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Snacks these days usually come in the form of a bag of potato chips, or a burger and a pack of fries. Hardly would the younger generation of Singaporeans today come quick to associate a quick fix with the nonchalant kueh that is sitting at specialty confectionary outlets. Nonetheless, while one can romanticise about the past where the good ol’ days held true, finding excellent kueh and savoury delights that actually bring warmth and delight in each bite is getting harder to find. It was my first visit to Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionary. But my experience from trying a selection of their freshly made kueh back home brought a tingling to my heart. A sense that is truly remarkable of a certain memory I’ve not known yet can resolutely identify with.

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Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionary began its operations from a home kitchen in 1968. Starting off with a selection of kuehs, the popular Ang Ku Kueh was added to its menu only in 1982. After which in the year 1987, Lek Lim found itself a shop that has seen it all the way to today in 2013. A nonya cake shop with a history spanning a good 45 years, the shop is still in good standing with a diverse range of customers from the elderly residents in the estate to hotels and restaurants that desire that particular freshness, taste and texture, known as a hallmark of Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionary.

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Top: Kueh Kao Swee(50cents each) & Kueh Salat Nonya (50cents each)
Middle: Oneh Coconut Nonya & Kueh Kotoh White Nonya (50cents each)
Bottom: Ubi Kayu Nonya & Kueh Lapis Nonya/ Lapis Sagu (50cents each)

I’ll share some photos of the shop and me making a few kuehs later. For now, allow me to show the pictures of a selection of kueh that the confectionary produces fresh each day. I’ve taken the liberty to plate the kuehs and I think this would definitely add a nice touch to the Lunar New Year that is coming up in less than a month away.

I’ve heard from my friend that their Kueh Lapis Sagu is exceptionally good. Her sister would only eat the lapis sagu from Lek Lim and nowhere else. Apparently, others just can’t pass off in texture and flavour. I tried it and I have to agree on its luxurious softness in generous capacities with a tinge of sweetness to work the tastebuds.

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The Glutinous Rice ($1.50) is a highlight for me. I especially love the savoury bits within coupled with the soft chewy textures from the sticky rice. I threw in a couple of peanuts at the top for an added contrast and texture, and it was a wonderful combination. Warm and hearty, yes.

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Pulut Inti Nonya (60cents each)

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Lek Lim makes 2 kinds of Ang Ku Kueh – the peanut and green (mung) bean (45cents each). The kueh in this picture is not entirely perfect with a gaping hole revealing the filling in one of them, possibly because of my inept skills in moulding the kueh. This is one of my few times truly indulging in the Ang Ku Kueh and I enjoyed the slightly chewy kueh skin with the generous fillings within.

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Yam Cake ($1 each) is also well done. Slightly crisp, with a volumous shape, this is yam cake that is great for the road. The savoury smoothness with the rough bits of guessibly dried prawn make a perfect combination.

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Soon Kueh (85cents), Gu Chai Kueh (85cents), Peng Kueh ($1)

Thumbs up to the Peng Kueh as it contained the essence of wonderful glutionous rice with mushroom stuffed in a chewy and silky kueh skin. I love wraps so I might be exceptionally endearing in this choice. But it is my must order the next time I’m back!

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Kueh Bengka Nonya (50cents each)

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Steamed Yam Cake ($1 each)

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Sardine/Curry Chicken Puff and Spring Rolls ($1.20 each)

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Me at the Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionary trying my hand at making my own Ang Ku Kueh. I could be a kueh master! Watch my hands!

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And voila! Red turtle shells. I’ve also learnt an interesting tidbit that I must record down in this post. Not all Ang Ku Kueh is the same when giving as gifts for a baby’s first month. The plain pointed ones represents the birth of a boy while the flat ones usually with a pattern represents a girl.

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All the kueh kueh kueh

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Don’t you wish you could just sit down and slowly cut and enjoy this block of lapis sagu?

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Soon Kueh for sale!

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Mr Gavan Sing and his father, Mr Sing Eng Hok

My trip to Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionary made a beautiful end to an afternoon’s outing in quaint and traditional fashion. The selection of kueh I’ve tried made me really think back into the memories that Singaporeans once grew up with. It was like a (re)discovering of savoury and sweet tastes anew. I will go back for the Peng Kueh and their Yam cake, each for leaving me with savoury cravings for more. And perhaps then I could ta pao more for home. Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionary, a treasure of memories that is more than 4 decades old. I wonder what the next 20 years will bring for a local delight that is constantly negotiating its boundaries in a globalized world where the potato chip becomes the ubiquitous snack.

Thank you Gavan for the invitation

Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionary
Blk 84
#01-21
Bedok North Street 4
Singapore 460084
Tel: 6449 0815
Website: www.kuehkueh.com.sg

Opens from:
7.30am – 5pm Mon to Sat
7.30am – 1pm Sun

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