Ang ku kueh, or red tortoise cake, is a traditional Chinese treat made in the shape of tortoise shells. It is believed to bring longevity, good fortune and prosperity to the person eating it.
Known for its bright red colour, chewy skin and sweet filling, the kueh is also enjoyed during special occasions, such as a newborn baby's first month or an elderly's birthday.
These days, however, great ang ku kueh is difficult to find, especially if you're looking for ones still handmade with love. But we're here to make your search for these nostalgic sweets treats easy. Here are 10 places that offer the best ang ku kueh in Singapore.
Ji Xiang Ang Ku Kueh
Ji Xiang has been a crowd favourite since its inception in 1985 by Toh Poh Seek. They later expanded to their first outlet in Everton Park and now have a few locations in Singapore. Peanut and mung bean are their most popular flavours with other options including corn, coconut and durian. They also have a rainbow design made for the 'gram too. Prices start at $6.60 for six.
Ji Xiang Ang Ku Kueh has multiple locations in Singapore.
The Ang Ku Kueh Hut
The Ang Ku Kueh Hut was founded by the Toh siblings who grew up in a kueh-making family. With the brand, they aim to keep the legacy going while introducing modern elements that appeal to contemporary tastebuds. Besides the classic peanut filling, they also offer pistachio, yam, hazelnut and seasonal flavours such as roasted chestnut (pictured) too. Prices start at $6 for five.
Location: 36 Kim Keat Rd, Singapore 328812
Kueh Ho Jiak
Kueh Ho Jiak was started by Sandy Tan and has since become a multi-generation family business. They were also recognised as a heritage hawker by Unesco in 2019 for their work with the traditional kueh beyond ang ku kueh. No artificial colouring is used in their creations, which range from mung bean to Biscoff ang ku kueh (pictured). Prices start at $4.50 for three.
Location: 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market, #02-20, Singapore 081006 and 335 Smith Street, #02-149 Chinatown Complex Hawker Centre, Singapore 050335
Poh Cheu Soon Kueh and Ang Ku Kueh
Poh Cheu is almost three-decades-old but the brand still insists on making their ang ku kueh by hand daily. This has certainly paid off — it received a Michelin Plate in 2019 and continues to welcome long queues. Poh Cheu has 12 flavours available; unique ones include mango, green tea, coffee, pineapple and durian. Each piece is priced at $1.20.
Location: 127 Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-222, Singapore 150127
Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionery
Founded in 1968, Lek Lim is now run by third-generation owner Gavin Sng. Besides the wide array of nyonya kuehs, Lek Lim sells three ang ku kueh flavours: peanut, yam and bean paste. Each piece starts at $0.80.
Location: 84 Bedok North Street 4, #01-21, Singapore 460084
Lina Confectionery & Trading
Named after the founder Linawati Sukhamta, Lina Confectionery & Trading has been selling traditional handmade Indonesian kuehs for over 30 years. While the classics like kueh lapis, kueh ambon and onde onde are hot favourites here, the ang ku kueh is a bestseller too. It comes in peanut, green bean, yam and salted green bean flavours. Each piece is priced at $0.90.
Location: 124 Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-138, Singapore 150124
Borobudur Snacks Shop
Located within walking distance from either Bedok North or Bedok Reservoir MRT is the nondescript Borobudur Snacks Shop. As the name implies, Indonesian and Nyonya kuehs are the focal point here, with ang ku kueh being a star product. Flavours here include bean paste and peanut.
Location: 537 Bedok North Street 3, Singapore 460537
Kueh Garden is the place to head to for westies to satisfy their ang ku kueh cravings. They have 12 different flavours to choose from. Besides classics like peanut and green bean, they also have green tea, durian, sweet corn and coffee. Each piece starts at $1.
Location: 348 Jurong East Ave 1, Singapore 600348
146 Famous Bukit Merah Ang Ku Kueh
146 Famous Bukit Merah Ang Ku Kueh was created in 1985 by the three Toh brothers. The brand started with only two flavours but continued popularity has allowed them to expand its offerings to 11. Besides the all-time favourite peanut and bean paste, a must-try flavour is coconut. Otherwise, durian, coffee and sweet potato are other options available. Each piece is priced at $1.20.
Location: 146 Jalan Bukit Merah, #01-1086, Singapore 160146
Ang Mo Kio Nonya Kueh
Although the shop is named Ang Mo Kio, the location is actually tucked away in Hougang. The shop was previously in Ang Mo Kio before moving to its current location two decades ago. Choose from five ang ku kueh flavours - bean paste, peanut, salted bean paste, as well as durian and coffee skins with sweet bean filling. Prices start at $3 for five.
Location: Hougang Ave 3, #01-62 Block 7, Singapore 530007
This article was first published in The Singapore Women's Weekly.