Located in the basement of Tangs department store, this food court is a hidden gem in the busy Orchard Road area. As part of the major revamp that was done last year to the entire basement level at Tangs, this new and improved Tangs Market was opened some months ago. It is place where old world charm blends with new world conveniences. The compact food court is brightly lit, clean and equipped with an electronic ticket system so that you do not have to stand in wait after you place your order. No longer the need to ‘chope’ a seat. Order your food, locate a table and wait for your number to flash on the display – so much more civilised than the usual food courts.
This place offers a good selection of Singapore traditional street food in a nicely decorated decor which also brings back good memories of the past, including the use of old-world style of crockery and cooking utensils. The chwee kuey ($1.50) was excellent. The steamed rice cake was smooth and bouncy. The preserved vegetable (chai poh) topping was well fried and had a good robust flavour. The chilli was powerful and delivered a good kick.
We also liked the char kway teow ($5). It was done very dry, without using too much fat. This ckt was done Penang style, which means dark soy is sauce is sparingly used. The colour of the dish was not too dark and the taste of the other ingredients not drowned out. No cockles were used but lar pok (fried pork lard) was used in abundance. The prawns were big and fresh and you can taste the crunch of the tau geh (bean sprouts).
The fishball noodles ($4) looked very simple but were delicious. The noodles were cooked to perfection and there were 2 variety of fishballs, which had great texture.
We also tried the laksa ($3) which had a light gravy. There was no bean sprouts but there were generous portions of fish cakes and cockles. The laksa was quite good but we would still prefer those we find in Katong.
We concluded our meal with a chengdol ($2.50). It has been ages since we had this dessert. The stall was set up like one from the past with an ice grinding machine. The dessert was served in a bowl, which is quite quaint and unusual.However, its taste fell short of its looks. The sweetness and density of the syrup made it a heavy dessert. This was not bad but not quite at the same level as the other dishes.
We were fortunate to be at Tang’s Market relatively early. At this time of day, many of the patrons looked like retirees who clearly are eligible for the Pioneer Generation package. Like us, they were here to eat the traditional hawker fare before the crowds arrive as this place is usually quite crowded for the most part of the day. Other than the items we tried, there are other familiar Singapore food such as chicken rice and satay as well as some unusual ones such as fried durians, which is on our to-do list the next time we are here.
Food : 4
Service : 4
Value : 5
Atmosphere : 5
Overall Rating : 5 TOPs
Average price per person for lunch – $5.
Tangs Market is located in the basement of TANGS ORCHARD
310 Orchard Road, Singapore 238864
Mon – Sat: 10.30am – 9.30pm Sun: 11:00am – 8.30pm
Nearby Stations: Orchard