- Ji Xiang Confectionary Facebook page
It is no secret that Singapore has a love affair with food. For Singaporeans, many of our best memories are someway or another related to eating good food.
But the sad fact is that many of our most beloved snacks and delicacies are now becoming a thing of the past. In their place, machine-made kuehs and western-style snacks have taken over restaurants and supermarkets all across the island.
Instead of sinking our teeth into a warm and crisp oyster cake, we are now queuing up for trendy foods like thick toast and cheese tarts.
There is no reason to despair (yet) though. There are many stalls which are still making Singapore-style snacks the traditional way.
We’ve shortlisted 7 of our favourite traditional snack stalls below. So if you’re craving the familiar tastes of your childhood, here’s where to look:
1) Hainan Xiao Chi (Hainan cuisine and snacks)
This hawker stall at a market food centre in Toa Payoh still makes its own traditional Hainanese confectionery.
Many Hainanese here rely on this stall for their supply of yi buah, a glutinous rice dumpling filled with coconut, peanut and sesame filling. Another interesting dish to try here is the rice noodle dessert called kweh dai jian or “chicken poop noodles”.
Where: Block 22 Toa Payoh Lorong 7, #01-35, Singapore 310022 Opening hours: 7am–1pm Website: https://www.facebook.com/hainan.xiaochi
2) Mr Wadeh
Wadeh is not as uncommon a dish as yi buah, but a good wadeh is still hard to find.
The owner of this stall sells a mean version of freshly fried prawn wadeh at various pasar malams and bazaars across Singapore throughout the year. Long queues often form at Mr Wadeh stalls, so you will know if you’re at the right one.
If you are throwing a party of your own, Mr Wadeh can even fry up these delicious fritters for your guests on the spot.
Where: Various locations depending on season Website: https://www.facebook.com/mr.wadeh
3) Lina’s confectionery
Nothing beats the taste of homemade kueh.
This tiny shop located a few doors down from the famous Keng Eng Kee Seafood restaurant in Alexandra Village sells one of the best Indonesian kueh lapis in town.
It also sells a large variety of other Indonesian kueh kueh such as ondeh ondeh, rainbow steam lapis and bika ambon. The store, which has been around since 1989, has many regulars and fans who love Lina’s authentic and traditional kueh.
Where: 124 Bukit Merah Lane 1, Singapore 150124 Opening hours: 9:30am-8pm Website: https://linaconfectionery.com/
4) Ji Xiang Confectionery
Ang ku kueh lovers would have all heard about this Everton Park bakery renowned for its nyonya version of the red tortoise cake.
Family-run Ji Xiang Confectionery has been around since the 1980s, and continues to make the same great flavours in-house. Longtime fans often praise the bakery for making ang ku kueh with generous fillings, and for ang ku kueh skin which is not too chewy or sticky.
Today, the shop makes up to 7 flavours of ang ku kueh daily, including peanut, sweet bean, salted bean, corn, coconut, yam and durian (a seasonal flavour).
Where: 1 Everton Park, Singapore 081001 Opening hours: 9am-5pm (closed on Sundays) Website: http://jixiangconfectionery.com.sg/
5) Maxwell Fuzhou Oyster Cake
Oyster cakes are endangered here in Singapore. You may see them being sold at the occasional pasar malam, but the Chinese snack has fallen under the radar for a number of years now.
It’s a pity, because when made right, these golden-brown oyster cakes in the shape of UFOs can bring about so much happiness with their crispy exteriors and warm, meaty insides.
Thankfully, this Maxwell Food Centre stall provides a steady supply of freshly-fried oyster cakes in the heart of the CBD. Be warned though, such greasy goodness will leave you wanting more, and you could find yourself wanting it more than you should.
Where: #01-05 Maxwell Food Centre Opening hours: 9am-8pm Website: https://www.facebook.com/maxwellfuzhouoystercake/
6) Hougang 6 Mile Famous Muah Chee
We’re all familiar with peanut-covered mua chee which resembles pebbles on a sandy beach. But this stall at Toa Payoh HDB Hub has earned itself many fans with its black-coloured mua chee tossed in fine sesame.
The fragrant and chewy balls of glutinous rice are dipped in scallion oil before being coated, giving them an extra oomph with every bite.
Where: 480 Toa Payoh North, Hub Gourmet Paradise Food Court Stall 21 Opening hours: 1030am-930pm
7) Traditional Haig Road Putu Piring
Probably the most famous putu piring shop in Singapore, this Haig Road business sells delicious steamed cakes made from a family recipe from the 1950s.
Best eaten hot, the gula melaka that greets you when you bite into a white fluffy cake is just delightful. The traditional dessert is available year round and is the perfect ending to any kind of meal.
The brand, which is more than 30 years old, has expanded to 4 outlets but its Haig Road stall remains the most popular among them.
Where: 14 Haig Rd, Haig Road Food Center, #01-07 Opening hours: 11am-11pm Website: https://www.facebook.com/haigroadputupiring/