Singapore bites: Tiong Bahru Market
It’s been a long time since I had breakfast with my parents at Tiong Bahru market as we usually keep dining options in close proximity to our East side home. This post is kueh centric filled with different variations of starch made delicious.
Tiong Bahru is reputed to have some of the best chwee kuehs in town-the humble rice flour cakes topped with preserved vegetables (chai po). I almost forget how good these are. I grew up eating chwee kueh in primary school at recess time and in those days it cost only 10 cents for 3 pieces.
Jian Bo Chwee Kueh is reputed to do some of the best Chwee Kuehs in Singapore.
There’s aonther Chwee Kueh stall also sells assorted Malay/Nonya cakes, go for the Malay cakes and get the chwee kuehs from Jian Bo.
Ordering in the hawker centre in Singapore is a strategic affair and you should probably go with a local friend or do some research since there’s so much to eat, you don’t want to end up ordering the mediocre option when there’s the best!
More carbs, one of my favourite breakfasts, fried carrot cake char dao kueh, always the black version with sweet sauce. There were two stalls, and this one was average, so the stall that was closed that day had to serve the better version. Although it’s called carrot cake in both English and Chinese, it’s actually radish, referred to in Chinese and as the ‘white carrot,’ hence its name. There’s the black version with sweet sauce, and the white version. Both are fried with garlic, preserved vegetable and spring onions, and an egg is cracked and scrambled in at the end.
My mother’s and one of my favourites. The steam yam cake drenched in sweet sauce topped with seasame seeds. As a child, my mum made these often and we’d eat it with sweet black sauce (kecap manis). As with many dishes, it taste better overnight, when deep fried sometimes coated with egg (mum’s recipe).
A variation of seri muka kueh or kueh salat whose base is glutinous rice, castor sugar and coconut milk, colourings defer depending on flavour like pandan (green), gula melaka (brown sugar) etc. And the one with the neon blue spots is Kueh pulut. Pulut meaning sticky rice in Malay.
Featuring Kueh Lapis ( meaning “layered cake” in this case in rainbow colours but also Bengawan solo makes a delicious different variation with numerous layers. A BBC article called them Singapore’s wobbliest cakes.
Tiong Bahru Food Market & Hawker Centre
30 Seng Poh road