Every time I am in Batam (though I must admit I haven't been there that many times), I inevitably ended up at a coffee shop near Pasar Penuin Wet Market which locals call 榕树下 or "under the banyan tree". There are a few popular food stalls at Kopitiam Long Shu Siah - one of them is Cha Kue "Abun".
Abun is the third generation owner of this cha kue stall which was founded by his grandfather in Tanjung Pinang. Three years ago, Abun moved the stall to Batam. Abun's son is learning the ropes now and will be taking over as the fourth generation owner in the future.
Abun's char kue are rice cakes made with pure rice flour. His grandfather and dad used to grind the rice grains from scratch but now Abun uses ready made rice flour. (This is not Singapore chai tow kway which is radish or carrot cake. It is similar to char koay kak of Penang.)
To the sweet rice cake, savoury flavours are added from the finely chopped preserved turnip (chai po), chopped garlic, and dark soy sauce. Abun will add in chili sauce to spice up the char kue to your taste on request. Abun uses vegetable oil to fry his rice cakes so he has many Muslim customers (cha kue is known as lontong goreng in Bahasa Indonesia).
Abun has many Singaporean regulars who come on weekends, so he knows their tastes.
Whereas Batam locals like their cha kue sweeter, Singaporeans prefer it more savoury, saltier. So, Abun uses more chopped turnip (chai po), garlic and black sauce for Singaporeans.
Singaporeans also like duck eggs, so Abun will use that in place of the usual chicken eggs (on request).
I can't remember how much I paid for this large serving ..... maybe around IDR 25,000 - IDR 30,000 (SGD 2.40 - SGD2.90)
Abun did a great job caramelising the outside of the rice cakes. The inside of the kue (cake) was tenderly soft and moist. The slight char and browning together with the dark sauce and turnips gave the char kue a savoury layer but overall the dish still tasted on the sweetish side. Abun did asked me whether I like my cha kue "salty" (Singaporean way) but I opted for the local version (to appreciate what locals like).
But, I didn't decline the duck eggs (for no other reason than I can't get this in Singapore 😂 ).
Compared to chicken eggs, duck eggs have more bite but truth be told, I couldn't really tell the difference taste wise (perhaps it was masked by the sauce and sweetness of the rice cake).
On a separate note 👉
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Bought this at a shop at the tourist haunt Pasar Penuin Wet Market in Batam. Price Rupiah 50,000. Bought 2 packs. On the way back to Singapore, saw this sold at the Ferry Terminal gift shop for Rupiah 35,000. Don't be like Tony 😢 Be smart. Always bargain. At least 30%. On a happier note 👉 https://johorkaki.blogspot.com/2019/08/cha-kue-abun-lontong-goreng-66-fried.html
More food adventures in Batam with Johor Kaki 👈 click
Restaurant name: Char Kue Abun (stall in Kopitiam Long Shu Siah)
Address: Komplek Penuin Centre, Jalan Bunga Raya, Batu Selicin, Kec. Lubuk Baja, Kota Batam, Kepulauan Riau 29441, Indonesia
GPS: 1°08'06.3"N 104°00'37.6"E 🌐 1.135085, 104.010435
Hours: 7:00am - 2:00pm
Date visited: 26 Aug 2019