One Kueh at a Time at Pandan Loop is a specialised cafe selling only one type of food – Soon Kueh – in eight versions. Located in an unmarked space in the Lim Chee Guan building in an industrial estate, it was not easy to find. But it was worth the effort.
Finding the building known only as 230 Pandan Loop was hard enough. But even when we got there there was no sign of any cafe or business activity on a Saturday. The security personnel sensed our predicament and directed us to enter this serious looking glass entrance.
The interior space was as different from the exterior as day and night. The cafe space of One Kueh at a Time is bright and spacious. This could be a hip cafe in a trendy area like Tiong Bahru, except that space would be too precious and tables and diners would be squeezed together.
But in this cafe, far from the centre of Singapore, space is abundant and there are no crowds. In fact there were only us. Apart from the One Kueh at a Time counter and kitchen behind there is an unused stall with the signboard of the famous bak kua brand Lim Chee Guan.
One Kueh at a Time Menu
One cannot accuse the folks at OKAAT of being unfocused. They are really specialised. The only food on the One Kueh at a Time menu are soon kuehs – in eight flavours. For drinks – you can choose between tea and coffee. It is a good place to go for indecisive people.
We selected a few types – classic soon kueh, ku chai, bak kwa, cabbage and Sah Nia’s haebi hiam versions. I must confess that I cannot tell some of them apart in the pictures. Only the bak kwa and ku chai kueh are distinctive visually – they are the black and dark green ones respectively.
The thin and translucent skin and the generous amount of stuffing were what made the One Kueh at a Time soon kueh stand out from others. Here is a summary of what I can recall from the various kuehs we ate:
Ku chai kueh ($2 each) – the best and our favourite. The chive stuffing was fragrant and bursting with flavours.
Classic soon kueh ($1.60) and cabbage ($1.80) – these was our next favourite items. Classic flavours but with richer flavours than usual because of the bulky amount of stuffing.
Bak Kwa ($2.50) and haebi hiam ($2.50) – these were dominated by the ingredients. Nice in that they are unusual, but too far off our concept of traditional soon kueh for our liking.
We ate a total of around 20 kuehs with coffee ($5 each), which was so-so. We will try the tea next time.
This is a picture of the ku chai kueh. A clear favorite of ours. We often complain that some ku chai or soon kuehs that have skins too thick and low amounts of stuffing. In the case of One Kueh at a Time, it was the opposite. We would have preferred the skin to be thicker to balance the strong flavours of the stuffing.
We bought some frozen ku chai kuehs for takeaway. They can be a kept in the freezer for a week. Steaming them for 9 minutes was enough to bring them back to life.
One Kueh at a Time
230 Pandan Loop #01-K1
Tel: +65 9795 6119
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog