Go There Eat What: Tekka Market & Food Centre
STORY: Farhan Shafie
29 June 2021
This series is inspired by the National Heritage Board's new digital photography project entitled "Our Hawker Culture: Built for Great Taste", in which four local photographers have captured oft-overlooked features of 12 hawker centres in Singapore. In each edition, we'll highlight one awesome hawker centre and the mouth-watering makan you can find there.
You may hold hawker fare near and dear to your heart (and gut), but honestly, have you paid attention to the hawker centre itself?
Our heartland hawker centres are the bedrock of Singapore culture. Serving as “community dining rooms” for their respective neighbourhoods, these familiar spaces have been successfully inscribed into the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
As part of NHB's digital photography project, "Our Hawker Culture: Built for Great Taste", local photographer Rebecca Toh tells a visual story about Tekka Market & Food Centre (665 Buffalo Road, Singapore 210665).
This iconic landmark nestled in the heart of Little India was originally built in 1915 and upgraded in 1982. Housing a wet market, shopping arcade and hawker centre, it is one of the largest establishments of its kind on our Little Red Dot.
The vibrant colours used on the market’s façade and interior is unmissable. And of course, it's home to some scrumptious food options too.
So let's get cracking with the, ahem, meat of this article. Here are some of the most popular eats at Tekka you should be checking out, stat:
Let's start with the most popular briyani stall in Tekka Market. It's so famous and well-regarded that it actually found its way into the Michelin Guide Singapore. With its long history and undisputed quality, it's no wonder there are always snaking queues for the mutton briyani as well as their fish and chicken options.
Stall number: #01-232
545 Whampoa Prawn Noodles
Run by third-generation hawker Li Ruifang, affectionately known to her friends as "hae mee soh" (or "prawn noodles aunty") and who left her job at an MNC to continue the family business, this stall offers old-school hae mee at its very best. Just how good is it? Some celeb patrons who've dropped by: three-Michelin-star chef Massimo Bottura and two-Michelin-star chef Julien Royer, okay! Plus, the stall also made an appearance in the late Anthony Bourdain's show, "Parts Unknown". Good stuff, never bluff.
Stall number: #01-326
Anna Dosai Stall
There's nothing more satisfying then enjoying some delicious dosai to start your weekend morning. A classic South Indian breakfast, this stall's masala dosai is super affordable at just $2. Also, the soft and fluffy bread coupled with potato filling has just enough spice to hit the spot. Not forgetting the coconut chutney and green chili sides. Shiok!
Stall number: #01-244
Ar-Rahman Cafe & Royal Prata
End your visit at Ar-Rahman Cafe, the self-proclaimed "Chendol, Teh Tarik & Prata Specialist". Hey, we're not doubting them. The chendol, especially, is to die for. Whether you choose the Small Chendol or Big Chendol, either size will make for great company on a humid, tropical day. Other popular options include the Durian Chendol and Power Chendol - the latter includes red bean and a generous serving of gula melaka.
Stall number: #01-247/248