Retro Food Court at City Square Mall Carpark! Food Republic

Food Republic City Square Mall

Food Republic has always distinguished itself as being able to create attractive and cozy spaces to enjoy local heritage food choices. They have achieved this again with their newly revamped food court at City Square Mall, which pays homage to the makeshift hawker centres (大排档 Da Pai Dang) of the past.

Although we have been to quite a few Food Republic food courts in the past, this latest one really makes you feel as if you are eating hawker food on the street.

It’s literally in the carpark!

Food Republic City Square Mall
Food Republic is located at B3 of City Square Mall, carpark

Located at Basement 3, the food court occupies a space which used to be part of the car park. Coupled with the painted blue skies ceiling, retro decor, multi-colored light bulbs, rickety foldable tables and the fact that you can just park your car and walk over to the food court, it really reminded me of the makeshift hawker centres of the past. And in particular, the one under the Whitley flyover which I used to frequent as a youth!

In the days before the establishment of our NEA Hawker Centres, hawkers would wheel their entire stalls on carts to large open-air areas like carparks to sell their food. They had to provide tables and stools for customers to sit, hence the foldable tables and stackable stools.

Here at Food Republic City Square Mall, you get to experience a similar atmosphere, but minus the heat, car exhaust, and the chance of having to down your food quickly during a police raid.

There are altogether twelve stalls in the food court. We managed to taste dishes from all twelve stalls and here is what you can expect.

  1. HJH Maimunah Mini – Nasi Padang
  2. Sumber Ayam Chicken Rice
  3. Halim’s Fish Soup
  4. Jia Jia Le Cuisine – Economic Rice
  5. Formosa Delights – Hand-shaven Noodles
  6. Li Xin Teochew Fishball Noodles
  7. Thye Hong Hokkien Mee
  8. Fan Fan Herbal Bak Kut Teh
  9. Shock Japanese
  10. Brisket King Beef Noodles
  11. Gaga Roasted Delights
  12. QUENCH – Drinks and Dessert

1. HJH Maimunah Mini

Hjh Maimunah Mini at Food Republic City Sq Mall

HJH Maimunah is without a doubt, one of the key reasons for visiting this food court. Famous for their Nasi Padang, this is their only outlet in Food Republic. Though it is a “mini”, there is still a dizzying selection of nasi padang dishes to pile on your plate.

Aside from the rendang, sayar lodeh, chicken curry, potato bergedil, addictive ikan billis and peanuts and other dishes which you can pile onto your plate, most customers will also order a plate of Tahu Telur to share. This dish of deep-fried tofu drenched in special spicy kecup manis sauce, topped with a generous amount of ground peanuts and shredded veggies, makes for a lovely side dish!

2. Sumber Ayam Chicken Rice

Sumber Ayam Chicken Rice at Food Republic City Sq Mall
Roasted Chicken set meal (S) $8.50 with additional Chicken $3, Curry Chicken Noodle (S) $7.30

This chicken rice stall is surprisingly good! Both the white and roast chicken are very competent but the hidden gem is their Curry Chicken noodles. The Indian style gravy is rich and flavourful and goes really well with the chicken. It’s too bad they don’t give you the option of just ordering the white chicken with a bowl of curry gravy as the curry goes very well with the chicken rice!

3. Halim’s Fish Soup

Halim's fish Soup at Food Republic City Sq Mall

This is our first time trying Halim’s Fish Soup and we had their Fried Sliced Fish Mini Steamboat ($8).

We were initially a bit disappointed that the fried fish was somewhat dry. However, after it had enough time simmering in the soup, it was fine. The soup itself became more flavourful and creamier too. It isn’t something you’d make a special trip for. But if you find yourself at the food court craving fish soup, it should satisfy your desire.

4. Jia Jia Le Cuisine – Economic Rice

Jia Jia Le Cuisine at Food Republic City Sq Mall

Chicken curry, braised pork and sweet and sour pork are the key dishes that I usually look for when ordering economic rice. They are very good at Jia Jia Le Cuisine.

For $6 you get one meat and two veggies on rice. But if like me, you pile up the plate with three premium meat dishes, then the prices will add up to the price of a bowl of Japanese Ramen! But this is so easy to do when you are standing at the front of the stall as everything looks so good!

