Scrolling through Instagram, you’d see many of your friends’ food and cafe posts as they tap the latest food trends such as last year’s Dalgona coffee and Basque burnt cheesecake (think hits from Cat and The Fiddle). While Instagrammable desserts get the bytes, traditional Asian kuehs—the OG of sweet bites—will always have a place in our hearts!
The Malay word ‘kueh’, or variants of its spelling like kuih, kway or kue when used by other ethnic groups, means ‘cake’. And in Singapore, we’re blessed to have a wide variety of sweet and savoury kuehs including Malay, Indonesian, Peranakan and Chinese types.
And we think the best kuehs capture that authentic taste and feel of homemade goodies.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane, before the arrival of trendy sweet treats, and visit the old and new places that sell local handmade kuehs. Our places deliver islandwide too, so if you’re feeling that itch to order some in after reading this, you know what to do.
1. Ah Yee’s Soon Kueh: Handmade Soon Kueh
From its humble beginnings at Dunman Hawker Center in 2004, Ah Yee’s Soon Kueh gained fame for its delicate flavor and consistent high quality, resulting in a large customer base. Up till this day, the owner, Mdm Tay Lee Tiong, is affectionately known as Ah Yee by her customers. Each batch is prepared on the same day to ensure optimum freshness. Taste the freshness from their Soon Kueh (from $1.40), with glistening thin translucent skin.
2. HJH Maimunah: Traditional malay cakes that are both pretty and delicious
Beside serving authentic Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine, Hjh Maimunah also serves a vast collection of traditional kuehs in Singapore. Go for the classics here for a taste of nostalgia, try out the Traditional Malay Kueh (from $5 for 5 pcs), featuring a beautiful array of delectable Malay kuehs. To have a good afternoon tea session, get a cup of hot tea, and take a bite of their creamy and smooth pandan custard, with the fragrant glutinous rice. Simply a perfect match!
3. Penang Place: Authentic bite-sized goodies & the rare Pulut Tai Tai
Besides serving an array of authentic Penang street food, Penang Place is also well-known for making traditional sweet treats. Introducing their Assorted Kueh Kueh (from $6.90 for 10 pcs), a platter where you can try a little something of everything. The pulut tai tai is an uncommon type of kueh you’ll find in Singapore. The edible gem is made with fluffy glutinous rice and steamed with fragrant coconut milk, then doused with creamy kaya jam. Not one to be missed.
4. Poh Cheu Kitchen: Old-school gem-like kuehs
Established in 1985 with only one goal in mind, to create the best ang ku kuehs and soon kuehs. Over the years, Poh Cheu Kitchenhas incorporated many modern and unconventional flavours so that they keep up with the trends. Ranging from traditional flavours to modern varieties, check out the famous Ang Ku Kueh (from $12 for Box of 10) and take your pick from Peanut, Coconut, Mango, Durian and more! The skin is thin and chewy, and the team never fails to be generous in their filling. You can only imagine the how bright I gleamed when I found out they delivered islandwide!
5. Restaurant Kin: Local heritage goodies
Always believing in preserving culinary heritage, Restaurant Kin stands firmly by their values, which is to bring a taste of Singapore Heritage at home with their loved ones. The Kin Dessert Platter (from $24.00)is one to have the best of all things simple and sweet. Munch on Kueh Kosui, Kueh Bengkah, Sugee Cake, and more. Perfect for sharing, as well as for gifting to a special someone to brighten someone’s day. With islandwide delivery in place, pop your order and have it brought to you!
6. The Coconut Club Kuih Cakes: Kueh Salat & Kueh Bingka Cake
The same fresh, top-notch coconuts that flavours their famous nasi lemak goes into The Coconut Club‘s nonya kuehs, offered as hit dessert platter at the restaurant. Now, its three signature favourites can be ordered online via The Coconut Club Kuih Cakes—all of them made fresh daily.
Kueh salat, a steamed pandan custard cake with a glutinous rice base, has seen such a popularity surge in recent years that they’re even birthday cake options. The Coconut Club’s rich, flavourful Kuih Salat Cake ($41.25, half-sized; $42.50 full-sized) isn’t overly sweet, and is a crowd pleaser.
Also offered are Kuih Kosui Cake ($66), a chewy steamed palm sugar cake covered in fresh grated coconut, and Kuih Bingka Cake (from $33.00), also known as baked tapioca cake,
All three are great for a teatime snack. Order a whole cake for the family, or slice it up and pace yourself. Breakfast? Tea break? Dessert? Yes, yes and yes.