Best ondeh ondeh in Singapore
Whether you call it ondeh ondeh, ondeh-ondeh, or onde-onde, this chewy green kueh is a nostalgic favourite for many of us. Made with glutinous rice and hand-shaped to bite-sized balls, each round is traditionally infused with pandan, hence its appearance. Upon biting, a molten, gooey gula melaka centre is revealed. Fun fact: it originated from Indonesia, and is also known as klepon in Javanese!
As someone who grew up eating ondeh ondeh all my life—my siblings and I would often fight over the last ball in the box—it’s taken an unequivocal spot as my favourite Nyonya kueh. Hence, I sought to rank some of the best ondeh ondeh in Singapore, with big names such as Molly’s Kueh and Bengawan Solo in the mix.
As with all other handmade snacks, the quality of each ondeh ondeh might differ based on who’s making it for the day. Personal preferences are another key variable. For example, you may not agree with what I deem as the perfect ondeh: soft and chewy with a hint of natural pandan aroma, packed with a rich gula melaka lava middle that isn’t too sweet.
To set out this task, I came up with four main criteria: taste, texture, filling, and value.
A good ondeh ondeh should be well-balanced in flavour; each component should not overpower in terms of taste. This applies to the skin and the filling—both should complement each other. Bonus points are also awarded if the ondeh skin has a pleasant pandan fragrance.
Next, the texture of the skin is important. It should be soft but not mushy, with a slight chew. It should not be too thick either.
As for the filling, we’re rating it based on how much you get in each ball, in comparison to the amount of skin. The gula melaka filling should also be fresh and come with a rich depth of sweetness without being too jelak.
Lastly, the value-for-money aspect: we’re talking about the price per box in relation to the size of each piece.
We also made sure to visit each stall in the morning, before noon. Based on personal experience, ondeh ondeh is best purchased in the early part of the day, as its key ingredients (such as coconut) are prone to turning bad if left out for a prolonged period of time, especially with our humid climate.
7. Ang Mo Kio Nonya Kueh
Ang Mo Kio Nonya Kueh is a familiar name among Hougang residents, having been in the same spot under a HDB block for over 20 years. The hidden neighbourhood gem offers handmade kueh displayed without prices, including Ondeh Ondeh. A box of six goes at $2, making it the cheapest of the lot.
Interestingly, most of the ondeh balls in all the boxes were tainted with brown spots from the molten gula melaka filling, suggesting leakage during the cooking process. Nonetheless, each piece held a generous amount of palm sugar liquid that burst in the mouth without much effort.
Unfortunately, the filling was way too sweet, whereas the skin had a bit of a weird aftertaste. Also, the kueh skin was on the thicker side, though it was sufficiently soft and chewy.
Yet, all that isn’t enough to deter me from buying a box if I’m ever in the area—especially when I factor in its price tag.
Address: Hougang Avenue 3, #01-62 Block 7, Singapore 530007
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 8:30am to 6:30pm
Tel: 6455 4839
Ang Mo Kio Nonya Kueh is not a halal-certified eatery.
6. Molly’s Nonya Kuehs
Another popular Hougang spot is Molly Nonya Kuehs, which has been around since 1971. I’d like to preface that Molly’s regular-sized ondeh ondeh were so popular they had already sold out before we reached the store at 11am. So we had to settle on their XL size, priced at $0.90 each. The golf ball-sized ondeh was hefty and weighed a fair bit. At under $1 a pop, I thought it was a great deal for the portion I got.
While the giant ondeh ball didn’t have the usual molten palm sugar filling, the centre was liberally packed with brown shredded coconut. It seems like the coconut had been cooked in gula melaka, as it had a rich depth of sweetness and caramelly flavour, but wasn’t jelak. This was an enjoyable treat at an unbeatable price, and it wasn’t a bad rendition at all—I just wished the skin was a little less doughy.
Now I have to try their regular ondeh ondeh to see if it’s worth the hype.
Address: 104 Hougang Avenue 1, #01-1121, Singapore 530104
Opening hours: Mon, Sat 4am to 6:30pm, Tue-Fri 4am to 7:30pm, Sun 4am to 5pm
Tel: 6286 4234
Molly’s Nonya Kuehs is not a halal-certified eatery.
5. Makko Teck Neo
Family-run eatery Makko Teck Neo has been around for over 20 years, dishing out classic Peranakan fare and Nyonya kueh that’s prepared with traditional recipes. Their Ondeh Ondeh costs $3 for a box of six mini balls and comes coated with copious amounts of shaved coconut.
