Archive for the ‘Tanjong Pagar Railway Station’ Category

Tanjong Pagar Railway Station 2011

We have been visiting the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station (KTM Station) pretty frequently these past few weeks. As everyone knows, the rail services are expected to be moved to the Woodlands area come July 2011.

At this point in time, on the surface at least, it seems like nothing has changed. All the usual food stalls are still there and the place is no more crowded or no less crowded. My favourite Nasi Beriyani Stall and Ayam Penyet Stall  are still there, thankfully. The stall owners don’t really know what will become of the place and if they have to leave. It seems there is a possibility that their leases may be extended for 1 or 2 years. I really do hope they will keep the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station exactly as it is. There are only so few places that haven’t been modernised and we really do need places where we can just go back to enjoy the good old days. It’s just not the same even if they keep the facade but change the interior. If we don’t have ties to link us to our past, why will we need to stay?

Anyway….as is customary for my family during Chinese New Year, having Satay is a must for us. Unfortunately, I don’t really know the best places for satay. Once upon a time, the satay at the railway station was worth the drive here, but not anymore based on our visit 2 days ago. It was just slightly better than average.

Mutton Satay with peanut sauce dip and cucumber salad (2)

Mutton Satay with peanut sauce dip and cucumber salad

Mutton Satay – Quite a number of the satay had lots of gristle in them. Those that didn’t were pretty good though. They were only slightly charred (I abhor char because it’s so carcinogenic!) and had a sweet mutton flavour. The peanut sauce was also nice, with distinct peanut bits still in tact.

Satay Shop SataysSatay Prices

Satay Prices

Ayam Penyet with Beancurd and TempehAyam Penyet with Beancurd and Tempeh (2)

The Ayam Penyet from Island Power Food is quite nice too. I love the special crumbs and the dish also comes with tempeh and a piece of fried beancurd. The chilli is super spicy and a must if you are having this dish. Have to highlight that the little bowl of soup they give is delicious! I almost always have to ask for seconds!

Mutton Nasi Beriyani (3)

The nasi beriyani here is my father’s favourite. If you often find nasi beriyani to be heavy and sinful, try the one here. The rice is super fluffy and does not taste oily at all. If you finish all your rice, you can ask for seconds without any additional cost. The mutton is tender and flavourful and goes really well with the rice. What I also like is the portion of yogurt salad they give. Gives a refreshing zing to the rice. I suppose a lot of Chinese aren’t accustomed to eating yogurt salad, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be asking for a bigger portion. I often finish the entire salad before I even start on the meat!

Curry Ikan

On Fridays, the Nasi beriyani stall offers fish beriyani. However, if you’re there on any other day, you can always order a fish curry from the 1st stall on the right, and then order the fragrant nasi from the 1st stall on the left.

Coffeeshop at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station (3)Coffeeshop at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station

The teh tarik here is very good. The teh tarik at the stall nearer the railway tracks used to be better, but not so anymore. Just last monday, they served up some milky concoction that had no hint of tea at all!

Coffeeshop at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station (2)

Fares on the KTM Trains (2)Fares on the KTM Trains

If you interested in taking a train to Malaysia, click on the pictures to get ticket prices and timetables to the various stations in Malaysia. There is a very special method to calculate fares. When purchasing in Singapore, you pay in Singapore dollars, and when purchasing in Malaysia, you pay in ringgit. So buy your return tickets only when you are in Malaysia or you’ll be paying the exact same number but in Singapore dollars.

SGD$34 for a 1 way ticket from Singapore to KL and if I purchase the KL to Singapore ticket in Malaysia, it’s RM$34. RM$34 is still okay, but SGD$34 seems pretty expensive, no? I was under the impression that the train services were cheap. I recall paying similar prices to go from London to Cambridge return, and that’s on a modern fast speed train, not to mention that things in the UK are more expensive to begin with!

Tanjong Pagar Railway Station Front EntranceKTM Railway Arch

Read more about my previous visits to the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.

Do a poll on what should be done with the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station once the trains are gone.

What should be done to the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station building after the trains move to Woodlands?

Inside Tanjong Pagar station – Long-time businesses there may end with station's impending move to Woodlands

The Tanjong Pagar Railway Station has been the talk of the town the last week. As expected, the Straits Times covered the issue extensively and today, they published an article on the impending end long-time businesses there may face.

I personally would like to see things remain as they are. Can we strike a balance between modernization and retaining our heritage? It seems that the people who patronise the food businesses at the railway station are not the railway passengers but Singaporeans who live or work around the area. This being the case, there is much value to retaining a building that many Singaporeans hold dear to their hearts. And by retaining, I do not mean modernizing and renovating and refurbishing the place until it has no semblance of its former character.

Vote on what should be done to the Tanjong Pagar Railway station here.

Read on for the Straits Times article written by Melissa Pang, or see my previous post and photos of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, food and facade.

May 30, 2010

Inside Tanjong Pagar station

Long-time businesses there may end with station’s impending move to Woodlands

By Melissa Pang

His teh tarik and teh halia are rich and creamy with just the right amount of milk and, as one customer put it, ‘cannot be found anywhere outside’.

Every day, Mr Masudul Hasan, 63, sees a steady stream of customers at his drinks stall at the M. Hasan Railway Station Canteen in the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.

But the days are numbered for him and the other tenants at the 78-year-old station.

Last Monday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak announced that the Malayan Railway (KTM) station in Keppel Road will move to Woodlands by July next year.

The move marks the resolution of a 20-year land dispute between the two countries.

It also spells the possible end of businesses at the station, including Mr Masudul’s.

In 1958, he and his elder brother, Mr Mahmoodol Hasan, now 66, migrated here from India.

They opened a coffee shop at the station’s Platform 2 in 1984. In 1990, Mr Masudul moved the business to its current location at Platform 1.

His brother later took over a space in the main hall to set up another coffee shop named M. Hasan Railway Food Station, which is sub-let to eight tenants except for the drinks stall. Mr Masudul personally runs the shop at Platform 1.

Their 24-hour eateries sell Malay and Indian food and cater to the mostly white-collar lunch crowd from the nearby Central Business District, and late-night crowds looking for supper.

‘Everyone knows about this place. It is famous for its cheap and good Malay food,’ said Mr Masudul with a hint of pride.

‘On the Internet, the mee siam is said to be the most popular and the cheapest,’ he added.

The station is also home to Ali Nachia Briyani Dam, which serves one of the best mutton briyani in town. The parents of former national footballer Rafi Ali own this stall.

The tenants said they have not heard anything about the impending move from KTM.

Even if they are offered lease space at the new station in Woodlands, they have reservations about the new location.

‘Business here is better because there are more people. Train passengers don’t eat here. We get most of our customers during lunch time and at night,’ said Mr Masudul.

Mr Ajimul Naseerullakhan, 35, of Habib Railway Bookstore, which has been around since 1938, agreed.

‘I was very sad when I saw the news of the station’s move. We have been here since my great- grandfather’s time and we have no idea what is going to happen,’ said Mr Ajimul, who has been helping out at the shop for more than 10 years.

His uncle, Mr M.Y. Syed Ahmad, 63, has been in charge of the family business since 1977.

Even as tenants fret about their future, shutterbugs have descended on the station since news of the move.

For Mr Yang Oi Kwok, 35, it is a chance to revisit a place close to his heart.

From 1990 to 1992, he would take the train from his home in Johor Baru to his workplace here.

‘The two-hour commute was tough, starting at 5am. I remember the crowded train carriages and having a soothing cup of teh tarik after alighting,’ said the data analyst, who now lives here.

Mr Ashvinkumar Kantilal, president of the Singapore Institute of Architects, said that the station’s architecture is ‘a stylistic infusion of Art Deco and modern vernacular’.

The building will be conserved. Mr Ashvinkumar said its strategic location made it a suitable venue for ‘an interactive learning-based museum’ where young Singaporeans could learn about the country’s growth as a free trade entreport.

