Mei Chin Fish Soup: Tai Seng’s best hidden secret, with amazing fish soup worth queuing for
Office folks will always have one or two hidden food gems up their sleeves. These places will be where they’ll go if they need some comfort food to chase away the Monday blues, even if that means having to walk long distances or brave the snaking queues. I’ve finally found one tucked away in Tai Seng, and it’s none other than Mei Chin Fish Soup.
Mei Chin Fish Soup is one of the food stalls in a coffee shop at 1010 Tai Seng Avenue. For those who work around the area, this coffee shop can be found near Kim Chuan Lane/Drive.
While the building might look incredibly unassuming from the inside, step through any one of its small openings and you’ll discover an intensely bustling, noisy and crowded coffee shop, filled with white and blue-collared workers from around the area.
With close to a dozen food stalls, this coffee shop is a gold mine waiting to be explored. However, I noticed that the one with the longest and most consistent queue was Mei Chin Fish Soup.
Apparently, Mei Chin Fish Soup has been around for the past 25 years, serving up hearty bowls of fish soup to its many loyal fans. It’s run by a couple, and the stall’s main selling point is its fresh fish slices, which are bought from a local wet market daily and hand sliced to ensure that they’re of the highest quality.
Despite joining the queue with about 10 people in front of me, it moved quickly and efficiently, and it took me less than 20 minutes to reach the front of the stall. I also noticed that the aunty had an impeccable memory, recognising regulars upon sight and remembering their orders almost immediately. “Same ah?”, she would say in Hokkien.
One thing to note about Mei Chin Fish Soup is that unlike other fish soup stalls, it doesn’t serve fried fish nor add evaporated milk in its soup. That’s right— it’s so traditional that it only serves plain fish soup with fresh fish slices.
What I tried at Mei Chin Fish Soup
For the most authentic experience at Mei Chin Fish Soup, I decided to order the Sliced Fish Soup (S$6) with a bowl of White Rice (S$0.50).
Note that if you’re feeling extra hungry, you can get the Sliced Fish Soup in a larger portion at S$7.50. There are also other carb options, such as Sliced Fish Thin Bee Hoon/Mee Sua (S$6/S$7.50), Fish Porridge (S$6/S$7.50), and also Fried Fish Head Soup (S$6).
While its soup was crystal clear, I could immediately tell that it was full of flavour, thanks to the little red foamy bits that lined the edge of the bowl.
This was akin to having steamboat and seeing the scum form on the top of the broth— a sure sign that plenty of hours had gone into the making of the soup.
I took my first sip of fish soup, and I uttered: “Wow.”
The texture of the fish soup was clean and smooth, but it was packed with so much briny flavours that it left me blown away by how full-bodied it was. It was more savoury than sweet, and was so full of depth that it instantly reminded me of fish head steamboat broth— tasty, slightly salty, and insanely delicious.
While I’m usually someone who adds evaporated milk into her fish soup, a bowl from Mei Chin Fish Soup has officially converted me into a fan. Trust me, you don’t need white pepper, evaporated milk or fried fish to make this bowl of Sliced Fish Soup any better than it already is.
For S$6, I was impressed by how many slices of batang fish I had been given. It was easily close to 10, with each slice coming in odd shapes and sizes— some thinner than others— which is an indication that each had been hand sliced.
These were so smooth that each fish slice threatened to slide off my spoon and chopsticks, and the minute I placed them in my mouth, its silkiness caught me off guard. It felt like a baby’s cheek— sleek and velvety— and yet, biting into them revealed a firm texture with not a single taste of fishiness.
These must be the freshest fish slices I’ve ever had in my life!
Accompanying the full-bodied fish soup and fresh fish slices were a good amount of other ingredients, such as fried egg floss and plenty of crunchy lettuce.
I particularly loved the fried egg floss as it soaked up all the wonderful flavours of the fish soup like a sponge, making every bite a real addictive delight.
In all honesty, the Sliced Fish Soup was so good that I had completely forgotten that I had ordered a bowl of White Rice!
This was a bowl of fish soup that I’d gladly queue for, be it rain or shine. I loved how full-bodied it was despite being crystal clear, as well as its amazingly fresh fish slices. I also noticed that while I was having my meal, Mei Chin Fish Soup’s queue never dwindled. In fact, it stayed constantly long.
For those working in the Tai Seng area, you’ve absolutely got to give this place a try if you haven’t. I can assure you it’s the real deal!
Expected damage: S$6 – S$8 per pax
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