Xin Tekka, a brand new food hall in Little India, has opened with a stellar line-up of local hawker legends, comeback restaurateurs, and new-generation food entrepreneurs.
Spanning approximately 10,000 square feet and two floors, the new food court functions as an enabler for these well-loved brands to return and showcase their time-honoured food to an equally new generation of customers.
As a dining destination, guests can order in a mix-and-match format from all food concepts, and enjoy their food in the food hall’s rustic, hip atmosphere.
Amongst the various hawkers that make up the diverse tenants at this sprawling food court, two of them are currently offering halal food: Alhambra Satay and Da Boomz Delights.
Those of you who grew up in the 60s would be familiar with this satay hawker since its inception at wildly popular Satay Club.
Otherwise, you might have seen its outlet at Mr Teh Tarik Eating House in Geylang Serai.
The family business spanning generations has now branched out to a more central location in Xin Tekka, and we are living for it.
The stall in Geylang Serai is still manned by the original owner, whilst the new outlet is led by his niece.
Despite the generational gap, Alhambra Satay retains its original Javanese recipes and their ways of doing things.
For instance, the satay meats are still personally hand-cut piece by piece and their peanut sauce is still handmade in-house.
There are three satay choices to choose from: Chicken, Beef, and Mutton (10 Stick Satay with Rice Cake at $9).
Diners can opt for either one meat choice or all three – our personal recommendation.
Other notable dishes to try include their Kentang Ball ($8) and Tahu Telor ($8).
Da Boomz Delights
Like most other food brands, Da Boomz Delights made their rounds in food fairs, bazaars, and pop up events, gaining experience and capital before settling on their first physical stall in Xin Tekka.
Led by single mother Wardah and her best friend Ailin, Da Boomz Delights is best known for their Apam Balik in both traditional and modern flavours.
On top of their fluffy signature Classic Apam Balik flavour such as Peanut and Corn ($5), Da Boomz Delights offers other innovative premium flavours such as Biskopi ($8) a chocolatey delight sprinkled and topped with Biscoff biscuits, Copa Cabana ($8); a chocolate base Apam Balik with melt-in-your mouth banana slices and molten chocolate filling, and the moreish Durian King ($8) with creamy, sweet durian filling which will leave durian lovers wanting more.
Aside from that, Da Boomz Delights also sells irresistible Malay kueh made by Wardah’s mum, Ball Boomz ($4 for 10 pieces); mini dome-shaped buns filled with either kaya, Nutella, cheese or peanut butter and Saus Egg ($3); a fun-fair staple made of sausage on a stick wrapped in an egg omelette and drizzled with chilli sauce and cheese.
Heritage food in modern, eclectic setting
In stark contrast to the food on offer, Xin Tekka is dressed to impress the hipsters amongst us, or in us. We know we are!
The ground floor is where the various stalls are located, with the hawkers given liberty to design their stalls however way they want.
If you have ever been to PasarBella, Xin Tekka has very similar vibes, albeit with more familiar and pocket-friendly food options.
Seats are aplenty when we visited, with some actually placed in vacant stall units as they await new tenants to take up the space.
There are even vintage cinema chairs here!
But what really wowed us was the space on the second floor.
Tentatively not open to customers yet, the second floor is mainly reserved for a bar lounge where customers can chill out.
From what we can see, the vibe here is seemingly trendier and more comfortable. Think plush leather sofas and decorated walls for that ultimate Instagram backdrop.
More to come
From what we understand, Xin Tekka was forced to delay their opening initially, part of the state-mandated shutdown to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Other contributing factors that thwarted the management’s plans were also by-products of COVID-19, such as low tourism and the poor economy.
However, the tenants banded together and decided to open shop anyway despite the odds.
Whilst Xin Tekka may not be operating at 100 percent capacity right now, we admire the hawkers’ tenacity, grit, and kampong spirit to make the best out of the situation.
So let’s do our part in return and support these hawker-preneurs by visiting them.
Here’s where to find Xin Tekka:
2 Serangoon Road, Tekka Place Annex Building, #01–55/56/57/58/59, Singapore 218227
Halal status: Only Alhambra Satay and Da Boomz Delight are Muslim-owned at time of publishing.
Da Boomz Delights: 10am – 6pm (Sundays closed)
Alhambra Satay: 9am – 8pm (Mondays closed)