One of my fave snacks of all time is the Chinese bakchang - this is Hokkien-speak for what Mandarin speakers call “zongzi” (粽子), but inestimably tastier in Southern China/Guangdong and South-East Asia (like in Singapore) than in Northern China.
My fave spot for bakchang in Singapore, and which I think still produces the best rendition on the island, is Hoo Kee at the busy Amoy Street Food Centre in Tanjung Pagar, smack in the middle of Singapore’s CBD. Hoo Kee was started in 1948 by husband-and-wife Chew Hai Chwee and Lim Soek Loo. Its first location was Fu Xing coffeeshop at 104 Amoy Street. It’s currently run by the 3rd-generation of the family - and the grandson who manned the stall when I was there recently was a bespectacled, well-spoken chap, more accountant than bakchang vendor.
Hoo Kee’s large bakchang which comes with a stuffing of marinated pork belly (with lots of sinful fatty bits), shitake mushroom, chestnut, and salted duck’s eggyolk, was the stuff of dreams. Its cloak of glutinous rice was just the right consistency: not too stiff and hard (most vendors added too much lye water to their mix) and deliciously flavoured & coloured brown by a mix of soysauce and oyster sauce. It’s slightly greasy, like all good bakchang must be, and very substantial. My fave bakchang in the whole wide world is from Guan Kee in Ipoh (another food paradise city in Malaysia), but that’s 1 hour’s flight north of Singapore. Hoo Kee seems to have improved in recent years, and is now every bit as good as Guan Kee’s.
Hoo Kee Rice Dumpling
Amoy Street Food Centre #01-18
7 Maxwell Road (do NOT mix up with Maxwell Road Food Centre, which is on the other end of Maxwell Road)
Tel: +65 6221 1155