As much as I enjoyed my experience at the Singapore Food Trail I still yearned to visit a real hawker center in Singapore.
I was happy when Seetoh brought us to Tiong Bahru Market and Hawker Centre next. A representative from the National Environmental Agency, which managed all the hawker centers in Singapore, toured us around the market.
The super clean and smell-free market on the ground floor sold flowers, vegetables, meat, poultry and other dry goods.
Since we were there in the afternoon most of the stalls were closed already.
I’m sure you can guess what this stall sells.
Too bad I didn’t see any mangoes from the Philippines.
I was amazed with the variety of joss paper products they were selling. These paper products are burned during Chinese funerals to ensure that the deceased has all the material comforts in the afterlife. Check out the iPhone complete with charger, plug and bluetooth headset. There were different brands of beer and soda too. I wasn’t able to get a good picture of all the designer handbags. LV is very popular with the dead too.
On the second floor was the large hawker centre.
Our only stop was the Jian Bo Shui Kueh stall which Seetoh said was the best and has won several awards. You can see a red letter A on the picture below. That means this stall has met the highest level of hygiene, cleanliness and housekeeping as awarded by the NEA.
Shui Kueh (水粿 also known as shui kway, chwee kueh) is rice water cake in English. A combination of rice flour and water are mixed together and placed in shallow containers and steamed.
I’ve never eaten this before and now I love it. The rice water cake tasted similar to ho fan noodles. The bland rice cake was topped with a mixture of preserved radish, garlic and other ingredients that heighten the umami taste. The combination was really extraordinary. If I wasn’t so full I could easily eat 3-4 pieces at one go.
Next to char kway teow and oyster omelette this is my next favorite Singaporean dish. I hope I can find a good version in Manila.
I wonder what Claus Meyer, co-founder of Noma, thought of the shui kueh?
These are some of the other stalls in Tiong Baru Hawker Centre.
This is one soup I’m not eager to try.
I will definitely go back for the shui kueh and maybe a plate of mee siam. I hope to visit more hawker centres too. Seetoh told me the best char kway teow can be found at the Hill Street Food Centre so that’s top on my list.
Tiong Bahru Food Market & Hawker Centre
30 Seng Poh Road #02-74 Singapore 168898