Because I had been quite adventurous in the kitchen lately, I had been thinking of making kueh for the longest time. But the lack of experience and lengthy kueh making process made me procrastinate for a lonnnnnng lonnnnng time too. Hahaha.
So, when I received an email from Gavan to visit Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionery, I was so thrilled! I have always felt that some Singapore culture or heritage (especially food lol) should be preserved and passed on to the new generation.
Probably because I work with kids, most of the time I observed them revolving their lives around iPad, iPhones, computer games, or they would snack on potato chips, fries, burgers. And they don’t play hopscotch, five stones or marbles anymore.
Unlike my childhood days when I enjoyed my breakfast eating kueh, fried fritters, nasi lemak; a treat would meant I get to drink the yellowish pineapple drink from that soya bean milk stall; and my favourite after-school hobby is to win my friends at playing hopscotch lol.
Ok, before I digress haha 🙂
Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionery is located near the famous Bedok 85 hawker centre. I guess I have missed this shop previously because it was tucked at a corner, and we always go to the hawker centre late in the evening (when Lek Lim would have closed for the day).
They have started out as a humble family business in the 1960s, and now, some 40 years later, the business has come to the hands of the 3rd generation. But they still stay true to what Gavan’s grandpa had in mind when he started the business – that delicious kueh can bring joy to whoever tasted them.
Gavan shared that over the years, they have offered more variety to appeal to the different needs of their customers. Like in the 1960s, they specialise in Ang Ku Kueh. And they started out on the various nonya kueh only in late 90s.
I was impressed to find that they still insist on making kueh by hand. Not a lot of business would choose to do this, considering their “profits”.
Gavan also shared that they adapt their recipes to suit the taste buds of their customers, and is quite focused on “healthier kueh”. Their kueh are suitable for vegetarian because they do not use eggs. And without the use of eggs, their kueh have this glossy, smooth appearance, which looks really good.
Oh yes, their kueh are also halal, which is good – now that our Malay friends can also have a taste of our traditional kueh 🙂
After introducing about their business, Gavan led me to some Ang Ku Kueh ($0.50 per piece) making, which I was really excited about lol.
Gavan very patiently explained the color of the skin (red and green) vs its filling. Because apparently the skin was to complement the filling. So green is used for coconut filling to know the filling and also, it’s more moist to complement the moist coconut filling.
Having tried to make these Ang Ku Kueh myself, I realised it’s really difficult to do it handmade. It probably need a lot of experience and “hand feel”, to judge whether the Ang Ku Kueh is of the correct size or not. I had one “underweight” one and it broke lol.
And then the Ang Ku Kueh goes into the “sauna” ;p
While waiting for the Ang Ku Kueh to be ready, Gavan brought us around the shop. It was really fascinating to see the workers at work, because frankly, my knowledge of kueh is also quite limited hehe.
Honestly speaking, I am not a fan of these savoury kueh. Probably because I didn’t eat these when I was young. I only ate the super sweet kueh back then. So Mr Pau couldn’t understand because Png Kueh to him is like sooooo nice hahaha. He likes it when his mum pan fry the Png Kueh with dark sauce, chilli and egg.
Next, we went to try our hands on Pulut Inti ($0.60). It looks easy, but there are certain techniques that you need to grasp to get a really nice triangular Pulut Inti.
And then we saw more of the kueh available in Lek Lim.
When Gavan asked: “Do you know what is this?” I looked at it so hard but I really have no idea lol. He said it’s the Oneh Oneh. Apparently they sell 2 kinds of Oneh Oneh – one this size, and the other one smaller sized, with different fillings.
And now, foodie fans, the Singapore Food Festival will be coming in July. We can now decide which vendors to participate in the SFF, simply by voting them in (from now till 2 June). Lek Lim is one of the participants under Nonya Kueh. Do vote for them, and stand to win some prizes for yourself!
And then back home, we could enjoy the wide variety of kueh Gavan gave us. The traditional kueh! (I rearranged the kueh because we were giving some to Mr Pau’s grandma)
Review: Lek Lim is unlike those commercialized kueh shop. I feel that they stick to their simplicity, no-frills, wanting to keep the costs down for the benefit of their customers. I like that they are also tuning their recipes towards those who are more health conscious.
I like the soft texture of their Kueh Lapis. Though I like my Kueh Lapis sweeter (I find theirs not sweet enough), I appreciate that it probably is healthier with lesser sugar 🙂 My favourite is the Fried Yam Cake. We were amazed at how soft the inside is. Fabulous with a semi crusty exterior. You could taste how generous they are with their ingredients. And it taste somewhat like those Grandma’s Yam Cake. My parents-in-law also enjoyed this. Popiah is not bad too – generous filling! But because these items are fried, so they probably leave a little oily feel. Which can be resolved by using some kitchen paper towels ;p
The Ang Ku Kueh is good too! I like it that they don’t brush oil onto the Ang Ku Kueh. I used to like Ang Ku Kueh when I was younger, until I had enough of the oily taste lol. Now I have more reasons to eat Ang Ku Kueh!
For that Sunday breakfast or brunch with your family, consider getting to Lek Lim to try out some of their offerings. For me, I like my breakfast with Fried Yam Cake, Fried Fritters, Curry Puff. They also sell Nasi Lemak (my favourite!!) there. Tea time snacks would be great with Kueh Lapis, Ang Ku Kueh, and the tapioca kuehs 🙂
Other services Lek Lim does include supplying the kueh to retail outlets, restaurants and cafes. They also have party platter and first month gift packs (was asking about first month gift pack for myself lol).
P.S.: They also have this online store where you can order, and they would deliver to you (some terms apply).
Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionery
Address: Blk 84, Bedok North Street 4, #01-21, Singapore 460084
6:30am – 6pm, Monday to Saturday
6:30am – 2pm, Sunday