is not Chia's Vegetable Supply.
We were talking about this at lunch and I felt I should pass this tip on. Seems to me like the Chias have been doing so well they've colonised almost the entire vegetables section of Tekka Market. Even though they never say so, I know, because I recognise their foreign worker assistants in these other stalls. Nothing wrong with any of this, I love the bossa nova music and their warm friendly service as much as the next shopper and they deserve their hard-won success but still, this doesn't leave me much choice in terms of prices or variety. Thus was my plaintive complaints to my good friend tiantianchi, who promptly suggested I should check out the competition in Sheng Siong Supermarket across the road. I am familiar with Sheng Siong because I like that their product range is wide and some items may be even cheaper than FairPrice, the so-called champion of the common people, but I was not aware that they have improved their fresh produce offerings. Curiosity piqued, it so happened last weekend that my pantry ran out of supplies which gave me a good reason to go and have a look.
The Sheng Siong supermarket in Tekka Mall actually occupies two different parts of the shopping complex. Dry goods are on the second storey above the food court, but for fresh vegetables, meat and fish one just needs to cross Serangoon Road to reach the front entrance and take the escalators down. This is important because the two areas are quite far apart and if you went the wrong way you would get quite frustrated like I did and have to call up your friend to
scold check directions again.
Once you find the place, grab a trolley and walk all the way in. The vegetables occupy almost a third of the basement. A respectably diverse selection is laid out neatly, but not very prettily, for shoppers' perusal. Purple sweet potatoes from Indonesia, crunchy sweet yau mak choy from Malaysia, fat spears of asparagus, tender bunches of deep green spinach for baby's meals, deep troughs of pickles as well as the usual suspects like chye sim, brocolli etc. Prices are gratifyingly reasonable, even the 'exotic' stuff. V, our domestic, was suitably impressed and she should know, having previously commented that vegetables at my nearest local Whampoa wet market is too pricey and old, and given her familiarity with the stalls in Tekka. Here the floor was dry, and there was airconditioning. It was like shopping at a smaller, more comfortable version of a wholesale vegetable market.
The only glitch was that we parked in Tekka Market carpark,which meant we couldn't carry a lot or, as is our usual practice if we shop in the wet market, leave it in the care of the fruiterer who usually lets us do so as long as I buy some of her (also slightly overpriced) fruits. And as I still had to get my fruits, mutton, eggs and seafood from Tekka Market, we restricted ourselves to getting only lighter vegetables, leaving the root vegetable business to the wet market.
Therefore if you are ever in the neighbourhood, do pop by into Sheng Siong and be surprised.