The Bukit Panjang area has never really been on my food radar. After all, the malls there have the same eateries found in every other mall, and the place is not that accessible from where I live and work.
However, with the newly opened Downtown Line 2, I believe I will make more trips there.
From Bukit Panjang MRT station, take an LRT train to Pending station - it is a few minutes' walk from the new Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre, which opened on Tuesday.
There are also bustling coffee shops near the food centre. I head to Fu Yuan Can Shi coffee shop to check out a stall recommended by Sunday Times reader Paula Ng.
At Zheng Wei, which sells braised duck rice, there is a long line.
Where: Fu Yuan Can Shi, 01-34 Block 259 Bukit Panjang Ring Road
Open: 5.30am to 2.30pm daily, or while stocks last
Rating: 3.5 stars
A generous portion with white rice or yam rice, kway teow or yellow noodles, costs $3, and it comes with a serving of soup.
I notice that almost every bowl that is sold has an additional order of braised egg or tofu.
I like that the duck is sliced thinly, but not into tiny slivers. The tender meat is juicy and well-marinated in herbs and spices that do not overpower the meaty flavour.
The magic in the bowl is the splash of umami-packed braising dark sauce. I suggest tossing the noodles in the herbal sauce mixed with the aromatic chilli, and leaving the noodles to soak in the gravy and absorb the flavours before tucking in.
The ducks sell out fast, so try to get there before 1pm.
If you are going to be taking the Downtown Line, why not explore the food options at the other stops too?