With our nation’s birthday coming up on August 9, it’s time to celebrate the occasion with some yummy traditional desserts with your friends. Whether it’s the iconic chendol or some decadent almond paste, stick to your roots and satisfy that sweet tooth at these best traditional Chinese dessert shops in Singapore!
What is the national dessert of Singapore?
It’s already tough to ascertain what Singapore’s national food is, so it’s not any different with desserts. However, we are confident that all the traditional Chinese desserts mentioned above are the best in Singapore, and thus can be considered as our national desserts! Read on to find out our favourite haunts to visit for the best traditional Chinese desserts in Singapore.
Best traditional Chinese dessert shops in Singapore: North
1. Ji De Chi Dessert
In case you forgot, Ji De Chi is here to remind you to eat your desserts! Combining chendol with cooling shaved ice, it’s no wonder their Snowy Ice desserts were once featured by the Singapore Tourist Board! They’re also known for serving some of the best traditional desserts in town. This includes black sesame paste, orh nee, tang yuan in ginger soup and more. While those entice us, we’re here for their Double-Boiled Snow Pear With Chuan Bei And Red Dates. This is one of the best traditional Chinese desserts in Singapore that feature Chuan Bei flowers. Moreover, this dessert is a great way to boost your health if you’re experiencing cough or cold!
Address: Northpoint City, 1 North Point Drive, #B1-109, S(768019)
Check out their other outlets here
Opening hours: Daily, 11am – 10pm
2. Mei Heong Yuen
You’re in good hands when you visit Mei Heong Yuen for the best Chinese traditional desserts in Singapore. With over 50 years of experience, you’re guaranteed to have only the best-tasting traditional desserts here. Without a doubt, the most recommended dessert here is the orh nee. Topped with copious amounts of gingko nuts, Mei Heong Yuen’s yam paste is absolutely smooth and decadent. They also serve awesome pulut hitam, almond paste, tang yuan and Chendol Snow Ice. Mei Heong Yuen has one of the best-tasting Chendol Snow Ice in Singapore that boasts large amounts of red bean, green jellies and more. These modern desserts are refreshingly cold, making them perfect for our hot Singapore weather!
Address: Northpoint City, 1 North Point Drive, #02-171, S(768019)
Check out their other outlets here
Opening hours: Daily, 12pm – 8.45pm
3. Four Seasons Cendol
You can’t get a more authentic cendol when you’re at one of the best traditional Chinese dessert stalls in Singapore. Located in a hawker centre, Four Seasons Cendol prides themselves on serving up some of the most delicious and refreshing desserts. Particularly, their prized creation – the cendol. It’s priced affordably at under $3, providing a much-needed respite from Singapore’s blazing weather. But more than that is the flavours from the coconut milk and gula melaka. Our favourite order from Four Seasons Cendol is their Ice Blended Cendol. It’s basically the same dessert but in a cup. So it’s perfect for those who love taking a stroll while partaking in a sweet treat. But don’t forget to take advantage of those toppings, especially that generous helping of D24 durian, Mao Shan Wang, grass jelly and more!
Address: 210 Lorong 8 Toa Payoh, #01-07, S(310210)
Opening hours: Daily, 9am – 10pm
Best traditional Chinese dessert shops in Singapore: South
4. Green Sky Dessert
Decked in bright lights and loud techno music, you’ll definitely not have a hard time locating Green Sky Dessert which is nestled in a corner of Redhill Market. This is one of the best traditional Chinese dessert stalls in Singapore that serves up awesome pulut hitam, green bean soup and more. Their tau suan is a definite must-try as this is what’s attracting those long queues. Green Sky Dessert has elevated this traditional dessert by extracting rich flavours from the mung beans. The result is an aromatic and flavourful tau suan that hits all the right spots. Coupled with those warm, toasty pieces of you tiao, you’ll be glad that you decided to queue for this best traditional dessert in Singapore!
