Chey Sua Carrot Cake 青山菜头粿 at Toa Payoh West market and food centre is one of the rare few carrot cake stalls in Singapore that still make their own carrot cakes from scratch. Nearly all stalls in Singapore now get their "carrot" cakes ready made from factories.
My SGD4 large plate of Chay Sua fried carrot cake. There are SGD2 (small) and SGD3 (medium) servings.
Fried carrot cake usually comes in the "white" or the "black" version with dark soy sauce added. At Chey Sua, only "white" carrot cake is served following the tradition of the stall's founders more than 50 years ago.
The carrot cake is flat like a pan cake. Nicely browned outside and topped with a heap of chopped fresh scallion.
Small soft cubes of carrot cake were buried between the folds of the eggy crepe which is slightly crispy outside. The flavours were eggy and sweet punctuated with savoury sweet from crunchy bits of chai poh (preserved turnip). As we had asked for chili, a layer of mild spiciness permeated the dish.
Overall, Chay Sua carrot cake has nice layers of sweet, savoury and spicy flavours with interesting textures contrasting mushy soft carrot cake with slightly crispy eggs and crunchy chai poh.
The lady boss Shirley (and sister Grace) took over the business from their parents who first started the street side stall in Serangoon Gardens at the bus interchange over 50 years ago.
In 1972, they moved into the popular Chomp Chomp food centre nearby. This picture was taken on Chomp Chomp's opening day in 1972. Grace is the taller little girl on the left and the little girl on the right (in front) is Sharon.
After Chomp Chomp, Chey Sua moved here in Toa Payoh with Shirley and Grace running the stall for over 30 years. Sharon helps out on weekends.
Chey Sua is one of the few carrot cake stalls that still insists on making their own carrot cakes from scratch rather than getting their generic supply from factories. Everyday, after closing for the day's business, they start to make the carrot cakes for the next day. They get their red carrots and rice/ tapioca flour from the wet market downstairs, so there is lots of synergy.
I have a strong bias in favour of stalls that make their food from scratch.
Shirley expertly fries the blend of beaten eggs and cubed carrot cake on one side. Vegetable oil (not lard) is used to fry the carrot cake.
Shirley flips the carrot cake over at the precise moment when it is nicely golden brown, not a moment too early (pale) or too late (chao tah or charred).
If you asked for chili, it will be smeared on the browned side of the searing hot carrot cake as a finishing touch.
Somebody ordered extra spicy ;-p
If you want to escape from generic factory made "carrot" cake, come to Chey Sua in Toa Payoh for the real thing. Place your order with Grace at the stall, return to you table and she will bring the plate to you once it is ready. Hence, you won't see a long line of people standing and waiting. (Waiting time is between 30 - 45 minutes during peak hours.)
Chey Sua is on the upper level of the Blk 127, Toa Payoh West Market & Food Centre. Up here it is airy, clean and comfortable.
Restaurant name: Chey Sua Carrot Cake 青山菜头粿
Address: Toa Payoh West Market & Food Centre, 127 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, #02-30, Singapore 310127
GPS: 1.338518, 103.843931
Hours: 6:00 am - 1:00 pm (Closed on Mon)
Date visited: 3 May 2015
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