Chinatown is the heart of the Chinese culture in Singapore. Not only is it a blasting little place during the Chinese New Year period, it houses lots of the traditional handmade delicacies. Though I did not grew up there, but my mum used to buy foodie from Chinatown Complex Market and Food Centre for the family. The must-buy list had always been glutinous rice and sweet potato ball. For at least the last 20 years, the taste from these two stalls had not changed. But of course, the list of to-eat-food at Chinatown Complex are much much more than these.

Niu Che Shui Famous Glutinous Rice
Chinatown Complex Market and Food Centre

For all the times we went, the queue for this stall is forever growing, till the glutinous rice are sold out. It used to sell for $0.70 per plate and there’s a big tea dispenser in front of the stall. Now, its $1.20, $1.50 and $2. But of course, the serving had increased too. According to my mum, this is the traditional Cantonese glutinous rice. And the only stall in Singapore that sells it. Its kinda sad that the uncle removed the tea, but its still as good as ever. Each plate will be piled with a mini hill of the glutinous rice and covered with a layer of crispy stuffs that consist of dry shrimps and garlic. This is something definitely worth waking up early for.

Xiang Xiang Cooked Food
Chinatown Complex Market and Food Centre

I hearts their golden balls (sweet potato balls) to the max! Its crispy on the outside and chewy in the inside. Everyone will be waiting for this golden balls at the stall because its always – roll the balls, deep fry, let it cool down, packed into paper bags and gone! Its fleshly made and highly demand. But this is not the only thing that is popular for this stall, EVERYTHING IS! The display is literally empty and every order comes directly from the ‘kitchen’.

Stuffs I tried:

Sweet potato balls – 8pcs for $1 (MUST TRY!)

Ondeh Ondeh – 3 pcs for $1 (so-so, had tried better ones. but hot selling too)

Tapioca Kuih – 3 pcs for $1 (Must try too! Texture is good and taste gentle)

Fried Dumpling – $0.60 each (This is another traditional snacks. The plain-type of Chinese dumpling that are yellow in colour are being cut up and coated with a layer of flour before sending it to be deep fried and seasoned with some salt and pepper before eating. Another must try as no one else is selling this)

1950s Kopi and Toast Bread
Chinatown Complex Market and Food Centre

My brother highly recommend the ‘kopi’ (coffee) from this stall. I tried the teh-O (tea with sugar only) and its good! Both sweetness and thickness of the tea is just nice. And there’s a fragrance coming from the cup of tea. But the traditional kaya toast that I ordered is kinda disappointing – the butter did not melt at all. Meaning the bread had already cooled down when they place the butter on it. But overall, the drinks are worth queuing up for.

Its pretty nice to wake up super early once in awhile for these traditional breakfast and soak yourself in our grandparents ‘playground’. The parents can even do some marketing at the basement level!