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Savings For A Rainy Day ☔️

Savings For A Rainy Day ☔️

Singapore may be hot and humid but when the rainy season arrives, soupy goodness is just what I need to stave off the cold.
Melissa Chee
Melissa Chee

I’m not sure why people are so taken with Bhutanese foods all of a sudden, but I’m not complaining whenever I get a chance to be taken back to Bhutan - physically or gastronomically. This season’s Souperholic specials feature six Bhutan-inspired soups. The two soups we tried today are from Part 1 of this series - a Bhutanese Spicy chicken Stew (front) and the Chilli Cheese Stew (back, which the cashier actually cautioned against due to the spiciness!).

If you’ve been to Bhutan, you’ll be familiar with chilli cheese, which is akin to their national dish. This stew is nowhere near as thick as authentic ema datshi, but it’s still yummy and pretty spicy for a stew! It features a lot of dried chillies, as well as three different cheeses. It doesn’t quite hit the same spot as ema datshi does, but it’s still a delightful tribute to the National dish of Bhutan. This soup is totally vegetarian, it’s also dairy-free if you request for no ezay condiment (which is an additional chilli ‘salad’ mixed with coriander).

The spicy chicken stew didn’t strike me as much of a Bhutanese dish, as I didn’t have any of this in Bhutan. I never had a good impression of meat dishes in Bhutan as I found that they tended to chop the meats into awkward chunks with really sharp bones, plus the meat tended to be quite hard. Thankfully, The Soup Spoon’s Spicy Chicken Stew has masterfully cut and tenderised the boneless chicken chunks, and cooked it in a hearty chicken broth with lots of vegetables, AND Bhutanese red rice! What a treat! I love the texture of Bhutanese red rice, plus the infusion of nuttiness it provides to the dish! I loved this soup so much I used the bread roll to sop up every last drop!

It’s also worth noting that the bread roll seems to be bigger than before, plus it’s got more sesame seeds and even some pumpkin seeds embedded inside! I love this change in rolls! Definitely going to be eating more of these Bhutanese soups before they switch to the second half of the series on the first week of October.

From Soon Li Whitley Food Centre Pork Porridge stall:

This coffee shop is PACKED full of good food. Although we came for the ngoh hiang, we were so tempted to order everything else but settled on a steaming hot bowl of porridge to go with the fried fritters. I only realised after that the shop was named Pork Porridge so I probably should’ve gotten pork porridge instead, but I didn’t see it on the menu (only century egg porridge and sliced fish porridges on the signboard for some reason?). Anyway, the century egg lured me in and I have no regrets ordering this at all. The porridge takes a while to be served, but it comes piping hot! Don’t let the whiteness fool you, this bowl of porridge is full of flavour and doesn’t need any soy sauce to make it salty or flavourful. In fact, I was surprised to find salted egg inside the porridge as well! It was a really nice addition to the century egg. I think there was a whole century egg and half a salted egg in this porridge, very affordable at only $4 a bowl. I enjoyed the thinly sliced chicken meat as well, which was not at all stringy, and very tender and juicy. The taste of this porridge actually grows on you even more as you eat it, and Soon Li at Lao Zhong Zhong is definitely going to be a place I’ll put on my radar for porridge in the future, especially convenient because they cater to the late birdies as well. Perfect for a rainy day, late dinner or supper time!

A classic favourite at Soup Spoon that never fails to warm the soul. I almost always get this soup when I’m at Soup Spoon. If you’re not familiar with this soup, get yourself down to a Soup Spoon outlet and get yourself some of this! Packed with soft vegetables, mushrooms and tender chicken chunks, this low calorie option is definitely not low on taste.

Five juicy meatballs in rich aromatic broth. Seriously this broth packs a huge flavour punch. The herbs remind me of five spice, and it’s such a hearty and warming bowl of soup. There’s some water chestnut cubes inside the soup, which are refreshing and add a crunch. The handmade meatballs are really really nice too. They’re seriously juicy, and not dry at all. Apart from making super good egg noodles, these people know how to make a mean bowl of meatball soup! Recommended!!!

Option to order this with puff rice or bee hoon - the puff rice one comes with a small cup of crispy puff rice on the side.

The soup broth here is thick, cloudy, sweet and really tasty. They’re very generous with the fresh pomfret meat, and it’s a good-sized dish to share. In addition to the puff rice, there’s also soft white rice inside the soup like a fish soup porridge. The addition of puff rice adds a nice crunch to each bite, but I recommend only adding it in when you intend to eat it as it becomes soggy and loses its crunch quickly.

Overall a comforting and delicious bowl of soup for a cold day, or something light to share among family and friends!

Ordering soups here can be a hit or miss depending on the day or time you visit. There are many factors that go into it - the people working that day, how long the soup has been boiling for, how long the meat has been boiling for, etc, that it’s quite inconsistent with each visit. Usually, I find the taste of the herbal chicken soup quite good anyway - although some days might be richer and more flavourful than others. The chicken is more inconsistent. Some days it’s fall off the bone tender, while on others, it’s tough and requires effort to extricate the meat. Today’s broth was not bad, probably a 6.5/10 based on all the times I’ve visited, and the chicken was a 6/10 which was not tender enough to pull off the bone with ease, but also not hard and dry as a rock.

