Serangoon Gardens might be best known for the iconic Chomp Chomp Food Centre, but it’s not the only food centre in the estate with hawker gems. Serangoon Garden Market & Food Centre is also home to various delights, from slurp-worthy kway chap to comforting ban mian, with some new kids on the block.
Serangoon Garden Market & Food Centre is at 49A Serangoon Garden Way, Singapore 555945.
The Muslim-owned Zuzu Kebab is a newcomer that opened this year, dishing out authentic Turkish fare such as Iskender kebabs, wraps, pide, pita bread and falafel.
We went for the kebabs wraps (from $8), with protein choices of beef or chicken. But if you can’t decide, there’s a chicken and beef combo ($10) which comes as a hefty, generously filled package. The beef was slightly dry on our visit, but the chicken chunks were succulent. It’s also packed with diced tomatoes, onions, and olives, and laced with sweet chilli and mayo.
Don’t sleep on the thick pillowy pita too; we ordered the garlic pita ($6) that arrived crowned with vibrant green garlicky goodness. If you’re in the mood for a sweet treat, there’s kunefe or baklava on the menu, too.
A queue is to be expected at this popular kway chap stall, which serves up thin silky smooth sheets of rice noodles sitting in a light braised gravy with a faint herbal aroma that’s easy on the palate.
You can also choose from ingredients like fish cake and tau kwa, alongside cuts of pork, including pork belly, tender lean meat, as well as pig skin, stomach, and intestines. The offal’s cleaned thoroughly so you don’t get any of the gamey taste, and there’s a tangy and spicy chilli to go with your meal.
It might be called Chuan Heng Fishball Minced Meat Noodle but we say don’t skip on the lor mee (from $4) that hits the spot. A dollop of minced garlic on the side brings extra punch to the thick and already flavourful sauce, with chewy noodles. It also makes for a hearty meal with a piece of crisp crackling wanton, ngoh hiang, braised pork belly, beansprouts and parsley.
The fishball minced meat noodle ($4) as well as its beef noodles with tender beef chunks are also crowd pullers.
Ah Seng Braised Duck Rice is a familiar name that first started in 1994 and has been run over two generations. Its Teochew-style braised duck is highly rated, dishing out generous portions of tender duck slices in a light herbal braised sauce.
A set comes with rice (drizzled with more of that yummy sauce), a flavourful soup, and garlic chilli. Duck aside, you can order items like pork belly, pig’s ear, pig’s head, tau kwa, braised egg and cabbage.
Over at Aliff Nasi Lemak, you get various nasi lemak sets to choose from, each offering different ingredients like a crispy fried chicken wing marinated with spices, a sunny side up, otah and kuning.
The bed of basmati rice is the star here, starring fluffy grains lightly perfumed with notes of coconut and pandan. It’s joined by a slightly sweet and spicy gravy-like sambal, and crisp airy ikan bilis (anchovies).
And if you have room for more, the stall also sells crispy epok epok.
It’s not uncommon to see a line, especially in the morning, at Serangoon Garden Bakery & Confectionery, which is located near the entrance. Opened since the 70s, the stall sells pocket-friendly (around $1!) old-school buns and cakes that are handmade daily.
Some of its most popular offerings are the pillowy buns: there are the luncheon meat buns (called Hamburger), the generously stuffed peanut ones as well as the curry potato and creamy yam paste options. The soft, marbled butter cake is also a favourite.
This stall offers the uncommon combination of wanton mee alongside black as well as white carrot cake AKA chai tow kway. The carrot cake is priced affordably from $3.50.
The black version, with a rich dark sweet soy sauce, is the more popular of the two, marrying a rich sweet dark sauce, eggs and soft smoke-kissed chai tow kway. If you prefer lots of eggy flavour with the discernible crunch and salty flavour of chye poh (preserved radish), then go for the white option.
Pancake King has numerous outlets across the island, including Serangoon Gardens, Ang Mo Kio Central, Bras Basah Complex, Woodlands, and Bedok North.
If you have a min jiang kueh craving, this is where to make a beeline. The pancakes have crisp edges, which give way to a soft spongy interior. Fillings include peanut, coconut, and red bean. You can also get rich fudgy brownies, muffins, and butter and banana cakes for breakfast or a post-lunch snack.
Also one of the stalls that draw a line of hungry diners, Soon Huat Pig’s Organ Soup has been in the business
The slightly cloudy soup (from $4) has a sour and salty tang (thanks to the addition of salted vegetables and tomato), and a subtle meaty sweetness. Then there are the various pork cuts and innards like pork belly, lean meat, intestines and pig’s stomach as well as liver —all well cleaned so there’s no strong porky or gamey taste.
You can also order braised big intestines or pork knuckle for a heartier affair.
#01-42. Closed on Mon and Tues.
This article was originally published in Singapore Women’s Weekly.