Khoo Eng Chee’s Nyonya Kuih & Cake Shop – The Illustrious Two Decades & Counting …September 25, 2012 | 4,047 views
Nothing short of a typhoon, earthquake, Armageddon or political meltdown (hehe) will stop me dead in my tracks when I set my mind to it. I’m talking about a food hunt of course; in particular this trial & tribulations of covering a small, almost non-descriptive shop in Pasir Pinji of Ipoh selling Nyonya kuih for more than two decades.
Yes, Khoo Eng Chee‘s the brand that has since been categorized as one of the stalwarts of Ipoh’s Nyonya kuih scene, though even many of the locals are not aware of its existence. Can’t put the blame on you, really. Since apparently, their main source of business comes from wholesale of their sweet creations to various kuih stalls around Ipoh.
Ready for the lowdown? (And can you say FINALLY?!!)
I have missed several opportunities of writing about Khoo Eng Chee before this. Not that the location ain’t strategic, mind you. Right behind this shop is easily the most famous yong tau foo stall in all of Perak. Or dare I say it … the entire Malaysia?!
And I almost gave up when we were there the day before lining up for Ming Yue’s mooncakes which is situated almost diagonally opposite of this, and Khoo Eng Chee was CLOSED. Again.
Thankfully, a repeat visit to Ming Yue on the very next day, which was a Monday brought us luck. From the corner of my eyes, a half-hearted glance over at Khoo Eng Chee revealed a pleasant surprise.
The shutter was up. The steel gates drawn open, and there were people waltzing in into the shop!
I could not believe my luck. After at least 5 attempts in the past year or so, FINALLY Lady Luck smiled on me!
Silly me. They close on Sundays. And I guess this corrupted memory must have forgotten to register every visit being planned and executed on a Sunday unknowingly. Since Khoo Eng Chee opens from 8am until 8pm daily except Sundays, or major public holidays, it’s pretty hard to miss their operating hours now, isn’t it?
The colourful array of freshly-made kuih, breads and cakes on a daily basis was an inviting sight, no doubt. Trays after trays of kuih lapis, ang koo kuih, putt jai gou, pulut tai-tai, bingka ubi, rempah udang, etc are laid out in such a devilishly tempting manner.
You’d be spoilt for choice. And let’s not go to the other traditional confectioneries that you probably can’t find elsewhere; most notably the round-shaped white coloured sticky biscuit/cake made of green beans, if I am not mistaken. See the above collage and look at the lower left picture.
They also deep fry various snacks like cucur udang (prawn fritters), yam balls, sweet potato balls, etc for a savoury balance to the abundance of sweeter options. However, their forte is evident. This brand has been brought up by their sheer strength and popularity in a wide variety of kuih-muih that have been churned out in the same way since they first started decades ago.
Remember to try at least a piece or two of the kuih bingka ubi, or tapioca cake. Hands down the BEST in Ipoh (comparing to the countless nameless stalls around Ipoh, the other famous stall at Jack Fah Restaurant, and even Pusing’s memorable classics), the chewy blocks of yellow-coloured snack have this distinctive texture without being overly-artificial, yet that thin, charred layer of caramelized sugar on top lend a fantastic smoky finish to the otherwise mild-tasting cake.
And then there’s the distant cousin of bingka ubi named ‘fei ju yuk’ (literally translated as ‘fatty pork’) which is white in colour instead of yellow. Not sure if these are really made from pork lard (doubtful though), but equally as good and famous with the crowd too.
Priced at around 70 cents per piece, the Nyonya kuih sold at Khoo Eng Chee are definitely worth the patience (if you’re a dumb @$$ like yours truly who kept knocking on closed doors on Sundays), and value-for-money. The cucur udang (prawn fritter) was horrible though; to my dismay. Best to stick to the sweets than the savouries, I’d reckon.
PUSAT KUIH & KEK KHOO ENG CHEE
44, Jalan Tokong,
31650 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Opens from 8am until 8pm daily.
Closed on Sundays.
GPS Coordinates : 4.58286,101.08672
Directions : Behind of Big Tree Foot Yong Tau Foo (Dai Shu Geok) and Tuck Kee Restaurant, near to the convergence of Jalan Tokong and Jalan Peh Kee Koh.
Now … why has Motormouth been so smitten recently over a child’s favourite biscuit?
Mid-Autumn Festival ain’t complete without these teddy biscuits made from mooncake pastry?
Because …. these teddy biscuits have more than just “FEELINGS” ….
Literally. Filled with delicious pineapple jam that can easily eject some of proclaimed Malacca’s best pineapple tarts out of the orbits, the allure here is that everything’s baked from scratch and definitely homemade; not for commercialization on a mass scale.
Until today … I have no contact number, no idea where these came from or even who made them.
But damn, I tell you … these are seriously addictive stuff !!!
*More info to come … hopefully. Keep your eyes peeled.