What it’s like?
The centrepiece of the Ghim Moh estate (literally meaning ‘golden hair’ in Hokkien – a reference perhaps to the British soldiers who resided in the nearby Holland Village during the colonial era), the eponymous Market and Food Centre has drawn plenty of foodies to the neighbourhood since it was built in 1977.
With 72 cooked food and 158 market stalls laid out under the standard no-frills hangar-like awning, a question mark hangs over the food centre’s future as the lease for the market and stalls expires in June next year (reverting back to government ownership), so it’s worth making a pilgrimage down while some of its famed stalls are still there.
What to eat?
Among the food centre stalwarts, there’s the namesake Ghim Moh Chwee Kueh (#01-31), whose steamed rice cakes ($1.20/ four) are lovingly handmade by the stall owners every morning. Guan Kee Fried Kway Teow (#01-12), has also been around for more than 30 years, with stall owner Tan Hock Guan’s char kway teow ($2.50-$4) having been perfected over more than four decades in the business.
Mohd Faizal Eating Stall (#01-61) is well-known for their roti prata ($0.80), great for a snack in the morning; if you’re popping by later in the afternoon, try Lian He Carrot Cake (#01-30) for its white chye tow kway ($2.50-$5). There will likely be a queue for the excellent roast meats at Jiu Jiang Shao La (#01-45), whose char siew roast meat rice ($3) is a particular stand out. The aptly-named Heaven’s Indian Curry (#01-15) is also worth checking out for Indian delights such as appam ($2), masala thosai ($2) and putu mayam ($1).
For something sweet, head over to Famous Annie’s Peanut Ice Kachang (#01-35), which adds a crunchy twist to the popular local dessert ($2), with the mix of shaved ice, red beans, sweet corn, grass jelly, coloured syrup and evaporated milk topped off by crushed peanuts. Ben Lim