Wednesday, June 3, 2009

old chang kee had its beginning here?

i had thought that old chang kee had its beginning in the selera restaurant. in the 70s, i used to queue up in the afternoon with many other people in this shop/restaurant to buy their popular curry puffs - at 25 cents each. i was told that the chinese couple making and selling the puffs were muslims.

then one day somebody (i cannot remember who it was) told me: "don't worry, if you cannot get, go to the shop on the other side, the one facing selegie road, they also sell tasty curry puffs". but, somehow, most of my friends and colleagues preferred the curry puffs from the shop at the junction of mackenzie road and niven road - the selera restaurant.

we would refer to the curry puffs sold at the selera outlet as the 'rex curry puffs'. even though the curry puffs were priced higher than others in those days, we were still willing to pay the little extra because it was deliciously packed with substantial ingredients like curried potatoes, bits of chicken and an egg.

'the shop which also sells nice curry puffs' was the original old chang kee. today, the shop has been taken over by some budget hotel operator and the name of the place is g4 station. however, old chang kee still maintains its presence in the vicinity, in the form of an outlet at the former rex cinema.

old chang kee's curry puffs were also filled with similar ingredients. in addition, they had some herbs and spices in the fillings.

according to my friend, this place could lay the claim to be the fore-runner of the banquet experience - where malays enjoy halal chinese food. besides selera restaurant which sold muslim food, there was also another halal restaurant called cameron restaurant. cameron restaurant was squeezed between the two curry puff outlets. the restaurant is still around today.

in 1986, when old chang kee was bought over by a certain mr han keen juan, he decided to mass produce the curry puffs using factory methods.


Anonymous said...

Talking of Old Chang Kee. Have you tried the beef stew at TAKE 5, an Old Chang Kee oulet at Novena Square Velocity. It's beside the entrance to TTSH Pharmacy at the foot of the staircase where the Medical Centre is.

Coffee is only 50 cents and taokwa goreng only $2.00. Let me know and I'll meet you there.

yg said...

hi andy, i would very much like to meet you and to try the beef stew but i have been busy getting prepared for my trip to melbourne to see my two daughters. i will try and get in touch with you after i come back on 30 june.

Icemoon said...

yg, maybe you can review Polar puffs too. The original one at High Street.

Victor said...

I have tried the coffee and the beef stew at the Take 5 outlet which Andy mentioned. The beef stew can come in a "bread pot" (er... is that what you called it?) or with rice. Their fried chicken wings are cheap and good too. But the heatiness may affect your voice if you are a singer.

Lam Chun See said...

I like the Polar puffs but a bit too oily.

Anonymous said...

Old Chang Kee has nothing to do with Selera Curry puff. The only thing that is similar is they make and sell curry puff. Please correct me if I am wrong.

yg said...

anonymous, you are right about it. that's what i was trying to say. selera surry puffs were more popular than the former old chang kee's. they were in two different shops along the same road.