Long queues for this old-school carrot cake at Clementi Central

By HungryGoWhere July 11, 2021
Long queues for this old-school carrot cake at Clementi Central
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Simply called Fried Carrot Cake, this stall commands long queues every morning for its old-school carrot cake which is chopped up into tinier than usual pieces.

The stall was started in the 1960s by Ng Keng Chow, who is now in his 80s. He migrated from China when he was 15 and he used to sell fried carrot cake from a pushcart in Tiong Bahru Market in the mornings before shifting to Bukit Ho Swee to sell in the afternoons.

The stall shifted to Clementi 448 Market & Food Centre in 1980 where he sold carrot cake with his wife. Older customers will remember him with his signature straw hat which he wore while frying.
Keng Chow passed the business to his now 54-year-old son, Ng Joong (Hiong) Yew and his wife, Jessy Lee, 49, in 2010 and now their 24-year-old son, Brandon is helping out in the business.

Every element of their carrot cake ($3/4/5), whether black or white, has been carefully thought through.

The radish cakes used to be handmade but now they source from a factory, but the textures are still decently soft as it is double fried.

The dish is also left on the pan a little longer so the egg bits are nicely crispy.

They use a mix of sweet and salty chye poh (preserved radish) and pork oil is used to fry the dish.

The result is a light balance of savoury, pork oil richness, bursts of chye poh saltiness and sweetness and a mix of soft and crispy textures. Even though there are crispy textures, there is still enough moisture in the dish.

Ask for chilli and the chilli paste just adds gritty spiciness with no additional saltiness or dried prawn flavour.

The black version which adds sweet soy sauce into the mix, adds smokey light caramel sweetness to the dish but never goes overly sweet.

Be prepared for the wait, which can be as long as 45 minutes on a Saturday morning.

If you can, try to gauge when to join the queue. The carrot cake is fried in batches but when done, the fire is left on, so the carrot cake served towards the end of the batch is crispier than at the beginning.

In the early years at Clementi, the stall used to switch between selling chwee kway and carrot cake every two, three years but they have since switched over to selling carrot cake on a permanent basis.



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