Old-Timey Flavors Continue To Draw Crowds At Beo Crescent Market

Old-Timey Flavors Continue To Draw Crowds At Beo Crescent Market

Trust the seasoned palates of Singapore’s older folks when it comes to true blue hawker fare.

Located within Bukit Ho Swee, Beo Crescent Market is well-worth the train-bus combo or the sweltering 3-minute walk from Tiong Bahru MRT. For many of the older folks living there, however, it has been their primary source of affordable and hearty fare, from day to night, since its opening in 1965. 

Opened in 1965, the area it stands on wasn’t originally planned for a market. It got its name from the Hokkien/Teochew word beo, which translates to temple and references the three Chinese temples along Beo Lane, and its formerly crescent-shaped road. 

What sparked the change - quite literally - was devastating fires exaggerated by strong winds on 25 May 1961 (known as the Bukit Ho Swee fire), and another in November 1968. The two incidents swifty destroyed the temples and turned residents homeless, forcing the government to expunge the road for development of the Bukit Ho Swee HDB flats. This eventually spurred the opening of a market and food centre to serve the residents.

Related: 3 New-Gen Hawkers Setting A New Course For Singapore’s Foodie Culture

1. Hai Chew Fish Soup

Fish soup. Photo: Jessica Chan

Skip the evaporated milk. The backbone of every bowl at Hai Chew Fish Soup is the labor-intensive broth that’s rich yet light, and you won’t want to mar it with anything other than some chili slices. Teeming with fried and/or sliced fish slices (choose between spanish mackerel and snakehead murrel), lettuce and fresh tomatoes for an extra oomph of sweetness, each bowl is prepared upon fiery flames to cook the fish slices just right - smooth, tender and flaky. 

  • Stall #01-85
  • Opening hours: Mon 8.00am-8.00pm, Tue-Sat 9.00am-8.00pm
  • Tel: +65 9113 7228

Related: Oldies But Goodies At Berseh Food Centre

2. Soon Heng Lor Mee

Lor mee. Photo: Jessica Chan

Soon Heng Lor Mee pretty much defines the dish. Thick, springy yellow noodles swimming in a gooey, herbal braised sauce, are topped with fish cake, fish Ngoh Hiang slices and pork belly slices before it is spiked with ample vinegar, garlic paste and chili. Bits of fried flour are even thrown in for texture. It’s an unassumingly great bowl, but what keeps fans coming back is the incredibly affordable price of just $3 per bowl. 

  • Stall #01-84
  • Opening hours: Tue-Sun 7.00am-7.00pm

Related: Taste The Passion At The Renovated Lau Pa Sat @ Food Folks

3. Kia Xiang Du Du Nyonya Kueh

Kueh tutu with grated coconut filling. Photo: Jessica Chan

These small steamed cakes are made a la minute; fine rice flour is stuffed into triangular moulds, filled with ground peanuts or a grated coconut filling and steamed in a metal contraption made solely for this old-school snack. In minutes, you’d get a soft, fluffy kueh, perfumed by the pandan leaf it sits on. Coming in two sizes, the coconut filling here is gooey with hints of brown sugar, while the peanut is sweet yet salty. The store is also stocked with a variety of old-school kuehs and snacks.

  • Stall #01-88
  • Opening hours: Tue-Sun 5.30am - till sold out
  • Tel: +65 9838 8194

Related: 12 Colorful Kuehs That Are Perfect For Any Occasion

4. Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan (Cantonese Claypot Rice)

Cantonese claypot rice. Photo: Jessica Chan

Nowhere in Singapore serves Cantonese-style claypot rice with the quality, speed and variety of Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan. The owner, known as chef Wu (formerly of Marriott Hotel) doesn’t skimp on the ingredients, offering claypots overflowing with your choice of toppings. A highlight is the claypot sausage bacon chicken rice ($5.30) with salted fish that is a tour de force of flavor and technique - and more than justifies the long queues.

  • Stall #01-66
  • Opening hours: Daily 11.45am - 8.00pm
  • Tel: +65 8333 2813

Related: 5 Hawker Dishes To Earn Your Old Airport Road Food Centre Foodie Badge

5. Golden Shoe Handmade Noodle

Ban mian. Photo: Jessica Chan

Pork meatballs and ample spinach in a light ikan billis broth, served with al dente noodles tossed in a simple mix of dark soy and shallot oil. The ban mian at Golden Shoe doesn’t necessarily stand out from the many options in town, but draws crowds back with its nostalgic flavors. It’s the sort of ban mian many Singaporeans grew up eating, and remains just as accessible and affordable (from $3). Throw in a Michael Jackson (soy milk with grass jelly) from Uncle Lim’s Beverages and be ready for a walk down memory lane. 

  • Stalll #01-66
  • Opening hours: Daily 7.00am-3.00pm

Related: 10 Ultimate Slurp Worthy Noodle Recipes

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