As a polytechnic student more than fifteen years ago, i often met up with my elder sister near her workplace at Raffles Place for lunch and many a time, we will also end up buying a few pieces of min chiang kueh (aka local pancakes / 面煎粿) from a particular stall in a coffee shop at Change Alley.
My family loved the pancakes and expressed their sadness when the stall disappeared. For my elder sister and i, it was more than being sad as the pancakes were packaged as one singular entity with the chatty yet forgetful stall owner who never seemed to lose his cool. It's no longer just the pancakes we miss but also the uncle.
Imagine my shock when i was done having hokkien mee at Yishun Central and walked past the above stall in the same coffee shop! I immediately texted my sister: "Remember the uncle we used to buy pancakes from? The talkative one? He set up shop in Yishun"!
This is the uncle, looking as if he didn't change a single bit except for maybe more white hair. I, on the other hand, am fatter, rounder and sprouting a significant amount of white hair.
I am posting the menu earlier so that i can explain the unique ordering that's invented by the uncle himself as his memory has never been good and back at Raffles Place, he often mixed up customers' orders! Anyway, do refer to the abbreviations as indicated above; P for Peanut, SC for sweet corn, CH+OR for cheese and oreo etc.
Pens are provided for you to write down your order on the paper bag that would eventually house one of your pancakes! My order was P x 1 and D x 1. p.s. i did notice that the menu had expanded to include oreo and even mixed savoury min chiang kueh like cheese + hotdog + egg.
A disclaimer first - you would not like the pancakes here if you prefer them with fluffy batter and satisfyingly thick texture.
This is almost similar to the crunchy type (the kind that breaks into a million pieces once you bite it) but slightly thicker to prevent the crumbs from falling all over the table.
Peanuts were fresh without the bitterness that some pancake stalls had and the batter was eggy with just a touch of saltiness; perfect as a light afternoon snack! My recommendation is not to eat the pancakes when they are hot! Cool them down so that the crust hardens further for a chewier bite. Piece of advice - open up the paper bag so that the hot vapour inside can escape.
Ordering the durian pancake would catch close friends by surprise as they would know i like durians as durians and dislike them in other forms like in coffee, in cakes etc. However, the signboard proudly branded durian crispy pancake and i thought i should give it a try and some support despite my misgiving.
Visually, i should have been excited by the generous spread of durian paste and i indeed was until i took a chunk off the pancake; it was bland with a bitter aftertaste that tasted absolutely weird on a hot pancake! I shall stick with my normal peanut, red bean or chocolate pancakes next time.
Block 926, Yishun Central 1,
Yishun 81 Food Court (永运食坊),
12 pm to 8 pm (Daily)
As above again.
Peanut Pancake (P) - S$1.00
Durian Pancake (D) - S$2.00
Stalls in the Same Coffee Shop
(click the shop name to read more)