Chwee Kueh (水粿 – ‘Water Cake’) is a food that is relatively non-existent in the northern and center region of Malaysia. To get a taste of this fast-disappearing snack that is usually eaten for breakfast, you need to head south to Johor or Singapore for the best ones – where they are still commonly eaten by the locals.
There are three parts to a Chwee Kueh – steamed rice cake, minced preserved radish (‘chai po’) and chili sauce. Having tried both local and Singaporean Chwee Kueh, I could say that both countries’ versions are actually very similar. The only notable difference would be on the sweetness of the preserved radish and the spiciness of the chili sauce.
One of the few standing Chwee Kueh stalls in Muar could be found at Jalan Yahya, just in front of the Toto shop. It is only open in the morning and has been a local favorite for breakfast for many years. The price is really cheap too, 10 of these delectable morsels cost only RM2. You could opt for 5 pieces for RM1 too if you want.
Traditional cooking method is still practiced here, a charcoal stove is used to maintain the heat of the ‘chai po’. The pot has to be constantly stirred though, as not to burn them.
Although I wanted to pay for my 5 pieces of Chwee Kueh, uncle insisted to treat us. Maybe it was because I was busy snapping photos around the stall and he thought I am some sort of journalist. Nevertheless, it was a really nice gesture which we really appreciated. This is why I love small towns, people are so nice and generally friendlier.
Jalan Yahya, Muar
GPS Coordinates: N 02° 02’53.7″ E102°34’09.5″
Business Hours: 7-11am