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Tastemakers Guide to Serangoon Garden Market

Tastemakers Guide to Serangoon Garden Market

In this edition of Tastemaker Guides, our Burpple Tastemakers brought their insatiable appetites to Serangoon Garden Market and ate their way through the gems the hawker centre has to offer. From old-school bread buns worth setting your alarm for to velvety smooth beancurd and a stellar fish maw soup, there's plenty reason to head to the north-east. Happy feasting!
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This stall at Serangoon Garden Market serves a mean bowl of minced meat noodles, but foodies in the know actually head here for the Fish Maw Noodle Soup ($9). The Tastemakers actually say that the tasty broth can give the famous Ding Ji fish maw soup a run for their money! The cloudy, umami-packed broth is, in Tastemaker Irene Arieputri's words, "lip-smacking addictive". She also loves the tasty braised mushroom and the clean-tasting fish maw, which soaked up all the flavour of the broth. This doesn't come cheap at $9, but trust Tastemaker Irene when she says it's well worth it!
Avg Price: $10 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Irene Arieputri

As is the trend with many of the stalls featured in this guide, a perpetual crowd is often seen at this stall, which serves really tasty Kway Chap (avg $4) at very affordable prices, so join the queue! Tastemaker Nobelle Liew describes the kway to be silky-smooth and not so thick that it's unpleasant, yet not so thin that it tears easily. The large intestines were cleaned very well, and soaked up all the flavours of the wonderful braising liquid. Tastemaker Wei Zhi Chiang loves the broth, which was robust and herbal, without the strong smell of innards. While Tastemaker Wei Zhi felt the lean pork slices could be more thoroughly braised, Tastemaker Nobelle loved them, and described them to be tender and moist. We'll leave the verdict to you!
Avg Price: $5 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Nobelle Liew

A hit amongst the Burpple Tastemakers on this week's Serangoon Garden Market trawl, this stall in Serangoon Garden Market serves a winning bowl of Tau Huay ($1). It's as traditional as it can get — the beancurd is only served hot, and in a retro blue and white porcelain bowl to boot. As Tastemaker Zhihui Lim describes, the beancurd is extremely smooth and delicate, and the syrup wasn't excessively sweet. Tastemaker Wei Zhi Chiang says it slid down her throat, while Tastemaker Irene Arieputri declares that it blew her mind. Their only gripe is that they wished it could be served cold but hey, it'll be well worth your perspiration.
Avg Price: $5 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Zhihui Lim

As the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm, and that certainly is the case at this Serangoon Garden Market stall. Set your alarm early, for these guys start at 6:30am and often sell out before noon, but trust us that it'll be worth the effort. After all, as Tastemaker Peter Wong says, nothing beats the smell of freshly baked bread early in the morning. It's simple, honest-to-goodness baking, and that's the charm here. Expect an assortment of old school handmade bread buns filled with familiar fillings including otah, luncheon meat and kaya. They also turn out a really well-made fluffy banana cake. However, take Tastemaker Vanessa Kou's advice and try their Cream Puff ($0.80) which was so good with delicately smooth cream that her mum gobbled up two. The bonus? Everything here averages at $1, so buy a large box!
Avg Price: $5 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Vanessa Kou

Brave the consistenly long queue of duck-hungry customers to get a taste of this Serangoon favourite — Braised Duck Rice ($3.50). The star for Tastemaker Felicia Sim is undeniably the dark, flavour-rich braising sauce — "salty and savoury with a slight hint of herbal taste". What's more, the tender duck soaks it all up, which makes for a really enjoyable plate of duck rice. To make the most of the amazing sauce, consider adding on ingredients like tau gwa, tau pok and an egg. You can also order classic sides like braised vegetables and pig's tongue, as well as Tastemaker Denise's must-haves: braised gizzards and pig's ears.
Avg Price: $5 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Felicia Sim

The Nasi Lemak (from $3) at this Muslim-owned stall is one of the firm favourites among the Burpple community, especially our Tastemakers. Join the queue for what many deem to be one of the freshest and tastiest nasi lemak in this part of Singapore; it's also not overly oily so you're spared that post-meal guilt. The ikan bilis here are freshly fried and go super well with the sambal. While the rice is not the most fragrant, each grain is perfectly firm and not sticky. Tastemaker Denise Ong aptly describes the smorgasboard of spot-on treats that await: "Fluffy basmati rice. Golden fried chicken wing that is not heavily coated in thick batter. A good-sized kuning fish. Crispy ikan bilis. And oh-so-sweet yummy chilli."
Avg Price: $5 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Denise Ong

Bossi's Handmade Noodles Dry ($4) may be a tad pricier than most hawker stall variations, but Tastemaker Wei Zhi Chiang assures us that it is worth the money. The stall used to be run by mom at Seletar a few years back, but her son has revived the stall and moved to Serangoon Garden Market about a year ago. The dry option is actually a new offering on the stall's menu, and is a good way to enjoy the spot-on chilli sauce as well as the soup — both winners in her opinion. The ban mian is thinner than usual, and absolutely springy. It made the perfect base for the coating of slightly sweet black sauce and freshly minced meat (not at all clumpy). The noodles come topped with red chilli paste, which Wei Zhi found quite mild. If you'd like to heat things up, request for their special green chilli sauce for an extra kick! Alternate the noodles with sips of the accompanying wolfberry leaves (kau kee) soup, stirred through with egg — so comforting!
Avg Price: $5 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Wei Zhi Chiang

Eggy. Crisp. Slightly gooey and filled with fresh, plump oysters. In our books, this is everything a good orh jian should be. Even if you don't enjoy oysters, you may just find a lot of joy tucking into this Fried Oyster Omelette ($5). Tastemaker Felicia Sim too is not an oyster fan, but she really enjoyed the eggy mix of gooey starch and super satisfying crispy bits, especially when slathered in the accompanying tangy and spicy chilli sauce. It's an added bonus that this omelette is neither too oily nor sticky. Shiok! Pro tip: Our Tastemakers compared this with Chomp Chomp's Ang Sa La fried oyster, and declared that this is way better.
Avg Price: $5 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Felicia Sim

For stellar zi char, head on over to this popular zi char stall at Serangoon Garden Market. They have quite a cult following, and has the Burpple community's stamp of approval. Take Tastemaker Nobelle Liew's lead and order the Pumpkin Sauce with Butter Prawns ($12), a dish she declares as her favourite among the rest she tried. While it may seem pricey for four balls of prawns, she assures you that each prawn's actually pretty big, crunchy, juicy and fresh. The winning touch however has to be the sauce. Tastemaker Nobelle describes it to be "creamy and luscious, yet retaining a tad of the characteristic sandy mouthfeel root veggies have; sweet yet still slightly savoury, with a tinge of curry spice." We're sold. While you're here, also consider the Pork Knuckle ($18), which is truly value-for-money. This rendition offers a lot of meat for that price (a fraction of what most restaurants would charge) and the skin sports a good crisp.
Avg Price: $15 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Nobelle Liew

A taste of this cloudy broth may just convince you why there is a perpetual queue at this stall. On rainy days or when your mood needs a bit of a lift, join the crowds for a bowl of Pig's Organ Soup ($3.50). The sliced pork is on the chewier side, but it's not a big matter as the innards are in fact the showstopper. According to Tastemaker Wei Zhi Chiang, the innards are very well cleaned, and free of any strong smell. The broth too is very well-balanced, with an interesting tanginess from the salted vegetables and sliced tomatoes.
Avg Price: $5 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Wei Zhi Chiang

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