Cheap & Good

Potong Pasir's peanut pancake a hit

The signature peanut pancake and the other versions are coconut.
The signature peanut pancake and the other versions are coconut.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
Madam Ong Siew

Despite reading and hearing so much about veteran opposition politician Chiam See Tong, I have never had the opportunity to meet him.

So when Mr Sitoh Yih Pin - the People's Action Party Member of Parliament for Potong Pasir - mentioned earlier this week that the 80-year-old enjoyed the peanut pancake (also known as mee chiang kueh) from a stall at a particular coffee shop in the estate, I decided to check it out.

After all, what better way to get to know Mr Chiam, who served an unprecedented six terms in the ward until 2011, than through his stomach?

I am pleased to report that he has good taste.

The tiny un-named stall, which sits inconspicuously next to a vegetarian beehoon stall, is a one-person affair manned for the past nine years by Madam Ong Siew, 57.


  • Jin Biao Coffeeshop, Block 136 Potong Pasir Avenue 3

    Open: 7am to 2pm (Tuesday to Sunday), closed on Monday

    Rating: 3/5

It is a stone's throw from Mr Chiam's old town council office and he would drop by fairly regularly to get the peanut pancake.

The owners also have two other well-known pancake stalls - in Lorong Ah Soo and Toa Payoh Lorong 4.

The signature peanut pancake  costs 90 cents and the other versions are coconut, red bean (both 90 cents), cheese ($1.10) and chocolate ($1.30).

Unlike most pancake stalls, which turn out large pancakes that are later portioned out, Madam Ong makes smaller ones each good for one serving.

The peanut version is the crowd favourite. The pancake has an airy honeycomb-like structure that makes for a light snack, compared with some of the stodgier ones available elsewhere.

The pancake-to-filling ratio is very generous for a humble operation. A huge scoop of powder-fine crushed peanuts mixed with sugar is heaped on top of the pancake as it is being cooked, lending it an intense toasty aroma when ready.

I was sold on the coconut version, filled to the brim with shredded coconut that is lightly toasted, providing a crunchy contrast to the springy pancake.

I also spied Madam Ong slathering a healthy dollop of red bean paste on another customer's pancake. Ask for less filling if you prefer a more uniform bite.

But whatever your preference, there is something oddly nostalgic about this snack, which is wrapped in old-school brown paper.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 23, 2015, with the headline 'Potong Pasir's peanut pancake a hit'. Print Edition | Subscribe