Golden City Carrot Cake: Carrot Cake with Ikan Bilis and Crispy Fried Chye Poh!

Please read comments and postscript

Carrot Cake $3 portion

I found it! I found it!

The best carrot cake I have tasted is just a stone's throw away from home and it took me so long to find it!

You know, I haven't eaten any outstanding carrot cake that I can really put my finger on until I came across this one. What makes it special is that not only does this lady fry the carrot cake until it is crispy on the outside, but she adds in these delightfully crispy Ikan Bilis and Pre-Fried Chye Poh as well. The Chye Poh is really like manna from heaven!

OK, classic carrot cake connoisseurs might cry foul over the use of ikan bilis in the carrot cake, but I am telling you that after tasting this one, I feel that everyone else should be adding ikan bilis as well.

Aunty buys really good quality ikan bilis and prepares it herself twice a week. She fries them till they are super crispy and flavoursome. The chye poh is also pre-fried and she adds a little bit of sugar into them to give them that extra edge. The combination of the crisp savoury ikan bilis with the sweetened chye poh, soft carrot cake and fried eggs is something I just can just sit there and slowly savour with my eyes closed.



This stall used to be selling fried Hokkien Mee when the Aunty's husband was still around. But since his passing, they don't sell fried Hokkien Mee anymore. In fact, it was her late husband who first suggested that she added the ikan bilis for extra kick!

Truth be told, the first time I met her, I almost thought she was a bit of a Food Nazi. You see, I ordered my carrot cake without chilli, but when it arrived with chilli, I made the excuse that my kids don't eat chilli, and she grumpily changed it for me. What to do? I was scared that if I said I don't take chilli, she might just ban me from the stall! (I did offer to pay for 2 plates of carrot cake in the end but she refused to take the money albeit still grumpy)



But luckily, she turned out to be quite a nice lady when you get to know her. Just be nice to her okay? And when you ask for extra chye poh (Power Up to get Max Ooomph!) offer to pay extra 50 cents for it and keep that smile on her face.

Conclusion

Best carrot cake I have had for as long as I can remember! It's a 4.5/5 for the standard plate but when you add the extra chye poh it becomes a 4.75/5

Update: Dec 2011
The old lady no longer frying and the son who took over no longer gives ikan bills.
Based on our readers' feedback it seems that the standard at this stall has dropped dramatically

Golden City Carrot Cake
1 Telok Kurau Road
Open 7.30am to 2pm
Closed Tuesdays








What to do next:

Check out the Fang Choy next door
Go down the road for Seng Kee Bak Chor Mee
There's a Charcoal Fried Hokkien Mee opposite
Check out other Carrot Cake stalls
Check out other stalls run by little old ladies and gentlemen

85 comments:

Anonymous said...

You si bei giam siap. People hawker not easy to make money. Every cent counts and you got the cheek to ask them to change another plate. Like that how to make your money? Be compassionate towards hawkers, their life not like yours just sit in office and give MC to people by signing paper. I am disgusting by your act. I suggest you take away that sentence that said you asked your food to be changed for just a meague few dollars you paid them. Wanna have good service, go pay high money.

hAPPy889 said...

There's normally quite a queue for the carrot cake in the morning on weekends. This was since the stall was featured on some Channel 8 food program. Thanks to ieat the queue is going to get longer.

Aunty's husband used to do a decent hokkien mee at the same stall in the evenings. Was the best around. Right now the best in the area (excluding Kim's at Eunos which I haven't tried yet and it's far away enough)is the one at Le Wai Tien coffee shop across the road.


The laksa at the adjoining stall is pretty good. Ran by a really amiable gentleman with his sons.

jems said...

this better be good when I do find the day to go try it~!~! yes, have been so disappointed with all the carrot cake eats these days...

The Dictator said...

i had the best fried carrot cake at red hill. The carrot cake there is totally opposite, with min. ingredient. its really just carrot cake and egg. wonder how they fried it so tasty and nice...

anyway, i think its totally fine to change if the hawker forgot or hear wrongly. so better open up the ears esp when making money is hard

ieat said...

Hey Anonymous, I did offer to pay her for the replacement plate but she did not want to take the money. Was still grumpy about it though!

Blur Ting said...

wah, sounds like a die-die-must-try dish. My kids will love this.

ClearTear said...

DOC!! is it at Lorong G??? i wanna go this weekend hehe.

ieat said...

No, it is at the beginning of Telok Kurau Road opposite the SPC station along Changi Road.

eunice said...

Fried carrot cake is my all time favourite! It's true that nowadays it's hard to find really good ones. I think I tried carrot cake with ikan bilis before. Yuppie, now you post it up and I know where to find it again!! Drooling....

eunice said...

Sigh.. talking about food service, got a bad one last night at Dunearn Food Centre. Ordered the popular wanton mee, finished all other food on the table already then this auntie came with the wanton mee after half an hour. I just casually commented "wa.. we finished other food already"... she very fierce, said "Didn't I tell you have to wait mah(hmm, got meh?)?! If you can't wait you can just tell me!Nevermind one! Blar blar.. ". So fierce siah, too famous already, never short of business...

cactuskit said...

Tried it on Leslie's prompt just before he posted the stall. The thing that makes the big difference is the sprinkling of chai poh over the FCC. Very nice combo. That and the ikan bilis add a very nice dimension to the bite.

alicia said...

Sounds like something I can try the next time I'm in the vicinity. I usually don't eat much carrot cake since I'm health conscious and the best one I tried is at the New Majestic restaurant. That one is amazing.

Anonymous said...

The carrot cake does not look appetising at all. For me it is a turn off.

cactuskit said...

Try it and you may change your mind. You sound like you have a compassionate heart for the old. That's a good thing. Go give this old lady you have a compassionate heart for a chance and not write her off before you try the food. She'll be so sad if someone tells her what you wrote.

Machi said...

Went down to try during lunch, I think it's nice.

I requested for more chilli but they did not fried the carrot cake with the chilli, instead it was put by the side.

taukwa said...

tried it today. It was a little dry. The ikan bilis were not crispy but the chai por was a refreshing touch. Crunchy and slightly sweet.

cactuskit said...

Taukwa, you real foodie. Wish I could have the time to travel around for food like you. : )

Anonymous said...

The uncle is no more? =(((
What happened =((

Loved his Hokkien mee but haven't been there for many years. Sigh...

taukwa said...

you serious or not? I think you travel and eat much more lor

liverpool1965 said...

both of you just as bad lah....

taukwa said...

ok, I start dieting next week.

His Food Blog said...

Call me traditionalist or a Teochew Lao Ah Hia but I think Carrot Cake should just remain as Carrot Cake without the Ikan Bilis (Sorry that I only associate Ikan Bilis with Ban Mian).

Having said that, Chye Poh is definitely a must - even though I am not a huge fan of them - without it and the Carrot Cake wouldn't taste the same.

And it does looks abit dry to me from your photos.

Anonymous said...

His food blog: ikan bilis does appear in other incarnations. More so apparent in soup bases and damn essential in YTF (soup and toppings: read Chinatown Xin Ji), fish soup bases and in stir fried in veg. Duhz. Coming from a food blogger yourself, I thought that was a very lame and ignorant remark.

Carrot cake does not only “NOT taste the same” with chai por, it isn’t even CTK without chai por. Can somebody correct me if I’m wrong here? Or is there a difference between Teochew and Hokkien style CTK? There are different preferences, but imho, a good white version of carrot cake should be fried to a crisp at the edges yet still moist inside. This is carrot cake not orh luak for goodness sake. Duhz. From the picture here, it looks ok though I’m not sure about the taste coz I haven’t tried.

Dr Leslie: I see that you have very little posts on CTK. It’ll be useful if you can review more stalls rather than simply saying that you have found the best carrot here. At least readers can see some sort of comparisons between stalls. Maybe you could review Toa Payoh Chey Sua or the Redhill whatever-that-is stall. Thanks.

"Duhz" (I can't register for openID)

ieat said...

Hi Duhz, if you can't use openid, just use the other function and type Duhz everytime you write in. Yes, I am on the carrot cake trail. But though I have not blogged about many carrot cake stalls, don't forget that I have been eating Chai Tau KwaY for many years now and this is one of the best ones I have eaten so far. So I might not be a Chai Tau Kway specialist, but I am just expressing teh the amount of enjoyment I got from it.

Notice that I am very careful not to say that I found "The Best Carrot Cake" but instead it is the "best carrot cake I have tasted".

Anyway, this Redhill stall is definitely on my list of places to blog. Anyone knows the opening times?

Ay His Food Blog, I think you quite a young Teochew Ah Hia, so shouldn't call yourself Lao Ah Hia lah. You want to meet some Teochew Lao Ah Hia, you should come meet smart!

shoopeat said...

Should try the porridge stalls two doors away too. It's the grainy type which i like very much! i'll usually order the mince meat with fish. they also add prawns, sotong or bai chang fish depending wat's fresh that day.. of cos at a higher price.. but gotta be an early bird to catch it cos it's usually sold out by 10+ in the morning!

cactuskit said...

