Nancy Chong Cakes – Hand-Crafted Perfection for More Than 40 YearsOctober 2, 2011 | 29,002 views
Butter Icing Cake (one kg for RM42) (UPDATED 25. Nov 2011 – She does NOT sell the cakes by half kg, only one size = 1kg) Surprisingly dense cake made of pure butter (with option of butter-chocolate), elegantly laced with melt-in-mouth icing; almost like meringue’s texture.
Nancy Chong. Mention this name to the newer generations and they’d be puzzled with no clue as to what, where and who the name implies.
But what if I tell you that Nancy Chong has been baking her famed cakes since more than four decades ago in Ipoh? And that the fact that her business is still booming; still perpetually baking for orders streaming in endlessly?
Read on for an insight into what made this brand so heartwarming; tugging into the deepest emotions of some (those whom had their wedding cakes made by Nancy back in the days), while satiating the sugar cravings of the countless others …..
No fancy gadgets, technology-driven efforts, brilliantly-uniformed motives nor even 1001 flavours. At Nancy Chong’s, you get pure, unadulterated classics like how your parents used to have their cakes back in the 70’s.
I was not aware of Nancy Chong Cakes until my Mum brought this up sometime last year. That she not only bakes cakes made-to-order, she makes some mean curry puffs too. Though that’s off the menu, and she only does that based on request.
Just when the time is nigh for designer cakes to creep into the mainstream, here you have a stripped down, back to basics home baker in Ipoh with a niche market; regulars swearing by her creations for years. Sorry, make that decades.
So what’s the fuss about a common butter cake; liberally designed with colourful icing/frosting? Every single bakery in town has at least one cake designed with unabashedly generous amount of icing, right? Not if the icing is made by Nancy Chong. Seriously.
The first time I sampled her cakes was sometime back in the middle of this year. I shared one picture on the All About Ipoh Facebook page, and almost instantly a flood of comments ensued.
And there I was; in my casual smirk thinking that nobody was going to get that right.
A butter cake with icing is too generic to be branded as a signature creation, right?
The marble cake can be used as the base for the icing cake, OR sold like it is.
Goes to show that her fan base runs deep; with people from different generations sharing their experiences, stories and comments on Nancy’s cakes. Like as though her cakes have not evolved since she first started.
A bad thing you said?
Far from it, dear readers. If it ain’t broken, why fix it?
Cornflake cookies with raisins (RM14/USD5 for a small container, RM24/USD8 for a large one) – Now this is crispy, addictive and pure pleasure to snack upon.
So I told Mum, that I need to go over for a visit. Nancy operates from her house; assisted by her daughter Angela, and a maid.
Wait, that’s it? Were you expecting a battalion of assistant bakers, cleaners and designers dedicated to the different processes? I did.
Crispy rice cookies; a sure fire hit among the children. And the young-at-heart like yours truly.
And so there we were, stepping in into the compound of her home; sharing partial perimeters with KPJ Ipoh Specialist Hospital located on Tambun Road. Her house is adjacent to the parking lot behind of the hospital, so it’s a cinch to locate Nancy’s place.
Felt strange to be lugging around a camera inside one’s home, and half-expecting to be denied the privilege to shoot around her kitchen.
Were you also expecting modern gadgets, huge ovens and state-of-the-art apparatus? Haha … the kitchen was as down-to-earth like as though you have just walked into your own. Or your granny’s.
To my surprise, Nancy was NOTHING like how I envisioned her to be.
“There I was, prior to the visit with an image at the back of my mind …. Nancy Chong being this pompous lady with an attitude thick like a slab of butter and one that can be sliced with a knife. And positioning herself as the almighty queen of bakers in Ipoh, shooing me out the instant laying eyes upon this pesky guy with a DSLR.”
One Passionate Octogenarian – Still going at it in her 80’s now, Nancy Chong exuded an entirely different aura than what I initially expected. One of maternal warmth and glowing passion in her works.
And was I surprised to see her in person. A complete 180 degrees on the opposite scale of my perception; a stark resemblance to my own grandma. Only here we have a granny in her 80’s, still painstakingly baking and decorating her cakes with much gusto.
Heck, they even bake on weekends and public holidays to meet the demands.
“Oh, I also drive to get my baking needs sometimes.” (!!!)
There must be something deeply therapeutic about baking and sharing.
Nancy Cakes; or Nancy Chong Cakes as we have always related to her brand, is a household name that’s almost as under-rated as it is over-hyped at the same time. It depends on your school of thoughts, your era of birth, and your appreciation for nostalgic memories embedded in her creations.
If you ask me is this the BEST cake in Ipoh? I can’t answer that with a firm affirmation. After all, to some, the idea of putting sinful, icing-laden cakes into the mouth might sound revolting. I know, because I personally have heard stories from friends.
But if you want to know if this is the oldest brand of home bakers around? I daresay, most definitely.
A legacy built upon the strength of her icing cakes, you have to be a tad uptight if you’re not moved at the slightest bit when you chanced upon seeing her working in her laboratory of art; baking in the comfort of her kitchen at the back of her house.
NANCY CHONG CAKES
23, Lebuh Lasam,
30350 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Tel No : 605-254 4384 / 6012-527 7536
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
GPS Coordinates : 4.595579,101.096919
Google Map to the place
Prior reservation is a must; preferably two days in advance.
*Directly next to the parking lot of KPJ Ipoh Specialist Hospital; behind the hospital. You can walk in to purchase her cookies sold in large container (RM24) or small container (RM14), but her cakes are made to order.