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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

Looks like Ah Chiang Porridge’s popularity isn’t really fazed in light of all the social distancing. We arrived at 8pm but the place was still almost full. We didn’t have to wait long for a table, especially with the staff helping to find and coordinate seating, but when we went to place our order, a fair bit of the vegetables and side dishes (like the tofu) were already sold out.

All our dishes and porridge bowls arrived within 10 minutes of ordering so it was very quick, and all the food was piping hot! Porridge texture was super silky and smooth. At Ah Chiang’s, I find that I don’t even need to add any additional soy sauce or pepper on my own and I’d still wolf down the whole bowl. No fishy smell from the fish slices, though I wish they’d come in bigger pieces. The lean pork meat was not tough either, and century egg is the perfect add-on for this.

Note that if you plan to visit and want to order the zhi char dishes, you should come here instead of the Jurong East outlet as they have a very very lean menu there. Highly recommend ordering the cai po egg and fried tofu!

Unimpressed with the service here at Xin Wah Kee. They have a few choices of soups - toman fish or red grouper, or you could opt for the seafood options at the same price as the fish soup counterparts with more varieties of seafood and less fish slices.

I got the Toman Fish soup without any rice and noodles (+0.50 for rice, thick bee hoon, kuay tiao or mee sua). Originally wanted the set with you cai, but you can’t change the set as it comes with ngoh hiang. Bought the you cai separately instead which cost $2.80. The menu is quite inflexible, as I also wanted to get the chicken soup which they had advertised as a set with rice, veg and drinks. Unfortunately, you can’t order the chicken soup as an ala carte item so.. didn’t bother trying.

Tastewise, the fish soup is not bad. It’s got a milky white finish and is quite thick, slightly sweet and nourishing. There’s no fishy smell, and the Toman fish slices have no bones, plus there’s quite a decent number of fish slices and large rectangles of silken tofu inside. There’s a hint of shaoxing wine, with tomato and cabbage.

For the you cai, the vegetables were lightly poached which left them very crisp. However, the sauce was much sweeter than usual. It’d have been better if the sauce was less sweet and more savoury.

We also got two pieces of prawn roll/ngoh hiang, but they weren’t nice. The rolls weren’t served hot, and the portion size looked miserable. While the meat was tender, the roll left a powdery feeling when bitten into, with a strange aftertaste.

I doubt I’ll be visiting Xin Wah Kee again given the subpar service, sides and a mediocre fish soup. There’s other places that I’d go for a fish soup craving, and other places that I’d rather spend my money and calories at in Velocity.

Surprised to see most of the stalls at the basement of NUH Medical Centre now accept FavePay which was fantastic because I forgot to bring my wallet along to buy lunch today 😣

Been a while since I’ve visited Sunny Korean Cuisine but rainy days call for sweater and porridge weather. This restaurant is always popular with the lunch crowd, and today was no exception, but I got my porridge order very quickly amidst other orders of Saba fish and hotplate meats.

My perennial favourite is the korean beef porridge which is made with brown rice and barley stewed with a generous amount of dried scallops. This makes for such a creamy and rich porridge, there’s no such thing as bland or boring porridge here. The porridge is topped with beef and shredded seaweed. The beef is probably the same as what’s served for the hotplate beef, which is slightly spicy but so good because it’s sliced thin and tender. Sometimes the beef is a little inconsistent as there can be copious amounts of onions thrown in, but today that wasn’t an issue.

At only $5.50 for a hearty and filling bowl, this is one of my favourite porridges around, and one that can go toe to toe with Empress Porridge right around the corner!

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!

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

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