Cheap & Good

Traditional kueh treats made from scratch at Dunman Food Centre

I went to Dunman Food Centre last week as I like the duck rice at the Dunman Duck Rice stall.

After a satisfying lunch, I went to the stall behind, Ah Yee’s Soon Kueh, to buy the yummy handmade soon kueh and png kueh (rice kueh).

I was surprised to see the shutter down and the signboard gone. A drinks seller told me that the stall had been closed for some time and recommended another kueh stall at the side of the hawker centre, which draws many customers, especially during weekends.

My interest piqued. I walked over to the stall, First Delight, but nothing was ready at about noon. The stallowner’s mother was frying a huge wok of turnip, dried shrimp, carrot slices and other ingredients, which looked to be the filling for soon kueh.

I like the idea that everything at the small stall is made from scratch. The daughter, who wanted to be known only as Ms Goh, was busy making yam kueh. She told me to return at 1pm. I tried what was ready first – soon kueh ($1), which Ms Goh said was the bestseller. The kueh was nice and warm with radish filling which was crunchy and seasoned just right.

What worked for me was the thin skin, which Ms Goh told me was made using her family’s recipe. The secret, the 43-year-old added, was in how the dough was made and that was all she would say.

ext to be ready was the yam kueh ($1.20) and png kueh ($1.10). Both are not bad but I like the yam kueh with mushroom slices and dried shrimp better. The yam is not too finely blended and it had some bite to it.

I also enjoyed the freshly steamed vegetable dices in the ku chye kueh ($1.10). There was not the slightest hint of the rawness of the vegetable, although Ms Goh tells me that it is not pre-fried.

With the Dragon Boat Festival around the corner, the stall is also selling Hokkien bak chang ($3). The rice is well-seasoned and the belly pork with fat was scrumptious. It would be lovely if there were more of it.

layteen@sph.com.sg

FIRST DELIGHT
01-08 Dunman Food Centre, 271 Onan Road 
Open (for kueh): 1 to 7pm, closed alternate Sunday 
Rating: ***