Instagram-worthy and increasingly over-the-top desserts have been gaining popularity recently, but once in a while we just crave a simple “old school” dessert without the frills. After all, traditional desserts are still around for a reason – they’re just so good! And don’t worry if you’re overwhelmed by the long list of options available; we’ve come up with a list of our favourite traditional, local desserts and snacks to share with you – along with some shops where you can find them.
A pandan-infused kueh (bite-sized snack) filled with gula melaka (palm sugar). Find it at:
- Bengawan Solo outlets
- Tiong Bahru Galicier (unique because they use sweet potato for the dough rather than the commonly used pandan extract)
- Borobudur Snacks Shop
Nonya Kueh Lapis
Traditional Peranakan snack made by steaming rice a mixture of flour, tapioca flour, water, sugar, coconut milk and food colouring to produce a soft rice-flour pudding. You can also peel off each layer to eat it rather than biting it all in one go!
- Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionery
- Molly Nonya Cake and Confectionery
- HarriAnn’s Nonya Table
Ang Ku Kueh
A Chinese kueh made with soft glutinous rice-flour skin wrapped around a sweet filling – peanut or mung beans. Known for its bright red colour.
- Poh Cheu Soon Kueh and Ang Ku Kueh (unique because they have more flavours than the two “regular” ones)
- Ji Xiang Ang Ku Kueh
- The Ang Ku Kueh Hut
A disc-shaped traditional steamed rice-flour kueh filled with coconut or peanut.
- Mr Ho Tutu Kueh
- Kia Xiang Du Du Nyonya Kueh
- Lau Tan Tutu Kueh
Min Jiang Kueh
Hokkien pancake traditionally filled with peanut or red bean paste. More varieties are available these days, including everything from cheese to Nutella!
- Pancake King
- Mr. Bean
Shaved ice that comes with a multitude of toppings ranging from red beans, jelly and sweet corn to attap chee (a sweet, translucent, gelatinous ball that is harvested from the immature seed of the Nipah palm) and sweet syrup
- Mei Heong Yuen Dessert
- Qing Tian Hot and Cold Desserts
- Teck Kee Hot and Cold Dessert
Soya beancurd that can be served hot or cold in a sweet syrup or soy milk.
- Rochor Beancurd House
- Selegie Soya Bean
- Lao Ban Soya Beancurd
Chinese dessert made from glutinous rice flour typically served in sweet soup or syrup. Tang yuan comes filled with various pastes such as peanut or black sesame.
- 75 Ah Balling Peanut Soup
- Jin Yu Man Tang Dessert
- Ah Chew Desserts
A Teochew dessert made with taro/yam and blended into a smooth, sweet paste. It’s normally served with gingko nuts and pumpkin.
- Chao Shan Cuisine
- Mu Liang Zai Liang Kee Restaurant
A clear sweet soup packed with various ingredients like longan, barley, sweet potato and white fungus. Can be served hot or cold.
- No Name Dessert
- Ye Lai Xiang Hot and Cold Cheng Tng
- Ice Dessert
Rainbow ice cream bread
Ice cream wrapped inside rainbow bread is a staple local dessert that many Singaporeans enjoyed in their childhood and still today. These blocks of ice cream are also served wedged between thin layers of waffle biscuits
- Old-school ice cream vendors in carts – try along Orchard Road, outside Takashimaya and near Cavenagh Bridge.
A light chiffon cake flavoured with the juice of pandan leaves.
- Pure Pandan
- Ah Ma Homemade Cake
This dish is a Hokkien pancake, traditionally filled with peanut or red bean paste. More varieties are available these days, including everything from cheese to Nutella!
- Hougang 6 Miles Famous Muah Chee
- Goldleaf Restaurant
- Jade Restaurant at The Fullerton Hotel
Shops to try for your next dessert fix:
If you’re craving a local dessert or snack, or you’re an inquisitive newcomer keen to try traditional flavours, don’t miss these renowned Singapore shops.
#1 Ah Chew Desserts – serves both hot and cold traditional desserts
#2 Tiong Bahru Galicier Pastry – a grab-and-go bakery serving a wide selection of old-school pastries
#3 Xing Xing at Maxwell Food Centre – serves tapioca cakes and other traditional kueh and has been running for over 50 years
#4 115 Tang Shui at Chinatown – serves traditional homemade hot desserts
#5 Ah Balling Peanut Soup at Golden Mile – serves traditional soupbased desserts
#6 Mei Heong Yuen Dessert – serves over 50 traditional hot and cold desserts and snacks
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