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Geylang Serai Cendol Since 1910 ● Oldest Cendol in Singapore

Geylang Serai Cendol is the oldest operating cendol stall in Singapore. It is run by the third generation now and hasn't changed much since the 1910s.

Stall name: Geylang Serai Cendol

Address: 1 Geylang Serai, stall #02-107, Singapore 402001 (stall inside Geylang Serai Market & Food Centre)

Nearest MRT: 10 minutes walk from Paya Lebar station

Tel: 9090 605

Hours: 9:00am - 6:00pm

Geylang Serai Cendol's cendol is pretty basic - just noodles in coconut milk dressed with coconut palm sugar. This is the OG original since the founder Maidin bin Ahmad's time in the 1910s.

Today, this costs $2 a serving.

No red beans, a sign declared prominently. Corn, attap seed, agar agar jelly, durian, that's all cendol blasphemy 👿

Mdm Bedah Maidin said adding red beans will change the taste of the original cendol. I agree 👍

Founder Maidin bin Ahmad came to Singapore from India in the 1910s. He joined fellow Indian Muslims to sell cendol from a push cart. The Indian Muslim hawkers had learned how to make cendol from Indonesians in Geylang Serai.

Maidin later moved into the old Geylang Serai market in 1951. Maidin passed on 1955 and his wife ran the cendol stall until 1964 when she handed the business to son Yunos and his wife Bedah. They moved the stall into its present location at Geylang Serai Market & Food Centre in 2009. Today, the stall is run by Maidin's grandsons Faisel and Rezal (the third Generation) who had ran the stall for nearly 20 years now.

At Geylang Serai Cendol, the signature green noodles which the dessert is named after is short, stubby, and shaped like tear drops but pointy at both ends. (It's like Chinese rat tail noodles.)

The green colour comes from pandan leaves. In Singapore and Malaysia, pandan green cendol is most common but in Indonesia, they have cendol of many different colours such as green from basil leaf, even blacken with charcoal, etc.

At Geylang Serai Cendol, the cendol noodle made of rice flour is very smooth and tender soft. I actually mostly just swallow it and let it slide down my throat with coconut milk and coconut palm sugar.

The coconut milk is, however, from cartons as is the norm in Singapore today (not freshly squeezed from grated coconut pulp), so it lacks that subtle floral fragrance.

I like it that at Geylang Serai Cendol the whole dessert is not overly sweet. Geylang Serai Cendol uses premium grade coconut palm sugar from Tanjung Pinang. It is not adulterated with refined cane sugar, so it is not sugary but mildly sweet with a floral fragrance.

I also like the texture of the ice which is not too fine yet not like gritty hard little icy stones. 

The ice melts rather quickly especially on a hot day and turns the dessert into a nice cold slurpy drink.

Written by Tony Boey on 20 Feb 2023

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