Johor Kaki Travels for Food

Singapore blog of true stories by johorkaki@gmail about best food, people & places around the world

Monday, 14 January 2019

LE Cafe Iconic Beancurd Tart & Nostalgic Cakes from the 1960s 麗英豆花撻 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Le Cafe Iconic Beancurd Tart & Nostalgic Cakes from the 1960s 麗英豆花撻

LE Cafe Confectionery & Pastry is synonymous with the best beancurd tarts in Singapore - afterall, they created it. The soft, velvety smooth beancurd filling is delightfully refreshing with delicate taste and aroma of gently sweetened soybean with hints of almond. The stiff buttery crusty cup provides crumbly bite to the famous pastry. LE Cafe's beancurd tart can be addictive and is one of the uniquely Singapore things visitors must try. I have been eating LE Cafe beancurd tarts long before I started blogging.

LE Cafe used to offer egg tarts like most other bake shops. They also had kaya (coconut jam) tarts. Beancurd tarts were added in the 1990s and soon became a hot seller. Now, LE Cafe no longer makes egg or kaya tarts - just the signature beancurd tarts which they created. (They also have mixed beancurd tarts with lychee, red beans, grass jelly, ginkgo nuts etc dropped into the bean curd but I personally prefer the basic original tau huay 豆花 version.)

But, LE Cafe is more than beancurd tarts.

Le Cafe Iconic Beancurd Tart & Nostalgic Cakes from the 1960s 麗英豆花撻

Peeking into the glass display at LE Cafe, childhood feelings of happiness and anticipation welled up inside me. After years of macaroon, mille crepe, opera and other gâteau, I didn't realise that there grew a distance between us. I had forgotten about my humble old friends which had given me so much happiness - the pure and simple kind.

Le Cafe Iconic Beancurd Tart & Nostalgic Cakes from the 1960s 麗英豆花撻

Then, I saw these rock buns in LE Cafe. Rock buns were my favourites during my childhood. I like the crumbly buttery feel and that the cakes were not overly sweet. Bits of candied fruit added sweeter highlights to the buttery sweet treat. I enjoyed rock buns more than bread with kaya spread during my childhood. I was Ang Moh Pai 红毛派 once (people who prefer Western to local things were referred to as Ang Moh Pai in Old Singapore.)

Le Cafe Iconic Beancurd Tart & Nostalgic Cakes from the 1960s 麗英豆花撻

Buttery fruit cake was another favourite and a luxury at that time.

Le Cafe Iconic Beancurd Tart & Nostalgic Cakes from the 1960s 麗英豆花撻

Vintage old school buttery cupcake with cherry 🍒. 

Le Cafe Iconic Beancurd Tart & Nostalgic Cakes from the 1960s 麗英豆花撻

Sugee cake with icing.

Le Cafe Iconic Beancurd Tart & Nostalgic Cakes from the 1960s 麗英豆花撻

Mr Wee's parents founded 麗英 LE Cafe in 1949 (that's 70 years ago 😮 ). The old coffee shop was at the David Elias Building at Middle Road.

In Old Singapore, the more atas (uppity) among Hainanese coffee shops were the precursors of modern day hipster cafes. They served Ang Moh cakes to go with bitter Nanyang Robusta coffee and Ang Moh teh (English style tea). Most of the Ang Moh cakes were Hainanese interpretations of English cakes.

Le Cafe Iconic Beancurd Tart & Nostalgic Cakes from the 1960s 麗英豆花撻

Mr. Wee had been working at his parents' coffee shop and bakery since he was a teen. Working at the coffee shop after school is just everyday life in those days. 

Le Cafe Iconic Beancurd Tart & Nostalgic Cakes from the 1960s 麗英豆花撻

The 1928 vintage David Elias Building is still there at Middle Road but LE Cafe moved in 2018 and now has 3 outlets - at Mackenzie Road, Cambridge Road, and Veerasamy Road.

Middle Road together with Purvis and Seah Streets made up the Hainanese enclave of Old Singapore. As late comers to British Malaya, many Hainanese went into the food and beverage line. It was here that Singapore Hainanese chicken rice was created (popularised by Swee Kee). Here was also the home of Hainanese British food like pork chops and English cakes like those offered by LE Cafe. To that, add beancurd tarts as examples of Singapore F & B creativity. 

Le Cafe Iconic Beancurd Tart & Nostalgic Cakes from the 1960s 麗英豆花撻

Mr. Wee is now mostly at the shop at Mackenzie Road. The operations of LE Cafe is now in the hands of the third generation.

Le Cafe Iconic Beancurd Tart & Nostalgic Cakes from the 1960s 麗英豆花撻

It is good to see LE Cafe winning over new generations of fans for their traditional cakes.

Le Cafe Iconic Beancurd Tart & Nostalgic Cakes from the 1960s 麗英豆花撻
Le Cafe Iconic Beancurd Tart & Nostalgic Cakes from the 1960s 麗英豆花撻

LE Cafe makes seasonal versions of old favourites - I took pictures of these fruit cakes before the last Christmas.

Le Cafe Iconic Beancurd Tart & Nostalgic Cakes from the 1960s 麗英豆花撻

LE Cafe's hot seller during Chinese New Year is their traditional pineapple tart, reputedly Singapore's best.

Le Cafe Iconic Beancurd Tart & Nostalgic Cakes from the 1960s 麗英豆花撻Le Cafe Iconic Beancurd Tart & Nostalgic Cakes from the 1960s 麗英豆花撻

Recommended for you 👍 If you are visiting Singapore, LE Cafe's signature beancurd tart is a top choice. You will not find such a tart anywhere else in the world. If you are like me, looking to indulge in the nostalgic cakes of your childhood, LE Cafe still makes them to very high standards.

(Note: LE Cafe beancurd tarts are not available from January to March as all hands are committed to make their famous pineapple tarts for Chinese New Year.)

Le Cafe Iconic Beancurd Tart & Nostalgic Cakes from the 1960s 麗英豆花撻

Restaurant name: LE Cafe Confectionery and Bakery
Address31/33 Mackenzie Rd, #01-01, Singapore 228686
GPS1°18'17.0"N 103°50'58.3"E 🌐 1.304716, 103.849516
Nearest MRT: Steps from Little India station exit A
Tel6337 2417
Hours: 10:30am - 7:00pm (close at 4pm on Sunday)

No pork, no lard, no Halal cert




Date visited: 6 Dec 2018



Johor Kaki Singapore food list 👈 click

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