JONKER Street’s “menu” not only includes cendol and asam laksa. In fact, the historical street is also renowned for its pineapple tarts.
Madam Goh was once a nyonya pineapple tarts stall at Jonker Walk, when the night market started there in 2000. Then six years ago, owner, Goh Kiat Ka, 54, rented a shop on Jalan Tokong and has been selling pineapple tarts there ever since.
After being in the industry for more than a decade, Goh still believes that the best way to make pineapple tarts is by hand because it tastes better than the machine-made ones.
“Commercialisation won’t change the way I bake my pastries. Handmade tarts are fluffier and crispier compared to machine-made ones,” she said.
“Mass-manufactured pineapple tarts are hard and they have preservatives, which allows for them to be stored for a month or two. But for our pineapple tarts, we don’t use any preservatives and will only keep it for as long as two weeks to make sure that they’re all fresh.”
Despite suggestions to use machines, which Goh admitted would definitely help to produce more pineapple tarts in a shorter amount of time, she is determined to still have the pineapple tarts hand made because she wants to keep it traditional.
“The pineapple filling we use is made of fresh pineapples imported from Taiwan. And we cook them ourselves.
“After the pineapples are cleaned, they are mashed and cooked for two to three hours to create a filling that is just right for our customers. So, everything is handmade at home,” she said.
Goh usually makes the fillings twice a week, which is enough to produce 300 pineapple tarts a week. That figure increases during the festive seasons.
“We sell over 10,000 tarts in a week and we sell even more when a booking is placed, especially during big events like Chinese New Year,” said Goh.
Competition is increasingly becoming stiff, but Goh insists that customer satisfaction has always been the most important thing to her.
“My husband (Chua Keng Leong) and I would often ask our customers for feedback. If they like it, then that’s good enough for us and we’re proud,” said Goh.