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Food

Tenderbest Makcik Market: Local Favourites Reimagined With Upscale But Affordable Locally-Inspired Food In Bedok

Last Updated: June 5, 2019

Written by Sean Lee

It’s always inspiring to see a homegrown favourite switch things up, and that’s exactly what the Tenderbest Group has done with their all-new Tenderbest Makcik Market concept located at Bedok Point.

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Tenderbest Makcik Market represents the brand’s efforts in redesigning themselves, to capture the hearts and stomachs of those who want something a little more atas than the neighbourhood coffeeshop.

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With floor-to-ceiling bay windows, wood accents and hipster neon signages, Tenderbest Makcik Market certainly has the chic vibes and upscale atmosphere of a cafe. The space reminded me of one of those premium food court concepts like Marche or Picnic.

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The main selling point here is Tenderbest Makcik Market’s ability to provide unique local fusion foods in a premium setting, but at prices you’d expect to see at a coffeeshop.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out that all prices here are inclusive of GST and service charge, and are low enough to compete even with the cheapest coffeeshops in the Bedok area.

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As an added bonus, everything here is halal-certified, so our Muslim friends can join in the feasting too!

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To kick things off, we had their Indomie Loaded Fries (S$5.90), which uses the addictive seasoning mix that’s usually found in Indomie noodle packets.

Topped with a sunny side-up and a housemade sweet sauce, I appreciated how Tenderbest Makcik Market toned down the otherwise MSG-laden seasoning. This dish is something I could snack on without feeling too guilty.

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If I would point out any improvements to the dish, I’d personally prefer to have less of the sweet sauce and more Indomie seasoning, as the sweet sauce tends to overpower the rest of the flavours present. Nonetheless, this is a unique dish that had been executed pretty well.

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We also had the Meatloaf Supreme (S$8.90) which had ayam meatloaf (similar to luncheon meat) and sweet potatoes served up tempura-style.

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Slathered in a spicy scallop and coconut mayonnaise sauce, I found the interplay between sweet and savoury flavours here extremely enjoyable.

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While you can certainly get your regular roti prata over at Tenderbest Makcik Market, they also offer a range of artisanal pratas which I found rather unique.

I tried the Blossom Truffle Salmon Prata (S$6.90) which paired smoked salmon with prata. Yoghurt, red onions and fresh dill are also used to increase the depth of flavour, adding a subtle sweetness to the smoky salmon.

They also add a sprinkling of truffle, which elevated the flavours of the whole dish. It’s a very well executed combination that I had no regrets trying.

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I also had a bite of the Okonomiya Bacon Prata (S$4.90) which surprised me. Like in most traditional okonimyaki, bonito flakes, fresh cabbage, tako sauce and mayonnaise are used here.

They added a few turkey bacon strips to enhance the flavours, imparting a sweet meatiness to the dish. While the savoury combination was certainly enjoyable, I personally found it a little on the salty side.

Tenderbest Makcik Market has no shortage of zany and unique prata offerings if you would like to step outside your comfort zone. Give the Cheeesy Meatloaf Prata (S$4.90) or Philadelphia Cheese Steak Prata (S$4.90) a shot too when you come by and let us know which ones you love the most!

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I also sampled the Mala Ayam Roti John (S$8.50) which was a commendable effort. I liked the soft bread and generous portion, but felt that there was too much mayonnaise which muted the other flavours present in the dish.

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While the mala taste was indeed present, bringing the mayonnaise down a few notches would certainly make the punchy mala flavours more pronounced.

For now, I would go for their regular Chicken Roti John (S$5.90) which I feel manages to deliver the same quality at a lower price point.

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Tenderbest Makcik Market actually brings together many different local brands under one roof, so that you can sample offerings from different brands at one convenient location.

One of the brands is Nasi Coco, which has finally reopened here after closing down their original West Coast outlet last year. I had the Nasi Coco Supreme (S$12.90) which impressed me with the generous serving size and unique concept.

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I can only describe the Nasi Coco Supreme as the delectable product of marrying a traditional Japanese tempura don with nasi lemak. Instead of your standard fried chicken wing or fish, you have mixed seasonal vegetables, chicken and prawn served battered tempura-style.

I believe this is the only place you can get something like this in Singapore, and that reason alone warrants coming down here to have this dish.

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Overall, the Nasi Coco Supreme tasted quite sweet. The rice might not be as lemak as some other nasi lemak offerings, but it still had the fragrant aroma and subtle sweetness of coconut.

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When paired with the sweet tentsuyu sauce and sambal (which was more sweet than spicy), the Nasi Coco Supreme might be a little jelak particularly towards the final few bites of the meal.

That being said, I’d still order it!

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There’s no way that I could go to a Tenderbest concept and not have their chicken. The Roasted Boomerang (S$10.90) was a clear winner for me, which was no surprise given how many years of experience the brand has in serving up hearty chicken meals.

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The meat was tender and juicy, but the thing that won me over was the sambal fried rice.

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The scallop and shrimp flavours here were punchy, and the rice was delectably seasoned with various spices that resulted in a complex flavour profile. I found myself polishing off the entire dish!

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Tenderbest Makcik Market also offered what they call “makcik-styled zi char”, adding to an already lengthy list of unique offerings served here. I tried the Sze Chuan Firecracker (S$13.50) which looked really spicy but in reality, was more of a sizzle than a full-on flame.

Nonetheless, the chicken was crispy and flavourful, and there was no shortage of mushrooms and dried chilli to accompany the dish.

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The toned-down numbing effects of the mala spices in this dish was paired with the bite-sized chicken. This made the Sze Chuan Firecracker the perfect snack to munch on, which was an added bonus.

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Wash down your meal with drinks from Mr Teh Tarik, which has collaborated with Tenderbest Makcik Market to provide drinks here.

I really liked the decadently sweet Thai Milk Tea Float with Caramel (S$5.50), while my dining companion loved the refreshing Lychee Mojito (S$3.60), which is a hit amongst the younger crowd.

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Desserts-wise, you can opt for your regular goreng pisang and chendol, or you could switch things up and try their Fried Chicken Ais Kreme Cup (S$4.90).

I had something similar at the other Tenderbest Makcik Tuckshop concept in Woodlands, but they lowered the prices by S$1 here at Tenderbest Makcik Market. It still has the same deep caramel taste, with crispy chicken skin that surprisingly pairs quite well with the sweet vanilla ice cream.


Tenderbest Makcik Market was a pleasant surprise. Not only did it offer unique, locally-inspired dishes in an upscale environment, but it managed to do so at an affordable and highly competitive price point.

The food might be a little guilt-inducing so I won’t come here every day.

But I’d certainly travel across the island to have the food here every once in a while, and you should too. Make sure to come by Tenderbest Makcik Market before the queues get too long!

Expected Damage: S$10 – S$15 per pax

Price: $

Our Rating: 5 / 5

Tenderbest Makcik Market

799 New Upper Changi Road, Bedok Point Shopping Mall #02-01, Singapore 467351

Price
Our Rating 5/5

Tenderbest Makcik Market

799 New Upper Changi Road, Bedok Point Shopping Mall #02-01, Singapore 467351

Operating Hours: 11am - 10pm (Daily)

Operating Hours: 11am - 10pm (Daily)
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