Address: Redhill Food Centre, 85 Redhill Lane, #01-60, Singapore 150085
Thur – Sun: 1pm – 9pm
5. Jin Jin Dessert
With unique names for desserts like Gangster Ice and Power Chendol, you’ll definitely be in for a treat when you visit Jin Jin Dessert! Of course, the Power Chendol must not be missed. We were shook when we saw that shaved ice mountain that’s drenched in a luscious gula melaka syrup. Their chendol surely lives up to its name of Power as lying beneath that mountain of ice is copious amounts of green noodles, red bean and attap seeds! They’re also known for having the best tau suan and cheng tng in Singapore. Priced affordably at about $1.50, these desserts aren’t too sweet or jelak (overwhelming). The tau suan is also served with a generous amount of you tiao and the cheng tng also has tons of longan, barley, lotus strips and sago!
Address: ABC Brickworks Market & Food Centre, 6 Jalan Bukit Merah, #01-21, S(150006)
Thur – Sun: 12pm – 10pm
6. 115 Tang Shui
Renowned for serving up the best traditional Chinese desserts in Singapore, it’s no wonder that 115 Tang Shui always has a long queue. If you’re craving a certain dessert, you’ll need to pray to the tang shui gods for luck. The desserts here are on a rotation, so you won’t be able to get all of them on the same day. Nevertheless, you can still go for their staples like Almond, Black Sesame, Walnut and Peanut pastes that are available everyday. We recommend trying 115 Tang Shui’s Green Bean Soup as it’s prepared with an herb called rue. This herb gives the Green Bean Soup a unique flavour that’s sweet, bitter and somewhat citrusy. Desserts can’t get any better at this best traditional dessert shop in Singapore!
Address: 335 Smith Street, #02-206, S(050335)
Wed – Sun: 7.30am – 4.30pm
7. Darkness Dessert
Filled with Korean food eateries and ravishing cafes, it may be hard to satiate those Chinese dessert cravings when you’re in Tanjong Pagar. But that’s no longer the case with Darkness Dessert in the area. As one of the best traditional Chinese dessert places in Singapore, Darkness Dessert is where you need to be for their Black Sesame Paste with Almond Paste, Red Bean Paste and Green Bean Soup. They’ve all been prepared earnestly, so you can expect robust, earthy flavours with each scoop. Another must-try when you hit up Darkness Dessert is their Peanut Soup. It’s filled with gingko nuts and lotus seeds, making it one of the more nutritious options. But our favourite bit about this dessert is how it’s thicker than versions from other places – a true unique find indeed!
Address: 100 Tanjong Pagar Road, S(088521)
Mon – Thur: 5pm – 11.30pm
Fri: 5pm – 12.30pm
Sat: 1pm – 5.30pm, 7pm – 12.30pm
Sun: 1pm – 5.30pm, 7pm – 11pm
Best traditional Chinese dessert shops in Singapore: Central
8. Teck Kee Hot & Cold Desserts
At first glance, this unassuming dessert stall looks like any other hawker stalls. While Teck Kee doesn’t have an eye-catching dessert menu or shop decor, the long queue here attests to its dessert quality. This best traditional Chinese dessert shop in SIngapore serves tau suan with a soft, velvety texture that slides down your throat smoothly. It’s cooked to perfection and somehow has that deep richness that most tau suan lacks. Another great dessert option here is the cheng tng that’s light and refreshing. Priced affordably at just $2, you’ll get the best cheng tng in Singapore that has a flavourful and aromatic soup! With a hint of sweetness and a generous amount of longan, lotus seeds, barley, gingko nuts and more, Teck Kee is definitely one of the best places to hit up for traditional Chinese desserts in Singapore!
