Sunday, May 5, 2013

Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionery @ Bedok North

Located at Blk 84, Bedok North Street 4. It's just right next to Blk 85 (Fengshan Market and Food Centre). If travelling from the far west, one option is to take the MRT till Bedok station. Then walk towards Bedok Central bus stop and take #222. Alight opposite of Blk 85.

Lek Lim is a traditional nonya kueh shop that was founded in the late '80s and has been in its current location for 32 years. It is also halal certified.

32 years, same location
humble family business that believes delicious kueh can bring joy to anyone who tastes them

Fast forward to current; the baton has now been passed to the third-generation of the family, Gavan.

Gavan, sharing the history of Lek Lim

Gavan has shared that throughout the years, the recipe for the kuehs had seen some tweaking, in particularly to cater to the healthier crowd. Which means that currently they're using less coconut, and no eggs.

delectable ang ku kuehs
pulut inti, lovely ambons
popiah, curry puffs
fried yam cake

However, in a surprising twist, it is the fried items that's the current crowd favourite (!?).

As this was an invited session, we got to try our hands on some kueh makings. Nothing too complicated. It's more like kueh assembling rather than kueh making. It's absolutely beginner-proofed!

Ang Ku Kueh Session

pre-prepped ingredients: kueh fillings (peanut, green bean and coconut) and ang ku kueh skins

The only tools that one need for this; a plastic mould and deft hands. Ok, maybe the deft hands belonged to Gavan and the other masters in the shop. But we had fun, and the steps are really simple.

  1. Wash hands and wipe dry
  2. Pinch a good amount of skin flour. The amount to pinch depends on the size of the filling
  3. Roll gently to form a ball, before flattening it out
  4. Make a gentle depression in the middle of the flattened skin
  5. Place the filling into the depressed area
  6. Roll up the skin and form a ball
  7. Dip it into dry flour and roll abit
  8. Dip it a second time and place the flour-ed surface into the mould
  9. Press down gently (not too much, otherwise the flour ball might get stuck in the mould)
  10. Knock the kueh out of the mould

rolling and rolling

red (sifu's version), black and green are the novices' version
off to the steamer, to sauna for about 25 minutes~
ready-to-sell version looks like this

If you think ang ku kueh session was simple, then the how to wrap pulut inti session would be a piece of...err.. kueh? =P

Pulut Inti Session

banana leaves, the inti (coconut filling) and the pulut


  1. Take one piece of banana leaf
  2. Place one square piece of pulut onto the leaf
  3. Pinch some coconut fillings
  4. Wrap: Fold the leaf into half (vertical half), then tuck in one end downwards. For the other end, cross the leaf edge and tuck in downwards

tucking in progress

Amah was the one that showed us how to fold the pulut inti, so I asked her how did I fare. She said, "Passed. 100%." Keke.

To appreciate the handmade tradition of Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionary, let's take a glimpse at how the experts do it.

lots and lots of ku chai
busy chopping, fillings for ku chai kueh
delicious savoury fillings (imagine the amount of work that had gone into this)

experts making soon kuehs
waiting to enter the steamer
moulding the peng kueh
almost ready
handmade kueh

Here's a look at completed products (sans packaging):

ang ku kuehs (boys and girls version)

ondeh-ondeh sans coconut coating
kueh bengka (tapioca kueh)
customers mulling over which kuehs to buy

One can't help but to feel a little more appreciative of the work that has gone through for these handmade goodies.

at home with colourful kuehs
just needa re-steam prior to eating
yummy soon kueh
fragrantly light ku chai kueh
peng kueh

For the savoury types, Lek Lim's Ku Chai (菇菜) kueh (@$0.70 per piece), has become my personal favourite. Had it right off the steamer, and its skin was super thin. In fact, I think it has the best skin! If you like the fragrance of ku chai, then this kueh will not disappoint. It gave an overall light taste. If you want this, better be there before 4pm as the kueh may be sold out by then!

In terms of stronger flavour and texture, the Soon (筍) kueh's (@$0.70 per piece) filling was the best amongst the three savouries. A multitude of ingredients including mushrooms, turnip, bamboo shoots and dried shrimps. Also liked that it wasn't overly peppery!

Lek Lim has an online presence, and one can order and have it delivered right up to the doorstep (delivery charges applies). How convenient is that!

Special thanks to Gavan and family (especially the elders!), for giving us a chance to take a peek into the traditional nonya kueh making processes. While I have not eaten enough kuehs to be able to compare between handmade and factory-made versions, I do know that I've enjoyed most of Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionery's especially the ku chai kueh, ambon and the green and black ku kueh (with coconut and green bean fillings respectively).

Do remember to drop by and try some of these delectable kuehs when you're around the neighbourhood.

Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionery

Location: Blk 84, Bedok North Street 4, #01-21, Singapore 460084
Tel: 64490815     Fax: 64424958


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