First Look At Tekka Centre: Newly-Renovated Hawker & Market For Traditional Indian Wear & Antiques

Things to do at Tekka Centre

As Singaporeans, it’s as if we’ve been hardwired to be on the prowl for the best deals around. Although “cheap” and “good” oftentimes culminate in disappointment, you’ll struggle to find another place with steals as fine as the ones at the newly-renovated Tekka Centre.

Especially with Deepavali rolling around, you can expect prices to plummet even further, so be sure to make a pit stop here to stock up for the festival of lights.

Renovated in 2023 with revamped toilets & a new face of paint

Located right at the doorstep of Little India MRT, Tekka Centre has finally reopened its doors on 30th September 2023, after about 3 months of repairs and redecoration work.

This sees the complex fitted with refurbished toilets, new tables, chairs, tiles, and an enhanced ventilation system. The market on the 1st floor also has been bird-proofed with netting and bird spikes, so you can rest assured that you won’t be pelted with avian artillery when chowing down on your food. Speaking of which:

Dig into a plethora of local & regional cuisine

With a whopping 119 hawkers to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to picking out the best food stalls in Tekka Centre.

Popular stalls like 545 Whampoa Prawn Noodles (#01-326) will see long queues forming as early as 10am.

Some of our picks include the famous Allauddin’s Briyani (#01-229), whose award-winning briyanis (from $6) are simply delectable. If your taste buds are a tad more exotic, head to Raja Bojun Sri Lankan Food (#01-280) and have a taste of their local delights. These include Sri Lankan fried rice ($7.50) and chicken kottu ($7.50).

Stock up on affordable groceries that rival Mustafa Centre

Doing your weekly grocery runs at Tekka Centre is not a bad idea either. The wet market next to the hawker centre has fresh produce sold at prices that’ll turn the heads of even the Mustafa Centre faithful.

Swing by one of the many fruit stalls to snag some of nature’s tastiest goodies. The fruit wholesaler at stall #01-154 we visited had red apples each priced at $0.50, green ones at $0.40, and pears at $1.

For meat lovers, butchers like N Kanesan Mutton Dealer (#01-141) sell cuts from $18 for frozen mutton ribs, to $34 for fresh boneless lamb. Seafood is also aplenty, with Lee Hoe Seafood (#01-41) providing squids (from $11), crabs (from $11), and fishes (from $9), air flown from all over South East Asia.

Shop traditional Indian womenswear with regular sales

Once you’ve had your fill of Tekka Centre’s hawkers and wet market, head straight to level 2. You’ll be greeted with countless racks and mannequins, all fashioned with exquisite traditional Indian womenswear.

Although stall #02-35 might be unnamed, their dresses are anything but incognito. Intricate patterns adorn their dresses ($75-$95), and they even shimmer in the light due to the reflective beads and stones sewn onto the fabric.

As for the gentlemen, there are tons of regal-looking options for you. You’ll be able to purchase comfy 100% cotton kurtas from Zip Adjust (#02-110) for around $35. They’ve even got matching bottoms to complete the fit for a cohesive and clean look.

The kids also get to look their best on the big day. We also spotted many fun-sized, traditional garb for the little ones at shops like Rose Fashions (#02-119); they’re going for $25 for 1 piece and $40 for 2.

You’ll also find the occasional tailor, often hard at work, stationed outside tailoring shops around level 2. We’ve asked around, and tailors such as the one at Emmanuel Fashion (#02-55) will do standard altering from $5 should your clothes not fit as well as you’d like.

Glam up with jewellery & fabric stores

If you still feel that your dress is looking a little lacklustre, you can pick up various adornments to really spruce up your outfit.

The aforementioned Emmanuel Fashion has a whole catalogue of accessories, from spools of shiny, sequined borders to sew-on motifs ($15).

Over at Meenes Fashion (#02-115), you can snag some fancy earrings for $8. They’ve got multiple display stands chock-full of designs embedded with ornate, ruby-like stones.

Bonus: Take a trip down memory lane at an antique shop

Hidden amongst the cacophony of the shop owners, tailors, and their sewing machines, a rustic antique shop can also be found on the same floor. If you have a curious eye for the archaic, Poh Antiques and Collectibles (#02-51) is the place to be.

We saw a slew of vintage wall clocks, Buddhist statuettes, and many other trinkets on sale. You’ll have to check with the uncle who owns the store on the prices, as they’re not labelled with price tags. You can even turn in some of your own antiques; not only will you be paid, but you’ll also contribute to the shop’s unique storefront. 

Pay a visit to the newly-renovated Tekka Centre

If you’ve yet to pop by Tekka Centre post-renovation, you’ll be pleased to discover an air of hospitality that surrounds the place. The place is just raring to go for Deepavali; from earnest shop owners to huge light installations right outside the building, you’ll find no shortage of festive vibes right here. 

Tekka Centre
Google Reviews
665 Buffalo Road, Singapore 210665

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Photography by Liu Xing Ying.

Khoo Yong Hao

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