Address: Adam Food Centre, 2 Adam Road, S(289876)
Tue – Sun: 12pm – 11.30pm
9. Tian Wang D’Sweet
We’re sure that feature wall of mahjong tiles has caught your eye, but what draws us to Tian Wang D’Sweet is their best traditional desserts in Singapore! Apart from Durian Mousse, they also offer some yummy orh nee with pumpkin and ginkgo, peach gum and more. We especially love their Orh Nee as its texture is one of the smoothest as compared to others. Instead of pumpkin cubes, their yam paste is topped with a pumpkin paste that’s just as smooth and fragrant! Psst, you can also hit up this late night dessert spot even after midnight as it is open till 3am daily! Their chendol is just as noteworthy. With a large mountain of shaved ice and an option with durian puree, this chendol is truly the best in Singapore!
Address: 145 Jalan Besar, S(208863)
Tues – Thur: 5pm – 2am
Fri: 5pm – 3am
Sat: 3pm – 3am
Sun: 3pm – 2am
10. Ah Chew Desserts
With more than 50 options, you’ll be spoilt for choice at this best traditional Chinese dessert shop in Singapore! We suggest getting the Rock Sugar White Fungus Papaya With Almond Paste. Despite being a simple dessert, the earthy almond paste balances out the sweetness from the rock sugar. Moreover, the almond fragrance rounds up the entire dessert perfectly with its nutty and milky flavour. You should also try out Ah Chew Dessert’s Fresh Milk Steamed Egg. Think custard but in pudding form! You can choose from different toppings such as ginger juice, red bean or chocolate cookies. The Fresh Milk Steamed Egg reminds us of egg tarts, but with a milder flavour that’s not too eggy. Coupled with some chocolate cookies, it’ll taste just like a chocolate bread pudding!
Address: 1 Liang Seah Street, #01-10/11, S(189032)
Check out their other outlets here
Mon – Fri: 12.30pm – 12am
Sat: 12.30pm – 1am
Sun: 1.30pm – 12am
11. Chow Zan Dessert
With a name like that, it’s no surprise that Chow Zan is one of the best traditional Chinese dessert shops in Singapore. Translated from Cantonese, Chow Zan literally means “super praiseworthy”. And we can’t help but highlight their White Chendol. Instead of the usual green coconut jelly, their version contains white-coloured ones that pepper your bowl with subtle sweet flavours. If you’re feeling more adventurous, Chow Zan also has variations that feature durian and red bean. Another noteworthy dessert is their Eight Treasures Cheng Teng. This is where you’ll see a dessert that’s “on steroids”. Containing the usual ingredients like gingko nuts, barley, longan and white fungus, Chow Zan’s version is where you’ll get an upsized version of the usual. So while most may say dessert is “for a separate stomach”, trust us – you’ll need more than that for this!
Address: 801 North Bridge Road, S(198769)
Opening hours: Daily, 1.30pm – 11pm
Best traditional Chinese dessert shops in Singapore: East
12. 75 Ah Balling Peanut Soup
Craving for tang yuan? You’ll definitely have the best glutinous rice balls at 75 Ah Balling Peanut Soup! Their humble beginnings selling desserts from a pushcart has since evolved into a bustling stall at Golden Mile Food Centre. 75 Ah Balling Peanut Soup’s glutinous rice balls and signature peanut soup are the reasons for their fame. And it’s no surprise! The tang yuan retain their chewiness as they sit in soup that melts in your mouth. Also, the skin-to-filling ratio is perfect as the tang yuan aren’t too thick and there isn’t too little filling. If you’re not up for peanut soup, go for Ginger Soup, Almond Milk or Red Date Longan options! Other than the usual peanut and black sesame filling, this is also the best traditional Chinese dessert shop for matcha, yam and red bean glutinous rice balls in Singapore!
Address: Golden Mile Food Centre, 505 Beach Road, #01-75, S(199583)
Check out their other outlets here
Mon – Fri: 11am – 8.15pm
Sat – Sun: 10am – 8.15pm
13. Dessert Bowl
Dessert Bowl is where you need to go for the best chendol drink in Singapore. Slurp up this delectable dessert through a straw and you’ll be greeted with flavourful bursts! They also offer some of the best traditional Chinese desserts in Singapore. From green bean soup to almond paste and sesame paste, you’ll definitely be in for a treat at Dessert Bowl. But we highly recommend going for their Glutinous Rice Balls In Ginger Soup. While the glutinous rice balls are usually the main attraction, we were definitely wowed by the sweet yet spicy ginger soup. The ginger isn’t overpowering thanks to the sweetness that balances it out perfectly. So if you love that kick of spice, you know where to go!
