It may not occur to you that the 7th day of the Chinese New Year is quite a special one.
“Renri” 人日 is celebrated in the Chinese culture as the day human beings were created, thus there are Singaporean Chinese who choose to eat “Ang Ku Kueh” on this special day.
“Ang Ku Kueh” or “Red Tortoise Cake” is an oval-shaped pastry made of sticky glutinous rice flour skin wrapped around a sweet filling in the centre.
Molded to resemble a tortoise shell and traditionally red in colour, they symbolise longevity and good fortune (because tortoises have long life).
Therefore, they are often given as gifts during festivals such as Chinese New Year, baby’s first month and birthdays.
However, there are also people who just treat them like a nostalgic, delicious snack.
One of the most popular places to get Ang Ku Kueh in Singapore is Ji Xiang Confectionery at Everton Park (“Ji” means “luck”, while “xiang” means “prosperity”).
It is also opening a new outlet at Bugis Street on the 19 February. (One of their collaborating vendors also has an outlet at 190 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh Central #01-574, available from 11am till sold out.)
The family-run business started out from a kitchen in a HDB flat, and its popularity led them to this space at Everton Park in 1988.
(Photo credit: Ji Xiang Confectionery)
While the shop isn’t the easiest to find for non-regulars, a far walk from the nearest MRT station (Outram MRT) and hidden under a block of flats.
You may find often a short queue of people lining up, facing rather ‘hurried’ service. Come after later, and several of the limited flavours would be sold out. Usually when I head down, there are just two or three types left.
Ji Xiang sells a total of eight Ang Ku Kueh flavours ($0.90 per pc) which include peanut, sweet bean, salty bean paste, corn, coconut, yam ($1) and the seasonal durian ($1.80).
Each is distinguished by the different colour of the skin.
What I liked about their Ang Ku Kueh was their warm (especially when you eat it fresh), soft, slightly sticky skin that won’t stick to the teeth.
Also, the peanut and mung bean fillings were fragrant, yet not too sweet.
Look out for the new Bugis Street outlet which is certainly more convenient for many, though note that only the Peanut and Sweet Bean would be offered for now here.
Ji Xiang Confectionery – Everton
Block 1 #01-33 Everton Park, Singapore 081001
Tel: +65 6223 1631
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 5pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun, PH
Ji Xiang Confectionery – Bugis
Bugis Street, 235 Victoria Street Singapore 188027
Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
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