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𝗦𝗮𝗸 𝗞𝗲𝗶 𝗠𝗮 (or “萨其马") is a snack that I'd enjoyed in my childhood. Sadly, Pan Ji is now Singapore's last surviving stall making it fresh. Despite being located amongst other hawker stalls plastered with Michelin accolades, it's still my favourite at Chinatown Complex.
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It might be just chunky batter melded together with sugar syrup, but this snack was magically loaded with a wealth of addictively fragrant egginess and malty caramelisation.
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Once you've savoured that lightly airy crunch that's nicely punctuated with a sticky chewiness from the sugar, you'd find yourself popping in piece after piece. The supermarket variant really doesn't compare.
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Their operating hours have been shortening year after year. If you haven't, it's worth a trip down before handmade Sak Kei Ma is rendered extinct by the proverbial asteroid that is modernisation.

IG: @indulgentism
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Yes, it's home to renowned claypot rice and soy sauce chicken stalls. BUT. This 𝘀𝗮 𝗸𝗲𝗶 𝗺𝗮𝗵 (沙琪玛) though, is one of the last of its kind in SG.
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And what a snack it is. Unlike its packaged cousins which populate supermarket shelves, the freshness gave it an impeccable crisp, whilst also sporting the right amount of sticky-chewiness from the honey.
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It hit with a fragrance which carried a tinge of sesame, then provided a bright dose of sweetness that refrained from going overboard. I beeline for the store everytime I am in the compound; try it while you can, even their business hours are shortening...
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📍Chinatown Complex Food Centre, 335 Smith St, #02-78, Singapore 050335
⏱️ (Fri-Wed) 10am-3pm, closed on Thursday

This uncle and hand-made snack must be the last of its kind! So fortunate to have chanced upon it.

It was quite common in countries like Msia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The man (Mr Pan) behind this delicious Sar Kay Mah had been making this since he was 14 years old, till today he had more than 30 years of experience. In order to overcome his natural weakness in his left hand, Mr Pan used his entire body strength to make the Sar Kay Mah - from kneading the dough, frying it and cutting it.
Every single step was handmade by he himself, and all these troublesome process costed him almost nine hours. Despite his hard work and making everything from scratch, his business wasn't blossoming.
It was sticky, sweet and had a strong fragrance from the sesame. How could it be not good?

潘记刹骑马, Pan Ji Cooked Food
牛车水大厦 Chinatown Complex Mkt & Food Centre, 335 Smith Street, Green Zone #02-078
Singapore 050335 * If only the younger generation gives this traditional pastry a try and more cafes and restaurants decide to this on their menu, we won't be losing such precious tradition. ** Why not a cup of long black with a small slice of Sar Kay Mah instead of a cookie? Won't it be more interesting?

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