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    Have A Taste Of Nostalgia With Singapore’s Oldest Meal Delivery Services, Tingkat Delivery!

    Brandon Loo

    Giving busy Singaporeans a taste of home-cooked food since the 1950s

    These days, It wouldn’t be a strange sight to see bento boxes of various shapes and sizes being carried around food courts or restaurants as people favour these reusable containers to hold their meals.?


    Photo by Ethan Hu

    Be it for the trend, the environment or hygiene, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, I won’t deny checking every one of those boxes for each of my food escapades.?

    Video by Andy Yang

    Turn the clock back a couple of years and the same was happening. Albeit less because of the trend, but more for the necessity. Singaporeans in the 1950s swapped modern-day bento boxes for tiffin carriers.

    A little Tingkat history

    Tingkat or tiffin carriers are cylindrical multi-layered tin cans that hold food. You would most definitely see them in Wong Kar Wai films or even The Little Nyonya, retro much.


    Back to the food side of things, much like how we would enjoy Cai Fan (mixed rice) today, with rice and a variety of side dishes. Tingkat meals are similar throughout, except that each side dish is separated in different compartments. This means no sauces will be mixed!?


    Photo by Haryo Setyadi

    Wives or mothers would pack home-cooked meals in these Tingkat for their husbands or children to eat during lunch. And on the way home, some will dabao dinner in the same Tingkats, talk about being economical.?

    Food deliveries back in the day

    If there’s one thing that I can’t live without in today’s climate, that would be food delivery services. Especially with the current Circuit Breaker measures, it’s thanks to these delivery men that Singaporeans are still able to indulge in some form of joy, their favourite meal.


    Photo by Debbie Tea

    Priorities were different in olden Singapore, where Tingkat services were sought after by families with working parents or those living with the elderly who could not afford the time to whip up a meal. Because a hot home-cooked meal is truly the best remedy for a long day's work.

    Traditionally, Tingkat deliveries consist of your typical spread of home-cooked delights; meat, vegetables, rice, and soup. But evolving with the times, the type of cuisines that Tingkat deliveries have now includes Nyonya and even Thai.

    How do Tingkat deliveries work

    Operating on a subscription service, you get to customize your meal plans in terms of the menu, days of delivery, and length of subscription.?

    A delivery person will deliver the food in a Tingkat to your house at your preferred date and time. Various Tingkat delivery companies provide their meals in plastic containers too.

    Video by BananaManaTV

    With the current COVID-19 situation, Tingkat deliveries are perfect if you have elderly family members living alone or with you at home. With meals delivered to your doorstep daily, you will still be able to enjoy the taste of a home-cooked meal without stepping out! It will also give your elderly family members a chance to reminisce about the old days.?

    Enjoy $8 off a modern mix of cuisines delivered to your home with a Tingkat meal plan

    Book your coupon vouchers on Klook and choose from 243 different Tingkat menus on Foodline.sg for a delicious meal with your family!?

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