Tiong Bahru Market has been around since the early 1950s. Originally Seng Poh Road Market, it was built to house the large number of street hawkers serving the rapidly growing community within the Tiong Bahru neighbourhood. In those early days, the new market also functioned as a kind of “Town Hall” where important meetings were held. By the 1970s, the market and food centre had already became known for its traditional Chinese breakfast foods and local specialities. Back then, the market had dishes which were not part of the “normal market breakfast repertoire” such as Cantonese chee cheong fun (rice noodle rolls) and wu tau kou (steamed yam). Today, Tiong Bahru market has established itself as an oldie but also a goldie. You’ll find long queues during the weekends and obviously for good reasons! Here are 10 of them that you shouldn’t miss out.
Taste the art of handmade beancurd, because everything at Teck Seng Soya Bean Milk is made from scratch without any machines. The friendly husband and wife duo start preparing in the wee hours of the morning! Classic favourites include soya bean milk and beancurd. Their ‘Michael Jackson’ combination of soya bean milk with glass jelly is very popular too!
Address: 30 Seng Poh Rd, #02-69, Singapore 168898
Opening Hours: 4:30 AM–12 PM, Tues to Sun. Closed on Mon
Jian Bo Shui Kueh is at the top of many listicles about Tiong Bahru Market, and if you’ve tried it you’ll definitely know why! It might be a simple dish of soft steamed rice cake topped with chye poh (preserved radish), but the chye poh here is as robust as it can get and goes perfectly with their dried shrimp chilli. It might not be the healthiest breakfast, but it sure makes for a delightful one!
Address: 30 Seng Poh Rd, #02-05, Singapore 168898
Opening Hours: 6 AM–8 PM daily
This stall is known for their wanton mee with ‘不见天’ char siew, which literally translates to 'roast pork that doesn’t see the sky'. Before you start scratching your heads, this is because the meat here is taken from the armpit of the pig, which is one of the most tender parts. The char siew here is indeed some of the best, the noodles are perfectly springy and the chilli ties it all together. You'll find long queues here at lunch, so try to come early to beat the crowd!
Address: 30 Seng Poh Rd, #02-30, Singapore 168898
Opening Hours: 7 AM–1 PM, Wed & Thurs, Sat & Sun. Closed Mon, Tues, Fri
Tiong Bahru Fried Kway Teow has over 40 years of history and it remains one of the best in town. Each plate ($3/$4) is fried individually by the owner upon making an order, so you're always getting a fresh plate. While I personally prefer my char kway teow to lean to the wetter side, this drier version is less oily which feels healthier (might be my mind playing tricks on me), while still delivering taste wise!
Address: 30 Seng Poh Rd, #02-11, Singapore 168898
Opening Hours: 11 AM–10 PM, Fri to Tues. Closed Wed & Thurs
How about a plate of Michelin Bib Gourmand hokkien mee? Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee has been around for decades and their famous noodles come bursting with flavour and a deep wok hei. The dish is neither too wet nor too dry, the proportion of seafood to noodles is also on point. The fresh prawns, sotong, eggs and fish cake between the yellow noodles and thick bee hoon all come together to make a great plate of hokkien mee!
Address: 30 Seng Poh Rd, #02-01, Singapore 168898
Opening Hours: 10:30 AM–2:30 PM, 4:30–6 PM, Wed to Fri. 10:30 AM–6 PM, Sat. Closed Sun to Tues
Another Bib Gourmand stall, Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice has been around for over 20 years but that's not the only impressive thing about them. It's the tender chicken meat from both their Roasted Chicken Rice and the Steamed Chicken Rice that are the stars here. We also love that it's boneless, thus it makes for a mess-free chicken rice meal. Make sure to complete the bite with a dab of chilli sauce!
Address: 30 Seng Poh Rd, #02-82, Singapore 168898
Opening Hours: 10 AM–8 PM, Wed to Sun. Closed Mon & Tues
Tiong Bahru Pau is a household name with branches across Singapore, but a visit to the OG Tiong Bahru Pau and dabao-ing some home after your meal is still a must when you're here. Some must-trys include the Da Bao, which is a huge morsel of juicy pork wrapped by a soft pillowy bao, and the Char Siew Bao for its full and smoky flavour!
Address: 30 Seng Poh Rd, #02-18/19, Singapore 168898
Opening Hours: 5:00AM–7:00PM, Mon to Sat. 5:00AM–3:00PM, Sun
Going for something light? A crowd favourite at Tiong Bahru Hwa Yuen Porridge is the Pork Porridge. It has a silky smooth texture, the porridge is extremely fragrant with a hint of sesame oil. It also comes with a good mixture of pork cuts: thin slices of pork liver, lean meat and pork balls. This stall has been in business for many, many years, serving porridge that will warm you from the inside out!
Address: 30 Seng Poh Rd, #02-74, Singapore 168898
Opening Hours: 7 AM–3 PM, Tues to Sun. Closed on Mon
It's not easy getting good nyonya kuehs nowadays, since the process is so laborious. However, at HarriAnn’s Delights you'll have all your kueh dreams come true. Find an array of kuehs in traditional and modern flavours, such as the assorted tapioca kuehs, and ondeh ondeh filled gula melaka, black sesame, and even matcha! If you still have the stomach space for it, we also highly recommend the vegetarian glutinous rice!
Address: 30 Seng Poh Rd, #02-25, Singapore 168898
Opening Hours: 6 AM–2 PM, Tues to Sun. Closed on Mon
Our (unpopular) opinion? Tau suan is not just for dessert! Having a piping hot bowl of tau suan on a cool morning is just delightful. Not to mention, mung beans are high in protein and come packed with important vitamins, giving you a boost for the day and starting you off on the right foot. The sticky sweet bowl of dessert isn't overly sweet, and is best paired with some freshly fried you tiao!
Address: 30 Seng Poh Rd, #02-55, Singapore 168898
Opening Hours: 7 AM–1 PM, Wed to Sun. Closed Mon & Tues