On this little island that experiences summer all year round, Singaporeans are always scrambling to find ice-cold desserts for respite. Over the years, there have been many new dessert cafes popping up, serving Instagram-worthy dishes or novelty desserts to attract customers, but I feel that some things are best kept original.
So here’s a list of 10 traditional dessert stalls (in no particular order) that you should visit before they get phased out by new, upcoming, gimmicky dessert stalls in Singapore.
1. Four Seasons Cendol (四季煎蕊)
Selling what’s deemed the best chendol in Singapore by netizens, this dessert stall has quite a reputation. Priced at only $2, the chendol here at Four Seasons Cendol (四季煎蕊) comes in a relatively generous serving in plastic bowls.
Each bowl comes with green jelly noodles with a strong pandan flavour, kidney beans, attap seeds, and generous drizzles of coconut milk alongside gula melaka sauce.
Four Seasons Cendol (四季煎蕊): 210 Lor 8 Toa Payoh, #01-07, Singapore 310210 | Opening Hours: (Daily) 8am – 9pm
2. Rochor Beancurd House
One of the old classic stalls that most Singaporeans know about, Rochor Beancurd House serves up Soya Bean Curd as well as fried pastries like You Tiao, Butterfly and Egg Tarts.
The soya bean curds come in both hot or cold variations, and are silky smooth with strong soya bean flavour at only $1.60 per bowl. Open ’til 2am, this stall is definitely suitable for night owls with hunger pangs.
Rochor Beancurd House: 232 Upper Thomson Rd, Singapore 574363 | Opening hours: (Mon – Sat) 12pm – 2am, (Sun) 12pm – 12am
3. Ng Kim Lee
Located near Beauty World Shopping Centre, Ng Kim Lee Confectionery is an old-school bakery that sells both Westernised cakes and Teochew-style pastries like Custard Puffs and Egg Tarts.
Ng Kim Lee also sells sliced cakes with whipped cream frosting, signature mini muffins that come in 12 different flavours, as well as traditional Chinese biscuits and candies. There is surely something for everyone, young and old, so do check this stall out!
Ng Kim Lee Confectionery: 4 Chun Tin Road, Singapore 599591 | Opening hours: (Mon – Sat) 9am – 9pm, (Sun) 9am – 1pm
4. Lek Lim Nonya Cake
For those who are more into kuehs, Lek Lim Nonya Cake serves up a repertoire of them, all handmade.
The Ang Ku Kueh (red tortoise cake) was what gave Lek Lim its fame in its early days. Since then, Lek Lim has branched into making other savoury kuehs such as Png Kueh (Chinese rice cake), Soon Kueh and the Ku Chye Kueh (chives cake).
Open at 6:30am every morning, this stall lets you get your breakfast fix easily, especially if you’re an early-riser. Muslim friends will also be happy to know that they are halal-certified!
Lek Lim Nonya Cake: Blk 84 Bedok North St 4, #01-21, Singapore 460084 | Opening hours: (Mon – Sat) 6.30am – 6pm, (Sun) 6.30am – 2pm
5. Woong Kee Traditional Bean Curd
Located in Maxwell Food Centre, this stall serves up your favourite beancurd and grass jelly desserts. You can have your dessert fix with different syrups, toppings or just plain — however you like it.
Other than selling only traditional beancurd, Woong Kee also serves up a good ol’ bowl of 3 in 1 Bean Curd ($3.30). This bowl is packed with ginkgo nuts, red bean and lotus seeds, giving different textures and flavours.
The Longan Nata De Coco Grass Jelly ($2.50) is also something many visit Woong Kee for; a dessert kids will definitely love!
Woong Kee Traditional Bean Curd: Maxwell Food Centre, 1 Kadayanallur Street, Stall #80, Singapore 069184 | Opening hours: (Mon – Fri) 11am – 8pm, (Sat & Sun) 10am – 5pm
6. 75 Ah Balling Peanut Soup
Nothing like a bowl of comforting Ah Balling, or Tang Yuan to warm up your belly on a cold night. The ah ballings here are made fresh daily with the choices of peanut, black sesame or red bean filling. You even have the choice of a peanut soup or a ginger soup, priced at $1.70 for four, or $2 for five.
The mochi skin is chewy while bordering on melt-in-your-mouth, a feat not easy to achieve. I like my ah balling with ginger soup, what about you?
75 Ah Balling Peanut Soup: 85 Bedok North Street 4, #01- 259, Singapore 460085 | Opening hours: (Daily) 9.30am – 9.30pm
7. Haig Road Putu Piring
Tu tu kueh fans must not miss out on this. This Putu Piring is the Malay version of tu tu kueh, and is filled with gula melaka instead of shredded coconut or crushed peanuts.
Haig Road Putu Piring has been a hit among locals for many years, and continues to be so with its molten, sticky sweet gula melaka filling wrapped inside fragrant, ground rice flour.
Be sure to eat them on the spot! They’re best piping-hot, even if it means a burnt tongue.
Haig Road Putu Piring: Haig Road Market & Food Centre, 14 Haig Road, #01-07 , Singapore 430014 | Opening hours: (Daily) 11am – 11pm
8. No Name Cheng Tng
Nothing like a cold, sweet bowl of Cheng Tng to beat the Singapore heat.
With a clear soup that has a strong longan flavour, the cheng tng served here is also chock-full of ingredients like sweet potatoes, sago balls, white fungus, barley beans, candied wintermelon, dried persimmon and gingko nuts.
What’s more, all this goodness is only priced at $1.50 per bowl. Definitely a bang for your buck!
No Name Cheng Tng: Springleaf Eating House, Blk 69 Bedok South Avenue 3, #01-468, Singapore 460069 | Opening hours: (Daily) 12pm – 9pm
9. Zhao An Granny Grass Jelly
Just like its name, this stall specialises in Grass Jelly. Probably one of the simplest desserts you’ll find, Zhao An Granny Grass Jelly serves up handmade grass jelly, without any preservatives.
The sweetness from the sugar syrup and the longans balances the slight bitterness of the grass jelly to give a refreshing and soothing dessert. An old wive’s tale also states that grass jelly is also very cooling for the body, helping to balance the yin in your system.
All the more reason to eat this bowl of dessert when you’re feeling heaty.
Zhao An Granny Grass Jelly: Golden Mile Food Centre, 505 Beach Rd, #01-58, Singapore 199583 | Opening hours: (Wed – Mon) 11.30am – 8pm, (Tue) 11.30am – 6pm
10. Jin Jin Hot/Cold Desserts
Chendol, Matcha Red Bean Shaved Ice, Red Ruby, you name it, they have it. Their signatures, however, are the Power Chendol and Gangsta Ice. Gangsta Ice ($3) comes in mango or durian flavours with fresh fruits and a scoop of ice cream.
The gula melaka in the Power Chendol ($2) is cooked fresh every day, with a thicker texture than normal and a hint of saltiness for balance.
Jin Jin Hot/Cold Desserts: ABC Brickworks Market /Food Centre, 6 Jalan Bukit Merah, #01-20 Singapore 150008 | Opening hours: (Daily) 12pm – 12am
In an era where many new stalls are sprouting up and serving interesting new desserts, it is easy to forget these old-school ones that started it all. Don’t forget to give these old stalls support and visit them every now and then.
Do you have any personal favourites or recommendations? Let us know!