If you want some traditional Ang Ku Kueh and Soon Kueh, one of the popular places to get it is from Poh Cheu 宝洲 which has been in operation since 1985.

The stall is located next to Keng Eng Kee Seafood, and of short walking distance from Alexandra Village Food Centre.

Poh Cheu specialises in handmade colourful kueh in a variety of sweet and salty flavours.

There is always a long queue of people here though, so be patient as you wait for your turn.

Not many may not that it is also listed in the Michelin Guide with a ”Michelin Plate”.

Ang Gu Kueh aka “Red Tortoise Cake” is one of those disappearing heritage food of Singapore as less families make them by hand due to the intensive labour involved.

It is an oval-shaped glutinous rice flour cake with a sweet filling in the centre.

Shaped like a tortoise shell and rested on banana leaf, it has a Chinese word imprinted on top which usually means “longevity”, “blessings” or “prosperity”.

“Ang” literally means “red”; “gu” stands for “tortoise” (symbolises long life); while “kueh” represents “cake”. The Chinese in Singapore usually have them during a new-born first month, Ren Ri (7th day of the Chinese New Year), or birthdays of the elderly.

Nothing is really stopping us from eating this any time of the year, since they are commercially available and represent good luck.

However, with modernisation and changing eating habits, it is really hard to find more ‘indie’ shops hand-making and selling them.

Just a handful, and the better-known ones are Ji Xiang Confectionery, Lina’s Confectionery, Lek Lim, Molly’s Nonya Kuehs, to Kueh Ho Jiak (Tanjong Pagar)

Founder couple Neo Poh Cheu and Lim Kim Noi began with only 6 flavours for the Ang Ku Kueh: Peanut, Green Bean, Salted Bean, Yam, Durian and Coconut.

Today, they have 12 flavours, including modern ones that appeal to the younger generation, such as Red Bean, Black Sesame, Green Tea, Mango, Pineapple, and Coffee.

Except for the Salted Bean, all flavours are vegetarian. All products at Poh Cheu are made using vegetable oil.

Each Ang Ku Kueh is priced at $1.30 (increased from previous $1.10 pre COVID days), with a minimum of 5 pieces if you would like to get a box.

I would say go for the Peanut and Mung Beans to savour the more traditional flavours.

While the skin was slightly greasy (just a tad), it had such a soft consistency that doesn’t stick to the teeth. Even if I dabao some back home and consume hours later, the skin didn’t seem to dry out yet.

However, my friends did comment that they wished that the mochi-like skin was slightly thinner (when compared to the other popular brand).

The peanut fillings were aromatic, delicious, and not too sweet.

I also went for the more fanciful choice of pineapple, which totally reminded me of the CNY pineapple tart filling. Interesting, though not my favourite due to the combination.

In terms of the more fancy flavours, my favourite ones would be the Yam and Coffee which had a light pleasant fragrance.

To maintain their quality, keep the kuehs in the fridge on the day of purchase and steam for 3-5 minutes before consumption. Best consumed within 1-2 days.

Similarly, the Soon Kueh comes in a box of 10 pieces ($12.00), inclusive of 3 packets of Chili and Black sauce.

The Hakka-style Abacus Seeds ($2.30, $8.50) is good stuff too.

Other products include Bamboo Shoot, Ku Cai Kueh, Peng Kueh, Yam Cake, Hong Yuan, Hong Qian (online available in Green Bean flavour), and Big Ku Kueh. Each cost from $1.20 to $1.50 per piece.

Poh Cheu Soon Kueh and Ang Ku Kueh 宝洲
127 Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-222, Singapore 150127
Opening Hours: 8am – 6pm (Tues, Thurs – Sat), Closed Mon, Wed, Sun

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Ji Xiang Confectionery (Bugis)

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