These are a few of my favourite things at Tekka Market!
Wet markets are such a wonderful and unique feature of Singapore and Tekka Market – which sits right at the beginning of Little India (Serangoon Road, or first left onto Buffalo Road for easy underground parking) is definitely one of the most vibrant! While you’ll see many tourists on private tours here, it’s a hot spot for housewives carefully picking out the perfect vegetables, aunties buying fresh fish, uncles who have popped in for a quick biryani lunch, and even foodie dads on weekends.
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Busy, bustling, hot, noisy and ‘aromatic’ (because Tekka is famous for its cooked food stalls in addition to fresh produce), the Tekka Market experience can be a little daunting and overwhelming at first, but once you know your way around and take the time to talk to the friendly sellers, not to mention the inexpensive (while it’s not the cheapest wet market in the city, it’s definitely cheaper than the supermarkets in the malls) and extremely fresh produce you will end up going back home with, you’ll definitely be eager to be back!
In this busy market, don’t let the pushy regulars or flying piece of chicken (yes, it happens) daunt you…we have some awesome tips to empower you, just remember to bring cash and a shopping trolley or big eco-friendly grocery bag, plus wear closed and comfy shoes.
Read More: How to Shop Tekka Wet Market
Armed with my top 10 stalls list, you’ll soon be shopping at Tekka like a pro!
1. Fruit stall #01-161
Just around the corner from all the delicious food at the food center, this fruit stall has an amazing variety of kid-friendly fruits like berries, pomegranate, avocados, apples and pineapple that are well priced, ripe and ready to eat. In addition, you’ll find lots of wonderful tropical fruits like mangoes (several varieties and so much cheaper than the supermarket), custard apple, persimmon, longan and lychees. Some of the fruit (pomegranate and pineapple, for example) is even prepped and cleaned for you to eat right away. The owner is friendly and will answer all your fruit-related questions.
2. Lee Fresh Vegetables, stall #01-184
Just across from the fruit stall above is Lee, where you can find an abundance of fresh veggies that are pre-portioned, packed and ready to grab and go. They will give you a basket which you can fill up with everything you want… and then once you’re done just hand over your basket for them to ring you up. All the basic veggies can be found here, plus interesting ones such as bittergourd, okra, different kinds of pumpkin, lovely fresh lemongrass, and even fresh turmeric (a favourite of mine — great for soups, stews and fresh tea!).
3. Chia’s Vegetables Supply, stall #01-08
One of the biggest and most well-known stalls in the market, Chia has every vegetable under the sun! From beautiful fresh kale, baby spinach and fresh salad leaves to Thai eggplant, Mexican peppers, fresh and dried herbs…Asian vegetables and western vegetables… it’s all here! The sellers are very friendly and helpful so when I couldn’t find a small zucchini – they dug through the pile of massive ones to find me one successfully!
4. Fresh Coconut /Coconut Milk, stall #01-188
Just a few stalls down from Lee, you’ll hear the music blaring and see a small stall with two kinds of fresh grated coconut coming out of a funky looking machine. One kind of coconut is for extracting coconut milk, while the other can be used for chutneys and desserts. You can also ask for fresh coconut milk which he has in his chiller and which keeps well for up to 7 days in the fridge. Fascinating to watch the coconut grating machines at work here!
5. Fresh Tofu & Noodles, stall #01-206
A short walk further down from the grated coconut seller you will come across a stall selling all kinds of fresh noodles—egg, rice, bee hoon, kway teow, plus fresh tofu, gula Melaka and lovely crunchy bean sprouts. This stall always inspires me to want to whip up a lovely pad thai each time I pass by!
6. P&M Eggs, stall #01-102
A very popular stop in the market for fresh eggs, this stall is always busy! You will find all kinds of eggs here including kampong eggs, quail eggs and local fresh eggs in regular and jumbo size.
7. Seeni Mohamad, stall #01-118
This stall sells some interesting spice mixes for curries and marinades. (p.s. if you’re looking for individual spices then I highly suggest buying organic. This stall also has some interesting and useful pantry items such as ghee, rice, dry mango powder (one of my favourites!), biryani masala, lentils and a host of other foods that might inspire you or that you might need for that curry you were thinking of preparing.
If you’re looking for a bigger variety, then pop over to Buffalo Road where you can find lots of Indian grocery stores or even Mustafa, but if you need just a few things and you’re carrying a heavy bag – this stall is super handy!
8. Chicken man Boon Leng, stall #115
Selling fresh halal chicken, this stall is popular for whole kampong chicken, and of course you can have your chicken prepared and cut to order here. We even spotted a black chicken. This is actually one of the cleanest fresh chicken sellers I have come across; he cleans the chicken of all the unnecessary fat. You can call ahead and place your order and pick up once you reach. Here you can buy chicken for barbecues, chicken fillets, special parts of the chicken, such as drumsticks, winglets, mid-joint, breast meat, and chicken feet (for the adventurous ones).
P.S. The whole area where the chicken, meat and fish sellers are located is not for the faint hearted. I had a piece of chicken fly and land right on my foot as I walked by!
9. Lee Yit Huat Trading, stall #01-53
One of the largest and most famous seafood sellers in the market, these guys have a tremendous variety of prawns (some really giant ones), squid and fish- including salmon fillets, whole snapper and dozens of other local fish which they will prepare and cut/clean to order. They have a wide variety of fish and also sell fresh Salmon.
This stall is where the real fish lovers come to shop…watch and learn how they pick out the freshest fish!
10. Osman, stall #01-130
A favorite with the Indian and Pakistani diaspora, Osman sells fresh goat meat, which can be hard to come by in Singapore. His customers swear by the freshness and tenderness of his meat, which – though not cheap – cooks really well for some rich curry, biryani or kebabs. You can buy chops, boneless or bone-in pieces as well as mince here. He offers home delivery for orders over $50.
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Most of the stall owners are super friendly and have great business, offering to keep your bags and helping in any way possible. Many will allow you to pre-order over the phone and then come pick up…so take the time to get to know them! Oh and it’s no good shopping on an empty stomach, so either before you start your round of the market or as a treat at the end, I highly encourage you to take a break at the Tekka Centre food section where you can reward your shopping efforts and repay your sweat equity with a refreshing coconut or glass of sugarcane juice along with a nice spicy biryani or prata or naan with curry….the options are endless here! Have fun, mamas!