In the realm of traditional food, the min jiang kueh takes the literal cake, for me at least. This is a chewy sweet layer of pancake that’s usually stuffed with sandy, sugar-laced peanuts or fluorescent coloured coconut.
Many hawker stalls stick to tried and tested forms such as the Hong Pancake and the well-loved Frankie’s Peanut Pancake. Surely, no one needs to reinvent the wheel but enter Munchi Delights with their bold and exciting flavours that take us all for a spin.
A popular stall that sees snaking queues at Yishun Parker Hawker Centre, it seems like Munchi Delights has cracked the formula of serving Belgian chocolate in a min jiang kueh. Instead of having just one flavour and a couple of fillings, Munchi Delights go all out and give you options for the skin. Not only that, they have their Munchi Pancakes and their Mini Munchies that offer all sorts of customisation.
Yes, the combinations are endless. To keep things simple for this head-to-head, we only ordered their Munchi Pancake flavours sans the traditional pancake. Plus, to help me out, I brought our very own @milkteaprincess or Vera as we know her. Apart from her regal duties, Vera is also a food writer at the publication, and we can always count on those discerning royal tastebuds.
Nicole: A classic in the min jiang kueh sphere. A peanut filling might be the most quintessential of all fillings and one you have to get right. Here, the Peanut (S$1.80) pancake was certainly tasty but the filling was a little too thick such that it clings on to the corners of your teeth waiting for a social faux pas to happen.
I prefer my peanut fillings to be sandy like the beaches of Bali and laced with criminally large cubes of sugar. Still, a pretty strong opener though not to my taste.
Vera: I definitely appreciated this thick, creamy concoction of peanuts much more than the usual loose peanut fillings found in traditional min jiang kueh. Because when you take a bite, everything doesn’t fall apart which is always a plus.
This can be thought of as crunchy peanut butter almost. I absolutely adore the richness and mouthfeel of the peanut filling, but just a tad more butteriness on the pancake would’ve brought my score to a 9. I highly recommend this to pair with a piping hot glass of teh o kosong to wash it all down.
Rating: 😍/10—just kidding, I give it a solid 8.5/10
Nicole: Aah, a favourite of mine. This Coconut Pancake (S$1.30) is brighter than your highlighter and certainly more fragrant. This coconut filling was one of the first few we tried, and I got to say I’m impressed.
For a place with Matcha (S$1.80) as one of their flavours, I didn’t think that these classic flavours would be given the same love. The coconut is was fresh and that tantalising aroma always beckons for a second bite.
For those that want to know what gives the coconut this shocking shade of orange, it’s all the work of the red sugar which is mostly just colouring, but we all eat with our eyes anyway.
Vera: The coconut’s alarming traffic light orange appearance was visually a bit of a shocker, but it delivered the familiar subtle fragrance I was expecting. I would’ve preferred a coconut cream over desiccated coconut, but those who enjoy the bite and crunch would appreciate this. Can’t really fault it, as inoffensive it may be.
3. Cream Cheese
Nicole: Cream Cheese (S$1.80) in a min jiang kueh is certainly a crowd-favourite and a good transition from the usual peanut and coconut pancakes to the more exciting, avant-garde flavours.
In this instance, you’ll see how Munchi Delights pays attention to the details. A filling that was not just Philadelphia Cream Cheese, I suspect some acid like lemon juice was added to temper the richness of the cream cheese to make it more palatable and less cloying. Of course, more could have been done to brighten up those flavours but a good effort, nonetheless.
Vera: It’s certainly more than just store-bought Philadelphia Cream Cheese, so there’s that going for them. Thick, cold dollops of cream cheese came oozing out upon tearing into the pancake. This Cream Cheese is definitely a hearty snack if you’re ever looking for one. I would’ve preferred a slightly savourier iteration of cream cheese, but this would’ve done just fine and dandy if I were on the hunt for something to fill me up for cheap.
4. Oreo cheese
Nicole: It’s hard not to like this Oreo Cheese (S$1.80) pancake. It’s just like your Cream Cheese pancake but with Oreos blended into the cheese. A little less padded than your Cream Cheese pancake but entirely agreeable. No complaints here.
Vera: Before you bite into this, here’s a fair warning to steel your body for a wall of sweetness that’s headed your way fast. After reeling from the burst of sugar, the meld of oreo and cream cheese starts to come through. The cream cheese is the same as Cream Cheese pancake, so no surprises there.
It might be sacrilegious to say, but the filling reminded me of Chewy Junior, which is miles better than whatever this is. I can’t say I’m a fan, but it’s definitely an option for our sweet-toothed readers.
5. Thai Milk Tea
Nicole: If there is anything that has been overused as a flavouring, it would be Thai milk tea, most places get it too sweet, and the astringent quality of the tea is lost in the process. So, you can imagine my apprehension at this Thai Milk Tea (S$1.80) pancake. Just like the rest of their fanciful flavours, Munchi Delights pays attention to the details and are not one to scrimp on flavour.
While I would have liked it more of the tannic quality of the tea to come through, the cream inside had that characteristic muted orange hue dotted with black tea leaves from a teabag. A little sweeter than I would have liked but there held a little more complexity in this pancake than I was expecting.
