Queenstown Lontong: Delicious bowls of lontong since 1960s that’ll get you ready for the day

Despite breakfast being touted as the most important meal of the day, I just can’t bring myself to eat food in the morning. The 4 hours of sleep (or less) that I look forward to is enough to form cobwebs in my digestive system. However, when I heard that Queenstown Lontong, an insanely popular breakfast spot located at Margaret Drive Hawker Centre, is usually sold out before closing time (2pm), I just had to make it my rare breakfast meal.

 Queenstown Lontong - Exterior Shot
Queenstown Lontong - Exterior Shot

Queenstown Lontong isn’t just your run-of-the-mill lontong stall, it actually has been in business since 1960 and even uses the same signboard from the yesteryears. When I arrived at around 8am, there was already a massive queue forming.

Queenstown Lontong - Exterior Shot
Queenstown Lontong - Exterior Shot

It had people from all walks of life — the corporate guy with his tight-fitting shirt and waxed hair, the jogger with her Bluetooth earpiece and sun shield cap, the retired uncles and aunties who probably ate here during their youth and some fool in floral shorts carrying a comically large camera (me). 

What I tried at Queenstown Lontong

Queenstown Lontong - Lontong & Mee Soto
Queenstown Lontong - Lontong & Mee Soto

Queenstown Lontong served nearly everything you’d expect to find in a stereotypical Malay hawker stall, so much so that you’d think it’s from a primary school oral examination picture. 

I of course ordered their Lontong (S$4) and Mee Soto (S$4). I was really tempted by their Mee Rebus (S$4) but I thought the Lontong would already be a rich dish as it is, so I opted for something lighter in contrast. They also sold Nasi Lemak (S$4) and Soto Ayam (S$4). There was hearsay about a coveted Laksa dish but it wasn’t on the menu.

Queenstown Lontong - Lontong
Queenstown Lontong - Lontong

The Lontong was as standard as it comes. It had a generous amount of sliced rice cakes with boiled egg and a piece of tofu accompanying it. Layering it was soft sayur lodeh with a spoonful of sambal stacked atop the carb mountain. It’s finished with sprinkles of ikan bilis followed by showers of grated coconut flakes. This island of ingredients was surrounded by an ocean of milky and yellow broth. Behind the bowl was a salivating individual.

Queenstown Lontong - Lontong
Queenstown Lontong - Lontong

Instinctively, I had a sip of the broth first. What hit me was how ridiculously creamy it was despite being watery. You can really taste the santan (coconut cream) with hints of spiciness. There was also a touch of sweetness to it, something which I’d never expect in a lontong dish.

Queenstown Lontong - Lontong
Queenstown Lontong - Lontong

After a good mixing, my first proper bite had me nodding in agreement to the long queues (which went on throughout my breakfast there). Everything in my bowl worked in tandem to deliver a spoonful so good it’ll get anyone ready for the day. I especially loved the fried anchovies and sayur lodeh because of their contrasting textures and taste to the creamy broth.

The rice cakes were well cooked and when coupled with the broth, the intermixed sambal and grated coconut, it made for a satisfying breakfast… at least initially.

As the number of bites grew, I found the sweetness to be slightly overwhelming, especially for someone who wasn’t used to it. Apart from the coconut broth, I found the sambal and the grated coconuts to be the prime suspects of the profound sweetness. Before I could finish my bowl, the feeling of jelak was on the horizon.

Queenstown Lontong - Mee Soto
Queenstown Lontong - Mee Soto

In dire need of a palate cleanser, I turned to my bowl of Mee Soto. Again, it looked nothing out of the ordinary with yellow noodles, chicken bits, some greens on the side and a light sambal finishing it. 

I was initially worried about the sambal as it was way too light than I was accustomed to and looked like the Indonesian sambal you get in dishes like ayam penyet. That distinctive tartness that comes with that sambal just wouldn’t work with the soto broth.

Queenstown Lontong - Mee Soto
Queenstown Lontong - Mee Soto

The soup had a welcoming subtlety to it and my worries about the sambal were for nought as it provided a familiar spiciness that I truly enjoy. The chicken pieces were almost melt-in-your-mouth tender and the yellow noodles couldn’t have been cooked any better, retaining their softness and chewiness despite sitting out for at least 10 mins before being tasted.

Queenstown Lontong - Mee Soto
Queenstown Lontong - Mee Soto

It wasn’t quite Warong Pak Sapari good, lacking in depth due to the absence of a strong chicken flavour, but it’s definitely a couple of steps above average. And after the richness of the Lontong, the delicate flavours of the Mee Soto were just what the doctor ordered.

Final thoughts 

Queenstown Lontong - Lontong & Mee Soto
Queenstown Lontong - Lontong & Mee Soto

I may not fully agree with the amount of sweetness that can be found in their Lontong, but the long lines and the fact that the stall has been run by 3 generations probably means I am probably the odd one out. Despite this, my rare breakfast experience was a pleasant one, especially in regard to their Mee Soto.

I would easily recommend Queenstown Lontong to others solely on how popular and affordable it is. It definitely screams weekend breakfast with the family. Me? I think I still prefer my sleep, chou chou and cobwebbed stomach.

Expected damage: S$4 – S$8 per pax

Other articles you might like:

Sinar Harapan: Shiok dry lontong & nasi ambeng at Haig Road Food Centre

10 stalls you must try at the new double-storey Margaret Drive Hawker Centre

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