Hong Shan Ang Ku Kueh – Authentic Teochew Kueh Made From Scratch!
We arrived at a coffeeshop in a quiet Toa Payoh neighbourhood. As we found our seats, we could hear the indistinct chattering in the background and the clanking of metal spoons against porcelain coffee cups. The atmosphere was perhaps appropriate as we were here today for a piece of the old-school Ang Ku Kueh and Soon Kueh.
Hong Shan Ang Ku Kueh has been around for 30 years. I bet you can already guess that they make everything from scratch — from the dough and fillings to the chilli sauce that you can help yourself to at the counter. The owner, Xian Wen, greeted us from the kitchen as he was rolling out the dough. When asked for our order, I replied, “One of everything.” We shouldn’t hold back when we have the luxury to try authentic food, right?
Aren’t they pretty?
The Ang Ku Kueh ($1 per piece) from Hong Shan Ang Ku Kueh were like little gems on the plate, glistening and inviting. There were traditional flavours such as peanut and tau sar, as well as modern flavours like mango, durian and matcha. The common trait that they all share was the same soft and jelly-like skin that encompassed the fillings. The kuehs at Hong Shan Ang Ku Kueh were chewy but not rubbery or difficult to bite through. All of the flavours were assertive and enjoyable.
We moved on to the other plate. There were 4 variants this time—turnip($1.20), chives ($1.20) and bamboo shoots ($1.40) as well as the pink peng kueh ($1.40). The kuehs were wrapped with a delicate skin too, only this time they gave way to a fragrant savoury filling made with black fungus, hae bi, carrots and of course the primary ingredient you ordered. The fresh sweetness of the vegetables was complemented by the saltiness of the hae bi. You can also add the sweet sauce and chilli sauce to amp up the taste of your kueh.
A big talking point when it comes to soon kueh is whether the stall steams their own bamboo shoots and not use a popular substitute, turnip (bang kuang). Xian Wen explained to us that it is difficult to procure fresh bamboo shoots. He would go to the market to search for the produce, but no supplier would have it. The alternative will be to use frozen bamboo shoots but it comes with a certain smell that requires meticulous handling to remove. This is why many establishments across Singapore turn to use turnip instead. Hong Shan Ang Ku Kueh carefully prepares the frozen bamboo shoots for their soon kueh.
Xian Wen is a master of Teochew kuehs, so we asked him if he likes to eat ang ku kueh, to which he replied with a resounding yes. He then divulged that his favourite dessert is actually cheesecake. We playfully joked that since he already incorporates modern flavours like matcha into his ang ku kueh, perhaps he could create his very own cheesecake ang ku kueh. He laughed and said that if the market is agreeable, he is more than capable to make one.
What do you think of cheesecake ang ku kueh? Innovative or blasphemous?
Address: 51 Lor 5 Toa Payoh Singapore 310051
Phone: 6256 9920
Opening Hours: 8am to 3.30pm daily, Closed on Wednesdays.
MissTamChiak.com made an anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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