Was there again this morning. Almost tried the porridge but was afraid I had ordered too much. Now with your post, I regret not ordering. Will go back and try it.

jems said...

Hi dictator, ya redhill was my favorite stall prior to renovation but when i went after reno it wasn't good and burnt :( i wonder cuz if it was aunty who did the frying instead of the uncle. any idea what is a good time when uncle will fry?

smart said...

HFB hi Sonny,I may agree CTK with you that we should rate CTK without the ikan bilis.However nowsaday few hawkers make the REAL carrot cake from white carrot.To claim you are 'Lau' I am sorry you need more years. Also food bloggers dont comments on looking at the pics. Go and try it yourself pls.

ice said...

Hello!
Yeah, pictures alone doesn't mean anything. There have too many cases of enticing pictures but food sucked, and vice versa. Trust your own tastebuds.

Dr Leslie, maybe you should extend your repertoire to include more of the good food in the West. I see your reviews are mostly hawker stalls from the East. I think your readers who reside in the West will be keen to read more reviews about the stalls around the area.

I'm interested to know your opinion on this CTK stall at Clementi Central though. This old man with a straw hat fries the CTK while his son assist him by the side. I think this stall is grossly underrated but the CTK is by far the nicest and most consistent I've tried. And it tastes great even after dabao-ing home. Both white and black versions are good.

AromaCookery said...

Although I love traditional food, I have nothing against innovation. Otherwise, how to create new dishes? So boring to eat the same version all the time, right? I say kdos to the auntie here for daring to make her CTK stand out against other clones!

That said, I also enjoyed Taste Paradise's CTK: lor bak goh fried CTK style with XO sauce and beansprouts. The beansprouts are a refreshing touch.

ieat said...

Hi Ice,

Very hard to track down a CTK which is identified only as the one in Clementi Central no?

liverpool1965 said...

ieat, there's only one stall at Clementi Central...can bring you there... :)

cactuskit said...

This CTK is a tad dry and not as flavourful as a good CTK should be. However, once you add in the ikan bilis and chye poh, the dish becomes quite tasty.

I'm open to new interpretations of dishes. Its no secret to the foodies in the blog that I'm a fan of the oyster hokkien mee at Kims. Why not if its nice? And Ya Kwang, a favourite amongst many foodies in the blog also breaks tradition with many of his dishes.

Having said that, good old traditional cooking will always have a special place in us. : )

taukwa said...

I agree that the carrot cake from Taste is good.

The Dictator said...

i m not too sure what time the uncle fried the carrot cake but i know they open till quite late. It is the BEST "Plainest" carrot cake i Tasted so far! hA

ice said...

Hello! Yeah there's only 1 stall with the queue :) for CTK in Clementi. The old man opens early morning and closes at noon-ish. Closed on Mondays. White with chili, black without is good.

And whilst you're there for breakfast, stay for lunch/dinner. There's also a grossly underrated hokkien mee stall Nam Kee just right in front and wanton mee, you tiao stalls near the CTK stall. liverpool will know definitely know which are the ones. Wanton mee, imho, is a hidden gem, sadly only Westies will know of its virtues. And also a must-try Soon Lee Hainanese porridge I mentioned in your earlier porridge post. I remember your mention for a liking for hainan porridge.

haha sorrie I'm a Clementi freak. :)

Jinxi said...

Hi clementi freak :p, do you mean clementi central market the one opposite POSB Bank, or other hawker central at clementi?

HisFoodBlog said...

Duhz: "ikan bilis does appear in other incarnations." - Ermmmmm, obviously I know that, just can't help associating the sprinkling of Ikan Bilis on top of Ban Mian, rather than on CTK.

Ieat: LOL! Sure, I would love to meet up with the Lao Ah Hia soon.

jems said...

clementi central used to have many many good eats during my secondary schooling days. However have stopped frequenting there and am clueless to what it has to offer now. It's prob time to truly revisit again!!! :)

yes, please advise where is this carrot cake in clementi? the FC at the central?

ice said...

Hi yes the CTK stall is in the hawker centre at the Central opposite the POSBank. At the market. The Hakka YTF there is good too. Don't miss it.

Damien Soo Chen said...

I like Phoenix Garden Traditional Carrot Cake at Telok Blangah.

Previously located at Mei Chin Road FC.

More well-known for its black CTK but the white one is pretty good too.

The Clementic CTK is located at Clementi market near the MRT station. I hope the uncle's son continue to take over the business after his dad retires :)

cactuskit said...

