Unlike today’s pasar malam, the night market in my days was much more vibrant with auctioning running with CDs playing Hokkien songs and the lights from all the stalls seemed to light up the night. It was so packed that it seemed like everyone from the neighborhood were there.
Set aside the toys you could win by fishing floating “frogs/ducks”, the next most important aspect has got to be the food. It’s a must have this and a must have that. From oily tapioca cakes to a packet of chewy muah chee but a “I confirm must eat!” food has got to be petite flourly tutu kueh!
Sad to say, finding someone who makes tutu kueh is no longer as pre-dominant these days. It’s almost like a dying trade like you can’t find old cobbers repairing your shoes on the streets that easily. Somehow, by a stroke of luck, I managed to stumble upon one hawker stall that solely makes them for a living. To see the steamers in front of the stall, was enough for me to relive my childhood but I just need to try one for myself to complete the nostalgic feeling.
Upon buying, I was disappointed. Disappointed to see that my tutu kuehs weren’t steamed on the spot but picked from a stack hidden under some towels. Although it was still warm, I just prefer mine to be piping hot. I wouldn’t mind waiting for them to be steamed you know? The disappointment was gone as soon as I stuffed one of those puffy treats into my mouth. Especially savouring the grated coconuts. They were easily the best tutu kuehs I had in years but I can’t say much for their peanuts. One moment it was sweet and the bite was salty. I can’t say what happened to the process since I am no expert in roasting nuts.
Eating these tutu kuehs were like relieving my memories as a child running around the night market, pestering my mum to buy me new toys, playing with my neighbors and always nipping a bit of tutu kueh all in the name of fun, laughter and joy.
Tan’s Tu Tu Coconut Cakes
Blk 22B Havelock Road #01-25
9am to 3pm