Jalan Kukoh Teochew Kueh: Traditional hand-made kuehs by siblings at hidden hawker centre

Singapore may just be a small red dot on the globe, but there are still many places that I have yet to discover on our island. One such place is Kukoh 21 Food Centre (also known as Jalan Kukoh Food Centre) which houses Jalan Kukoh Teochew Kueh— they specialise in traditional hand-made Teochew kuehs.

jalan kukoh teochew kueh - jalan kukoh

I had made a phone call the day before to pre-order the kuehs that I wanted. 6pm was the only time slot given to me as all of the other slots were taken. Do note that it’s a must to call +65 9838 0235 to reserve the variety of kuehs you wish to have, otherwise you’ll probably be disappointed— don’t say I didn’t warn you!

jalan kukoh teochew kueh - hawker centre

“Wow! There’s actually a hawker centre at this god-forsaken place?” I thought to myself as I arrived. Jalan Kukoh is a place that feels like time has come to a standstill and you’ve stepped into a world of your own.

jalan kukoh teochew kueh - stall front

Jalan Kukoh Teochew Kueh occupies two stalls, with one of them acting as the production kitchen while the other was the collection point.

jalan kukoh teochew kueh - making kueh

jalan kukoh teochew kueh - teochew kuehs

The business is run by the Loh siblings who helped their mother when she was peddling her pushcart stall while they were still young. This century-old business originated from Johor Bahru where their grandmother first started selling kuehs at the market.

I had the chance of catching Mr Loh in action, expertly kneading the pinkish dough for the Teochew kueh, and inserting the fillings with his skillful hands.

What I tried at Jalan Kukoh Teochew Kueh

I approached Madam Loh and proceeded to give her my phone number— I wasn’t asking her out on a romantic date, I was merely collecting my kuehs. She took out a styrofoam box with my goodies nicely stacked up like untouched Jenga blocks.

jalan kukoh teochew kueh - box of kueh

She offered me a plate and plastic sheets to pick up the kueh upon finding out that I wanted to eat them there (she probably knew I was a food writer with a camera on my neck).

jalan kukoh teochew kueh - koo chai kueh

The first on my list was the Koo Chai Kueh (S$1.50 each). It was brushed with a layer of oil, which made the off-white surface shine like mini diamond gemstones. As my teeth sank into it, the smooth skin was pillowy with the perfect thickness.

jalan kukoh teochew kueh - koo chai closeup

The mild onion-y notes of the chives hidden inside hit me like a malnourished boxer, which didn’t overpower the entire taste of the kueh. The Loh siblings certainly do not scrimp on their fillings— the chives were filled to the point where they could burst out at any time.

jalan kukoh teochew kueh - koo chai kueh filling

jalan kukoh teochew kueh - koo chai kueh dried shrimp

Hold on, there was something else hiding inside that thick green forest filling. What on earth tasted so good?

Found it! There were little golden dried shrimps that were either baked or deep fried inside the Koo Chai Kueh filling, giving you little flavour-enhancing explosions of smokiness and umami-ness.

jalan kukoh teochew kueh - pouring of sauce

I drizzled black sweet sauce and sambal chilli that I got from Madam Loh, which changed the whole eating experience altogether. The sweetness coming from the black sauce complemented the spicy sambal seamlessly— a perfect balance of flavours.

jalan kukoh teochew kueh - signature kuehs

I moved on to the next two dishes, the Ang Tho Kueh (S$1.60) and Tau Sar Kueh (S$1.60). Similar in shape and size, both kuehs can be differentiated by their colour.

jalan kukoh teochew kueh - ang tho kueh

The Ang Tho Kueh was imbued in a pretty pastel pink. The filling had black mushrooms, peanuts, chives, tiny dried shrimps and glutinous rice. Similar to the Koo Chai Kueh earlier, the skin was soft and the filling was generous.

The peanuts gave it a satisfying nutty bite, which enhanced the taste of the glutinous rice. The rice could be a tasty main meal on its own— it was so good that I could eat 10 of them (a pity I had only ordered one).

jalan kukoh teochew kueh - tau sar kueh

jalan kukoh teochew kueh - tau sar inside

The Tau Sar Kueh was next. The black tone of the skin was made with black sesame. I proceeded to take a bite and only detected the sesame taste after I closed my eyes and focused.

It wasn’t strong enough compared to the tau sar filling which was more dominant in flavour. The sweetness of the tau sar wasn’t overpowering, making it suitable for old folks to consume.

jalan kukoh teochew kueh - soon kueh

I took a break from the sweet and moved back to the savoury side, it was time to taste the Soon Kueh (S$1.50). I was keeping my expectations high for this one as I regularly have it for breakfast every now and then.

It was filled with the typical filling; braised turnips, mushrooms, chives and dried shrimp. The thick tasty filling coupled with the silky soft skin certainly didn’t disappoint me at all. In fact, it tasted like a cut above the rest compared to other soon kuehs which I’ve eaten before.

jalan kukoh teochew kueh - soon kueh filling

Last but not least, I reached for the Yam Kueh (S$1.50) in a state of food coma slowly overwhelming me. It was perfectly round with the word ”福“ moulded on it, which means good fortune in chinese.

jalan kukoh teochew kueh - yam kueh

jalan kukoh teochew kueh - soon kueh filling

After all the other awesome tasting kuehs which I’ve had earlier, the filling on the Yam Kueh was a little lacklustre for me. The yam pieces were not creamy and soft enough and the seasoning on it fell a little short.

Final thoughts

jalan kukoh teochew kueh - hawker centre

Jalan Kukoh Teochew Kueh and its surroundings gave me an air of nostalgia, which brought me back to a time when things were much simpler and less stressful.

I’m a Teochew Peranakan but I have never really embraced my Teochew heritage until today, tasting all the familiar kuehs that my late Teochew grandmother had exposed me to.

I am planning to order 10 Ang Tho Kueh and stuff myself silly during my next visit!

Expected damage: S$1.50 – S$5.80 per pax

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Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Jalan Kukoh Teochew Kueh

1 Jalan Kukoh, Jalan Kukoh Food Centre, #01-19/01-20, Singapore 161001

Our Rating 4/5

Jalan Kukoh Teochew Kueh

1 Jalan Kukoh, Jalan Kukoh Food Centre, #01-19/01-20, Singapore 161001

Telephone: +65 9838 0235
Operating Hours: 5.30pm - 7pm (Tue), 7am - 9am & 5.30pm - 7pm (Wed to Sat), Closed on Mon & Sun
Telephone: +65 9838 0235

Operating Hours: 5.30pm - 7pm (Tue), 7am - 9am & 5.30pm - 7pm (Wed to Sat), Closed on Mon & Sun