Pui Pui Heng Hot & Cold Dessert: Old-school desserts store with S$2.50 handmade Ice Kacang & Pulut Hitam

How to find cheap and good old-school desserts in Singapore? Throw in “handmade” and Pui Pui Heng Hot & Cold Dessert at ABC Brickworks Market & Food Centre is your answer.

Helmed by second-gen hawker, Seah Boon Chuan and his wife Akie, the traditional dessert store also marks Boon Chuan’s return to the dessert industry after a 20-year hiatus.

Pui Pui Heng Hot & Cold Dessert: Storefront

Although this hidden gem is relatively new to its current location, it has been around for a long long time!

Originally located at the former Lakeview Hawker Centre, Pui Pui Heng Hot & Cold Dessert was operated by Boon Chuan’s father in the 1970s with Boon Chuan helping out at the tender age of 9. However, the 60-year-old hawker decided to switch things up to spend more time with his family. 

From 2008 to 2010, Boon Chuan sold soya bean and sugarcane juice at Whampoa Food Centre as it required less prep time than desserts. Now that his children are grown up, he has decided to continue from where he left 20 years ago.

Offering a range of well-crafted rustic desserts like Sweet Potato Soup (S$2) and Cheng Tng (S$2.50), Pui Pui Heng’s menu screams “authentic desserts at an affordable price”.

With a heavy heart, the couple both shared that they are planning to cease operations next month. Why?

What I tried at Pui Pui Heng Hot & Cold Dessert

My journey to the charming hawker store at Queenstown was a torturous one. I mean, this is like any other day. With a parched throat and sweat dripping down my oily face, I was hell-bent on getting there FAST to save myself from the punishing Singapore heat.

Among the dimly-lit and shuttered stores in the area, Pui Pui Heng Hot & Cold Dessert stood out with a bright white signboard with red Chinese characters. Staying true to their traditional roots!

But what really caught my attention was their desserts that ranged from S$2.00 to S$2.50. Yeah, maximum S$2.50. That’s crazy affordable for the generous portion we were about to get. 

Pui Pui Heng Hot & Cold Dessert: Boon Chuan & Akie

After almost wanting to take on the whole menu, we settled on Ice Kacang (S$2.50), Cocktail Ice Jelly (S$2.50) and Pulut Hitam (S$1.80).  

While I was transfixed on Boon Chuan laboriously collecting ice shavings from his trusty ice machine, Akie generously spooned the Pulut Hitam into a large bowl that reminded me of the ones I used in secondary school. 

Nostalgic huh?

Exclaiming that he would never sell his father’s recipes that he had tweaked along the way, Boon Chuan later told me that his iced dessert variations resulted from years of research and observation from the dessert industry. 

And experienced he was, as the ice at Pui Pui Heng Hot & Cold Dessert was finer than snow

Pui Pui Heng Hot & Cold Dessert: Ice Kacang

The ice in both the Ice Kacang and Cocktail Ice Jelly melted so quickly that we couldn’t take enough shots of it!

Nevertheless, the ingredients in the Ice Kacang were plentiful. The fluffy ice was topped with creamed sweet corn as well as recognisable pink and green syrup to, of course, sweeten up this refreshing dessert. Nestled below the mix are red beans, attap cee, rose jelly and cendol jelly that offer a mix of textures with a delightful chew. 

Pui Pui Heng Hot & Cold Dessert: Ice Kacang Ingredients

Including the rose and cendol jelly, the store’s ingredients are made from scratch every morning by Boon Chuan, who insists on the best for customers. I can’t believe how difficult it must have been to create the distinct shape of a cendol jelly by hand!

Deciding to pay S$0.50 for an additional fruit cocktail was a wise move, as the Cocktail Ice Jelly did not disappoint. I wanted to slurp it all up with a straw. 

Consisting of a myriad of fruits – peaches, apricots, cherries and grapes, this cold dessert was the perfect treat for the humid weather. Similar to its smaller counterparts, the no frills ice jelly was silky smooth and the crunchy shaved ice immediately quenched my thirst. 

Pui Pui Heng Hot & Cold Dessert: Cocktail Ice Jelly

Worried that my single hot dessert would suffer the same fate as my cold ones, I rushed to try the Pulut Hitam before it turned cold. 

Drizzled with fresh coconut milk to enrich the thick pulut hitam paste, this dessert was nothing short of comforting.

Pui Pui Heng Hot & Cold Dessert: Pulut Hitam

The grains of this brownish-black glutinous rice porridge were so soft that I struggled to get some out of my teeth afterwards. Unlike other dessert stores, the Pulut Hitam at Pui Pui Heng Hot & Cold Dessert was a perfect balance between sweet and nutty.

I will definitely be back for their Cendol (S$2.50) that is traditionally made without durian or soursop and drizzled with gooey gula melaka!

And waste no time consuming the shaved ice desserts. 

Final Thoughts

“No one knows how to appreciate these traditional recipes,” said Boon Chuan in frustration. 

For the amount of painstaking work and sizeable portions you will get for S$2, what’s stopping customers? 

Pui Pui Heng Hot & Cold Dessert: Boon Chuan's Ice Kacang

The store owners’ frank answer resonated with me: Google Reviews. Instead of personal recommendations, online reviews and media coverage are key for businesses in this modern age.

Despite numerous encouragements to continue their business, Boon Chuan and Akie seemed to have made up their minds. 

Will we prove them wrong? 

Expected damage: S$1.80 to S$2.50 

Queenstown Lontong: Delicious bowls of lontong since 1960s that’ll get you ready for the day

Price: $

Our Rating: 4.5 / 5

Pui Pui Heng Hot & Cold Dessert

6 Jalan Bukit Merah, ABC Brickworks Market, #01-110, Singapore 150006

Our Rating 4.5/5

Pui Pui Heng Hot & Cold Dessert

6 Jalan Bukit Merah, ABC Brickworks Market, #01-110, Singapore 150006

Operating Hours: 11.45am - 8pm (Daily)

Operating Hours: 11.45am - 8pm (Daily)