The Kuihmaker, Bt Batok: “They clearly take their kuih-making game very seriously”

I’ve been searching high and low for a stall that sells traditional Malay kuih for ages. It’s sad because majority of the places I’ve come across often carry factory-made kuih—which isn’t the same. 

Which is why when I heard about the opening of Muslim-owned bakery, The Kuihmaker, in Bukit Batok, I didn’t think twice about making my way down just after dawn, considering they’re only open from 6.30am – 11am. If you don’t know, I live in Pasir Ris, so the journey had to be worth it considering the lengths I’m taking to indulge in some traditional kuih

Shop entrance

The Kuihmaker is a takeaway-only bakery that’s situated under an HDB block and is run by the former owners of home business, Officially Ooh La La. A short chat with the owner, Sam, revealed that the intention of this shop is to showcase his mom’s special recipes and re-introduce a slew of ‘underdog kuihs’ to the community. The stall, decked out with modern decor and mood lighting, also has a glass display case filled with the colourful freshly baked, handmade kuih

What I tried

Array of kuih

Prices start from as low as S$0.60 per loose piece here, and a Box of Four will cost S$2 to S$2.90. Their production also begins from the night before as the kuih requires a day to settle—which means you can expect fresh kuih every day

The Putri Salat, Kuih Bakar Pandan, and Talam Jagung will cost S$0.60 per piece whereas the Lapis Nyonya, Kuih Bakar Ubi, and Talam Ubi will cost S$0.70 per piece. Premium kuih like the Putri Salat Durian and Talam Berlauk will cost S$0.80 per piece

I have never considered myself a kuih connoisseur so my knowledge of them pretty much boils down to knowing the flavour profiles of four of my favourites: Lapis Nyonya, Putri Salat, Talam Ubi and Kuih Bakar Pandan

Lapis Nyonya

I’ll begin with the ever-popular layered cake, the Lapis Nyonya. At first glance, you’ll notice it comes with its traditional red and green-layered hues. A quick Google search reveals that it is made of two types of flour: tapioca and rice flour, and is made with sago, coconut milk, sugar, salt, and food colouring.

This childhood favourite always prompts me to have it in a certain way, by consuming it after peeling off a layer. Unlike many places that have, unfortunately, sold their soul to capitalism, the lapis nyonya here is soft and chewy, and definitely doesn’t taste like cardboard. You know they’re serving up the real deal. 

Putri salat

On to another two favourites of mine: Putri Salat and Talam Ubi. If you love your kuih, these duo-layered kuihs will indefinitely be a top choice for you. The Putri Salat is a two-layered dessert made with steamed glutinous rice (the white layer) and green custard made with pandan juice (the green layer).

Talam ubi

The Talam Ubi is made with coconut milk and tapioca. Both kuihs taste absolutely fresh, and their ingredients, well-balanced. Unlike some places where there’ll be an uneven ratio of ingredients, The Kuihmaker clearly take their kuih-making game very seriously. 

Kuih bakar pandan

I can never get enough of pandan, hence the Kuih Bakar Pandan has to be next on the list. The rich and fluffy kuih comes with a sweet taste and custard-like texture and is usually topped with sesame seeds. However, as Sam mentioned, they only sell what they like, so I guess he dislikes sesame seeds. Sesame seeds aside, the little green cake was made to perfection and wasn’t too sweet at all. 

Kuih bakar ubi

Next up I had the Kuih Bakar Ubi. The Kuih Bakar Ubi came with a strong orange hue which reminded me of a laddu. The orange cake is made with grated tapioca and coconut milk and has an incredibly springy texture. I love tapioca and this little orange cake may just very well be my new favourite with its mild flavours. 

Putri salat durian

The only difference between the Putri Salat Durian and Putri Salat is the addition of durian in the former. One bite into the ‘durian layer cake’ and you will realise that they use fresh ingredients to give you quality kuih. The Putri Salat Durian was everything I imagined it to be—fresh, sweet, and well-balanced. 

Talam berlauk

Saving the best for last is the Talam Berlauk—a weekly special. This is a unique one as it’s a savoury kuih. The base is made of glutinous rice while the top is essentially stir-fried minced beef with shallots, spring onions, and chillies. 

close up of talam berlauk

Sam also mentioned that this is a very rare kuih, and I agree with him. One bite into this kuih and I was blown away. The savoury pancake-like kuih is mildly spicy and chewy, and it tasted like beef rendang with rice. 

Final thoughts 

The kuihmaker's logo

If you love traditional Malay kuih and are sick and tired of having the factory-made ones, I’d urge you to make your way down to The Kuihmaker. Waking up in the wee hours of the morning to get yourself these freshly baked, homemade kuih will be well worth the trip.

The Kuihmaker has truly captured the essence of a mom’s love in their traditional kuih, and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. I can safely say that they serve up one of the best-tasting kuihs I’ve tasted in a long time, and it’s no surprise that they sell out on a daily basis. 

Expected damage: S$0.60 to S$2.90 per pax

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Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

The Kuihmaker

447 Bukit Batok West Ave 9, #01-02, Singapore 650447

Price
Our Rating 4/5

The Kuihmaker

447 Bukit Batok West Ave 9, #01-02, Singapore 650447

Operating Hours: 6.30am - 11am (Wed to Sun), Closed on Mon & Tue

Operating Hours: 6.30am - 11am (Wed to Sun), Closed on Mon & Tue
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