5. Formosa Delights

Formosa Delights at Food Republic City Sq Mall
Knife Shaven Noodles (刀削面): $7.90

Formosa which means “Beautiful Island” in Portuguese, was the name recorded in the 1571 Portugal ship’s log as they passed through the Taiwan strait. So, here is a stall specializing in Taiwanese cuisine.

If you are looking for a bowl of hand-shaven noodles then you are in luck. The noodles here have a very nice bite! However we didn’t quite appreciate the chicken drumettes which was cooked in fermented bean curd. They do have other versions like beef and pork ribs which might have been a better choice.

6. Li Xin Teochew Fishball Noodles

Li Xin Teochew Fishball  at Food Republic City Sq Mall
The Folk’s Favourite (Dry) $9.20

Lixin is a familiar brand at Food Republic and they serve very good handmade fish balls, fish dumplings and noodles. At this food court, they have opted to use enamel plates in keeping with the retro look.

We had The Folk’s Favourite (Dry) set that came with a bowl of fishball and fish dumping, along with an onsen egg and XL fried dumpling. The dumpling is very impressive to behold but unfortunately it wasn’t as addictive as we would have liked it to be. Overall, it was still a very nice bowl of fishball noodles.

7. Thye Hong Hokkien Mee

Thye Hong Hokkien Mee at Food Republic City Sq Mall
Char Kway Teow (s) $6.90

Thye Hong is yet another stalwart of Food Republic food courts. At first we didn’t think we would cover them but one customer happened to walk past with a plate of Char Kway Teow and we were mesmerized by the wok hei! We can’t say that it is the best CKT in town but it is good enough to satisfy your craving.

8. Fan Fan Herbal Bak Kut Teh

Fan Fan Herbal Bak Kut Teh at Food Republic City Sq Mall
Signature Claypot Herbal Bak Kut Teh Soup $7.90

If you are after Malaysian-style bak kut teh but don’t like it too herbally, then Fan Fan Herbal Bak Kut Teh might just be for you! Apparently, the owners had spent a few months in Malaysia to learn the recipe before bringing it back to Singapore. They toned down on the herbs in order to cater to the local palate.

The broth is pleasant and Lisa loves to soak the beancurd skin in the pork bone soup. But we would have preferred a stronger herbal flavour. They also make a Claypot rice which looks quite promising.

9. Shock Japanese

Hotplate Saba Set $6.80

You probably won’t find Japanese cuisine in the old makeshift hawker centers, but these days, it has become a Singaporean staple. Here at Shock Japanese, you get your usual selection of Japanese favourites, minus the pork and sake. Their signature Hotplate Saba set that comes with a decent sized fish, is a great value at $6.80.

10. Brisket King Beef Noodles

Brisket King Beef Noodles at Food Republic City Sq Mall

This stall offers many different cuts of beef served in robust beef broth.

11. Gaga Roasted Delights

Three Treasure Rice $9.50

You won’t go gaga over the charsiu and siobak here but they do have a dang gui roast duck that helps differentiate this stall from other Cantonese BBQs.

12. QUENCH – Drinks and Dessert

Quench at Food Republic City Sq Mall

The drink stall is famous for the kopi slush $2.90 and ice ball $2. Those of us growing up in Singapore in the 70’s or earlier should be quite fond of ice balls. But aside from their nostalgic value, it doesn’t really make much sense to serve it in a bowl and eat it with a spoon! Ice balls are supposed to be held in the hand and eaten outdoors where the syrup and drip all over the place!


Food Republic at City Square Mall is likely the closest you can get to evoking the nostalgia of makeshift hawker stalls in a carpark or under a flyover—right here in Singapore! Thankfully, it’s air-conditioned and clean too! If not for the nostalgia, go for the experience of catching a glimpse of what it was like back in the day.

Disclosure: this post is written in partnership with Food Republic. Opinions expressed are those of our own.

Food Republic City Square Mall

180 Kitchener Road, #B3-04, City Square Mall
Singapore 208539
View Map

Opening hours:

Daily: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm

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Ordered curry chicken noodles for $7.30. noodles so little that you can count how many strands. friend ordered beef noodles, the beef was as tough as leather. Food not value for money, never going back there ever again.

Oh dear. We’ll let them know.

You mean you know them?

I don’t know the store owners but I can help feedback to Food Republic.

I am the first to comment here but after posting, I found more negative comments about the food court on Google review.

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