Probably one of the best things about living today is the wide array of food we get to sample. Thanks to technology, travel and immigration, cuisines once thought of as non-existent or inaccessible are now available in most places worldwide. Of course, even locally there are plenty of different cuisines, with one of them being the Nyonya cuisine, or Peranakan cuisine. A specialty of Peranakan cuisine lies within their kuehs, and HarriAnn’s Nonya Table serves them best!
About HarriAnn’s Nonya Table
HarriAnn’s Nonya Table, a Peranakan family food business, has been around since 1940. They specialise in making Nonya savoury food and sweets, distributing them to their local Peranakan-themed cafes from their central kitchens, as well as to many hotels in Singapore. Currently, it is now helmed by third generation husband-and-wife team, Alan and Sharon, who took over at the end of 2013. The name “HarriAnn’s” was actually coined by Alan himself when he was 13, after his parents Harry and Annie. Though Alan and Sharon now run the business with five cafes in hand, Harry and Annie continue to man the original stall at Tiong Bahru Food Centre.
From Survival To Success
Madam Chia Nguk Eng, Alan’s grandmother, founded the business in the 1940s with just a humble pushcart to survive. She had lost her husband suddenly to a freak accident, and cooked to make ends meet and bring up her children. With freshly-made Nonya Kueh and Teochew-style Glutinous Rice, she quickly gained amassed a fan base who loved her delicious food. When the Seng Poh Road Food Centre (the current Tiong Bahru Food Centre) was built, she rented a stall and started selling her food there. In 1980, Harry and Annie took over, and continued the tradition of making Nonya Kueh by hand. (This was when “HarriAnn’s” was officially coined!) When Alan took over, he brought Nonya Kueh out from the marketplace into cafés in shopping malls and hotels, elevating its status and transforming it into a lifestyle food enjoyed by people from all walks of life.
Preserving Tradition, Welcoming Innovation
HarriAnn’s aims to change the way one thinks about tradition and put Singapore Heritage Food on the culinary map of the world with each kueh and food item they create. Their Nonya Kuehs are all still handmade and not mass produced, marrying generations-old traditional recipes and cooking methods with modern ingredients and trends to create unique edible pieces of art. HarriAnn’s Signature Grandma’s Glutinous Rice is Teochew-style, cooked with their special sauce and served with a dollop of sambal chilli and a sprinkle of fragrant fried shallots. They are also the first in Singapore to create the iconic Rainbow Lapis Kueh – another signature product featuring the hues of a rainbow! Last but not least, their Ondeh-ondeh is also another popular product.
Sharing The Love For Nonya Kueh
Making Nonya kueh by hand is labour-intensive with minimal usage of machines, but HarriAnn’s enjoy sharing with the public about making Nonya kuehs, especially since little is known about their origins, methods of production and symbolic ingredients. They often conduct public kueh-making workshops to generate interest in this traditional craft as well as demonstrate how to make their signature kueh from scratch. With that, they hope that HarriAnn’s will become a household name, well known by all Singaporeans for producing artisanal Nonya delicacies at very affordable prices. Though business has been affected by COVID-19, they are adapting to new norms by conducting business online and doing deliveries. After the situation stabilises, they are looking at opening a few more cafes and also to freeze pack pastes, broths and signature products to sell them in local supermarkets as well as export them overseas.
Happiness is Handmade. We believe that handmade quality in our foods can never be replaced by mass production by machines. We also believe in the marrying of the traditional with the modern and keeping our recipes and products up to date with the times – in the process of modernization, never forgetting our roots.” – HarriAnn’s
Psst, HarriAnn’s also produces a wide variety of cakes in Western flavours, as well as artisanal Nonya sweets for pre-wedding cocktails in hotels, churches and other wedding venues. Check them out now at harrianns.com!