Night owls, drunken revellers, and club-goers hanging around Clarke Quay may have spotted a new street food kiosk that opens till 12am in the vicinity — Hot Buns.
Located near the taxi stand at The Cannery (it’s practically beside Zouk Singapore), the vibrant and quirky exterior is one you can’t miss.
Despite being a takeaway-only concept, Hot Buns serves up fun and contemporary Asian-inspired street food in the form of baos, burgers, and bites that are a lot heartier than you think.
You may have seen these Spiced Corn Ribs (S$6.48) trending on TikTok in early 2022. Nicely charred, with juicy kernels dusted in your choice of seasoning — Seaweed Plum, Fiery Mala, or Jamaican Jerk — it’s certainly one of the more novel ways to enjoy corn on the cob.
I preferred the Spam Shaker Chips (S$9.72), which are fried to order and served in a bag with either Fiery Mala or Seaweed Plum powder. Pour the seasoning in (we opted for the latter), and shake it up à la Seaweed Shaker Fries.
These were salty, umami, and crisp yet slightly chewy, with a sweet tang from the sour plum powder — super, super addictive.
We highly recommend extra Saucy Add-Ons (S$0.86 per sauce) like sriracha lime, cheezy curry (my personal favourite), and currymayochup (a combination of curry, mayo, and ketchup). Can’t say no to chips and dip, can you?
Moving on to the mains, slide right in and go for Hot Buns’ signature, the Threesome (S$19.44), a trio of stuffed baos “for folks who love variety and sharing but are afraid to commit“.
The Classic Pork Belly Bao (U.P. S$12.96 for two) is the kiosk’s rendition of an elevated kong bak bao (or gua bao) with the addition of crispy mock goose and pickled daikon, while the Ol’ Skool Bao (U.P. $10.80 for two) piles on the nostalgia with a killer combi of truffle scrambled egg, cabbage, leek, and a thick slice of spam.
For something even more substantial, the Crispy Honey Soy Chicken Burger (S$12.96) comprises cabbage, spring onions, pickled daikon, homemade crema, and a crispy, gorgeously glazed slab of buttermilk chicken.
I’m a sucker for anything fried chicken, so this was way up my alley!
If you’re looking to pre-drink before hitting the club, you can find a selection of unique Moutai Spiked Slushies (from S$12.96) sold in both glasses and buckets (for sharing…we hope).
For the uninitiated, moutai is a style of baijiu, a distilled Chinese liquor, with an ABV of around 30 to 50%. It’s not the most palatable spirit around, but cocktails like the Cosmoutailitan, a sour and refreshing concoction of moutai, Cointreau, cranberry, and lime, are an exception.
There’s even a version with Midori ( a sweet Japanese melon liqueur) that will sit well with those who dislike the taste of alcohol — the Moutai Dew.
But of course, you can totally choose to keep it “simple” with the ReverseTap Draft Beer (from S$12.96), poured from an innovative tech-driven beer tap which fills cups from the bottom. It’s like magic!
Hot Buns is also home to a mini convenience store (think modern mama shop) selling drinks (mixers?), snacks, SG-themed merchandise, and all the essentials you need to get through the night.
You should never drink on an empty stomach, so why not fill up on some fun Asian street food fare before painting the town red?
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Photos by Christabel Tan