I haven’t had a good ‘chai kuih‘ for a while.
Then again, under the ‘kuih‘ category, chai kuih isn’t high on my priority list.
Nevertheless, I got really curious about these ‘famous‘ ones from Taman Muda no thanks to the sudden frequent postings about it on Facebook.
The opportunity to try them came unexpected when my friend Wong offered to drive me to their outlet. He insisted too that they are “really good” and ‘I HAVE TO TRY them’.
Hey, if someone is willing to chauffeur me about for food, I ain’t complaining. Unless of course, the food sucks. But my friends like Joyce and Wong know me well enough not to waste my time with mediocre recommendations; and thus if they are confident enough to recommend something to me, I would take heed.
And in this case, I’m glad I did.
The business is in its 3rd generation now so this isn’t a “new” brand.
I was expecting a commercial outlet, but the “shop” turned out to be literally an extension of a corner house with a production force akin to a factory. No signboard nor poster mark its walls. If there is a need of an indication, look for the long queue snaking out from its opening.
Inside, busy hands rolled, moulded, filled and pinched pockets of kuih continuously. The process is almost rhythmic with different women dedicated to each section.
Each of the dainty pockets is then placed on trays and generously drizzled with oil before they go into the tall steamers. I was in the queue for nearly 30 minutes and had a fascinating time observing the process.
The amount of oil drizzled over the kuih was scary but it is necessary for the smooth and glossy skin. I like my chai kuih skin thin and translucent with a slight chewiness in bite. Happily enough, these babies were spot-on delicious.
Admittedly, though addictive, I cringed with every bite as it was really greasy. I’ve since resolutely marked them as “once in a blue moon indulgence“!
There are a total of five types of fillings available. The standard ones are yam bean (sengkuang) and chives (kuchai) while another three were slightly uncommon – yam, pumpkin and sweet potato.
The newer flavours of pumpkin and sweet potato were introduced not long ago.
Personally I liked both since I love pumpkin and sweet potatoes. The mashed fillings were smooth, sweet and less oily compared to the yam bean and chives.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed the yam bean and chives ones too, for these are after all the “original” fillings expected in chai kuih. Both were aromatic and tasty thanks to the use of dried prawns.
The one that stood out in particular for me was the yam. It was sweet and savoury simultaneously with what I suspected to be due to the addition of shallots.
The chai kuih are made without preservatives but they tasted fine to me even after a day in the chiller. I reckon it is perfectly possible to buy in bulk and steam or fry them within a week. Since they are so greasy, you do not have to worry about them sticking to each other or drying out.
There is a perpetual queue at the shop and it is common to see orders of up to 10 – 30 boxes per customer. The kuih is small and easily snapped up in one bite so if you’re in queue, just buy a minimum of 10 to make it worth your while!
PRICE: RM0.90 each, regardless of flavour.
Famous Teo Chew Chai Kuih
No 27, Jalan Bunga Cempaka 10
Selangor Darul Ehsan
CONTACT: +012 – 888 5180
Opening Hours : 9. 00 – 18. 00