What memories do you have of the Tanjong Pagar station? Send them to

Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and the food here!

1st stop was to go to the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station in Singapore for Nasi Beriyani. The railway station has been in the spotlight this past week after the big news that Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to relocate the railway station from Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands by next year. I suppose this is good news for Singapore in general, but I am anxious to know what will become of the railway station building after the move. It is a historic building and I would hate to see yet another old building torn down in the name of progress. It seems that the government agrees that it is a building of historic significance and will preserve it, but this probably still means that the original character and atmosphere of the place will no longer be the same.

So, we decided we had to at least visit the Singapore Tanjong Pagar railway station before it becomes modernised. I think many Singaporeans do not know that there is good food to be found at the railway station. At least all the friends that I know of are surprised when I tell them that I had some teh tarik, or ayam penyet, or nasi beriyani or satay at the railway station.

My parents really like the nasi beriyani, enough to drive here even though it is out of the way. The rice is fluffy and fragrant. If you like fish, you have to come on Fridays when they have the fish nasi beriyani. And if you finish your rice and need more, you can get a second helping of rice!

I personally prefer the ayam penyet from Island Power. Included with the chicken are also a piece of tofu, a piece of tempeh and some vegetables. You will be surprised to know that at some other ayam penyet stalls elsewhere, they don’t give you the extra tempeh or tofu! The chilli is a must or the ayam penyet won’t taste the same!

At night, you are able to get satay too. We make it a point to come here every Chinese New Year just for the satay and the teh tarik. I wonder if we will be able to do here a few years from now.

Previously, many tables were placed outside at the back of the railway station building. It was great to sit outside under the shade of the trees especially at night because the inside of the station can get quite stuffy. I recall once during the old times, a little caterpillar descended down from the tree and landed on our table. It was cute and made me feel the atmosphere of the place even more.

But 1 or 2 years ago, the authorities banned that, apparently for health reasons. Well if you ask me, when the trains pull up, they spew out more smoke for you to breathe in than you would breathe sitting outside under the trees. I don’t understand why we aren’t able to sit outside now.

Scroll down for photos of the Tanjong Pagar Railway station as well as photos of delicious local food! Also scroll down for photos on the famous nasi beriyani and teh tarik. The best is for you to make a trip there yourself before they do something to permanently alter the atmosphere of the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station. Today, we saw many people totting cameras, all with the same idea.

Vote on what you think should be done to the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station building after the trains move to Woodlands.

Tanjong Pagar Railway Station Facade

Grand entrance of the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station

Ticket Counter at the train station

Ticket counter to buy tickets for your quick getaway

Island Power Food and Nasi Beriyani Stall

Get your ayam penyet at Island Power Food and the nasi beriyani at the stall on the left

Ayam Penyet (smashed chicken)

Ayam Penyet (Smashed Chicken Rice) with crunchy bits on the top

Nasi Beriyani with mutton

Nasi Beriyani with mutton

Nasi Beriyani with mutton side view

More nasi beriyani with mutton

teh tarik

Teh Tarik (Pulled Tea) No local meal is complete without a teh tarik, especially at a place like this!

eating house facing the railway track

More eating places facing the railway track directly!

stalls in the railway food station

Railway Food Station

people lining up to get on the KTM trains

Check out the long line of passengers waiting to get onto the next train

Tanjong Pagar Railway Station train tracks A train just pulled in and these are the last of the stragglers.

Tanjong Pagar Railway Station train tracks man on the tracks! Quick! Man on the tracks, call the police!

people taking pictures of the railway station before it disappearsNostalgic Singaporeans flocking to the railway station for photos

See my updated comments on what is to become of the railway station and the businesses there.

I had a wonderful day today, so this is either going to be a very long post, or I might break up my story into several posts. Today being Vesak Day, we took the opportunity to travel all around Singapore taking photos of everything like tourists. I took a grand total of 174 photos (including some that I took after I got off work at TEN PM yesterday). I know Singapore is small, but still, I firmly believe that there is much to do in Singapore if you just give Singapore a chance. There are gems just waiting to be found and appreciated.

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