To Tekka, to Tekka, to buy...

To Tekka, to Tekka, to buy...

Be it a weekend or a weekday, the scene at Tekka on Buffalo Road is never different. It is always bustling with activity as people throng the place for a variety of reasons.

Not only is Tekka known for its wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables, but also for its mouth-watering cuisine and shopping options.

When people first enter the Tekka Centre, they are likely to be greeted by the delicious aroma of food from different parts of the world.

There are numerous foodstalls that line the foodcourt - from Malay to Chinese to Indian to Sri Lankan to Thai. You don't need a passport to sample the food from various countries.

You just need to head to Tekka to get your food fix.

The wet market in Tekka is an experience not to be missed.

The slippery floors do not faze customerswho go there for a good bargain. You can hear meat and fish vendors calling out to the customers in sweet voices to buy their wares.

One meat vendor, Mr Sarvanan, who has been around for 45 years, says: "During weekdays, some people come to buy meat, but it is more crowded during weekends."

The neighbouring chicken stall is run by Madam Banu Bhibhi who proudly shares: "I used to run the stall with my late father. I have been here for nearly 20 years." Her customer, Ms Vaziha, comes all the way from Hougang to buy fresh chicken from her.

She shares: "I have been coming for nearly 10 years as I find the chicken is fresh and tender."

It is not just the meat and seafood that draw the crowds, but the variety of colourful, fresh fruits and vegetables. Mr Chia, who has been in Tekka for the past 33 years, says there is a crowd mostly during weekends. He gets his fruits like watermelon, jackfruit, papaya and bananas from Malaysia.

Another stall, Chia Vegetables, imports its vegetables from Thailand, Myanmar and even Vietnam. One of the stall-helpers said: "People usually come in the mornings to purchase their vegetables."

Mrs Linda McKenzie, 44, a homemaker who has been visiting Tekka since she was a young girl, talks about her favourite food as she recalls her childhood days:"It's a must to visit my favourite teh halia shop, appom shop and puttu mayam shop. I'm a nostalgic person and these foods remind me of when my parents used to take me to Tekka for breakfast as a little girl. They are not the same stalls but the food is what I look for."

Although she lives in Sengkang, Mrs McKenzie still visits Tekka, along with her husband and four-year-old daughter, to buy fresh produce. She says that her husband, a New Zealander, likes the place for its ambience.

She adds: "It's a hive of activity at 7am which is when we are normally at Tekka. He loves walking towards our regular greengrocer and being welcomed by the sound of music.

"As a Caucasian, he appreciates the time the sellers give him in explaining some fishes that are alien to him and how best to cook them. He loves the familiarity of the place, how they look out for our daughter as she goes from stall to stall saying her hellos. Everyone knows us and we feel very comfortable there."

Property agent Priti Sule may not visit Tekka as often now but used to visit the market almost every month.

She recalls: "I first visited Tekka about 23 years ago. At that time, we had no choice but to go to Tekka for our needs. As things are now easily available in the neighbourhood, I visit Tekka only once in four to six months.

"For things required for prayer, I still have to go to Serangoon Road. And, of course, the food is a draw."

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