Visit these 8 places for the best Chinese desserts in Singapore

By Phyllis Leong April 19, 2023
Visit these 8 places for the best Chinese desserts in Singapore
Photos (clockwise from left): Yat Ka Yan Dessert/Grab, 75 Ah Balling Peanut Soup/Grab, Hup Ka Foon 合家欢/Facebook, Tong Shui Desserts/Grab

As the saying goes, there’s always room for dessert. But if you’re craving something a lil’ different from the usual ice cream and waffles, then a comforting bowl of tang shui (traditional Chinese dessert) in Singapore certainly won’t disappoint. 

Directly translated to “sweet soup”, tang shui or tong sui refers to refreshing, old-school Chinese desserts that span the likes of red bean soup, tang yuan (glutinous rice balls) and black sesame paste. This traditional treat has a longstanding history that dates back hundreds of years, for it was first enjoyed by ancient Chinese royals and nobles. 

Homemade recipes were then handed down from one generation to another, and from one family to the next. Traditional desserts were also sold at street-food stalls, which quickly gained traction among customers for their affordability. Today, tang shui is a dessert option adored by many Singaporeans, for it’s the perfect palate cleanser after a heavy meal. 

If you love old-school desserts as much as we do, this guide will link you up with the best spots in town to indulge in these best Chinese desserts in Singapore. 

8 places for the best Chinese desserts in Singapore


1. 75 Ah Balling Peanut Soup

Golden Mile Food Centre, 01-75, 505 Beach Road
Open: Monday to Friday (11am to 8.30pm), Saturday and Sunday (10am to 8.30pm)

Chinatown Complex, 02-113, 335 Smith Street
Open: Monday to Sunday (8am to 8pm)

85 Fengshan Centre, 01-25, 85 Bedok North Street
Open: Sunday to Thursday (11.30am to 10.30pm), Friday and Saturday (11.30am to 11.30pm)

One Punggol Hawker Centre, 02-13, 1 Punggol Drive
Open: Tuesday to Sunday (11am to 8pm)

02 pl chinese desserts in singapore-75 Ah Balling Peanut Soup-HungryGoWhere
Photo: 75 Ah Balling Peanut Soup/Grab

Why visit? Surely you’ve heard of 75 Ah Balling Peanut Soup – this famous dessert franchise has several outlets islandwide and is best known for its consistently good glutinous rice balls that are bathed in a variety of soups, including a sweet peanut soup. There’re various flavours of rice balls available, such as peanut, red bean and black sesame.

Founded in 1947 by Mr Aw Kim Chye, 75 Ah Balling Peanut Soup first started as a humble pushcart stall in Jalan Sultan. Mr Aw originally learned the trade back in Xiamen, China, before arriving in Singapore to sell handmade glutinous rice balls. 

The number “75” marks the year the business moved its operations to Golden Mile Food Centre — that is, in 1975. It also coincides with the unit number it occupies. Today, the stall is run by Mr Aw’s descendants, who are third-generation hawkers. 

Price range: $

Crowd faves: Don’t walk away without trying the traditional peanut soup (S$2.90 for six glutinous rice balls). We recommend pairing it with balls that have a peanut filling, which is chock-full of crunchy peanut bits.

2. Ren Ren Desserts

Siglap Centre, B1-13, 55 Siglap Road
Open: Tuesday to Friday (12pm to 6.30pm), Saturday and Sunday (11.30am to 6.30pm)

03 pl chinese desserts in singapore-Ren Ren Desserts-HungryGoWhere
Photo: Ren Ren Desserts/Facebook

Why visit? Nestled in the basement of Siglap Centre is Ren Ren Desserts, a popular dessert cafe that’s beloved among the foodie community for serving some of the best Chinese desserts in Singapore.

Run by a husband-and-wife duo, they’ve been preparing tang shui for over two decades, having first started their business in Chinatown in 2000. 

