Last Updated: January 30, 2020
If you’re a fan of traditional pastries and sweet treats like me, you’ll definitely like Xing Xing Ondeh-Ondeh Tapioca Cake at Maxwell Food Centre. This humble stall currently belongs to a second-generation hawker, whose mother passed down the business prior to her passing.
The son who owns the business with his wife has been running it for a whopping 37 years and the stall has evidently made a name for itself by selling these old school snacks.
The uncle and auntie running the store shared with me that the business wasn’t just solely passion but it started off as their source of income. As time passed and as their children grew older, they had more time to cool off and get back to their passion for making traditional home-made snacks.
For the owners, their day starts out as early as 3am in the morning when they swiftly buy their ingredients. By approximately 5am, the owners are at the stall making the kueh and other snacks. When I found out about their routine, I was honestly stunned. I had such newfound respect for their craftwork.
It really does take a lot of determination and resilience to stick closely to such a routine. Something more personal that the uncle shared with me is that since his daughter would most likely not take over the business so after this generation, the store would probably be discontinued.
It’s quite a sobering thought to think that all the traditional handmade kueh and snacks here will soon be gone. Let’s dig into the different snacks sold at Xing Xing Ondeh-Ondeh Tapioca Cake, before we lose the opportunity to.
Here we have a platter of different kuehs—Tapioca Cake with Coconut Flakes (S$0.40/piece), Ondeh-Ondeh (S$0.50/piece), Steamed Tapioca Cake with Coconut Sugar (S$0.80/piece) and Kueh Kosui (S$0.60/piece).
We began with the Tapioca Cake with Coconut Flakes. I’m not exactly a big fan of coconut flakes but this one absolutely won me over. The tapioca cake was so bouncy, and when I bit into it, it was soft and jelly-like.
This was definitely my favourite out of all the pastries. Funny story, I was slightly dimwitted and asked the auntie if they had added gelatin. She giggled and shared that the texture took great skill and effort, there was no gelatin added.
The auntie explained that her technique to the perfect chewy ball of tapioca was the kneading. She didn’t exactly want to disclose how long she had kneaded the tapioca “paste” for, but she did drop a hint that it required precision and consistency.
Next up, we tried the Ondeh-Ondeh. Out of all the ondeh-ondeh I’ve tried, this was probably the best one. The texture was soft and slightly chewy with sweet gula melaka sauce in the middle. When I bit into it, a burst of sweet flavour oozed out and I knew this was going to be my go-to ondeh-ondeh stall from now on.
The other kueh that was on the platter was the Steamed Tapioca Cake with Coconut Sugar. This was probably my least favourite because I didn’t really enjoy how grainy the coconut sugar was.
Though I do have to say, coconut sugar is naturally grainy but I guess I’m just not one to enjoy such toppings on my tapioca cake. Perhaps it might just be an acquired taste, but the steamed tapioca cake was also slightly too hard for me.
To complete our platter, here we have the Kueh Kosui (gula melaka steamed rice cakes). Accordingly, there are two types of kueh kosui—the wobbly version and the cake-like version. Here at Xing Xing Ondeh-Ondeh Tapioca Cake, the uncle and auntie make the lovely starchy cake-like version.
Similar to most of the other kuehs, the Kueh Kosui is coated with coconut shavings. The sweetness isn’t too potent and cloying. It also has a nice bouncy texture, accompanied by the slight crunch from the coconut shavings.
My favourite was definitely the bouncy tapioca cake and I know I could eat a whole platter. If you haven’t tried Xing Xing Ondeh-Ondeh Tapioca Cake, what are you waiting for?
Expected Damage: S$0.40 – S$0.80/piece
Our Rating: 4 / 5
Xing Xing Ondeh-Ondeh Tapioca Cake
1 Kadayanallur Street, Singapore 069184
1 Kadayanallur Street, Singapore 069184