Address: 80A Serangoon Garden Way, S(555976)
Tue – Thur: 3pm – 5.15pm, 6.15pm – 10.30pm
Fri: 3pm – 5.15pm, 6.15pm – 11.30pm
Sat – Sun: 2pm – 5.15pm, 6.15pm – 11.30pm
14. Yat Ka Yan
Have a simple meal and finish it with some traditional Chinese desserts at Yat Ka Yan! They’re known for having the best chendol in Singapore – especially the Yammy Chendol which is a combination of orh nee and chendol. You’ll get that usual mountain of shaved ice with the regular toppings, but this time, there’s also a big scoop of yam paste. The result is a beautiful masterpiece that tastes absolutely divine as the yam paste balances out the gula melaka from the chendol. Apart from the best chendol in Singapore, their Black Glutinous Rice With Ice Cream is a rendition of pulut hitam. The black glutinous rice has a velvety smooth texture that goes well with the ice cream – it’s truly the best of both worlds here!
Address: Fortune Centre, 190 Middle Road, #02-08, S(188979)
Mon, Wed – Thur: 1.30pm – 10pm
Fri – Sun: 1.30pm – 11pm
*Closed from 16 July to 2 August 2023 for renovation
15. Jin Yu Man Tang
For a taste of Hong Kong, head over to Jin Yu Man Tang, one of the best traditional dessert shops in Singapore. They’re known for their silky smooth milk puddings that are mouthwateringly creamy. We particularly enjoyed their Signature Ginger Milk Pudding. With warm milk splashed into your bowl of ginger syrup, you get to determine the texture of your dessert. Go for it while it’s warm for something more watery. And leave it to cool a while longer for a milk pudding that’s thicker. Either way, you’ll get that slightly earthy ginger taste that blends with the milk perfectly. Their Shun De Double Layered Milk Pudding is also another highlight. It’s where you’ll get an original milk pudding but with more oomph. The creaminess is beyond imagination, sliding across your tastebuds to engulf your mouth with milky delight.
Address: The Flow@East Coast, 66 East Coast Road, #01-03, S(428778)
Opening hours: Daily, 11.30am – 10.30pm
Best traditional Chinese dessert shops in Singapore: West
12. Xi Le Ting
Run by a friendly ah ma, Xi Le Ting is a dream come true with its $1 desserts! Despite only having four dessert options, Xi Le Ting has kept to its decades old recipes. And with its steady stream of customers, you can be certain that this is the best traditional Chinese dessert stalls in Singapore! Choose from red bean soup, green bean soup, cheng tng or the lesser-known bubur terigu (sweet wheat porridge) and you won’t be disappointed. Moreover, The green bean soup here is slightly different. Cooked with coconut milk and sago, Xi Le Ting’s green bean soup carries a flavour that’s unique to them. They don’t scrimp on ingredients despite its low prices. The cheng tng has generous amounts of barley, white fungus and longan, and it’s topped with a huge slice of dried persimmon, thus making it one of the best-tasting in Singapore!
Address: Commonwealth Crescent Market and Food Centre, 31 Commonwealth Crescent, #02-70, S(149644)
Thur – Sun: 10am – 2pm
13. Hong Kong Sheng Kee Desserts
Apart from its delicious dim sum, Hong Kong Sheng Kee is also the best traditional Chinese dessert shop in Singapore. There are the usual almond paste and black sesame paste, but we love Hong Kong Sheng Kee desserts for their unique renditions of the classics. The pulut hitam here is topped with bittersweet grass jelly to give you a sweetness that’s just right. We especially love their Glutinous Rice Balls in Osmanthus Soup. The aromatic osmanthus soup carries a subtle sweetness that’s light and refreshing. Talk about a match made in heaven!