Rating: 5/10 for Bangkok nostalgia
Vera: As a self-crowned milk tea princess, I was highly anticipating this but was promptly disappointed upon taking my first bite. Overwhelmingly saccharine, I was done in two tiny bites tops. Although there were traces of blended tea leaves in the filling, their fragrance eluded me.
Rating: Just. Too. Sweet. Ok fine, 3/10 if I had to choose
Nicole: You know me, I love my matcha, and I like mine bitter as it can get. Just like Thai milk tea, it’s an overused flavour that is up to par with another over-subscribed flavour: salted egg. The stakes are high with this one. This is quite the delicate pancake, the grassy, smooth filling threatening to spill over if you apply just a little too much pressure.
You know I have high standards for matcha, so trust me when I say Matcha (S$1.80) pancake did not disappoint. Okay, not the rich ceremonial bitter matcha that comes with all the pomp and pageantry. This was just as pleasant with a white chocolate slant, à la Royce Nama chocolate and with a sweet tooth like mine — I’m sold.
Vera: I know Nicole’s an absolute queen of matcha, so I’m curious to find out what she thinks of this. I was hoping for the filling to resemble more of a bitter, pure matcha paste, but the sweet matcha blend just didn’t sit well with me. Like its Thai tea counterpart, this matcha pancake was just far too cloying to make it to my must-have list.
7. Belgian chocolate
Nicole: Cheap chocolate is the worst. Waxy with a nasty aftertaste that coats your mouth, I know I can’t be the only one that thinks so. I was prepared to hate on this Belgian Chocolate (S$1.80) pancake, but a bite of this and I had to do a double-take.
The filling was a little paltry I’ll admit, but there the creaminess and richness of the chocolate more than made up for it.
Vera: For its price, I know I cannot expect thick, decadent Valrhona chocolate spilling from the seams. But it’s a pleasant surprising biting in—bittersweet chocolate immediately filling my palate. It’s a pretty decent dessert pancake for its price point, in my opinion. I think apart from the Peanut pancake; the Belgian Chocolate one was the next best one that stood out to me.
8. Strawberry Cheese
Nicole: At first, the almost pastel pink of the filling of the Strawberry Cheese (S$1.80) was a little bit of turn-off. Only because I was afraid of this one tasting sickly sweet and too much like a strawberry-scented marker. Another surprise that Munchi Delights served, and with actual strawberry pieces in a slightly cold filling. Sweet and fresh, I could see why there were always steady queues for the stall.
Vera: I’ll be honest—I was nervous for this one. After the previous few brushes with an extreme dose of sugar, at this point, I am thrice bitten, and more than shy. Fresh strawberry bits wedged in between the thick cream cheese are a relieving sight; at least it’s not strawberry jam we’re dealing with here. The pancake fondly reminds me of Meiji Strawberry Milk, but whether that’s a win or lose in your books is up to you.
9. Black Sesame
Nicole: I had high hopes for this one. After all, if Black Sesame (S$1.80) doesn’t scream comfort, I don’t know what will. Unfortunately, this one fell pretty flat with a dull thud at that. The filling was gluey and hard with a too intense sesame flavour for my liking.
Sigh, we were all rooting for you!
Vera: The first thing about this pancake that struck us was how solid its filling was—so hard, it could almost rival the legendary Nokia phone. Tearing into it, we could see how pasty and sticky the black sesame blend was.
As you might’ve already guessed, it was, as a result, really dry and uninspiring. There was also an extremely strong nuttiness from the black sesame that eventually stood in the way of my second and what could’ve been my third bite.
10. Red Bean
Nicole: I don’t have much appreciation for red beans, given how starchy they are—ditto with Vera. Still, I will give the Red Bean (S$1.30) pancake the time in the sun. As far as red bean fillings go, this one was not overly sweet or disappointingly bland.
For someone who has no affinity for red bean anything, I found myself warming up slightly. Though the affection is tepid, a tundra, it is no more.
Vera: Apologies to all red bean-lovers out there—you’ve been warned that neither Nicole nor I am fans of red bean, to begin with, so we’re treading with caution here. This min jiang kueh, unfortunately, confirms our dislike towards the legume. Like the black sesame version, the red bean filling is woefully dry. Some might enjoy the slap in the face with red bean, however, and if that’s you then go for it, gur.
Verdict: This is what you should order
🏆 Matcha 🏆
Dare I say it? A sweet matcha pancake makes the cut, I too, am pretty surprised at the result. I can’t help the sweet tooth in me. While I might be a hard-up on matcha everything, Munchi Delights they won me over with their well-balanced Matcha pancake.
It’s sweet, but not lacking in that green, fragrant matcha notes I know and love so well.
🏆 Peanut 🏆
Vera: I’m not usually a prescriptivist when it comes to food—I’m absolutely for the notion of pushing boundaries and putting a modern spin on things. But somehow, Munchi Delights’ min jiang kueh spread is a testament that sometimes, classics are classics for a reason.
I was really rooting for the other more novel flavours, but this session has helped me develop a renewed appreciation towards understated basics. Personally, the Peanut min jiang kueh has my heart, and if and when I do find myself traipsing over to the land of Yishun, perhaps I’ll pick up a pancake or five to go.
51 Yishun Ave 11, #01-43 Hawker Centre, Yishun Park, Singapore 768867
51 Yishun Ave 11, #01-43 Hawker Centre, Yishun Park, Singapore 768867