Friday, August 28, 2015

To Market, To Market, To Clementi 448 Market and Food Centre

I had wanted to write more about the food stalls at Clementi 448 for this "To Market, To Market" blog train hosted by Lifestinymiracles but I found out that it's impossible to cover both market and food centre in one post. There are so many good food over there! So, I decided to focus on the wet market and leave the food to another post!  

On an early Sunday morning while Hubby and Emma were still sleeping, I sneaked out on an early sunday morning to check out the wet market! The sky was still dark and the whole place looked so quiet. 

Was the market opened?

I walked into the wet market and excited to find that it was all busy and cheery. Now, let me share my findings and hidden treasures from my "maiden" trip to the Clementi 448 wet market.

1. A Place With Countless Stalls!

I tried counting the numbers of stalls in the market but lost track of the counts. There are definitely more than 30 small and big stalls? For each category of produces, there are at least 4 stalls! It got pretty confusing for an occasional wet market shopper like me. I think one needs some experience to know which stalls to buy from. 

However, an auntie shopper told me: "she usually just buy and if she find that the produces are not nice, that would be the last time she buy from the stall. Anyway, there are other stalls around". Sounds pretty competitive in the market ya?

2. A Place With Wide Selection Of Items

You can buy almost everything you need for cooking in the market! Nonetheless, there are some wet markets that sell more stuff than other. I don't remember seeing crabs and mussels. Oh maybe there were some, just that I miss it?

I was spoilt with choices when I went to the fruit stalls. There are so much different types of fruits and they all look so fresh and yummy. 

3. A Place Full Of Human Interaction

Unlike supermarket where one usually have a hard time asking the staff for help, the seller at the stalls are ever ready for your questions. I walked around and realised that there are many humorous stall owners.

This fishmonger uncle was so enthusiastic about his sea creatures. He saw me taking a photo of the stingray and held it up for me to take photo. Then, the customer also joined the fun and lifted another stingray (on the left). 

While I was finding my way out of the sea of creatures, an uncle popped by to ask me to check out the big prawns. 

He was sporty enough to hold up the prawn for a photo when I said I couldn't capture the relative size of the prawn. I later found out that he is one of beef butcher.

The fishmonger uncle saw us and showcased many more big prawns. Wow! 

This Hock Leng Seafood boss (I'm taking his words) has couple of stalls in this market and other markets. I'm not sure if it's a known fact to the shoppers but he has the premium seafood in one stall and the more economical one in the other stalls. Pretty strategic right?

4. A Place Loaded With Lots of Actions

We hardly see the butcher in actions at the supermarket but there is always a show to watch in the wet market. I wonder how long did he take to chop them into pieces. Look at the 15 types of cut that he is selling. I guessed he might had woke up super early as his eyes were slightly red.

Surprisingly, the wet market wasn't that wet and smelly (yet) like the past even with all the chopping. I believe it would be when the crowd starts to fill up the space. 

Do keep in mind that the wet market isn't air-conditioned so t-shirt and shorts are definitely the best choice if you are planning for a visit.

5. A Place With No Price Tag

This was the closest I found in the wet market. Most of the food were not priced with a tag and you just got to ask the owners to weigh them and quote the price. The owners have super memories to remember all the prices. 

And an important point to note, the owner only accepts cash! No nets and credit cards!

6. A Place For Cheap and Fresh Food? 

Since there were no price tags around, I couldn't decide if it's exactly cheaper to shop in wet market. However, I spotted a cheap and good niang dou fu stall. Yi Yun Yuan Niang Dou Fou is selling 4 pieces for $1. 

I bought some back and they are really nice! I was pretty embarrassed when the auntie asked if I have tried their niang dou fu before when she saw me picked just a few pieces. Most in the queue were filling up their big places with at least 20 items! 

The owner was busy filling up the fish paste in the toufu.

There was a queue and the items ran out quite fast.

However, they were quick to replenish the stock.

As a super inexperienced shopper, I somehow found the food in the wet market fresher than supermarket. Especially the seafood and seafood, they looked like they were out of the sea not long ago. 

In fact, I have the impression that some stuff in the wet markets are more expensive as they are of high quality, fresh and specially imported in limited quantities ! What do you think?

7. A Place For The Early Birds

It's no doubt a place for the early birds! The market opens before the roosters crow and most stalls are cleared out by noon! I had wanted to take some photos few weeks back and all I saw was them cleaning up their stalls. Haha.

The peak hours stretched from 9 to 11am. That's when the market gets super lively and crowded.

8. A Place With Hidden Treasures

I'm a big fan of roasted pork and char siew! So, I was so happy and surprised to see this big stall! I didn't know wet market has such stalls. This "Choong Kee Roasted Food Industry" even have their own factory and sells their meat to other stalls.

The owner shared that it's cheaper to have a stall in the market than the hawker. 

I'm certainly going back to buy some next time! Auntie advised to come early as the meats were usually sold out by noon.

It's neighbour, Guan Heng Roasted Meat, was also having good business. It was 6 plus and their orders are all packed!

9. A Place Not Only For Food

It's interesting to see shops of different kinds. There were flowers, clothes and services like tailoring! I was amazed to see a jewelry shop - those goldsmith kind!

10. A Place That Brings Back Memories

This trip to the wet market brought back many memories of the past. My brother and I used to go marketing with my mother when we were younger. I disliked the place as it was wet, slippery and smelly. Yet it's one place that helped to fill our tummies with healthy home cooked food.

After being a mother who cooks daily (for Emma), I realised that wet markets are actually very interesting place if I could master the art of shopping in wet markets - bargaining, getting freebies, building relationships with the seller and getting the best cuts from the piles.

With the boom of supermarkets and online marketing, wet market seems to become a place very foreign to the younger generation. 

I doubt Emma would grow up knowing how markets are like as I have never brought her to one until now. I might when she is older but it's hard to carry her and all the loots around now. Hopefully, this blog train will give her and some other young generation a glimpse of this special part of the old days that they had yet to experience.

Click on the badge below for a long list of markets!

Next up, we have Steven - a father of 4, who neither does the marketing nor cooks for the family. The only thing he is good at would be playing the fool with his 4 kiddos and having fun. But he did grow up in a wet market in Telok Blangah Rise where his dad worked as a butcher, and where he learnt how to handle the cleaver and axe as a young boy. Read about his childhood memories of the wet market at The “Perfect” Father 

Happy Marketing!!


Thank you for reading and I welcome you to link up on Facebook & Instagram! :D See you around!


  1. What a detailed tour of Clementi Wet Market! Now I know which stalls to go to when I'm there for marketing. Thanks for jumping on board the blog train! :D

    1. Thanks to you! I got to ventured the wet market! :) I had fun!

  2. Nice! Enjoy this post as once in a blue moon, I come to this market for lunch and swing by the pasar (i work near by and some of the stall aren't closed yet in mid noon) for some ad-hoc purchase to stock up the fridge.

    And kudos to you, early bird! I know I need to wake up early to avoid severe crowd in the market, but I could only made it once when I had jet lag:(. I need lots of determination to beat the sleep-devil! Haa.