Peranakan Khek – There Maybe Hope for Traditional Nyonya Kueh
Apart from the Bengawan Solo chain, it is getting harder and harder to find places in Singapore that sell traditional Nyonya kueh. Many younger generation chefs prefer experimenting in molecular gastronomy or the Western fare, rather than laboriously toil in the kitchen, recreating traditional snacks.
With a penchant for the Peranakan cuisine, Ms Sharon Low opened Peranakan Khek along Cavan Road 1 and a half years ago. Ms Sharon is a member of the Y generation, so many would think that her kueh recipes came from her family. However, that is not the case. Ms Sharon shared that even though her grandmother is a Peranakan, she is better versed in the cooking and preparation of savoury dishes. Ms Sharon, who used to work as a pastry chef in the Prive Group, crafted and perfected her own recipes after numerous rounds of trial and error.
We were greeted with a colourful array of kuehs, from the likes of traditional Ang Ku Kueh ($2.20/piece) with mung bean filling, to Kueh Dadar ($2/piece), to the beautiful Kueh Salat ($2/slice) which uses natural blue colouring from Bunga Telang (blue pea flower) for the marbling effect on the glutinous rice. What’s more, all the kuehs are made in store daily.
Our favourite of the lot would be the Gula Melaka Chiffon Cake ($2/slice, $15/whole). Sharon shared that she sources the gula Melaka from Indonesia and Malacca, depending on batch quality and availability. This extra step does pay off. The palm sugar fragrance is sweet and robust, but what stood out for us was the fluffiness of the sponge cake. Have it with a cup of hot teh-c -the flavour of the cake goes in tandem with the creaminess of the tea.
The Kaffir Lime Butter Cake ($2.70/slice) is a refreshing twist on the otherwise boring butter cake. Rich and crumbly, the butter cake is well infused with the scent of Kaffir lime leaves, which have this very slight spice and tartness that left us wanting more.
Apart from the traditional Nyonya delights, Sharon does her own creative mix of kuehs too. For example, the bright pumpkin-orange Kueh Bulan ($2.50/piece) was inspired by her love for Chinese dessert flavours. Inside this tortoise-shell glutinous rice peel is a mix of mashed pumpkin seeds, candied wintermelon and sesame seeds. The kueh is sweet and nutty.
Albeit on the pricey side, each kueh is painstakingly and laboriously crafted out so we feel that the prices are actually pretty fair and reasonable. We wouldn’t mind indulging in these multi-coloured titbits while lounging out a lazy afternoon any day.
Note that the store only allows takeaways, and advance online orders are preferred.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.