HFB, you'll like lau ah hia. Very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful uncle. : )

taukwa said...

yup, the clementi fc indeed have some good food there. Besides the YTF mentioned (sold out for lunch very early), there is also a very popular satay stall. This satay used to have people queueing up to order.

Also the cantonese style porridge stall is popular. This one I am not sure but they used to have a good curry puff stall too.

I believe the carrot cake elderly uncle used to be frying his CTK at Beo Crescent (Or Kio Tao) more than 30 years ago. It is a kind of a make-shift hawker place that only open at night. Long queue then too.

liverpool1965 said...

which part of Telok Blangah Damien?, yes its a good plate of wobbly carrot cake, garlic and eggs!

ice said...

The porridge is Hainanese porridge, must-try mix pork with egg, fish is forgettable. The stall's name is Soon Lee, closed on Sundays. Yeah the curry puff is very good. Fillings ample with a thin and fragrant shortcrust pastry. It's called Fong's curry puff, closed on Mondays. Mutton soup is good too. Clementi's Brother's Rojak at the other coffee shop well known, worth checking out.

Clementi has got all the good undiscovered gems. Maybe all the Lau ah hias should do a food trail there. From breakfast to dinner. :)

liverpool1965 said...

pork and egg porridge wifey's fav!, haven't had that since we moved to Jur West!

auntie said...

The CTK stall is at Blk 448 Clementi Ave 3 01-31 (the hawker centre)simply called Carrot Cake Chwee Kway. While there, do try the Yue Yi Tai Shan popiah located at the same coffee shop as the famous Brother's rojak. Simple ingredients but tastes great - but watch out for the fiery chilli and generous dallop of garlic!

cactuskit said...

Liverpool, many good stalls around the Katong/Marine Parade area. You must come and try with Grace.

taukwa said...

thanks ice, I don't know the difference between Cantonese and Hainanese porridge. I agree that Brother's Rojak is good. In the same coffee shop, I also like the Taksin Beef Noodles.

cactuskit said...

Clementi is the final frontier towards the West that has quite a few good food stalls. Must go explore...

ieat said...

Looks like I have to do Clementi one of these days after church! Actually, I used to be a Clementi regular back in the days when I lived in Pine Grove. That was about 20 years ago. They used to have really good Lor Mee there and there was a UFO stall which I used to love. Have to go back to relive some nostalgia.

This discussion on Clementi FC would be perfect on the forum. Because it is on a Carrot Cake blog comment, future readers may have difficulty finding it. But in the forum it will be categorised either in Hawker Foods- HDB Heartlands - Clementi or Hawker Foods - Hawker Centres - Clementi Food Centre.

http://ieatishootipost.proboards50.com/index.cgi?board=hdb&action=display&thread=546

So do also list all your favourite eats there!

Damien said...

Hi Liverpool, it's the FC opposite SAFRA at Telok Blangah.

The black CTK damn wobbly, smooth and oily and when i was there last month, the plate cost only $1.50. Don't know whether he raised his prices since.

But note: apart from the CTK and nasi padang, there is nothing much to eat there; maybe perhaps only the briyani from the indian stall which they only sell only on Fridays.

taukwa said...

had this carrot cake today again, the ikan bilis was crispy this time. The porridge next stall sold out every early, even before noon.

liverpool1965 said...

yes Damien, used to stay at Mei Ling Street for over 20 years...good to know that he is still operating...will go visit..

Cactuskit, you need to bring me around the east! :)

Ice, yes the stalls you mentioned are all familiar! :)

ice said...

sorrie to hijack this CTK post again, but the Hainan porridge Soon Lee at Clementi Hawker Centre is featured in today's ZB supplement. May wish to check it out. :)

Christina said...

Tried both Carrot Cake & Laksa today. Laksa was good (and prawns were larger than others) but not to-die-for. As for the Carrot Cake, I enjoyed it and suspect that a contributor to the oomph factor is a secret ingredient called hua tiao jiu (chinese rice wine). It could be possible that it's added/sprayed on before being served. Or could my taste-buds have failed me?

khim said...

can someone tabao e CTK for me pls pls pls pls pls???

it look so tempting but i doubt i'll even get a chance to try it as they close early... ='(
='(

liverpool1965 said...

ok khim, it'll will cost you a D24 and mao shang wang :)

khim said...

sure liverpool! but i dun take durians, so i ask don to bring u u, can? =)

found e new way of comment is lagging, comments dun get posted immediately..

khim said...

btw, e lagging was yesterday. today seems ok?

liverpool1965 said...

my try it next Monday Khim, I will tarpao..