Broth is excellent and very flavourful. Even without the addition of milk, the soup is thick and cloudy. This bowl comes with fried fish which is fresh and tender. The fried fish is battered nicely, not too thick. If you can’t decide to go for fresh or fried fish, Xin Yuan Ji has got your back with the mixed fish soup that’s slightly more expensive but gets you the best of both worlds. Note that there’s a lot of sediments at the bottom of the bowl which are gritty and sandy so avoid disturbing the base while savouring the soup.

Truly a comforting bowl of soup for a rainy day or when you’re under the weather. Each bowl is served piping hot, and even with my ailment-dulled senses, the cloudy fish soup was flavourful and sweet. Aside from the “fresh” fish slices (I’m not sure why they included the quotation marks in the menu), there’s also a few large cubes of silken tofu, bok choy and tomato. They’re generous with the fish which is indeed fresh - the flesh is tender and bouncy, plus they’re large and thick slices so you can really savour each piece! It’s yummy on its own, but I loved eating it dipped into the light soy sauce with chilli padi for an extra sweet, salty and spicy kick. As you reach the bottom of the bowl though, try to avoid disturbing the bottom as there’s a lot of sedimentation at the base. It’s gritty and sandy, probably some ground up crustaceans or shellfish that gives the soup it’s amazing aroma and flavour.

Favourite ke kou mian stall (and probably the only stall I would buy instant noodle soup from) because the broths here are just incredible. Super aromatic, thick and flavourful. There are four soup broths - seafood, pork, tom yum and spicy, all of which are yummy but I went for the pork today. The smell from my takeaway containers were so incredible that I was in a real rush to get home to dig in. The soup broth was just as great as I remembered it, and there’s a good amount of vegetables and tender minced pork balls, as well as an egg hidden in the broth.

In addition, other than KKM, they do sell other types of noodles such as ee mian, mee hoon kueh, sheng mian and mee sua so I decided to go for something slightly less unhealthy today. The mee hoon kueh here is hand torn, each piece is irregular in size and thickness which I absolutely love. However, it does tend to be on the doughy side and becomes soggy quickly especially if you pack it to go.

Wait time was approximately 20 minutes at 8am on Sunday - you won’t see how many people are waiting, but you’ll get a queue number after you order.

This is still one of my favourite comfort foods to have on a leisurely weekend morning - accessible, affordable, and oh so yummy!

A healthy warm soba dish topped with beancurd skin, fried beancurd, seaweed and assorted mushrooms. Hearty and healthy, this is a comforting warm dish that doesn’t make you feel guilty about eating it. The soba was al dente, and there were quite a lot of ingredients. The broth was really tasty, but it did tend to get too salty after a while. That’s ok though, as Shimbashi Soba provides a thermos with dashi stock at each table for this very purpose.

There’s also a vegetarian version of this dish made with vegetable soup broth.

Usually my mom is very into sharing food so she can share the calories but this is one dish that she absolutely refuses to share and insists I get my own. Also, according to her, this is the best food recommendation I’ve ever given to her.

Yan Ji’s Seafood Soup is made from chicken stock boiled with scallops which ends up as an incredibly thick and rich broth. It’s savoury and bursting with umami flavour that you definitely can’t help yourself from slurping everything up. The basic soup comes with dory fish, but if you’re feeling slightly more fancy, you can opt for the giant grouper slices (pictured here). I felt that the giant grouper slices were a little on the fishy side, but the flesh was still pretty bouncy and tender anyway. I might just go for the cheaper dory fish next time I visit. There are other deluxe options that include abalone or crayfish as well. Apart from fish slices, the soup comes with prawns and meatballs. The real showstealer here are the meatballs - they’re packed full of flavour (perhaps with some salted fish) with a great soft and chewy texture. I could eat these with the seafood soup without any other ingredients and be just as satisfied!

There are four signature flavours eligible for Burpple Beyond Chicken Pot redemption and this is one of them. If you’re not a fan of spicy food, yet want something full of savoury flavour, this would be a good choice.

I’ve tried a handful of chicken pots, and I would say this is the best I’ve had so far. The sauce is thick, fragrant and well balanced. It’s definitely not too salty, even if you eat it without rice. The portions of chicken in the small pot are good enough for 1 person, but you can always add more ingredients if you like. I particularly liked adding beancurd skin inside this pot to cook and soak up the savoury gravy.

Preferred having this pot ‘to go long’ over the ma la flavour, but it was nice to have the Numbing & Fiery chicken after a few bites of the House Special for that sudden punch of spice. Both of them make a good combination to order with Burpple Beyond!

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Always biding my time to my next meal. Everything in between just serves to kill time.

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