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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Hiap Joo Bakery & Biscuit Factory

Learning about the traditional box of banana cake that was hand delivered from Johor into Singapore, I finally got the chance to take a look at its source. Out into the streets of an old cultural street in JB Sentral, there were alot of interesting shops, run down yet pack full of crowd. Follow the huge chinese gate as a landmark to visit Hiap Joo Bakery as they are just along the stretch of shop houses.

Do note that parking is never easy there.


How to find Hiap Joo Bakery & Biscuit Factory
Facade of Hiap Joo Bakery was run down with fire woods stacked nicely on the racks. The bakery menu and price was well indicated near the start of the queue.

Menu
Besides that, you can see one of the assistants busying preparing the plastic boxes for the cakes. Be prepared to queue as they are quite popular and customers like us will grab more than 5 boxes per visit.

Hiap Joo Bakery & Biscuit Factory
As I entered the bakery, my attention was totally drawn to the gigantic black furnace used for baking. The man who was handling the food items into the furnace has to stand a step down into the small confine area as he shoved them into the charcoal hot place.

Furnace
Every box of banana cake was freshly baked and taken out of the traditional charcoal oven since year 1919.

Side bench
Boxes were left open so that moisture from these freshly baked would not be trapped within it.

Arranging 
Boxes of banana cake was precisely cut into equal portions by hand. These moist, pack full of fragrant banana cakes has a great scent of smokey flavour in combination with the natural fragrance of the banana. 

Box off Banana Cake - 9 Rm per box
Every piece of cake was simple and heartwarming, literally melts in the mouth as you press them down. They are spongy and at a closer look into the moist cake, you will get to see the fibres from the banana. The fragrant was so strong that its so hard to resist taking one piece before snapping a shot.

Drawing Closer to the banana cakes

The butter sugar bun had melted when I was ready to eat them. Buns were soft and fluffy. What I like about them was the top layer of saltiness cradling the sweet savoury taste as well as the fragrance from the little sesame seeds. It would be perfect if it was paired with hotdog. :)

Butter Sugar Bun - 3.50 Rm for 2
These buns looked dry and feel like stones to me. However, the traditional innocent looking buns triggered my interests in them. The charred top area was indeed very hard and required some force to tear them apart, unlike our modern buns, fluffy and get disintegrates effortlessly.

Red Bean Buns - 4 for 4 Rm
Having such buns was like travelling back into those days with a time machine. It brought back memories of childhood from its thick crusted top, the charred but not "Chao Tah" fragrance and having bites of traditional red beans within. As compare to now, most of the red bean buns only comes in paste form.

Inside the red bean buns

Hiap Joo Bakery was really a gem and we can hardly find bakery using traditional methods - furnace nowadays. There was specialties like coffee and butter cakes which is only available on Thursday, I would like to try them out but its hard as we hardly go into JB during weekdays. Hopefully when time comes. :) 

Hiap Joo Bakery
Location: 13, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, 80000 Johor Bahru