Tanglin Halt Original Peanut Pancake – Old School Tasty Mi Chiam Kueh (Peanut Pancake)
Tanglin Halt Original Peanut Pancake is a stall at Tanglin Halt Market that specializes in mi chiam kueh (mian qian gao), which are pancakes with various fillings that I believe are Hokkien (southern Fujian) in origin. However, this stall is specifically famous for their peanut mee chiam kueh.
Tanglin Halt Market is a very local hawker center where you will see no foreigners at all. When I told the cab driver I wanted to go there he told me in his Singlish “wah you really must like the local taste lah, not for foreigners lah, why you want to go there?”, I explained that I was going to try the mi chiam kueh at Tanglin Halt Original Peanut Pancake and to which he responded that it was very good and that he used to live right next to Tanglin Halt Market and used to get these all the time. I felt pretty good after that that I was in for a treat.
Anyhow, the hawker center has two parts to it and I actually ended up in the wrong part at first and was searching for stall 16 for probably 10-15 minutes before I found it. It’s located in the part that has a wet market connected to it and is one long strip of hawker stalls as opposed to the other part which is like a bunch of clusters of stalls.
There is an old husband and wife couple who run the stall with the husband doing the cooking and the wife doing prep work and serving customers. The old lady was really nice and sweet. I don’t know whether they speak English or not, but everything is translated into English so you shouldn’t have any problems either way.
I found this video of the stall, which you can see here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzaxVr...). It's cool because you can really tell how much pride they take in their work when you listen to him talk; he talks about how he does his prep work and how he is really happy to see his customers come back.
Here’s what I got:
Peanut Pancake (Hua Sheng Mian Qian Gao):
I’ve only had this once before at the place at Maxwell Road Center and it was so long ago that I don’t even really remember what it was like, so this was effectively like my first time trying it. It’s a pancake that he fills with a mixture of ground roasted peanuts and sugar and then folds it over and cuts up. The interesting thing about the dough is that he uses a yeast culture instead of the usual baking soda, which gives it a different texture. I found the texture of the dough to be more gummy than I was expecting (it’s not like an American pancake or breadlike at all), but it was good and mine was pretty warm and fresh, which definitely makes a difference. The peanut and sugar mixture is really good, they roast their own peanuts (he says he takes a day off to do prep work such as roasting peanuts) and you can really taste the difference. The peanuts are crunchy, flavorful and sweet without being overly sweet. They also give you a lot and I was eating the left over ground peanuts out of the bag because they were so good. Overall, I thought this was pretty good and I’d definitely come back. 8.5/10
Yam Pancake (Yu Ni Mian Qian Gao):
This was the same dough, but it was enclosed and looks exactly like a Japanese imagawayaki that you find in Japan and Taiwan (I grew up eating imagawayaki). However, again the dough was more gummy than bready. This was not as good because it had been sitting around longer and when it cools down the dough gets harder and doesn’t taste nearly as good as the fresher warm peanut pancake I had. The sweet yam filling was pretty good though as it wasn’t too sweet and had good flavor. This was decent, but nothing special. 7.75/10 (this probably could’ve been a lot better if it was fresh
I enjoyed coming here as the peanut pancake was very tasty and this is the type of place that I’m sure will not exist in 10 years and you won’t have people making this the old school way where make everything from scratch. I’d recommend coming and trying it out before it’s gone.
Also, they are open 5am to 11am and closed on Mondays and Fridays (I came here at 8am to make sure I didn’t miss it).