One of Singapore’s most popular local dessert is Cheng Tng 清汤 (sometimes spelt “Ching Teng”)?
That is because this is a bowl of sweet and refreshing treat to beat the summer heat.
Cheng Tng literally means “clear soup”, included with many nutritious ingredients such as pang da hai (胖⼤海), gingko, pearl barley, dried longans, red dates, white fungus and dried lotus seed. However, there are some versions that don’t put certain ingredients (due to cost and effort needed to prepare), and include jelly or agar agar instead.
They key ingredient to many is pang dai hai, a type of dried malva nut which has a cooling effect and disperses qi to bring down body heat (not advisable for pregnant woman to have though). However, I noticed that some places left out this ingredient already.
Ye Lai Xiang Hot and Cold Cheng Tng 夜来香清汤
Stall #31, 1 Bedok Rd, Bedok Food Centre, Singapore 469572
Tel: +65 9299 5062
Opening Hours: 9am – 7:30pm (Wed – Sun), Closed Mon, Tues
This is one of the most well-known Cheng Tng stalls in Singapore, located at a slightly hard to find that Bedok Corner Food Centre. But people do go all the way to the East for this cooling treat.
However, do note that they are not always opened (especially for those who intend to go the distance); and there were some customers who commented on the dip in standard and portion from the past though.
Operated by 3rd generation hawkers, their Cheng Tng ($3) is considered more expensive than the average.
The higher price tag could be due to its fame and a bowl of 11 different ingredients – from dried longan, gingko nut, sweet potato, barley, sago, like dried persimmon and winter melon, cooked with rock sugar.
When I last had it (some time back), I felt like it was a complete bowl of Cheng Tng with the variety and sweetness.
No Name Dessert
69 #01-490 Bedok South Ave 3, Block 69, Singapore 460069
Tel: +65 9181 1909
Opening Hours: 12:30pm – 8:15pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
This shop used to be called “No Name Cheng Tng” but has expanded to be called “No Name Dessert”.
Instead of just a single item, they offer Ice Kachang, Green Bean Soup, Red Bean Soup, and Pulut Hitam.
At $1.70, this is one of those bowls with a lot of liao from dry persimmon, gingko nuts, longan, winter melon, pang da hai, snow fungus to soft sweet potato cubes.
Yatkayan Dessert 一家人
Fortune Centre #02-08 190 Middle Road Singapore 188979
Tel: +65 9631 2359
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 9:30pm, Last Order 8:45pm (Mon – Sun)
Yatkayan Dessert 一家人is an under-the-radar dessert shop at a hidden corner at Fortune Centre Level 2.
Their Cheng Tng ($3.20) is packed with 8 different types of ingredients such as white fungus, dried longans, and barley.
A standout ingredient different from the others is “handmade meepok jelly”, cooked with a special type of sugar such that it does not taste that sweet.
Their desserts are available via foodpanda delivery for those staying around the Bugis area; or islandwide delivery for orders above $15. Whatsapp +65 9631 2359 to place orders.
Xi Le Ting
31 Commonwealth Crescent, #02-70 Market & Food Centre, Singapore 149644
Opening Hours: 12pm – 6pm or sold out (Thurs – Sun), Closed Mon – Wed
$1 dessert! Xi Le Ting serves up old-school desserts that have recipes that are being perfected since half a century.
You would spot an auntie behind the stall scooping endlessly, but do not expect her to smile much.
Recommendation: please be precise and clear with orders, and don’t be surprised if some desserts are sold out early, early lunch.
There are four options at the stall, namely the famous Cheng Tng ($1), Green Bean Soup ($1), Red Bean Soup ($1) and Sweet Wheat Porridge ($1). Takeaways are priced at $1.20.
The refreshing Cheng Tng contains plentiful of ingredients from white fungus, dried longan, barley, dried persimmon to ‘pang da hai’ (boat sterculia seed).
Love that this is very nostalgic-tasting served in a traditional porcelain bowl and is super affordable.
Four Seasons Ching Tng
#01-34, 448 Clementi Ave 3, Singapore 120448
Opening Hours: 9am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
There are a couple of Four Seasons Cheng Tng stalls around, from Clementi 448, Toa Payoh Lor 8, Ang Mo Kio Ave 6, to Marine Parade Central Food Centre.
