The Tradition Lives On @ Ching Han Guan BiscuitsSeptember 5, 2011 | 7,509 views
Ching Han Guan’s one-and-only Teochew Walnut Mooncake; a much healthier option with considerably less sweet
In the blink of an eye, the long Raya-Merdeka break has come to an end. Can’t deny that I am still suffering the post-holiday blues, though mine has ended prematurely last Friday when I managed to drag this carcass of a soulless body to work.
But hey, not all’s gloomy though. We still have Malaysia Day on the 16th this month (a most alluring 3 days weekend again, though I’ll be ‘working’ on that Friday ….), and Deepavali’s right around the corner.
Okay, so it’s more than a month’s away, but still …. there’s hope in wishful thinking ya?
If you have visited the malls lately, there has been an increase in festive decorations; a multitude of confused elements combining Hari Raya, Merdeka and Mid-Autumn Festival all into one.
If you have read last year’s post on the same theme, you would have noticed that I favour the more traditional mooncakes (by that, I don’t mean even the perfectly shaped, glossy lotus paste with salted egg yolk) than the modernized version with funky flavours like durian, cheese and chocolate.
And where else but this 62 year-old establishment named Ching Han Guan; for the best of traditional mooncakes?
Don’t you just love it knowing that every single morsel you put into your mouth was painstakingly hand-crafted into perfection?
I guess by now, you need no introduction to Ching Han Guan; this famous yet unassuming biscuit manufacturer of Teochew origin in Ipoh. Or maybe you still do. Okay, so here goes …. CHG has been existing since 1949 with a strong core built from a lineage of family-oriented business. The recipes have been passed down from generation to generation; and their philosophy is simple:
“Use high quality ingredients and passionately craft them into delicious biscuits …”
The Pearly Crust Mini Mooncakes; in either yam paste or pandan lotus paste filling.
A plus point of buying the biscuits from CHG is that, you can be assured of their freshness, and the quality of ingredients used in making them.
You should not expect dirt-cheap prices though, but when compared to the over-priced commercialized mooncake brands; CHG’s do come across as affordable.
And no prize in guessing where this pile of fluffy, savoury meat floss goes into. Lost? Read THIS POST for their most renowned creation.
Ipoh was congested throughout the long break. So bad that I contemplated incessantly on whether to stay home and hibernate, OR go all out and mingle with the crowd like how tourists should.
And I chose the latter. Does that make me half a tourist now?
A mix of the old and the new; it’s a welcoming thought that the younger generation of Ching’s embrace the concept rather than settling for high-flying jobs in major cities.
A day before we went over for our supplies of traditional biscuits and mooncakes, the TV personality Axian (of Taste With Jason fame) was there with his crew; filming for a feature on Ching Han Guan!
Almost instantly I felt a surge of pride; knowing full well that they are finally getting the limelight they so deserve for years. Don’t get me wrong, CHG has been already the talk of the town for decades; but only in the recent times did I witness the sharp increase in attention from the media and outsiders especially.
Pearly Crust Mini Mooncakes – Looks aside, you SHOULD really try these and tell me what you think of them. To me, the ones with yam paste and ‘kuaci’ (sorry but can anyone tell me kuaci is watermelon, pumpkin or sunflower seeds?)
With a heavy heart, I felt the tinge of pain when reality hits me on an abrupt note.
The attention showered on CHG may or may not break them. Sin Eng Heong of Ipoh’s kaya puff fame has expanded beyond their wildest dreams, and the word ‘brisk’ does not even seem to describe the business they do on weekends and public holidays. And yet with booming business opportunities, they’re facing a plethora of crises now.
The dearth of manpower, the unmet expectations of the crowd, and the resolve to adamantly produce every single piece of biscuit with their hands; rather than resorting to automated options.
The green one is pandan (screwpine leaves) lotus paste, and the greyish-purple one is the yam paste version. Personally, I prefer the creamy yam one to the more generic lotus paste.
Can they still cater to the gradually growing crowd at this rate? Worse, if news of their incredibly-rare Teochew mooncakes and biscuits spread to the other regions, will they compromise on the QC of their biscuits …. or wait, choose to mass-manufacture them in huge electrical ovens and utilizing modern contraptions to shape the morsels into carbon copies of each other with no character?!!
Something new this year (to me, at least) – The Hokkien Mooncake also known as ‘White Skin’
With an exterior pastry made up of chewy dough, this reminded me of Sitiawan’s “gong piah” with a sweeter and dense filling.
Damn, I can really, really go on and on huh? Back to the biscuits and mooncakes at hand now. If you’re wondering is this even worth the extra few pounds, or the miles travelled, don’t hesitate. You probably will not be able to find another traditional biscuit manufacturer STILL doing things the way they were more than half a century ago.
Taken from last year’s post, the La Bia is another Teo Chew creation; this one with a significantly sweeter nuance from the winter melon fillings with crunchy bits of ‘kuaci’
You’ll probably zoom by Ching Han Guan, or have zoomed by without taking a second glance at what they’re offering. Back then, to me, this was just another random biscuit shop selling the same old confectioneries.
But I kid you not when I say that this priceless gem holds such a rich legacy behind the name. And the potential for them to grow into a renowned brand is definitely there. It all depends on the next generation of Ching’s, and the impact they make on the discerning taste buds of biscuit lovers all over Malaysia. Heck, even the world.
They sure have captivated one here.
CHING HAN GUAN (Website) (Facebook page)
145, Hugh Low Street (Jalan Sultan Iskandar)
30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Business Hours : Mon-Sat – 9.00am – 6.30pm, Sun – 9.00am-12.30pm
Tel No : +605-254 5126
You can view their Google Map and GPS coordinates from their website