munching down happily on a cardamom roll.

In the running for The Chilli Padi Award for best under-30s

No.25 Minced Meat Noodle: “It’s the best feeling in the world when you see a customer pick up the bowl and polish off our noodle sauce and broth. Nothing beats it.”

Shen Li Restaurant: Although he has a degree in Business Management, Daniel’s true inspiration is his grandmother, who taught his entire family to cook. He continues her legacy with a delectable range of Tze Char specials. (Try the prawn paste pork belly!)

In the running for The Spicy Ginger Award for best over-50s

Punggol Noodles: Mr Yee inherited the business from his father-in-law in the 1990s. For thirty years, he has been waking up at 3AM to make fish-balls by hand. Apprentices welcome!

153 Traditional Cuisine: Mr Ong used to work in an MNC. In 2019, he traded his corporate life for a stall that serves up Yam cakes, Bee Hoon and Chee Cheong Fun.

 

Celebrate our hawkers with 8 award categories

 

Best Chinese
Food Hawker
Best Malay
Food Hawker

 

Best Indian
Food Hawker
Best Western
Food Hawker
Best
Drinks Stall
The Gula Melaka Award for sweetest personality

Celebrating the hawkers who always remember your orders and gives you the biggest smile and sweetest compliments.

The Chili Padi Award for the best under-30s Hawker

Celebrating the younger hawkers who help preserve our hawker culture and continue the legacy of hawker food.

The Spicy Ginger Award for the best over-50s Hawker

Celebrating the senior hawkers that have years of experience, endurance and grit.

 

5 Million reasons to show your love

The DBS PayLah! Hawker Awards is just one of the many ways we give our support.

Our 5 Million Hawker Meals Initiative gives up to S$3 worth of subsidies every Friday for your hawker meals. Go visit your favourite stalls and don’t forget to nominate!

Learn more

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Terms & Conditions: DBS PayLah! Hidden Gem Hawker Awards.

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