Four Seasons Ching Tng stall solely serves Cheng Tng, one of the few dessert stalls around that specialise in this one item. (They do have a more-famous Chendol counterpart.)
Priced at $2.20, the single bowl of contains quite a lot of ingredient such as lotus seeds, longan, boiled barley, white fungus dried persimmon, sago to a more uncommonly found strips of cooling winter melon.
The chilled version was loaded with dried longan that wasn’t too sickly sweet, with diced dried persimmon to chew on. Enjoyed that it was not just one dimensionally sweet and has quite a layered refreshing taste.
22 Lor 7 Toa Payoh, #01-21, Singapore 310022
Tel: +65 9272 5712
Opening Hours: 11am – 6pm (Mon – Sat)
Dove Desserts at Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre is one of those that serve up ‘everything under the sky’, and its two recommended are the Nyonya Chendol ($1.80) and Cheng Tng ($1.20).
So I was half wondering if the Cheng Tng would be impressive, but I was first won over by the fast and friendly service despite the long queue.
Their Cheng Tng ($1.20) was actually much better than expected, lightly and pleasantly sweet.
Ingredients include fungus, dried persimmon and winter melon, and the owner insists on not adding the more ‘modern’ ingredients such as agar agar just to fill the bowl up.
The Cheng Tng is always sold out, so don’t be disappointed if you do not get your bowl.
51 Old Airport Rd, #01-31, Singapore 390051
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Wed – Mon), Closed Tues
Not much has been talk about this stall at Old Airport Road Food Centre, selling only two local desserts of Cheng Tng and Chengdol.
The owner isn’t stingy with the serving size either, filled with ginkgo nuts, sweet potatoes, white fungus, dried winter melon and dried persimmons for a mouth-watering sugary fix.
Talking about sugary, I did think it would be perfect if the sweetness could have been lowered a few notches.
Teck Kee Hot & Cold Dessert
2 Adam Rd, #01-31 Adam Road Food Centre, Singapore 289876
Opening Hours: 12pm – 11:30pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
There are a number of old-school desserts sold at this stall, from Ice Kachang ($2.30), Chin Chow Longan ($2.3), Gingko Nuts & Lotus Seeds ($2.80), and Tao Suan ($1.80).
Their Cheng Tng ($2) which would be considered a more ‘modern’ version was refreshing (especially after some heaty BBQ food here), with ingredients of dried longan, ice jelly and white fungus. Didn’t find the ‘pang da hai’ though.
Special mention goes to the small jelly balls (like pearls) that added some soft touch. I thought that it was slightly on the sweet side.
Ayman Alam Desserts (Traditional Cheng Tng)
Stall #13, 20 Kensington Park Rd, Singapore 557269
Tel: +65 9786 5544
Opening Hours: 5:30pm – 11:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Chomp Chomp Food Centre contains a number of stalls selling ‘heaty’ dishes, so a few more dessert stalls will be welcomed.
Two interesting aspects to Ayman Alam Desserts: it serves up JUST Cheng Tng; and the stall is Muslim-owned.
Their Cheng Tng ($2.80) was indeed refreshing, and the perfect way to beat the heat of this food centre.
Also note-worthy is that the bowl was chock-full of ingredients, from candied winter melon to soft sweet potatoes. Thankfully, not overly sweet too.
The only thing I wished were that the cold version was served with crushed ice rather than ice cubes.
Mohamed Sultan Road Hot & Cold Cheng Tng
#01-32 Zion Road Food Centre, 70 Zion Rd, Singapore 247792
Opening Hours: 12pm – 9pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
I need to tell you that this version of Cheng Tng at Zion Riverside Food Centre is entirely different from the traditional types you may be used to.
The stall only sells a few items, including Hot/Cold Cheng Tng ($2), Ginkgo Nut Longan Soup ($2.50), Ginkgo Nut Soup ($2.50) and Ginkgo Nut Sweet Potato Soup ($2.50). I would usually add on the soft ginkgo nuts.
For a bowl of Cheng Tng, it contains ingredients canned longans and lychees that may put off some fans of the classic recipe off. But I have friends who like this taste which remains unchanged from their old days.
The base is also clear (and not brownish), with most of the sweetness coming from the canned syrup – so some would find this too artificially sweet.
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