Serangoon Garden Market is our go-to hawker centre for economical local fare; we practically grew up with it – from its initial days to its new facade after renovation. We watched as stall owners come and go. Some of our favourites are still there since our childhood days, some familiar faces are no longer around because they have passed on to their next generation, some have left entirely.
As one of the most popular hawker centres in Singapore, Serangoon Garden Market is a favourite among residents in the vicinity and many other Singaporeans who would travel down just for a simple, hearty meal over local food and drinks.
With so many stalls in the hawker centre, do you know which are the very popular ones with perpetual queues, and what are some of the dishes you cannot miss? If it is going to be your first trip down, here are 9 Local Fares You Must Try at Serangoon Garden Market. If you are a regular, hands up if we share the same likes!
#1 ALIFF NASI LEMAK
They may not be famous, and the stall might look unassuming altogether. But Aliff Nasi Lemak is reliable and always satisfying. The Halal-certified rice dish has been a breakfast staple for us, and there are several sets with prices starting from S$3.50.
What is your favourite beverage to complement your food? Well for us, Coke always works. The refreshing drink is best for hot, summer days – precisely what we need when dining out in a humid setting such as hawker centres.
Have a can of ice-cold Coca-Cola® to go with your plate of nasi lemak at lunch for a great food pairing as it complements the rich and hearty taste of the local favourite!
#2 BUGIS FISH SOUP AND SEAFOOD SOUP
The ladies will love this. Fish soup is a lower calorie option, and this stall here knows how to please by being generous with the vegetables. If you like your soup sweet with a creamy taste, get the stall keeper to add milk to your order.
We prefer the sliced fish version because the fish slices are always very fresh.
#3 GARDEN STREET KWAY CHAP
Sitting at the corner is Garden Street Kway Chap, and queuing up is part of the experience as the stall owner takes his time to chop up the meats and intestines. No, really. He is super slow, but for great kway chap, we will gladly wait.
The spread is comprehensive, from the various intestines to pork belly to beancurd, and salted vegetables and eggs. The braise is aromatic and flavourful, but it is not complete without the chilli. We like drenching our intestines in the chilli sauce for a more robust flavour.
#4 POH POH ROASTED CHICKEN RICE
Everyone knows Pow Sing for being the chicken rice to eat when in Serangoon Garden. But Poh Poh Roasted Chicken Rice comes close with its fragrant roast chicken and addictive chilli sauce.
Their prices are also much more competitive, and we love to pile our plate up with cabbage and egg add-ons. Of course, chicken rice and Coke zero® go hand in hand; the refreshing taste of Coke zero® complements the familiar taste of chicken rice so well.
#5 SERANGOON GARDEN BAKERY & CONFECTIONERY
The daily fresh bakes from Serangoon Garden Bakery & Confectionery are a true testament to the standards of old-school local-style breads. The stall occupies two units in Serangoon Garden Market, and since young, we’ve watched the two uncles picking breads from the shelves and calculating the total sum in godlike speed.
The aroma of the bakes often fill the market, and despite inflation and rising food costs, their prices remain low and the uncles are ever humble of their successes. It makes our day every time we take our pick from the many shelves, and there is something therapeutic about hearing the plastic lids close one after another every time the uncle reaches out to grab a bun with his thong.
#6 PANCAKE KING
You might dismiss this snack stall on the first look, but Pancake King did not accumulate their accolades without reasons. From old-school banana cake to brownies to peanut pancakes, these local snacks are reminiscent of our childhood days and the taste hasn’t changed since.
Growing up, a can of Coke® was always a reward when we behaved. And what better way to enjoy an old-school crunchy and rich peanut pancake than with a fizzy glass of ice-cold Coke®? It makes the experience of snacking even more pleasurable.
#7 SERANGOON GARDEN CARROT CAKE & WANTON NOODLE
There are several stalls in Serangoon Garden Market that sell fried carrot cake, but it is this stall that won our hearts with its consistency. The portion is always generous, and so is the sweet sauce. This is another of our hawker centre staple!
And the best drink once again to enjoy with your fried carrot cake? A can of Coke light®, with a fizzy, uplifting sensation that makes for a great complement with the greasy goodness.
#8 SIANG HEE SEAFOOD
This is a zichar stall with irregular opening hours. They used to be at Zion Road market, but has located and gained a new following among the Serangoon Garden residents. Standout dishes include the Mee Goreng and Butter Cream Meat with Pumpkin Sauce.
But be warned that the stall operators are all very rude and impatient. Sometimes, they may even raise their voices at you. We are not too fond of patronising them because of their attitude, but if it is your first time, maybe you can brave the hostility and try the two dishes.
#9 SOON HUAT PIG’S ORGAN SOUP
If there is one favourite that residents would concertedly agree with, it is Soon Huat Pig’s Organ Soup. This stall sees a perpetual queue during lunch hours, and you have to join the line if you are a fan of pig’s organ soup.
We like how they are generous with the salted vegetables and tomatoes; they elevate the flavour of the soup, and cuts out any remaining odour from the intestines.
This article was brought to you in partnership with Coca-Cola®, the opinions are of the writers’ own.