It was such a pleasure to get to know and interview Nick and Karen Soon, a warm, down-to-earth couple who has thrown all caution to the wind to start their own hawker business, One Kueh At A Time at Berseh Food Centre.
True to its name, Nick has painstakingly learn the art of Teo Chew kueh making from his 83-year-old mother who has been making these by hand for decades since his childhood.
Nick insists they focus only on four types and do these well — Soon Kueh (Hakka-style with a translucent skin), Ang Ku Kueh (with a dark brown sesame seed skin with salty mung bean paste), Koo Chye Kueh (a steamed chive dumpling which is his mother’s specialty) and Png Kueh, but without the bright pink colouring for the skin.
What I love about the whole set-up is how much it feels like a home kitchen that one’s grandmother would work in. The kuehs are steamed almost as quickly as they are made which is great for texture as chilling tends to affect how the skin turns out.
As you can see in these pictures, the skin is made thin and translucent with just the right amount of chewy bite while the fillings are generous. The Soon Kueh are filled with finely-chopped turnips and fungus, while the Ang Ku Kueh has just the right amount of salty-sweetness in its mung bean filling.
As expected with all the heart that goes into each kueh, there is inevitably a long wait and it might be best to call ahead of time for orders so they can prepare them and reserve enough pieces for you to come down and collect.
The kuehs all go for $1 each while the Ku Chye Kueh is $1.20.
(With Nick Soon, Christine and his partner Karen at the Berseh Food Centre stall.)
One Kueh at a Time