Cheap & good: Carrot cake conversations

Cheap & good: Carrot cake conversations

When people I meet find out that I'm a food writer, the conversation often tends to steer towards food.

Over the years, I've had a number of chats centred on carrot cake or chye tow kway.

Inevitably, one question always seems to plague the conversation: Why is carrot cake called carrot cake when there isn't any carrot in it?

Honestly, I don't have a good answer for that.

My theory is that the name was coined because the dish includes radish, which in Mandarin translates to white carrot. Plausible? I think so.

But at lunch last Thursday, I found myself proudly announcing to my colleagues that my plate of carrot cake had carrot in it. Finally.

I held up a chunk of chye tow kway to show off the thin orange shreds of grated carrot as proof.

And the dish is definitely one of the better versions I've had in a while.

At Chey Sua Carrot Cake at Block 127 Toa Payoh Lorong 1 Market & Food Centre, which is popular among residents and office workers in the area, the carrot cake is fried in small batches and served like a pancake.

The kway or radish cake is soft but not mushy and the stall is very generous with its egg, which is fried to a crisp.

The result is a crispy, eggy chye tow kway pancake with plenty of chye poh (preserved radish), smeared with aromatic sambal.

Despite the chye poh, the dish is not salty. I like that the edge of the pancake has a nice crunch to it too.

The version here is also not particularly oily because of the skilful way the pan is tilted to let the oil slide across the chye tow kway as it is being cooked.

There you go: Great carrot cake with carrot, even if it is only a very little bit.

Follow Rebecca Lynne Tan on Twitter @STrebeccatan


Where: Block 127, Toa Payoh Lorong 1 Market & Food Centre, 02-30
Open: 6.30am to 1pm (Tuesday to Sunday), closed on Monday
Rating: 4/5

This article was first published on Nov 16, 2014.
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