Address: Lot One Mall, 21 Choa Chu Kang Avenue 4, #B1-K10, S(689812)
Check out their other outlets here
Opening hours: Daily, 11am – 9pm
What is the most popular traditional dessert in Singapore?
Traditional Chinese desserts are called tang shui in Mandarin, which literally means sugar water. You can expect these desserts to be sweet and delightful, offering a great refreshment in Singapore’s hot weather while packing rich flavours! Since the cuisine is so diverse, it’s no surprise that it’s hard to pinpoint which is the best traditional dessert in Singapore – much less the most popular one. But here are some traditional Chinese desserts that have made it onto the “most popular” list in Singapore!
Thanks to its shaved ice that provides a great respite from our hot, humid weather, the chendol is not just tasty but extremely refreshing! Other than shaved ice, other main ingredients in a chendol include coconut milk, gula melaka and green worm-like jellies that are made with rice flour, with colouring extracted from pandan leaves.
Translated from Hokkien, “cheng tng” literally means “clear soup”. Touted as one of the best traditional Chinese desserts in Singapore that’s perfect for sore throats and heatiness, cheng tng is subtly sweet and can be served hot or cold. This dessert is usually preferred over creamy desserts as it’s more refreshing to have cheng tng at any time, especially on those sweltering days!
Bubur Cha Cha
Bubur cha cha is a coconut milk dessert that many of us would’ve had in our childhood. That sweet and milky base is filled with colourful chunks of sweet potato, taro and tapioca jelly. There are also those little blobs of sago that add a contrasting texture to make bubur cha cha an extremely delicious dessert!
Tang yuan are glutinous rice balls that are usually filled with peanut or black sesame. These tang yuan have a chewy texture that’s absolutely addictive. They’re usually white in colour but there are some that are pink!
Pulut hitam is the best dessert to have after a meal! This porridge-like dessert is actually made with black glutinous rice. It’s usually boiled and once that’s done, coconut milk and palm sugar are added to create a lovely dessert that’s not too sweet.
This is one of the most popular traditional Chinese desserts that’s regularly served at fancy dinner feasts. Orh nee can usually be found at the end of wedding dinners and they’re a warm dessert that’s light on the stomach. This dessert is actually a yam paste that has been cooked with shallot oil. You’ll also get gingko nuts or pumpkin paste with this dessert.
Tau suan is a dessert that most of you would have gotten for your elderly parents and/or grandparents. It’s a sweet dessert that has a somewhat gooey texture. Tau suan consists of steamed mung beans and sugar syrup that’s boiled with pandan leaves. Some versions also use gula melaka to help thicken the sugar and water mixture. But the best thing about this traditional Chinese dessert is how it’s usually paired with you tiao (dough fritters) in Singapore!
Peanut Paste, Almond Paste and Sesame Paste
These different pastes are made with peanut, almond and sesame respectively. These pastes are also not overwhelming, so they’re perfect as a treat for any time of the day. Some dessert shops also have yin and yang versions. That’s where two of the pastes are served together in the same bowl. And trust us, the combination tastes heavenly!
Red and Green Bean Soups
Red and green bean soups are the OG (original)! We remember digging into these traditional desserts back in preschool. These are one of the best traditional desserts in Singapore that’s not only easy to make but they’re also delicious. They may seem simple but these red and green bean soups pack a flavourful punch!
Satisfy your sweet tooth with the best Chinese traditional desserts in Singapore
Whether you’re done for some icy cold chendol or a hot bowl of cheng tng, we hope you’ve found the best spot to indulge in some traditional Chinese desserts in Singapore! Interested in some other desserts? Get these popular local snacks or dig into some amazing cakes at these Tiong Bahru cafes. If you’re a durian lover, hit up these best durian buffet spots in Singapore and remember to stock up on some of the best durian puffs! Remember to check out Shopee’s National Day Sale for exciting deals and promotions!
This article was updated on 18 July 2023. Additional research done by Caryn Tan.