I found the kueh skin to be on the chewier end. The balls were also the smallest of the lot, so you were getting less bang for your buck. But this also meant each ondeh had more filling than skin, so the eating experience was very shiok.
While the gula melaka was delicious—it had a rich depth of flavour with a caramelly sweetness—I found it a tad too sweet. Also, the palm sugar taste had overwhelmed the pandan flavour of the ondeh skin, though I didn’t really mind it.
Address: 35 Telok Blangah Rise, #01-303, Singapore 090035
Opening hours: Daily 10am to 9pm
Tel: 6275 1330
Makko Teck Neo is not a halal-certified eatery.
4. HarriAnns Nonya Table
HarriAnns Nonya Table is a well-known family business that started out as a humble pushcart stall back in the 1940s. We visited their flagship Tiong Bahru Food Centre store, said to have been around since 1950.
NGL, $3.80 for a box of six was pretty pricey. Nonetheless, HarriAnn’s Ondeh Ondeh was well-executed—each round was consistently good, with soft and slightly chewy skin, packed with a lava-like filling that came with a crunchy gula melaka in the middle. The palm sugar centre tasted fresh and wasn’t too sweet, though it’s worth noting that one ball had already burst in the box.
Website | Full list of outlets
HarriAnns Nonya Table is not a halal-certified eatery.
3. Bengawan Solo
It doesn’t come as a surprise to me that Bengawan Solo made it to fourth place on this list of the best ondeh ondeh in Singapore. After all, I grew up eating Bengawan Solo’s ondeh ondeh as the popular homegrown brand was so readily accessible since they’re found at most neighbourhood malls!
If there’s one word to describe Bengwan Solo’s ondeh ondeh, it’s “well-balanced”. Each round came with a balanced skin-to-filling ratio, with a delicious gula melaka filling that wasn’t too sweet. There was a slightly pandan fragrance that complemented the rich notes of the palm sugar, though I wished there were some crunchy sugar bits within for some textural contrast.
Of course, $4.20 for a box of six is steep, but I think it’s worth the splurge if the cravings hit.
Website | Full list of outlets
Bengawan Solo is not a halal-certified eatery;
2. Kim Choo Kueh Chang
I knew I had to place Kim Choo Kueh Chang on the list as I was impressed with their Ondeh Ondeh when I first tried them last year. Thankfully, they didn’t disappoint this time around, tasting as good as I remembered them to be!
Priced at just $2.20 for a box of six, the ondeh at Kim Choo had the perfect ratio of skin to filling. Although it was on the thinner end, the soft and chewy skin held up well against the palm sugar middle that oozed out immediately after I sank my teeth into the kueh. The filling was rich and robust, with palm sugar bits for added texture.
My only gripe, if any, was that the pandan fragrance of the skin could be stronger.
Check out our Kim Choo Kueh Chang review!
Address: 60 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427784
Opening hours: Daily 9am to 9pm
Tel: 6344 0830
Kim Choo Kueh Chang is not a halal-certified eatery.
1. Lina’s Confectionery
Open since 1989, Lina’s Confectionery is an unassuming store that sits on the ground floor of a Bukit Merah HDB block, a couple of units away from Rookie’s Coffee Shop. TBH, I was initially thrown off by the bright green hue of the Bursting Onde-Onde ($2.60 for six), neatly arranged in the glass display.
Biting into the green ball proved otherwise. This turned out to be the best ondeh ondeh, a unanimous favourite between my photographer and me. The soft, QQ texture of the kueh was delectable, while the gula melaka filling did not disappoint, oozing out in abundance. The crunchy palm sugar bits added both texture and a deep, caramel-like sweetness that complemented the pandan-scented skin.
I’d travel all the way from the East just for a box of Lina’s Confectionery’s ondeh ondeh.
Address: 124 Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-138, Singapore 150124
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9:30am to 8pm, Sat 9:30am to 5:30pm
Tel: 6271 6996
Lina’s Confectionery is not a halal-certified eatery.
Where to buy ondeh ondeh in Singapore
Now that you know the best ondeh ondeh in Singapore, go forth and try them all!
Do note that this list is by no means exhaustive; there are many other noteworthy kueh stalls that we didn’t get a chance to include due to time constraints. Some of these include Xing Xing Ondeh-Ondeh Tapioca Cake and 68 Nonya Kueh.
If you’re looking for more old-school snacks to try, read our guide to the best pandan waffles in Singapore, priced from just $1.30! Otherwise, we’ve also ranked 10 best bak chor mee in Singapore, including a Michelin-starred name.
Photos taken by John Lery Villanueva.
This was an independent review by Eatbook.sg.