Making Nonya kueh is not a career path young men typically take fresh out of National Service. Yet, 23-year-old Keith Su is doing exactly that. Fuelled by his passion for cooking, he recently launched Ahmahzing, a small business selling nonya treats like kueh salat and kueh bingka ubi.
The name is a play on the word “ah mah”, which means grandmother in Hokkien, Keith’s dialect group. “I have fond memories of my grandma rewarding me with ang ku kueh as a treat when I was little,” he shares. “Ahmahzing is so named because I believe most of our happiest childhood memories stem from being pampered by Ah Mah and nourished with her amazing recipes”.
Interestingly, the only Hokkien kueh in his repertoire of six types of sweets are ang ku kueh and huat kueh.
He operates out of his family’s HDB apartment in Ang Moh Kio and reaches out to potential customers through his Ahmahzing Instagram account. “So far it’s not really a business yet; it’s more of a hobby. I only decided to start taking orders in April,” says the soft-spoken young man.
The first kueh Keith made was kueh salat, that notoriously difficult-to-get-right Peranakan kueh comprising a layer of compressed glutinous rice stained blue with butterfly pea flowers beneath a jade-hued layer of custardy seri kaya or pandan-infused coconut milk-and-egg jam. It took him four attempts before he was happy with the results. “It was frustrating, but one recipe led to another and that’s how I started making kueh,” he said.
Keith studied Culinary and Catering Management in Temasek Polytechnic and says his girlfriend and friends are his guinea pigs. “After I received good feedback and encouragement from them, I decided to take orders.”
The kueh cost between $15 for six huat kueh and $40 for 30 pieces of ang ku kueh. He charges a whopping $20 and $25 for delivery (because he delivers the stuff himself), but is open to self-collection, too. He hopes to add other traditional kueh like soon kueh in future.
We sampled some of the kueh to see if it was “ahmahzing” or not (see above photo gallery).
To order, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Instagram: @ ahmahzingsg