Think you’ve tasted the best that Singapore has to offer? Add these hand-crafted heritage treats, which continue to survive today, to your list.
These establishments are awardees of the inaugural Heritage Heroes programme which showcases the country’s traditional food culture. Don’t miss the chance to try these tasty bites while you’re in Singapore.
DONA MANIS CAKE SHOP
What: This 20-year-old confectionery, run by husband-and-wife team Tan Keng Eng and Soh Tho Lang, bakes its own signature banana pie, a perfect combination of crisp, crumbly crust filled with sliced banana, and coconut and almond crunch. Other tasty treats include rum balls, scones, apple pies and buns.
Where: Katong Shopping Centre, 865 Mountbatten Road, B1-93
Info: Call 6440-7688
SZE THYE CAKE SHOP
What: Founded in 1950, this Teochew bakery owned by Mr Koh Sun Liang still painstakingly handcrafts its traditional pastries, biscuits and peanut candy, and also makes sugar sculptures for festive occasions.
Where: 2 Beach Road, 01-4795
Info: Call 6337-7010
CHIN MEE CHIN
What: For more than 70 years, Chin Mee Chin has been an institution for the local breakfast trinity of kaya toast, soft-boiled eggs and kopi. Other nostalgic delights include fluffy raisin buns, custard puffs, cream horns, sugar Swiss rolls and sugee cake.
Where: 204E East Coast Road
Info: Call 6345-0419
What: Few make ang ku kueh like those at Ji Xiang, run by Ms Toh Bong Yeo, which have been hand-made since 1988. The red kueh, which is shaped like a tortoise shell (pictured) to symbolise longevity, has a thin glutinous rice skin encasing traditional fillings such as peanut, sweet bean paste, and salty bean paste. More modern flavours include durian and yam.
Where: 1 Everton Park, 01-33
Info: Call 6223-1631 or go to www.facebook.com/JiXiangConfectionery.AngKuKueh
TRADITIONAL HAIG ROAD PUTU PIRING
What: Madam Noor Zela Zain and her husband Mohamad Hashim Jumaat make their putu piring using a family recipe that has stood the test of time since the 1950s. Double-steamed rice flour encases a molten centre of gula melaka and is served with salted grated coconut.
Where: Haig Road Hawker Centre, 14 Haig Road, 01-08; and Tristar Complex, 970 Geylang Road, 01-02
Info: Call 9456-7573
SING HON LOONG (GHEE LEONG)
What: With more than 50 years of history, Sing Hon Loong, run by Mr Lai Chee Peng, is one of the oldest bread-makers in Singapore. More than 1,000 loaves of traditional white and brown loaves are produced daily and distributed to local coffee shops.
Where: 4 Whampoa Drive
Info: Call 6256-0878
JIE BAKERY & CONFECTIONERY
What: One of the few remaining traditional bakeries that turn out freshly baked loaves with charred crusts. They are nothing fancy, just plain good bread, with creamy kaya and butter. Run by Mr Mah Hock Hiong.
Where: 123 Upper Paya Lebar Road
Info: Call 6281-1377
What: Originally a dim sum shop in the 1930s, Tong Heng is now run by the third generation of the Fong family. Its signature diamond- shaped egg tart, with a thin and flaky crust filled with smooth custard filling, is still made by hand. The shop also sells mooncakes, Chinese pastries, biscuits and kaya.
Where: 285 South Bridge Road, and 1 Jurong West Central 2, Jurong Point Mall B1-10
Info: Call 6223-3649
Eunice Quek, The Straits Times, August 31, 2014
Photo: Ji Xiang Confectionery’s Facebook page