10 Nostalgic & Old-school Foods In Singapore That’ll Remind You Of Your Childhood

OLD SCHOOL FOOD COLLAGE

Singapore has gone through plenty of changes over the years and we have evolved from a humble little fishing village to a bustling economic hub. As we continue to progress and grow, it is inevitable that we leave behind certain parts of our culture and roots.

One area that has certainly gone through plenty of changes is our food scene. Over the years, with new food fads popping up all over the place, old school snacks and eats have been pushed aside and forgotten, especially by the new generation of youths. We bet that if you approach any teenager now and ask them if they want to follow you to get some bo bo cha cha, they would respond with a blank stare and a confused “huh?”.

For those of you who are sick of the salted egg and mala trends and believe that old is gold, here is our guide to 10 old-school places in Singapore that sell nostalgic foods from your childhood. For the people who don’t know anything about traditional Singapore food, educate yourselves by reading this list.

75-Ah-Balling-Peanut-Soup

75 AH BALLING PEANUT SOUP 

Tang Yuan—also known as Glutinous Rice Dumplings—is a Chinese dessert traditionally eaten during the Winter Solstice. It is made from glutinous rice flour shaped into balls that encase different types of fillings such as peanut and sesame paste, which are then served in a sweetened soup.

75 Ah Balling Peanut Soup is one of our favourite places that serves up comforting bowls of this classic dessert. They originally started out as a simple pushcart stall along Jalan Sultan but ever since they’ve gained popularity, they now have multiple outlets islandwide.

Blk 85 Bedok North Street 4, #01-25
85 Fengshan Centre
Singapore 460085
Sun to Thu: 11.30am – 10.30pm
Fri & Sat: 11.30am – 11.30pm
Nearest Station: Bedok

**Multiple outlets islandwide

Biscuit-King-Snacks

BISCUIT KING 

If you happen to be an avid fan of nostalgia and all things authentically Singaporean, then Biscuit King is a place you definitely have to check out. Stepping into this humble snack shop will transport you back to the heydays where these treats used to be more readily available.

From iconic games such as Old Maid and Happy Family to childhood snack time favourites such as iced gems, this is a place worth checking out no matter which generation you belong to. They also make an effort to retain their goodies in their original packaging so it looks and feels like the real deal.

130 Casuarina Road
Singapore 579518
Tel: +65 6458 0925
Tue to Sun: 11am – 10pm
(Closed on Mondays)
Nearest Station: Yio Chu Kang

Cha-Dian-Kueh

CHA DIAN 

Tucked away at Amoy Street Food Centre is Cha Dian, a humble stall that anyone with a sheer love for traditional hand-made Teochew kueh should patronise. They specialise in a whole range of savoury, vegetable-stuffed kueh that come either steamed or fried.

If you’re spoilt for choice, we recommend that you try their classic Peng Kueh as well as the fried Pumpkin Cake. You can also ask the stall owner for an extra dollop of dark sweet sauce and chilli to enhance the experience!

7 Maxwell Road, #02-135
Singapore 069111
Tel: +65 9799 2003
Mon to Fri: 7.30am – 2.30pm
(Closed on Weekends)
Nearest Station: Telok Ayer

Fatt-Soon-KuehPhoto Credit: Fatt Soon Kueh 

FATT SOON KUEH 

Fatt Soon Kueh specialises in all sorts of traditional Teochew kueh and is easily one of our favourite Teochew Kueh spots to patronise in Singapore. Their savoury snacks are all wrapped and steamed in-house to ensure utmost freshness.

Their best-sellers include their Soon Kueh and Png Kueh. Topped with a sweet black sauce and a generous sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, this is a solid snack to have in between meals. We recommend paying the stall a visit during off-peak hours to avoid having a long wait.

208B New Upper Changi Road, 01-18
Singapore 460208
Mon to Sat: 9am – 7.30pm
(Closed on Sundays)
Nearest Station: Bedok

Grannys-Pancake-Peanut-Pancake1

GRANNY’S PANCAKE 

Love peanut pancakes? So do we. There is something oh-so-nostalgic about chomping down on these peanut-laden goodies and we absolutely love that satisfying crunch from the granules of sugar and nuts.