Today, Ren Ren Desserts is home to various traditional favourites, namely the chendol (S$3.20) and almond cream (S$2.90). 

Price range: $

Crowd faves: Fans of local desserts can opt for the refreshing cheng tng (S$3) or tao suan (S$2.90). The grass jelly with longan (S$3.80) is a top pick, too.

3. Hup Ka Foon 合家

18 Sago Street
Open: Sunday, Tuesday to Thursday (12.30pm to 9.30pm), Friday and Saturday (12.30pm to 10pm

04 pl chinese desserts in singapore-Hup Ka Foon-HungryGoWhere
The sweet potato and ginger dessert soup. Photo: Hup Ka Foon 合家欢/Facebook

Why visit? If you happen to roam the streets of Chinatown, be sure to visit Hup Ka Foon 合家欢. Located a stone’s throw away from the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, the dessert parlour doles out refreshing homemade traditional Chinese desserts in Singapore that are perfect to beat the heat. 

You know Hup Ka Foon takes its desserts seriously, for it’s opened by the same folks behind Ren Ren Desserts. We think this is the best spot to hit up if you’re craving affordable local desserts, for you’ll find a range of delicious hot and cold delicacies here.

Price range: $

Crowd faves: We hear Hup Ka Foon 合家 is recognised for its cendol (S$3.20). The signature dish sees red bean and green pandan jelly atop a bed of shaved ice, accompanied by a drizzling of fragrant gula melaka sauce and coconut milk. If you want to sink your teeth into savoury dishes, you’ll enjoy the yam cake (S$3.50) or chai poh chee cheong fun (S$3.20).

4. Tian Wang Dessert 甜旺甜品

145 Jalan Besar
Open: Tuesday to Thursday (5pm to 2am), Friday (5pm to 3am), Saturday (3pm to 3am) and Sunday (3pm to 2am)

05 pl chinese desserts in singapore-Tian Wang Dessert-HungryGoWhere
Photo: Tian Wang Dessert 甜旺甜品/Grab

Why visit? Tian Wang Dessert 甜旺甜品 made its rounds on social media when it first opened on our sunny shores, thanks to its captivating mahjong-themed decor. Beyond its striking mahjong tile wallpaper, the family-run cafe serves delicious bowls of traditional Chinese desserts in Singapore at wallet-friendly prices.

We hear various recipes were handed down by the family’s late grandmother, while other modern creations are tailored to fit the tastes of younger generations. The latter includes the likes of durian bubur cha cha (S$8.20) and Lychee Popping (S$4.20). 

It’s also a fantastic late-night supper haunt, for it’s open till 3am on Friday and Saturday.

Price range: $

Crowd faves: Try the yam paste with pumpkin and ginkgo nuts (S$6.40). The creamy, heady orh nee (yam paste) is enriched with the earthy notes of ginkgo nuts and pumpkin. It’s rich in flavour and smooth in texture – a well-made dessert all around.

5. Yat Ka Yan Dessert 一家人

Fortune Centre, 02-08, 190 Middle Road
Open: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday (1.30pm to 10pm), Friday to Sunday (1.30pm to 11pm)

06 pl chinese desserts in singapore-Yat Ka Yan-HungryGoWhere
Photo: Yatkayan Dessert/Grab

Why visit? We’re big fans of the nostalgic, that’s fo’sure, and Yat Ka Yan 一家人 definitely takes us back to the past with its array of decadent Singapore Chinese desserts. 

Its name, which translates to “one family”, is a demonstration of the stall’s aim to serve hearty bowls of tang shui that remind diners of the warmth of home. 

Situated in the sleepy Fortune Centre, Yat Ka Yan 一家人 is yet another sister eatery of Ren Ren Desserts. It often draws long queues, a testament to the popularity of its homemade classics. 

There’s also a secret dine-in menu unbeknownst to first-timers, which consists of a silky chee cheong fun (S$5) and orh nee brulee (S$7.90).

