Chinatown Tai Chong Kok Hue Kee 牛車水大中國餅家 餘記 is a shop at Alexandra Village selling traditional cakes and biscuits. Curious to see a shop with a name from Kreta Ayer in this part of Singapore, we stopped by to check it out and ended up buying some traditional pastries to try.
There is another business known as Tai Chong Kok in Singapore Chinatown that is famous for their mooncakes. I did some quick internet research to see the connection (if any) between the two. Other than confirming that they are two separate business with different addresses and outlets, I am afraid I have not been able to figure out the connection between the two. I suppose the added prefix and suffix are adequate to differentiate Chinatown Tai Chong Kok Hue Kee from the other one.
Apparently, Chinatown Tai Chong Kok Hue Kee is equally adept at making mooncakes. We went there before the mooncake festival and they only had the egg tarts and other traditional goodies that are in demand throughout the year. For a good writeup on the shop and pictures of mooncake, see this post.
These were the cookies that we ended buying from Chinatown Tai Chong Kok Hue Kee – a pack of Teochew biscuits (潮州餅 – $2.50 per packet) and a pack of ma ti shu ( 马蹄酥 – $3.20 per pack) and individual pieces of red bean pastry and green bean pastry ($1 each).
The ones with the best taste were the red bean pastry and green bean pastry. They were both denser than the rest and the fillings were richer in taste. As to which is better it is subjective, I prefer the red bean as it is sweet and the red bean taste matches the pastry, somewhat like a Japanese red bean dessert. And the fact that they both go well with black coffee.
The ma ti su which when translated by Google means “horseshoe biscuits”, were super flaky with light coloured sugary core. I am wondering if this type of biscuit originally included water chestnut (马蹄) as one of the ingredients. It certainly is not shaped like a horse shoe. Whatever the origin of this biscuit, we like the light taste and chewy maltose core of the biscuit. It is hollow in the centre and is a very light snack. Best eaten with some Chinese tea. Do be warned that the flaky pastry is very flaky and be prepared to make a small mess.
The teochew pastry was smaller and denser than the ma ti su. The stuffing was sweeter as well. It is easier to handle and makes less of a mess. These pastries from Chinatown Tai Chong Kok Hue Kee may not win any beauty contest or be featured in many Instagram shots. But what they have over the modern (and beautiful) pastries is the ability to bring back memories from days gone by.
Chinatown Tai Chong Kok Hue Kee
Alexandra Village Branch
Blk 122 Bukit Merah Lane 1
Tel: (65) 6270 8994
Blk 5 Banda Street
Tel: (65) 6223 0456
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog