Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A 'Group Trip' to Tekka Market

It was a Sunday morning and we were all seated in front of a hawker stall at 10am looking sleepy over our cups of hot tea. 10am on a Sunday for us partying urbanites is early. REAL early. 7 of us had decided to gather at Tekka Market, my favourite market in Singapore (not that i have been to that many mind you). I have raved about this market before. It's like a disneyland for food lovers. The tomatoes are a bright cherry red, the greens look like they've been plucked from a farm nearby and the herbs come in wonderful fresh big bunches (a complete contrast to the limp plastic packets you find in Cold Storage at double the price). Some of the seafood are still leaping about in their steel containers, seemingly fresh out of their once cosy 'water beds'.

We were all here to shop for a Sunday dinner at a friend Mik's place that was to be his official 'house warming' cum Pictionary night. It all started out innocently enough when i walked into his new home and blurted out 'Oh what a great kitchen! it opens out to your dining room! that's fantastic! Let me cook here sometime. We can get a small group together, buy the ingredients together and I'll cook'!
Mik was very quick to jump on this offer, but dinner for 6 turned out to be dinner for 15, at which point we decided it was going to have to be 'buffet' style, requiring a few pairs of hands for the grocery shopping.

My friend Steph and I have been here several times now, (but this time, we had 5 more friends in tow!) so we were the 'market veterans' leading the troupe! We proceeded straight to our favourite vegetable seller (unfortunately i dont have a picture of him! His name is Desmond). A man who lets us leave all our purchases at his stall whilst we move on to the meat and fish sections. He's also the man-of-the-house who has the bunches of rosemary, dill, Italian Basil and Flat leaf Parsley - in fresh 'oh it smells so good' bunches. We bought a whole variety of vegetables from him (planned for our dinner) with me snapping up some vine ripened cherry tomatoes for myself (i had tried it at Saint Pierre a few weeks back and they tasted sublime!)

A vegetarian friend Leslie went crazy buying out a bunch of Free range eggs (in NORMAL sizes, as opposed to the mini sizes you get at supermarkets). I had to stop myself from buying the fresh aragula (i so desperately wanted them, but really could not think of a time within its short shelf life to eat it!).

friendly cod man Posted by Picasa
This is the friendly cod man. They sell it frozen (all cod coming into Singapore is frozen), at half the price of other 'butchers' i have enquired with. You can get him to slice it at the width specification you want. He smiled patiently as we 'hmm'd and hummm'd' to whether we should buy 4 or 6 pieces. Steph bought up 6 pieces, and i have been badgering her about wanting to come over for dinner ever since!

fish at tekka Posted by Picasa

A sample of some of the fresh 'just out of the sea' fish displayed in stacks for purchase. We ended up buying 15 King prawns (at about $1.20 each - but they were really HUGE) and some squid for a seafood dish we were planning to make.

Leslie our vegetarian friend was pescitarian until she discovered diving. So im not sure how she felt about the near dead fish seemingly gasping their last breath!

the butcher! Posted by Picasa

The butcher here (we've bought from him twice now - the last time was the ox tail)sells just about everything from the happy cows from all over the world (Tenderloin from Brazil, Sirloin from Australia, ox tail from New Zealand). It was like the United Nations of Cows - in their afterlife. The only thing he didn't seem to have was veal bones. (i wanted to buy this to make Veal stock for a more indsutrious cooking adventure.)
We were planning to make a beef roast, and he quickly recommended that sirloin was the best cut for this. We bought up 2kg and we were on our way!

I have to say we were very efficient about this. We had a shopping list, we had a menu planned. The rest of it was just to unload at Mik's place, and meet later at 4:30pm to start the preparations!


  • Wow, 10am at tekka is for my wife and I a really late start. We try usually to get there a little before 9am in order to beat the hordes of cart-pushing aunties and get a parking spot.

    By Blogger Chubby Hubby, at 10:36 PM  

  • hey chubby hubby - i know, its a late start for most seasoned grocery shoppers! But a very early start for those who are still dancing the night away at 3am! It's definitely better to arrive earlier. At 10am, it was crowded and harder to negotiate the tight aisles!

    By Blogger Chin Ru, at 6:01 PM  

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