89 Carrot Cake – Handmade Carrot Cake in Circuit Road
November 07, 2023
Last week, my intense craving for carrot cake led me to a hawker stall tucked away in MacPherson Market & Food Centre – 89 Carrot Cake.
This place had been on my bucket list for the longest time, and my excitement was palpable as I approached the stall. It was only 9:15 am when I arrived, but there was already a long queue. Thank goodness I was here early because I managed to snag one of the last few plates of carrot cake available for the day.
Uncle Zhang, the sole mastermind behind 89 Carrot Cake, runs the show single-handedly. I was amused to see that the payment system was based on trust – you simply place your money on the table and take your own change. There was something endearing about this old-school method in our fast-paced world.
The moment I took my first bite, I understood why people raved about this place. The carrot cake, made lovingly by Uncle Zhang, was a masterpiece. It’s silky soft with a creamy texture, and you can find small carrot cubes within. The irregularly-shaped cubes are cut manually and fried to perfection. The exterior of the cubes were slightly charred and crispy, while the inside remained soft and chewy. Uncle Zhang insists on using his own mix of chilli, sweet, and soy sauces, along with his secret ingredient, Cai poh (preserved radish), which infuses the dish with a unique and delightful aroma.
There was something magical about the experience – watching Uncle Zhang expertly handle his wok, the enticing aroma of the cai poh wafting through the air, and the anticipation of getting my plate of carrot cake.
Uncle Zhang’s careful frying technique ensures that the carrot cakes are well-fried, allowing the flavours to meld harmoniously. But what truly elevated the dish was the spicy chilli sauce. It was fiery, to say the least, and left my taste buds tingling with delight.
What fascinated me even more was Uncle Zhang’s story – a Teochew grandpa well past his retirement age, but still passionately frying his signature dish. His dedication to perfection was evident in every bite, and it made the long queue and early morning wake-up entirely worth it.
That day, I didn’t just enjoy a plate of carrot cake; I savoured a piece of Singaporean hawker history for breakfast.
89 Carrot Cake
Address: Blk 89 Circuit Road, MacPherson Market & Food Centre #01-102, Singapore 372052
Opening Hours: 6:30AM to 9.30AM or sold out, closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays