Planning a party? Here’s where you can get the freshest and cheapest vegetables, seafood and meat for a healthy, hearty meal that will exceed expectations.
Grocery shopping for huge parties can get expensive. While neighbourhood supermarkets usually work for all, it’s definitely cheaper if you venture to the local wet markets. Sure, the pungent smells and dirty floors can be intimidating. But hey, it’s all part of the fun. Plus, wet markets are where the freshest produce and best deals are at! We share a list of wet markets and wholesalers where you can throw a big party on a small budget.
First thing first, here’s some ‘wet market hacks’ for beginners:
- Bring cash.
- Be early, be early and just be early.
- Wear covered shoes and wear shorts, as some markets can get wet and slippery.
- Strike a conversation with the stall owners. You may gain valuable cooking tips or even score good deals.
1. Tekka Wet Market
Explore Tekka, Singapore’s most culturally-rich market, which is located at the vibrant Little India district. Known for having the longest operating hours, you can find a wide variety of fresh produce and dried goods all in one place. Tip: Tekka Wet Market offers chicken, beef and fish at better prices. This is also the best place to stock up on different spices, especially those needed for Indian dishes.
Where: 665 Buffalo Road. Operating hours: 6.30am to 5.30pm daily.
(Also read: 5 Popular Christmas Spices & Their Benefits)
2. Victoria Wholesale Centre
If you’re looking for dried goods, this is the place. Located in the East, Victoria Wholesale Centre is also the only dried goods private wholesale centre in Singapore, featuring up to 15 stalls on the ground floor. Stock up on a broad range of dried food products such as ikan bilis, dried scallops, dried shrimps, dried cuttlefish, dried sea cucumber, red dates, dried plums, fish maw, and more. Expect most items to be pre-packed, but you may also buy some ingredients in a desired amount, and by weight. Other than dried goods, you can also conveniently find party supplies such as plastic utensils, plates and bowls for sale. Check out the list of retailers here.
Where: 101 Kallang Avenue. Operating Hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 9am to 6pm.
For more info: Visit www.victoriawholesalecentre.com or call 6291-2349
(Also read: These Canned Food Products Are Actually Good For You)
3. Geylang Serai Wet Market
If you’re a fan of Malay cuisine, this bustling market is for you. Located near Paya Lebar, Geylang Serai Wet Market is where you can get the best ingredients to whip up some delicious sambal belachan dishes or lip-smacking kuehs. It offers a wide selection of fresh produce, live seafood, fresh vegetables, seasonal and exotic fruit, fresh meat, tofu, noodles, spices, dried goods and eggs. Bonus tip: Don’t be shy, ask the spice stall owners for secret recipes on how to cook the best curry with different spices! Feeling peckish? Head to its food centre for some authentic Malay dishes like beef rendang.
Where: 1 Geylang Serai. Operating hours: 6.30am to 12 noon daily.
4. Tiong Bahru Wet Market
Centrally located, this wet market has two floors, with the ground level dedicated to fresh produce such as live seafood, fresh vegetables, seasonal and exotic fruit and fresh meat, and the second level filled with hawker stalls. The special thing about this market is its popularity with expats. Be well surprised by the variety of Western fresh produce that’s available here. It’s been said that Australian and New Zealand beef are obtainable at way cheaper prices than your regular supermarkets. You can also get some beautiful freshly-cut flowers from the floral stalls there. Take some time to check the stalls out and stop by the neighbourhood stretch of hipster cafes for brunch afterwards.
Where: 30 Seng Poh Road. Operating hours: 9am to 1pm daily.
(Also read: 8 Smart Hawker Food Swops For Those on a Diet)
5. Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre
Known as Singapore’s main distribution point for imported fruits and vegetables, the Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre is a 26-block complex, about 20 football fields in size, and it houses some 1405 stalls, shops, offices and cold rooms. Located just off the West Coast Highway viaduct, many hawkers get their supplies in bulk here. If you happen to drop by, don’t let the sprawling size intimidate you. Look out for the sign “Auction Hall”. And remember that you can always buy in smaller quantities, but of course, prices get better when you buy in bulk.
Where: 1 Wholesale Centre. Operating hours: 24 hours daily, but it’s most crowded from 12am to 6am.
For more info: Visit www.ava.gov.sg
6. Senoko Fishery Port
Senoko Fishery Port is Singapore’s very own version of Tsukiji Fish Market. The port comes to life at wee hours in the morning when everyone else is in deep slumber. It houses over 3000 local wholesalers, so there are plenty of options for enthusiastic customers who come to seek the freshest seafood from fishermen themselves. Squid, mackerel, crabs, snappers, pomfret and more — you can probably find everything you want at this wholesale market. Most importantly, the price is relatively cheaper than those at heartland wet markets. Definitely worth a visit!
Where: 31 Attap Valley Road. Operating hours: Tuesdays to Sundays, 2am to 6am.
For more info: Visit www.ava.gov.sg
(Also read: How to Choose Healthier Groceries At The Supermarket)
7. Toa Payoh Vegetable Wholesale Night Market
Veggie lovers unite! You won’t want to miss this unique experience of shopping at a makeshift open-air market that operates at night only. At the Toa Payoh Vegetable Wholesale Market which extends about 120m along Toa Payoh East, most vegetables are displayed haphazardly and openly either in boxes and baskets on the roadside or even directly on the road. Expect to score fresh vegetables such as kailan, cauliflower and lady’s fingers at affordable prices (about 20 per cent cheaper than the supermarkets). Depending on the season, you may even find special items such as Shimeji mushrooms.
Where: Toa Payoh East, outside Pei Chun Public School. Operating hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 11pm to 6.30am.
8. Fassler Gourmet
Sashimi enthusiasts, check out Fassler Gourmet, aka salmon heaven, where you can buy fresh cuts of salmon fish at reduced prices. Aside, they also have other quality seafood, soups and sauces, and more. Perfect if you’re planning a seafood party with your friends! Two tips: Cover up as it can get cold at Fassler Gourmet, which is situated at Woodlands Terrace. Do also bring along your own cooler box or bag so that you can keep your seafood purchases fresh.
Where: 46 Woodlands Terrace. Operating hours: Mondays to Thursdays, 8.30am to 5.30pm. Fridays, 8am to 7pm. Saturdays, 8am to 3pm.
For more info: Visit www.fasslergourmet.com or call 6257-5257
9. Greenwood Fish Market
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of ‘wet markets’, you’ll love Greenwood Fish Markets, where you can also get quality and some exotic seafood, such as monkfish tails or wolf fish, used in hotels and restaurants. From Boston lobsters to an array of oysters to pink snappers, in-house smoked salmon, mackerels and French black mussels, you’ll be spoilt for choice. For meat lovers, you can find top-grade items like denuded baby lamb, Australian lamb, and beef and veal. Fret not if you are feeling lost from the vast array of seafood options available, as there’re fish connoisseurs stationed at each retail market to share their knowledge. Great news, they have introduced a price-drop by 20 to 30 per cent at all outlets, leaving you with almost no reason not to check it out! Psst, you can sign up for their WhatsApp updates to receive firsthand information of weekly shipments. To do so, you can email them a email@example.com or drop them a message on Instagram.
Where: Various outlets at Bukit Timah, Dempsey Hill, Quayside Isle and Valley Point.
For more info: Visit www.greenwoodfishmarket.com or call 6256-1103 (Dempsey Hill)
(Also read: 7 Easy Ways to Spend Less On Groceries)