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Trip Down Memory Lane

Trip Down Memory Lane

Dedicated to the old school local delights, snacks, confectionaries and foodstuffs from our younger years :)
Melissa Chee
Melissa Chee

Right in front of Haw Par Villa and at the exit of the MRT station is an old-school ice cream stand selling blocks of ice cream cut with a knife and sandwiched between wafers or rainbow bread. We spotted this on Sunday morning but I’m not sure if they’re there everyday. Apart from the regular stands at Orchard Road, you hardly find these anymore. They even ring the bell! How nostalgic.

These traditional ice creams have evolved with the times, and there are a variety of newfangled flavours like lychee and Thai milk tea available as well. I’m sentimental, so I went for my childhood favourite - chocolate ice cream wafer sandwich. Nothing mind-blowing, but incredibly comforting and brings back tons of old memories.

These were the last two filled buns that were left when we visited Jie Bakery at 9.30pm so we had to snatch them up.

If you’ve tried the traditional bakery at Whampoa, this bun isn’t as soft and fluffy. Unlike the filled breads there, the top is glazed and soft instead of crusty. The bread to filling ratio is very good, there was lots of hae bee hiam spilling out of the bun and even better - the hae bee hiam was actually spicy and super aromatic. I’d buy this again if I see it for sure!

This is another gem of a traditional bakery that’s a dying breed in Singapore. All the breads are baked the traditional way, and it shows from how fresh and soft they are.

The loaves are already sliced for you, but you can choose to add on some spreads for an additional cost. The flower bun was exceptional with the homemade Kaya and peanut butter, as the bread was unbelievably soft. Sorry Ya Kun, I love your steamed Kaya peanut bread, but I’d eat this any day even without steaming because the bread is just crazy soft. I liked the contrast of the ultra soft white bread against the chewy crust exterior. Plus the spreads are so good, they’re not too sweet, and they’re so gooey that they spread even easier than butter. Be warned that the spreads might even leak onto your clothes!

Jie Bakery is open till late, and chances are you can still grab some of these loaves, but you may not see other buns with ingredients left. Also, the Chinese lady who was working there at 9.30pm was pretty rude so don’t expect good service. Still worth the trip down no matter what because of how good the bread is!

While we didn’t get these hot out of the oven, they were still fluffy and soft. I couldn’t help squishing them many times just to watch them bounce back into shape.

The coconut filling was a little lopsided as my first three bites didn’t have any filling and I thought I bought a kosong bun. However, I soon realised that wasn’t the case. They are generous with the filling, and it isn’t too sweet. I love how sweet gula melaka juice slowly fills your mouth when you chew, and the grated coconut has a lovely texture too.

Overall I found that I preferred the red bean bun the most, followed by the curry bun, and then the coconut buns. That’s not to say they’re not good though! If you were born in Singapore in the 90s or earlier, these will definitely take you down memory lane to a time when traditional bakeries were much more common.

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Got these huge curry buns hot out of the oven. Unfortunately because they were hot, they all got squished into each other so they’re out of shape, but who cares how misshapen they look because they’re super duper delicious.

The bun is pillowy soft and bouncy, and the smell of the freshly baked bread is incredibly enticing. Taking a bite into the warm bun, I was rewarded with a whole mouthful of potato curry. Trust me when I say they are generous with the filling. I think there was even more curry than bread! The curry isn’t really spicy, which might not satisfy spice lovers, but it’s still delicious in my books. Plus, with such soft bread, I really don’t care how spicy the potato curry is.

These buns really take me back to my primary school days, when traditional bakeries were much more common. I’m glad that Sing Hon Loong is still around and we can buy awesome bread anytime of the day - but fingers crossed that they will stay open for years and years to come as labour gets harder to find and the workers grow older.

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This is a major throwback to the days of yesteryear when traditional buns were rampant in Singapore and Malaysia. Nowadays, the ones at supermarkets or mamak shops pass for a quick fix, but none can really match up to the buns of the good ol’ days.

Thankfully, Sing Hon Loong is still surviving after all these years. They used to supply bread to Ya Kun, but have stopped since they cannot cope with the 30+ outlets despite their 24 hour operation. Well, too bad for Ya Kun then. I love that they’re open 24 hours, and you can pick up the fluffy soft buns (kosong, coconut, curry and red bean) or loaves anytime!!! The aroma of freshly baked bread was super tantalising, and we managed to get the red bean buns hot off the oven (they hadn’t even been packaged yet!).

The buns are incredibly soft and fluffy. The red bean filling is generous, velvety smooth and not too sweet. This nearly brought a tear to my eye as the nostalgia hit me hard. I’d smell/squeeze/eat these buns all day err day.

Sadly, the bakery might not be around for long as it’s getting increasingly harder to find workers, and all the current staff we saw were pretty aged (also all quite friendly!).

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Grew up with this delectable treat whenever we’d make a trip across the causeway. Though the frequency of trips have dwindled over the years, we still visit JB at least once a year.

We didn’t have much luck the previous year as Hiap Joo was already closed when we passed by around noon, but we had more luck yesterday at 11am. Even better, there was no queue! Only 2 people ahead of us and they were served so quickly I hadn’t even processed how many boxes to buy.

Hiap Joo Bakery sells their banana cake in two sizes - large and small. Although the large box looks big at point of purchase, I’d recommend just getting that because there’s actually only 10 slices inside and those will go FAST. Our 10 slices are already down to 2 slices in 5 hours 😂 Already regretting not getting more boxes.

As always, the banana cake is very fragrant. It’s light, soft and fluffy. Just the way I like my banana cakes (prefer these over the dense ones). The cake isn’t dry, but I wouldn’t say they’re moist either. I’d like a moister banana cake but so far I haven’t been able to find one that fits my bill for the texture and taste. Hiap Joo is the closest I’ve been able to find, and it’s a damn good banana cake. For only RM10 a box, it’s a steal. Must buy more boxes next time!

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This is probably what Ng Kim Lee is most famous for, and they proudly display a newspaper clipping featuring their muffins right above the muffin display.

Although there are a variety of flavours to pick from, including original, chocolate, Oreo, banana, pandan, cheese, walnut and lemon, I didn’t detect strong tastes in any of the muffins to distinguish their flavours. Might be an effect of them being packed with the banana flavoured muffin, but they all ended up tasting like a mix between plain-banana. They’re still an affordable and comforting little treat anyway, and super worth it at 60 cents! Get a minimum of 6 pieces if you want them to pack it in a box for you (yes clearly I couldn’t resist popping one in my mouth before realising I forgot to snap a photo 😂). The muffins are soft, moist and cake-like, not too dense, and not too sweet. Not much more you can ask for, and I always make sure to buy some when I pass by!

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Can’t really tell the cheese and original apart. They look alike, and honestly neither have a distinctive taste. All the flavours I bought ended up tasting faintly of banana.

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Despite being the original plain flavour, it still tastes faintly of banana. A lovely, light and addictive treat nonetheless - where the true danger is when you just can’t stop yourself from popping more pieces in your mouth when you know you should stop.

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There’s a few specks of cookies inside the batter which might have been Oreo. Other than the colour of the muffin, it tastes the same as the other flavours, but don’t let that deter you from getting this delectable bite-sized treat.

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Pandan aroma is pretty faint, but overall still a delicious little treat.

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Always biding my time to my next meal. Everything in between just serves to kill time.

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