Last Updated: November 14, 2020
I seldom travel to Yishun and if there is a reason I leave a footprint in the area, it’s got to be because of food. After the wonderfully delicious time I had at Old World Bak Kut Teh, I’m finally back in the north, for a snack that hits close to my heart—tutu kueh. Quaintly nestled under Block 759 within the premises of 69 Cafe is Chub Tutu, a humble-looking tutu kueh stall selling these little white pillows of steamed cakes, with flavours way beyond your wildest imagination.
A nostalgic treat invented in Singapore, tutu kuehs are snowy white chrysanthemum-shaped discs filled with the likes of crushed toasted peanuts or moist grated coconut flesh. As a child, I remember these as a sweet treat my grandma would buy for me from the tutu kueh pushcarts seen at pasar malams or the nearby wet market. A little girl then, I would often tug on the ends of her floral shirt requesting for a box of peanut flavoured tutu kueh—a welcomed treat that was hard to come by.
Having sold tutu kuehs in pasar malams since 2015, Dennie, the founder of Chub Tutu noticed the dying popularity of this traditional snack. In an attempt to increase its appeal to the younger generation, she decided to experiment with innovative flavours, resulting in the birth of Chub Tutu’s popular Nutella and Durian Tutu Kueh. Since then, she never looked back and now has up to an array of 50 flavours in her little tutu kueh library.
With so many flavours to choose from, you will be spoilt for choice deciding which tutu kueh to try. To help you make the right decision, I tried 11 flavours, both sweet and savoury, so that you can decide for yourself which tutu kueh to get the next time you visit.
Alright? Now, let the tutu kueh battle begin.
Before diving head straight into Chub Tutu’s wacky flavours, I decided to test the waters with their Traditional Flavours (S$3 for 5). Here, I got their Peanut, Gula Melaka, Red Bean and Kaya to try.
So classic there’s nothing more you can ask for in a tutu kueh. What I particularly enjoyed about these were that they were not as sweet as some of their counterparts sold elsewhere. You won’t bite into random sugar crystals and that is a good sign.
I want to like this so bad simply because I am a sucker for anything gula melaka. But was overall disappointed by the large bits of gula melaka that failed to melt in the steaming heat (I was actually hoping for it to ooze out!). With that came bites of overpowering sweetness which even musked the beautiful flavours of the subtly sweet rice flour the filling was enveloped in.
Red bean bun made the tutu kueh style with just the right amount of filling to satisfy. Warm and sweet, this is a treat ah gong and ah ma will approve.
Nothing special to shout off the rooftop. The kaya filling was too subtle without much of a rich pandan-coconut fragrance. Easily forgettable.
Onto the Weekly Specials (S$3.50 for 5), a series of four to five special flavours which Dennie tries to change up every week for sale at Chub Tutu. While the previous specials included Kimchi, Chili Tuna and Aloe Vera, those that I had were the Nutella, Rendang Chicken, Creamy Mushroom, Rock Melon and Salted Caramel.
Nutella. What can ever go wrong with this hazelnut chocolate? The steaming made the Nutella warm and comforting. This was a treat so rich and luscious that it should not be shared.
You know the feeling of having a bite of a delectable savoury dish and not being able to savour the rest of it? That’s exactly how I felt after finishing the Chub Tutu Rendang Chicken Tutu Kueh.
I liked that there were real chicken bits in between bites and even with that small amount of filling the taste of the spices still came through. An additional pinch of heat would probably make this flavour stand out even more.
An interesting flavour that was a brave attempt but not quite as marvellous as the Rendang Chicken Tutu Kueh. The creamy sauce somehow seeped out into the rice flour in the midst of steaming resulting in a dampened outer layer. Thankfully there was a decent amount of mushroom which is the only redeeming factor of this tutu kueh.
Imagine eating microwaved melon cubes. That’s how weird this combination was. Kudos to the use of real fruits in the filling, but the warm fruit was just not to my liking. Maybe blending the fruit into a purée might make it better.
I loved Chub Tutu’s Salted Caramel Tutu Kueh for that tinge of saltiness but sadly the filling was not enough to complement the soft and fluffy skin. Dear Chub Tutu, can you add a little more salted caramel? Please don’t deprive me of my favourite sweet!
Finally, the last two kuehs which I have been dying to try since I came across Chub Tutu—the Premium Flavours (S$4.50 for 5) which I deem the king and queen of tutu kuehs, Durian and Mentaiko.
If you have read about my challenge on SMÖÖbar’s 3kg Mentaiko Platter, you will know how big of a mentaiko fan I am and this flavour was a pleasant surprise. The rich and savoury mentaiko filling paired well with the sweet rice skin, resulting in delightful bites that tickled my fancy.
What made this tutu kueh even better were the burst of fish roe in my mouth. This was indeed, very satisfying.
If you are a durian aficionado, I’m sorry but this is not a flavour that will truly satisfy. Despite its slight pungency, it doesn’t have that kick which you will usually find in durian desserts made using 100% durian flesh. Well, just think of it as a durian treat you would introduce a kid to. With its sweetness, this is the kind of taste that can be easily accepted by anyone.
With so many flavours I enjoyed, I really can’t pick just one winner for this. As such, I present to you five of my favourite flavours from each category which you should definitely order here at Chub Tutu. If you are a food adventurer or variety is what you are looking for, why not try mixing and matching the flavours as I did?
Just keep in mind that the mixing of flavours can only be for tutu kuehs with the same price point otherwise, you will be charged with the higher price. Don’t forget to also constantly checkout Chub Tutu’s Facebook page for their Weekly Specials so that you will know what flavours to expect to prevent any wasted trip.
Our Rating: 3 / 5
759 Yishun Street 72, #01-298, Singapore 760759
759 Yishun Street 72, #01-298, Singapore 760759