Kueh Appreciation Day
Kueh Appreciation Day is Slow Food (Singapore)’s signature event at the 2015, 2016 and 2017 editions of the Singapore Food Festival organised by the Singapore Tourism Board.
As part of our drive to build awareness and deepen appreciation of our local food, talents and culinary heritage, Slow Food (Singapore) presented this popular event to highlight traditional methods of cooking, with a focus on some of our celebrated Heritage Heroes who are the faces behind the culinary traditions that we hold dear.
The public had opportunities to enjoy traditional kueh (the Malay word for cake) from various local kueh artisans from different ethnic groups – Eurasian, Hainanese, Hokkien, Teochew, Hakka, Peranakan, and Malay – that are stalwarts in the trade; as well as watch live demonstrations of rarely-seen creations.
Five of these masters were also awarded the title of ‘Heritage Hero’ in 2014 as part of a program – Heritage Hero Awards Programme – initiated by the Slow Food (Singapore) to highlight the various categories of food businesses that are maintaining the cuisines and dishes of Singapore’s early immigrant groups.
The aim of Kueh Appreciation Day is to build awareness and deepen appreciation of our local kueh and kueh producers, including Slow Food (Singapore)’s Heritage Heroes, vendors who continue to produce their kueh by hand according to traditional recipes and techniques.
Slow Food (Singapore) looks forward to organising more editions of Kueh Appreciation Day in 2019 and in the future.
Kueh Appreciation Day Vendors
- Chat Masala (Southern Indian) 
Ms Winodan of the well-loved Indian restaurant showcased unique Indian kueh such as Keralan unni appam – a deep-fried round snack made with rice flour, jaggery and banana, usually served on special occasions, as well as bites such as putu mayam (string hoppers), and murukku (crunchy nibbles made from wheat and urad dal flour).
- Old Seng Choong (Singaporean Chinese) [2016, 2017]
Founded by renowned local pastry chef Daniel Tay of Cat & The Fiddle fame, Old Seng Choong offers traditional local favourites such as carrot cake, yam cake, butter cakes and other treats to celebrate every joyous occasion. Created as a tribute to Tay’s father, a baker and confectioner himself for over 30 years, the brand is named after the well-loved Seng Choong Confectionery, which was established in 1965 and run by Daniel’s parents until its closure in 1996.
- Chef Pang’s Hakka Snacks (Hakka) 小彭故事, 客家小吃 [2106, 2017]
Being a Hakka and frustrated with the scarcity of traditional Hakka food in Singapore, Chef Pang Kok Keong – the established pastry chef behind the Antoinette patisseries – is determined to recreate recipes that will hopefully be passed down through the generations. As such, he has been actively researching and testing recipes of traditional Hakka food for the past five years. Chef Pang hopes that his small effort will go a long way in preserving the noteworthy Hakka heritage. Chef Pang’s Hakka Snacks will feature Hakka Abacus Seeds.
- Mary’s Kafe (Eurasian) [2015, 2016, 2017]
Mary Gomes, author of The Eurasian Cookbook, cooks up classic Eurasian cuisine – a blend of Portuguese and South-East Asian influences with a long history – at this very popular lunch spot. The set lunch – comprising rice and curry, vegetables, drink and dessert – changes every day, with different curries from Mary’s considerable repertoire on offer: pork rib, beef smoore, chicken, curry debal and so on. Also highly recommended are sugee cake, apom bekuah and chocolate cake. Also look out for delectable Eurasian kueh such as pang susie and sugee cake.
- HarriAnns (Peranakan) [2015, 2016, 2017]
HarriAnns started out as a humble stall in Tiong Bahru Market and has been operated by husband and wife Harry and Ann for the last two decades. Now also located centrally in Bugis, it remains among the few artisans that persevere in making Nonya kueh by hand. The long queues are testament to the quality of their kueh recipes, inherited from Harry’s mother Chia Ngak Eng, who ran the stall for over 40 years before passing on the torch. Popular items include ondeh ondeh, kueh sarlat, kueh pulut, kueh keledek and kueh ubi kayu, chu bee png (glutinous rice with braised peanuts), ondeh ondeh, kueh kosui and lapis sagu, among others.
- Hainan Xiao Chi (Hainanese) [2015, 2016, 2017]
This stall has been selling traditional Hainanese snacks for over 30 years and is renowned for their yi buah – a kueh made from glutinous rice flour, shredded coconut, sesame and peanuts usually eaten at special occasions such as weddings and birthdays, as well as a soupy dessert made with the Chinese herb ‘fevervine’ that is beguilingly named ‘chicken poop noodles’.
- Ji Xiang Ang Ku Kueh (Hokkien) [2015, 2016, 2017]
Affectionately known as the ‘Everton Park’ ang gu kueh (red tortoise kueh), Ji Xiang Confectionery has been crafting ultra-tender handmade ang gu kueh since 1988. Unlike some versions with thick glutinous rice skin, theirs are painstakingly made with an elegant thin coating. Fillings range from traditional flavours such as peanuts, sweet mung bean paste and salty bean paste, to modern renditions such as durian, sweet corn and yam: a rainbow selection of these ang gu kuehs will be on sale at the event.
