Throwback to the days of yesteryear, and the arrival of teatime would mean the brandishing of various old-school snacks. Think: old-school biscuits, kuehs… the list goes on! Years have gone by, and yet many of us still crave for these nostalgic flavours. What if we told you that these traditional snacks have been taken up a notch, with these time-honoured recipes now being offered with a twist?
Creativity and innovation have come into play over the years, with various bakers giving the humble kueh a modern makeover – all whilst staying true to their culture. Intrigued? Here are some places to hit up for your kueh-with-a-twist craving:
Visit any Pasar Malam and you’d see a stall peddling Tutu Kueh (or Putu Piring), which is a steamed rice flour cake with various fillings. The usual Tutu Kueh contains fillings of coconut and peanut – however, ChubTutuSG has started offering them with a range of other flavours.
Interesting flavours include gula melaka, kaya, egg mayo, rainbow sprinkles, butterscotch, nutella or milo. They also have D24 durian, mentaiko, otah, salmon wasabi, and chilli tuna flavours! During Chinese New Year, they even had a CNY Special that featured chicken bak kwa.
That’s not all: ChubTutuSG also modifies the traditional peanut Muah Chee, offering it in Black Sesame ($3) or Matcha ($3.50) varieties.
Address: Block 759 Yishun Street 72, #01-298
Kueh Ho Jiak
Helmed by a mother-daughter duo, Kueh Ho Jiak boasts a wide range of local snacks – including a zhng-ed up ang ku kueh. Looking as pretty as a picture, the kuehs are coloured in colourful hues, the result of natural colouring from sweet potatoes. Five varieties of sweet potatoes are used, which give the kuehs a unique texture. They also come in different shapes such as flowers, cartoon characters, and fish; you never know what you might find!
These delicacies come in different flavours: try the durian, peanut (made with peanut butter!), hae bee hiam (spicy dried shrimps), coconut and gula melaka, mung bean, yam, D24 durian, and more.
Address: Block 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, #02-20 Tanjong Pagar Food Centre
Sink your teeth into Pantree’s Cafe’s min jiang kuehs, which put a fresh spin on the traditional crispy pancake. Be spoilt for choice for over 20 types of fillings, which are segregated into three categories of classic, sweet, and savoury.
Sweet tooths will delight in the nutella, speculoos, and peanut butter variations. Heartier savoury versions include ham and cheese, as well as chicken floss and egg. Otherwise, you won’t go wrong with the classic flavours, which include peanut, cream corn, and kaya!
Address: 5 Straits View, #B2-24 Marina One The Heart
Keeping up with the times, Kueh Garden offers a wide variety of ang ku kuehs. Choose from the usual flavours of peanut and green bean, or get creative with unique flavours such as coconut, coffee, green tea, yam, durian, and milo.
All of the kuehs at Kueh Garden are made by hand and with traditional methods, infusing nostalgia into each bite. Their kuehs are available in full or mini sizes, with an assorted box of twelve available for those who are simply spoilt for choice.
Address: Block 348 Jurong East Avenue 1, #01-1245
Visit one Michelin-starred Candlenut to sample an elevated version of the kueh salat. Usually comprising a layer of pandan custard nestled above a bed of rice coloured with blue pea, the kueh salat is a savoury Peranakan dessert that’s loved by many. Inspired by the chef’s love for the pandan custard, Candlenut’s version features a generous layer of custard, coupled with a much thinner layer of rice.
This specialty is made fresh on a daily basis, with only 20 portions available for dinner every night!
Address: 17A Dempsey Road
Whilst honouring and paying homage to their culture, these bakers have indeed found a way to strike a good balance between tradition and modernity. Which of these will you try first?