Modern Peranakan kueh shops around Singapore
There seems to be a rising interest in Straits-Chinese cuisine in recent years. Perhaps it’s because Singapore is now home to the first ever Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant. Or maybe it’s simply a revival of interest in the culture. Whatever it is, we can’t deny the fact that more and more pastry stores along with restaurants are taking painstaking efforts to churn out Nyonya kueh using both old-school and modern methods. See what all the fuss is about and swap your brownie during your next teatime with a trendy Peranakan kueh!
1. Niche Savoureuse
Image credit: @angel68o7
An unassuming cafe in Toa Payoh, Niche Savoureuse serves up decadent desserts and traditional Peranakan kueh with a modern twist. The recipes for their kueh are inherited from the owner’s mother, and they take pride in using quality ingredients, many of which are specially sourced for. Case in point is their gula melaka that is directly sourced from Melaka. Must-tries include their best-selling Pulau Hitam ($4.90) which comes as a slice of cake and features a delicate pandan custard over a sweet black glutinous rice base.
Address: 128 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, #01-833, Singapore 310128
Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Thur 11am to 9pm, Fri-Sun 10:30am to 10pm
Tel: 9633 5108
2. Chalk Farm
Image credit: @maria_hannah
What started out as an online cake shop specialising in only two Christmas desserts is now best known for their Kueh Salaat ($5.50 a slice, $66 for a whole cake). One of the pioneers in redefining the two-tiered blue and green kueh, their version boasts a luscious coconut-pandan custard layer that’s extremely buttery. Fun fact: In my previous job, I had to sample over 20 kueh salaat, and Chalk Farm’s was my personal favourite, beating even longstanding Peranakan stalls. They also do a melt-in-your-mouth Kueh Ko Swee ($4.50 for three pieces) as well as a toothsome Kueh Lapis ($3.50 a slice, $45 for a whole cake).
3. Milk Moon
Image credit: @milkmoonssg
Takashimaya’s food basement’s newest tenant, Milk Moon, is founded by the brother-sister duo behind Chalk Farm. The takeaway store features an array of delicious pastries boasting local flavours such as the Pandan Durian ($8.80 a slice) and Pandan Adzuki Cheesecake ($6.50 a slice). However, what stands out is their Pulot Serunding ($5 for two pieces) featuring two savoury balls of glutinous rice with piquant shredded coconut and chicken.
Address: 391 Orchard Road, #B208-5, Takashimaya Food Hall, Ngee Ann City, Singapore 238872
Opening hours: Daily 10am to 9:30pm
4. Baba Chews
Image credit: @babachews
Baba Chews’ Peranakan dishes take on a creative approach. Modernising kueh dadar is their Kueh Durian ($12++), which showcases two pandan crepes stuffed with luscious D24 durian mousse and shredded coconut cooked in palm sugar. To finish off the dish is a scoop of sweet gula melaka ice-cream that complements the pungency from the durian beautifully.
Address: 86 East Coast Road, #01-01, Katong Square, Singapore 428788
Opening hours: Daily 6:30am to 12am
Tel: 6723 2025
Image credit: @candlenutsg
Located within COMO Dempsey is Michelin-starred restaurant Candlenut. Chef Malcolm Lee manages to contemporise the Straits-Chinese cuisine, while preserving the traditional complexities that come with Peranakan dishes. His dinnertime dessert menu has an array of unique dishes including Buah Keluak Ice Cream ($15++) as well as the popular Homemade Kueh Salat, Bangkit Crumble, Young Coconut Sorbet ($14++). The latter features a creamy, coconutty kueh that’s paired with young coconut sorbet for a refreshing touch.
Address: 17A Dempsey Road, Singapore 249676
Opening hours: Daily 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm
Tel: 1800 304 2288
Website | Menu
6. Peranakan Khek
Image credit: @peranakankhek
Owner of Peranakan Khek, Sharon Loh, curates a selection of delectable handmade Nyonya kueh and cakes that has earned her a following. Her best-selling Gula Melaka Chiffon Cake ($2 a slice) is so cotton-soft and airy, it’s no wonder an advance order of two to three days is necessary in order to secure a piece. Do try her all-new Kueh Kochi Kachang ($2.20 a piece) showcasing a pleasantly sweet and crunchy filling of coconut, freshly roasted peanuts and pure gula melaka encased, all within a pulot hitam skin.
Address: 11 Cavan Road, #01-03, Cavan Suites, Singapore 209848
Opening hours: Wed-Sat 11am to 6pm, Sun 11am to 5pm
Tel: 6443 1213
Image credit: @c.a.ff.e.i.n.a.t.e.d.wen
Third-generation Nyonya kueh establishment HarriAnns reaches out to younger peeps, while still staying true to their traditional, handcrafted methods. A must-try is their Chocolate Ondeh ($2.60 a box) where molten Belgian dark milk chocolate oozes out instead of gula melaka. The Lavendar Sago ($1.10) is another top favourite among young people, with its pleasant herbaceous note that complements the chewy sago bottom.
Nyonya kueh both you and your parents will love
When I was younger, I could only stomach rainbow kueh lapis, but now I’m a sucker for all types of Nyonya treats thanks to the recent kueh revolution. If you are looking for more sweet bites with an Asian touch, why not try these gula melaka desserts or pay these famous Chinese dessert stores a visit.