Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre is one of Singapore’s beacons in Hawker Centre culture so coming here was a right of passage. It’s right in the middle of a housing estate 20 minutes or so from the City and the first of its kind in Singapore having been around since the mid 1950’s.
We arrived mid afternoon and it was sad to see many of the shops closed (we arrived late!) but the clatter and hissing of wok-tossed noodles caught our bleary-hungover eyes – Hong Heng’s fried noodles were calling us. They were greasy and mass cooked which killed the heat in the wok so the noodles stewed and not fried which meant the essential wok-hei wasn’t there, shame but we quickly moved on. Grubstance rating 1.5/5.
We headed to Jian Bo Shui Kueh of #02-05 that offers ‘chwee kueh’ which is are steamed rice cakes topped with preserved chye poh (turnips) cooked with shallots, garlic and soy. They are truly and utterly delicious. Grubstance rating 4.5/5.
Hainanese chicken rice is highly regarded as another Singaporean National dish and many grew eating it so it’s close to many hearts. Granted it’s a humble dish and a very simple recipe of slow simmering chicken in spring onions, garlic & ginger till tender. The stock is then used to cook the rice and served with the moist chicken with a side of chilli sauce, pickles along with some thick sweet soy sauce. I can see the appeal and tried some at the Michelin bib Gourmand rated ‘Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice’ (Shop 02-08). Grubstance rating 3/5.
Seeing the head-turning roasted goods at Tiong Bahru Lee Hong Kee Cantonese Roasted (shop 02-60) and not buying char-siu would be a rookie error and sure enough, even with a bulging waistline we managed to squeeze some in. It was pretty good. Grubstance rating 3/5.
And that concludes our little excursion of Tiong Bahru Market which I’d happily eat at again.