- Kuehs and Snacks (Teochew) [2015, 2016, 2017]
A Teochew kueh specialist, Kuehs and Snacks are dedicated to making classic recipes the traditional way using ingredients sourced from Malaysia and China. For the event, the public can look forward to purchasing their famed soon kueh filled with bamboo shoots, koo chye kueh filled with chives, png kueh (rice cake), as well as unique items such as a kueh tinted dusky grey by a Chinese herb. For 2017, they featured the rarely seen traditional Teochew savoury green bean kueh served with lor chup (braised duck gravy).
- Kway Guan Huat (Hokkien) 
Kway Guan Huat has been turning out delicate, tissue-thin handmade popiah skins for over 70 years. Current third-generation head Michael Ker credits the popiah skin recipe to his grandfather, a ‘chun bing’ (spring pancake) exponent from Fujian’s Anxi County: the popiah filling and kueh pie tee recipes descend from Ker’s grandmother, a Melaka Nyonya. Their humble shophouse at Joo Chiat is a local landmark for East Coast dwellers and popiah fans islandwide.
- Ratu Lemper (Indonesian) 
Named for the Indonesian specialty of owners and chefs Aliya Widjaya and her husband Amin Yusoff, Ratu Lemper offers lemper (glutinous rice cooked with coconut milk and wrapped around savoury spiced chicken and beef fillings) which are softer and plusher than most Indonesian versions, and shaped in a modern ‘sandwich’ format neatly parcelled up in banana leaves.
Kueh Making Demonstrations
Kueh-making Demonstrations were one of the key highlights of Kueh Appreciation Day. Led by heritage kueh artisans who had been invited by Slow Food (Singapore) to share their insights, the classes were affordably priced, and were held at the venue of our Event Partner: ToTT @ Dunearn.
Kueh Making Demos included:
Teochew Soon Kueh (2015)
Chef Eric Neo, celebrity chef with more the 25 years of experience, demonstrated how to make 2 different versions of the ever popular traditional Soon Kueh.
Eurasian Pang Susie (2015)
Mdm Mary Gomez, chef owner of Mary’s Kafe, demonstrated how to make the rarely seen Eurasian savoury pasty, Pang Suzie.
Ondeh Ondeh Gula Melaka (2015)
Mr Alan Tan, the 3rd generation business owner of HarriAnn’s which has a history of 50 years, demonstrated the favourite Ondeh Ondeh Gula Melaka.
Hakka Mugwort Rice Cake (2016)
Pastry Chef & Chocolatier Then Chui Foong along with her mother, demonstrated the very traditional Hakka Mugwort Rice Cakes.
Hainan Larp (2016)
The ladies of the Singapore Hainan Association and Hainan Xiao Chi came together to demonstrate the intricate and difficult to make Hainan Larp, a savoury meat filled rice dumpling wrapped in coconut leaves.
Kueh Bugis and Lempur Udang (2016)
Mr Alan Tan, the 3rd generation business owner of HarriAnn’s which has a history of 50 years, demonstrated how to make Kueh Bugis and Lemper Udang.
Yam Cake (2016)
Chef Daniel Tay, celebrity pastry chef from Old Seng Choong, demonstrated a traditional Yam Cake using an old family recipe.
Hakka Xi Ban (2017)
Chef Then Chui Foong, pastry chef and chocolatier extraordinaire, demonstrated two version of the Hakka Xi Ban (Steamed Buns), one traditional ad the other with a modern twist.
Hainan Yi Buah (2017)
Mdm Ho Soo Pong representing the Hainan Hwee Guan, will demonstrate the traditional Hainan Yi Buah (Coconut and Brown Sugar Rice Cake).
Kueh Dadar and Kueh Durian (2017)
Head Chef Alvin Leong of Baba Chews, Hotel Indigo Singapore, will demonstrate Kueh Dadar (Crepe Rolls) filled with traditional coconut and palm sugar inti, and a variation featuring homemade durian mousse!
Hands-on Kueh Classes
Hands-on kueh classes were held on the run-up to Kueh Appreciation Day 2017 by our Venue Partner, ToTT Store, who hosted several classes at both ToTT @ Dunearn and ToTT @ Suntec.
Famous Layers: Kueh Lapis (2017)
Chef Darryl Lim taught participants how to prepare Classic Kueh Lapis Cake and Chocolate/Prune Kueh Lapis Cake.
Peranakan Nonya Kueh Series: Class 1 (2017)
Chef Julie Yee guided participants in the making of: Lapis Beras (Nonya 9 Layer Kueh), Kueh Dadar (Pandan Crepe with Grated Coconut), Hoon Kueh Jagung (Sweet Corn with Mung Bean Flour & Coconut Milk Kueh) and Steam Tapioca Kueh (Demo).
Peranakan Nonya Kueh Series: Class 2 (2017)
Chef Julie Yee guided participants in the making of: Kueh Sarlat (Pandan Coconut Custard with Glutinous Rice), Bingka Ubi (Baked tapioca Kueh) and Nonya Mua Chee (Demo).
Peranakan Nonya Kueh Series: Class 3 (2017)
Chef Julie Yee taught participants in the making of: Ondei Ondei (Sweet Potato Dough wrapped with Gula Melaka coated with Grated Coconut), Durian Sago Kueh ( Fresh Durian with Sago and Grated Coconut – Demo), Kueh bi Kau Lempeng (Pan Fried Tapioca Pancake).