a multitude of vibrant colours, natural textures and familiar sweet flavours take shape, by hand and using traditional recipes, at pusat kuih and kek khoo eng chee six days a week.
wobbly and pink. layers of pandan green over milky santan. sunshine yellow slices with a caramelised skin. sticky rectangular cakes with a swirly blue marble effect. bowls of dark, brownish red puddings studded with beans. translucent green balls, their chocolate-toned filling showing up faintly through, rolled in pans of flour. golden brown fritters and puffs in a variety of shapes. large ‘cupcakes’ in pink and yellow. glutinous orbs the shade of lavender rolled up in pandan leaf cones.
for nyonya kuih lovers, pusat kuih dan kek khoo eng chee is the name to worship for their smorgasbord of traditional sweet cakes that are all handmade (and mostly steamed) at their shop in pasir pinji. for more than 20 years now, this family-owned business has been supplying kuihs to distributors around ipoh, besides selling direct from their shop.
their candy-toned creations are spread out over several large tables and it seems that any time of the day, there will be a line of customers waiting to get their sweet tooth satisfied. and these are no small-time buyers; it is common to watch orders of tens of pieces being packed into containers fashioned out of food cartons, lined with plastic sheets. needless to say, the kuihs disappear almost just as quickly as fresh batches appear from the back of the shop, where you can observe them taking shape.
we tried about 10 varieties of their offerings and they were mostly hits. the bingka ubi is particularly recommended: soft, moist and fibrous, which is a good sign of its pure ingredients, and is not too sweet. the hardened bottom layer provides textural balance while the caramelised top adds to its aroma. the kuih kochi, on the other hand, was a letdown with its mushy skin but the coconut filling tasted fresh and well flavoured.
besides the pretty steamed kuihs and fritters, they also make and sell old-school baked cakes and pastries such as chiffon and marble cakes, egg tarts and mini egg cake (kai tan kuin).
44 jalan tokong, pasir pinji, ipoh opens 8am-8pm, mon-sat; closed sun