I am in love with chee cheong fun, whether it’s the no-frills traditional version with sweet sauce and sesame seeds, or the Hong Kong Style with meat/seafood filling. Grandpa Homemade Cheung Fun at Toa Payoh West Market & Food Centre piqued my interest when I spotted chee cheong fun in unorthodox colours: pink and green!
Forget about the boring char siew or prawn options, they have egg and vegetable, corn and sausage, chicken and pork… the list goes on.
I watched as the uncle at the stall poured the stone-milled spinach mixture onto a huge metal tray, and scattered the Chinese sausage slices and corn kernels on top.
Next, he inserted the entire tray into a Chinese steamer and set a timer. He then proceeded to carry on with the other two variations that I ordered— it was a spectacle to watch!
I casually commented, “You guys are probably the only ones doing chee cheong fun in these colourful flavoured skins.”
To which the aunty replied, “We probably are the only ones.”
“Some people do not like to eat spinach as it is, thus we decided to make them into skins,” the uncle added.
What I tried at Grandpa Homemade Cheung Fun
I started my interesting local brunch affair with Egg + Veg (S$4.90) filled with Dragon Fruit (+S$0.20) skin. It was presented in a whimsical spectrum of colours. My dining partner, Lily commented that she wasn’t used to the way it looked, and was a little sceptical to try her first mouthful.
Unlike the usual chee cheong fun which has silky-smooth skin, the one served here has loads of “wrinkles” on it.
The skin had tiny bits of black seeds, which were derived from the pink fruit itself. Jovina and I felt that the dragon fruit flavours were not prominent, but I had to slap myself to remember that dragon fruit doesn’t have a strong flavour to begin with.
The egg had seamlessly gelled together with the skin, and pieces of green Chinese lettuce peeked out like a curious kitten.
The lettuce was half cooked, and provided a satisfying crunch with every bite. The addition of egg on the chee cheong fun lightened things up, and instantly reminded me of egg prata— this light and simple dish is perfect for breakfast.
Dipping the pillowy chunks into the homemade chilli was a different ball game altogether. The chilli had a sandy and crunchy texture, and injected tons of sea flavours derived from the dried shrimps used.
I moved on to the next dish, the Corn + Sausage (S$5.80) with spinach (+S$0.20) skin. Lily commented, “Wow that looks like chendol!”
I had to agree with her. It looked more like a dessert rather than a savoury dish. There were bits of corn and Chinese sausage slices on top served with the signature homemade chilli.
The spinach flavour was slightly more distinctive in this dish. Although the skin wasn’t exactly the thinnest around, it was still soft and I became obsessed with the mouthfeel it gave me.
The corn kernels were like pockets of sunshine, providing bursts of natural sweetness to this savoury dish. The Chinese sausages were delicious and the well-balanced soy gravy tied everything together like a close-knit family.
I returned from a world of fantasy back to reality, with the Prawn + Char Siew (S$5.80) in original skin. Ahh… a normal looking chee cheong fun at last!
The Prawn + Char Siew had pieces of char siew and prawns enveloped in the ivory-coloured skin like a snuggly blanket, and I was about to disturb their slumber.
The prawns used here are not your usual small shrimps that you’ll get at other places— they were plump and satisfying. Definitely a bonus!
All of the skins in the three dishes were soft and possessed the perfect texture, in my opinion. In the past, we used to have a saying in our kitchen, “consistency is key!” You may be a talented chef, but being consistent is equally as important.
I must say, these guys at Grandpa Handmade Cheung Fun are doing a really good job in maintaining their quality.
It’s ironic that the Egg + Veg, which was initially the outcast of the three varieties turned out to be the crowd favourite.
With three different skins and a smorgasbord of fillings to choose from, heading over to Grandpa Homemade Cheung Fun for breakfast will give you different experiences each time.
It’s also a plus point that they’re located in the same hawker centre as my favourite Chey Sua Carrot Cake.
Expected damage: S$3.90 – S$6 per pax
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