Price range: $

Crowd faves: The Yammy chendol (S$5.50) is a must-order for taro lovers! It’s a drool-worthy confection that features a rich yam paste atop shaved ice, pandan jelly and red beans. 

6. Tong Shui Desserts

People’s Park Centre, 02-58, 101 Upper Cross Street
Open: Sunday to Friday (11am to 8.30pm) and Saturday (11am to 9pm)

07 pl chinese desserts in singapore-Tong Shui Desserts-HungryGoWhere
Photo: Tong Shui Desserts/Grab

Why visit? Diners will be spoilt for choice at Tong Shui Desserts, for the cafe is notable for its extensive menu of hot and cold desserts. Brace yourselves – there are more than 60 different options to choose from! 

Set foot into the shop, and you’ll be wowed by the vibrant posters of its bestselling desserts plastered all over the walls. If you’re torn between which to take your pick from, the almond paste with ginkgo nut (S$4.50) is absolutely delicious. 

Price range: $

Crowd faves: We love the peach gum cheng tng (S$5), which boasts vivid amber hues amid a sweet, clear soup made from dried longan and white fungus. 

7. 115 Tang Shui 一一五糖水

Chinatown Complex Food Centre, 02-206, Blk 355 Smith Street
Open: Wednesday to Sunday (7.30am to 3.30pm)

08 pl chinese desserts in singapore-115 Tang Shui-HungryGoWhere
Photo: 115 Tang Shui - Sweet Soup/Facebook

Why visit? Look no further than 115 Tang Shui 一一五糖水 for classic Chinese desserts, carefully prepared the old-fashioned way. Here, all ingredients are made in-house. Nuts are meticulously peeled by hand and grounded with a traditional stone grinder, which results in a creamy-smooth paste. 

The shop is helmed by a second-generation hawker, Mr Toh, who whips up delicacies that follow tried-and-tested recipes passed down by his late mother. Diners can anticipate a parade of different desserts across the week, such as pumpkin corn (S$2) and sweet potato ginger soup (S$1.80). 

Price range: $

Crowd faves: The bobo cha cha (S$2) is a clear winner for us. This confection consists of large yam and sweet potato cubes, complete with sweet coconut milk.

8. Xi Le Ting 喜乐亭 

Commonwealth Crescent Market and Food Centre, 02-70, 31 Commonwealth Crescent
Open: Thursday to Sunday (10am to 2pm)

09 pl chinese desserts in singapore-Xi Le Ting-HungryGoWhere
The green bean soup. Photo: MightyFoodie/Instagram

Why visit? Savour nostalgic, S$1 old-school treats at Xi Le Ting 喜乐亭, a quaint hawker stall at Commonwealth Crescent Market and Food Centre Market run by an elderly ah ma (grandma).

The best part is undoubtedly its price point. For merely a dollar, you get to tuck into a warm bowl of tang shui, a very reasonable price for a comforting bowl of Singapore Chinese dessert.  

Those who are sticklers of tradition will love Xi Le Ting 喜乐亭, for the same recipes have been used for over 40 years. The menu is lean, which comprises options such as green bean soup (S$1), cheng tng (S$1) and a lesser-seen-before mak chuk (also known as sweet wheat porridge) (S$1). Older folks will love the porridge, where wheat pearls are served atop coconut milk. 

Price range: $

Crowd faves: The red bean soup (S$1) is fantastic with its generous serving of red beans in a slightly sweet soup.

For more ideas on what to eat, check out our guide on must-try spots at Seah Im Food Centre and affordable Japanese restaurants below S$25 per person

All stores except for Xi Le Ting 喜乐亭 are on the GrabFood delivery service and offer free delivery (up to S$3 off) with GrabUnlimited.

You can also book a ride to these stores selling Chinese desserts in Singapore.


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Phyllis Leong

Author

Phyllis is a sweet tooth with a love for all things dessert. If you are looking to hit up the newest ice-cream parlour in town, you know who to call.

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