Anonymous said...

How old then can be called "Lau" huh?

khim said...

okie, thank u in advance!! i buy u durian puffs instead can or not ah? =)

cactuskit said...

Why don't you go during weekends Khim? In one visit, you can try the CTK, the superb laksa, perhaps the porridge that is also highly rated, and finally the adjacent pau and timsum shop that Les blogged. And for you, there's bound to be space left in your bottomless pit ;). Go to Seng Kee (just 70m away) for some noodles and the fish maw soup. .

khim said...

hmmm... not really a fan of fish maw soup though...

unless some makan kakis willing to go together on weekends, i dun mind lar!! cos smokeduck have to work on weekends, so wun be able to go wif me lei..

cactuskit said...

Wasted you not fan of fish maw. You can try the gai geok and soft pai kwat and hae chor. All very nice.

JENCOOKS said...

Who's smokeduck.

By the way, I dont quite like this new post a comment; Seems more outdated than the previous one leh.

Oh I love fish maws over and over again...

Christopher said...

3.875/5 for me for this ctk. a little overfried and dry.

the ikan bilis IMO dont go in terms of texture.

Em Loh said...

I've been eating at City Carrot Cake for years and she's only grumpy when she's very busy. Best time to go is weekdays in the morning and not weekends when it's too crowded

cactuskit said...

Thks to shoopeat's recommendation, I finally got to try the porridge this morning. Wife and I like it. Of course I also ordered the laksa and fried carrot cake. And also tapau from Hong Ho Phang Pau. ; )

I've started a thread under kopitiams in th eforum to show some pictures. Can check them out there. : )

Anonymous said...

I HAVE TRIED THIS CHAI TAU KWAY!!! It is really marvellous and I can't wait to eat it again this coming Saturday. yum yum yum ... wondergal16

Koh said...

Tried the this carrot cake and the laksa beside it, also the fan choy next door... found the laksa fragant and nice... the fan choy is like the best i have tasted so far.. the carrot cake was disappointing to my tastebuds... nothing special.. the cake was rather soggy... i found it to be even below the standards of other common stalls.. the one at redhill still tops my list... :) i would return for laksa and fan choy!!!

Anonymous said...

Tried the CTK today. It was rather dry and carrot cake itself not so pang (not self made?)The chai poh's much better than other chai poh I've tasted, the ikan bilis crispy (with heads removed, otherwise might taste bitter) and surprisingly added an added dimension to the carrot cake. There was nice pang garlicky taste to it. Pang chai poh, pang garlic and crispy ikan bilis made it a yummy breakfast for me :)

food ie photographers photography said...

haha i oso dun eat with chilli wan...hope she dun give me grumpy face too. looks like not too oily and will make a real yummy breakfast..

Anonymous said...

Ah the aunty is no longer there - fried by a young chap speaking english. It wasn't bad, but wasn't that amazing; tad on the oily side and expensive.

Sen said...

Any update? Is the auntie still there? thanks

Kwa Family said...

Mei Chin Road Blk 159 Market
(Blk 159 #02-44 Mei Chin Road)

Ah Boy

Kwa Family said...

The popular traditional Phoenix Garden Carrot Cake is now back at the Mei Ling Market Blk 159

Still taste as good ... and now from S$2/= from lunar new year onwards. Was just there recently, and the same couple running the stall since eh... childhood days

hAPPy889 said...

The aunty has retired recently. The stall has been taken over by a young man who used to run a mini cze char at the same coffeeshop. His carrot cake is pretty good.

Jiacao said...

I just went there this morning after sending someone to the airport. Indeed the auntie is no longer there and when the carrot cake arrived, there was no ikan bilis! I asked the young chap (who also looks grumpy) if he puts ikan bilis on his carrot cake and he brusquely said NO! Sorely disappointed cos I love ikan bilis. :( the carrot cake itself was not too bad but I've definitely had better ones.

ieat said...

Thanks for the update! Might have to revise the ratings.

lazysauce said...

i have to agree with Jiacao,

went there about 2 weeks ago and was very disappointed with the CTK ):
no more ikan bills ... and the taste is not worthy of the high 4.75 !!!

Lecundra said...

I dropped by last week, there's a not-so-old auntie operating the store, this is not the original auntie who fried the delightful carrot cake with ikan bilis. The one being being fried now can only be described as lacklustre and disappointing.

ieat said...

Thanks for the feedback. I have already written a postscript in 2011 as well as removed them from the ieat hawker app!

ieat said...

Thanks for the feedback. I have already written a postscript in 2011 as well as removed them from the ieat hawker app!

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