Stalls that specialise in peanut cakes are a dime in a dozen nowadays and it’s the folks like the ones who run Granny’s Pancake that make us all the more thankful that this childhood favourite hasn’t completely disappeared from the face of the earth. Serving up the classic peanut cake as well as others with different fillings, this humble stall is definitely a must-visit!

20 Ghim Moh Road
#01-52, Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre
Singapore 270020
Daily: 5am – 2pm
Nearest Station: Buona Vista

**Multiple outlets islandwide

JIE BAKERY

JIE BAKERY 

When we crave for bread, several big names will immediately spring to mind. There are the more commercialised brands such as BreadTalk and Four Leaves, convenience stores, franchise bakeries or even petrol kiosks.

However, when it comes to freshly baked bread, nothing beats a traditional bakery. Trumping regular store-bought loaves any day, Jie Bakery is one of the few surviving traditional bakeries in Singapore that pushes out authentic, nostalgic bakes. Baked without preservatives using a recipe that has been perfected for the past 30 years, their bread is wholesome, fluffier than most and excellent with kaya slapped on.

123 Upper Paya Lebar Road
Singapore 534837
Tel: +65 9818 8386
Mon to Sat: 7am – 11pm
Sun: 10am – 11pm
Nearest Station: Tai Seng

lek lim nonya

LEK LIM NONYA CAKE CONFECTIONERY 

Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionery is a Halal-certified bakery that has been around since the 1960s and they specialise in producing traditional nonya snacks. All these snacks are laboriously made by hand daily, which is what makes them so authentic. Their kuehs also have no preservatives in them to ensure that the quality and taste remains consistent and on point.

Some of the snacks that you can expect to indulge in are Ang Ku Kueh, Soon Kueh, Peng Kueh and Gu Chai Kueh. Beside kueh, they also have snacks like Curry Puffs, Sardine Puffs, Spring Rolls and Yam Cake.

84 Bedok North Street 4, #01-21
Singapore 460084
Tel: +65 6449 0815
Mon to Sat: 6am — 6pm
Sun: 6am – 2pm
Nearest Station: Bedok Reservoir

Lit-Lit-Xin-Ice-Kachang

LIT LIT XIN 

Located just beside Northpoint City is Nice Snack Corner, a coffee shop that is home to a plethora of cheap and good eats. One of the stalls here that is worth mentioning is Lit Lit Xin, which specialises in Popiah and old school desserts such as Ice Kachang, Red Bean Soup and Bo Bo Cha Cha.

Our favourite is the classic Ice Kachang and we like how they allow diners to customise them however they please. This icy treat is perfect for combatting Singapore’s sweltering hot weather!

No-Name-Cheng-Tng

NO NAME CHENG TNG 

The solution to Singapore’s merciless weather is a refreshing bowl of cheng tng, which is essentially a clear, cooling soup that was drunk by coolies in the heydays. Each bowl of cheng tng is typically filled with gingko nuts, dried longan, red dates, candied winter melons and white fungus.

No Name Cheng Tng serves up some of the best Cheng Tng around and their thirst-quenching bowls of goodness are a lifesaver when the weather gets too unbearable. We also like how the Cheng Tng here has a much sweeter flavour as compared to most places.

69 #01-490 Bedok South Avenue
Block 69
Singapore 460069
Tue to Sun: 12.30pm – 8.15pm
(Closed on Mondays)
Nearest Station: Tanah Merah

Ping-Kee-Popiah-Popiah

PING KEE POPIAH 

Ping Kee Popiah is one of the biggest mainstays at Sembawang Hills Food Centre and they have been consistently pushing out homely popiahs and kueh pie tees. Helmed by an amiable couple, they’ve been serving the same great popiahs for many years.

The ingredients used to make their popiahs are extremely fresh. Filled with crunchy bean sprouts, eggs, grounded peanut and plenty of braised turnip, it made for a myriad of textures playing on the tongue and created a familiar and satisfying mouthful. Despite such a generous serving of filling, the skin was surprisingly sturdy and held all the sauces and ingredients well without turning soggy or tearing apart.

590 Upper Thomson Road
#01-32 Sembawang Hill Food Centre
Singapore 574419
Tue to Sat: 11.15am – 8pm
(Closed on Mondays)
Nearest Station: Ang Mo Kio