Chwee kueh, or water cakes, is a traditional Teochew dish that has two core components – a soft, light steamed rice flour cake topped with sweet, savoury preserved radish (or cai po) – that is best accompanied with a healthy dollop of chilli. Chwee kueh’s small portion and affordable pricing make for a popular hawker food item, especially for breakfast or snack time. Ahead, we tell you where to get the best chwee kueh in Singapore.
With multiple locations dotted around Singapore, Bedok Chwee Kueh was the first of its kind to earn the Michelin Bib Gourmand nod back in 2019. The Bedok Interchange Hawker Centre is the OG stall and each of the stalls only serves chwee kueh only – a testament to its taste. Prices start at $1.50 for three.
Bedok Chwee Kueh has multiple locations in Singapore
Jian Bo Shui Kueh is another household name that needs little introduction. Founded by Mr Wang in 1958, the stall is now helmed by third-generation owner Mr Ang and the brand has expanded to multiple kiosks and locations at all corners of the island. The Tiong Bahru Market location is its original. Prices start at $3 for five.
Jian Bo Shui Kueh has multiple locations in Singapore
Founded in 1959 by Lee San Ba, Ghim Moh Chwee Kueh has enjoyed a healthy run that includes a Michelin Plate. Here, the preserved radish (or cai po), is especially savoury, so don’t expect mounds of it to go along with the chwee kueh. Prices start at $2 for four.
20 Ghim Moh Rd, #01-54 Ghim Moh Road Market & Food Centre, Singapore 270020
83-year-old Peng Ah Bah has been selling chwee kueh for over thirty years. While you might think he keeps his recipe secret, he has been open to passing on his recipe for free. Peng Ah Bah has also had the honour of being invited into the home of PM Lee Hsien Loong to serve his chwee kueh to him and his guests in 2016. He is said to retire soon, so hurry head down before it is too late. Prices start at $1 for three.
3 Yung Sheng Rd, #02-67 Taman Jurong Market & Food Centre, Singapore 618499
If you’re looking for a chwee kueh that has a little more firmness and bite, then head over to Sembawang Hills Shui Kway. The preserved radish isn’t seasoned as heavily as other stalls, making this a little snack for breakfast or a midday pick-me-up. Prices start at $1.40 for four.
590 Upper Thomson Rd, #01-16 Sembawang Hills Food Centre, Singapore 574419
Here at Xiang Xiang, the preserved radish isn’t chopped as finely, which gives the dish extra texture and bite to contrast against the soft and smooth chwee kueh. Also, the chilli offers an umami hit with dried shrimp, so you shouldn’t skip it. Prices start at $1.6o for four.
91 Whampoa Dr, #01-05, Singapore 320091 and 16 Bedok South Rd, #01-14, Singapore 460016
While the name might lead you to think that the stall is in the northeastern region, Kovan Chwee Kueh is actually in Bendemeer. Headed by three ladies, the stall opens before the crack of dawn and closes before lunchtime, so head there early. Prices start at $1.50 for five.
29 Bendemeer Rd, #01-64 Bendemeer Market & Food Centre, Singapore 330029
Chwee kueh doesn’t exactly make for a filling meal on its own. So if you’re especially hungry and looking for something heftier, try the palm-sized versions at Pek Kio Handmade Chwee Kueh. PS: They sell the regular size too. Prices start at $1.50 for five or $1.50 each for the larger one.
41 Cambridge Rd, #01-28 Pek Kio Market & Food Centre, Singapore 210041
Housed within the famous eating spot Tampines Round Market, Aunty Chwee Kueh was founded in 2020. Headed by husband and wife duo Andrew and Kelly, Aunty Chwee Kueh has become known for its range of popular snack items and Teochew kueh including chwee kueh. Prices start at $1.60 for four.
137 Tampines St. 11, #01-24 Tampines Round Market, Singapore 521137
Ah Mah Chwee Kueh can be considered somewhat of a neighbourhood secret. After all, its location doesn’t exactly make it accessible to most. The stall is most known for its namesake dish, chwee kueh, but also peddles traditional Chinese desserts on the side. Prices start from $2 for five.
4A Jln Batu, #01-01, Singapore 432004
Located in Eunos Crescent Food Centre, this stall is identified by its nondescript white signboard that literally just states the product it is selling – chwee kueh. The Tans have been perfecting the dish for over two decades. PRices start at $1.20 for four.
4A Eunos Cres, Eunos Crescent Market & Food Centre Singapore 402004
This article was first published in Women’s Weekly.