Potong Pasir is a mature Singaporean housing estate, unique among local HDB neighbourhoods for its sloping roofs. Potong Pasir’s name was derived from a Malay phrase that means “cut sand”, a reminder of when the area was known for its sand quarries more than a century ago. Despite its good position and proximity to the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) and Central Expressway (CTE), the area has only recently welcomed its first shopping mall, Poiz. Potong Pasir is also home to The Tre Ver, August 2018’s top-selling project. It is also where places of worship such as Sri Siva Durga Temple (which moved to Potong Pasir in 1982), and the lovingly restored St Andrew’s Village, comprising primary, secondary, and junior college institutions, are located.
Many HDB blocks in the estate celebrate their 35th birthday this year, although the neighbourhood’s unofficial town square — stretching from blocks 146 to 148 and located opposite the Potong Pasir Community Club — is only turning 21. These blocks hold delicious treats for the hungry wanderer. Better yet, many of these tasty treats won’t dramatically lighten your coffers. Here are four spots within the neighbourhood that can scratch that snack itch.
for $3.50 popcorn chicken (comes with thick-cut fries!)
Location: Block 147 Potong Pasir Avenue 1, Singapore 350147
Broadway (Potong Pasir) Review. Credits: Screenshot via Burpple.
If you’re coming from Potong Pasir MRT Station, this is the first snack stop on our list you’ll see. Recently renovated, the revamped Broadway coffeeshop exudes an edgy eclectic vibe. Its numerous industrial fans and light fixtures keep the expansive rectangular dining area very well-ventilated and brightly lit, while the high ceilings and feature wall tiling add an old-school, almost colonial, touch to the premises. Stalls here cover just about the entire local cuisine spectrum. Find the promised popcorn chicken and thick-cut fries at Alps Western & Salad Bar. There are more fries than popcorn chicken, but it’ll fill you up with deep-fried goodness. The stall also has $1.50-apiece chicken wings and luncheon meat fries for $4.80.
The newly renovated Broadway coffeeshop was re-opened on May 1, 2019. Photo credit: Loh Xiu Ruth
for 80-cent buns!
Location: Block 148 Potong Pasir Avenue 1, #01-37, Singapore 350148
Shangri-La Confectionery & Delicatessen Screenshot via Burpple.
When did these bakeries grow old? They used to be part of a then-modern neighbourhood fabric, with their simple tiled floors and freshly baked bread. Those born before 1990 might remember tripping to a store like this for a handful of deliciousness. These days, such bakeries belong to a dying generation, eclipsed by their glamorous, air-conditioned descendants. Thankfully, there’s still one at Potong Pasir, complete with a range of satisfyingly sized 80-cent buns, from curry buns and prawn sambal buns to coconut buns and cream buns. French loaves the size of a primary school child’s pencil case sell for 50 cents, and you can get classic pandan cakes for $3 to $6, depending on size. The only indication that Shangri-La Confectionery & Delicatessen is easing into the 21st century is its whole country-style apple pie, costing a whopping $15 (whopping in comparison with all those 80-cent sirens tempting you from the shelves). The pineapple pastry costs 70 cents, but don’t try it unless you like non-artisanal pineapple paste.
This old-school bakery will bring on the nostalgic feels, unless you were born after 2000 — then you will feel nothing. Photo credit: Loh Xiu Ruth
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for 80-cent award-winning handmade bao
Location: Block 146 Potong Pasir Avenue 1, #01-31, Singapore 350146
PP 881 Eating House (Potong Pasir) Credits: Screenshot via Burpple.
At first glance, PP 881 Food House looks like any other coffeeshop, and it mostly is. A drinks stall, mixed-rice stall, western store, and other eating house staples visually advertise their best dishes on the signboards. Nestled among these is a stall selling dimsum and handmade bao. It has a Star Award for fine culinary skill from Singapore Food Map Web, which it showcases proudly on its shopfront. With more than 30 different food items for sale at reasonable prices, you won’t starve if you’re caught here without much in your wallet. The big bao costs $1.80 apiece and a number of small bao cost 80 cents apiece. The latter include coffee bao, red bean paste bao, lotus paste bao, and hotdog bao. Hong Kong chee cheong fun costs $1.80, and a single fried prawn roll costs $1.20 ($2 if you buy a set). The red bean paste bao doesn’t offer more than a generous mouthful, but it is definitely not pathetically tiny and bursts with filling.
This typical coffeeshop offers up standard fare, but its steaming dim sum and handmade bao are less commonly found elsewhere. Photo credit: Loh Xiu Ruth
for $2 soya curd (nearly half a litre of it!)
Location: Block 148 Potong Pasir Avenue 1, #01-31, Singapore 350148
N & B Snacks (Potong Pasir) Credits: Screenshot via Burpple.
This is the only air-conditioned snack stop on our list. Stop here for soya bean milk, bean curd, and a decent array of teatime treats priced between $2.20 and $3.20, from chicken pies and meat puffs to croissants and sandwiches. The prices are very reasonable, with soya bean milk costing $1.90 for a hot serving and $2.40 for 480 ml of cold milk. The sandwich selections look, if not mouthwatering, then at least relatively good, and include egg mayonnaise, roast chicken mayonnaise, and tuna with onion. They are filled to fatness and selling for $2.80. Healthier choices are also available, with zero-sugar soya bean milk and curd.
Even little customers like the taste of clean soya. Photo credit: Loh Xiu Ruth
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