Text and Images by Sheere Ng @ Makansutra
In April, major food events like World Gourmet Summit and Food Hotel Asia has fed us well. But may I say, too well. The usual impressive, rich and potent food, when served too often, triggers one’s craving for the simple. Something simple yet satiable. So this month we give spotlight to the Teochews, the experts at using the freshness and quality of the ingredients for taste and flavours. Here are our favourite five stalls that tout the infamous Teochew muay.
Ah SeahTeochew Porridge
They have a long history, which according to them, goes way back to 1955. There are about 50 items, ranging from the traditional fare to hearty homecooked dishes. Examples include stewed pig trotters, minced pork and stewed tofu, sambal clams and assam fish. Many also come for their softly stewed cabbage, own-made fish cake and the braised duck. The porridge here is milkier and the grains are softer than the ones served elsewhere.
31/33 Teck Chye Terrace
11am – 12am, closes on Mondays
Economic Mixed Vegetable Rice
Though they don’t offer a very wide array but what they do offer, they do it very well.
The stewed duck is intense in flavour while the fish cake is soft yet bouncy. The robust flavour of the minced pork explains its popularity. Even the simple stir-fried cabbage comes with superb wok hei. But be warned that it is sold out very quickly.The steamed fish is cheap and fresh, and it goes very well with the fermented soybean sauce.
Blk 341 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1 #01-13 Teck Ghee Court
10.30am – 2pm, 6.4pm – 10pm, closes on Mondays
Teo Seng Porridge Stall
The fish is always fresh; the stewed eggs are served like Japanese hanjukitamago – firm on the outside but creamy in the centre; and the pig innards are clean,infused with the essence of the soy sauce stew. Porridge is done al dente with a distinctive rice fragrance. When in doubt, ask them to place a selection of the best (e.g. stewed eggs, salted mustard leaves, fish cakes, tau pok and sliced duck) on a platter and down it with their porridge.
Blk 531A Upper Cross Street #01-125 Hong Lim Market & Food Centre
8am – 2pm, closes on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays
Teck Teochew Porridge
There is an immense range of dishes. Some examples are stewed duck, pork belly, tofu and steamed seafood. Many swear by their giant crayfish, cold crab and steamed tau kee sheets, cooked with minced meat sauce. The chai poomelette comes thick and fluffy. We also like their humble stir-fried leeks andsteamed sotong with roe, with an accompanying plum sauce dip. Porridge is done traditional Teochew style – grainy, milky and al dente. What’s alluring here is that they are constantly cooking fresh pots of something to replenish whatever is diminishing.
300 JooChiat Road Tin YeangCoffeeshop
10am – 10pm, closes on alternate Tuesdays
Teochew Rice and Porridge
They sell very traditional Teochew dishes like steamed baby squid with plum sauce dip, shark’s meat in spicy blackbean sauce, steamed rabbit fish and minced pork with black bean sauce. The stewed pork skin here is done particularly well – gelatinous with a slight springiness. They also offer the unusual stir-fried mustard leaves which has a gently bitter accent with a soft crunchy texture.
Maxwell Road Stall 98 Maxwell Food Centre
11am – 9pm, closes on Sundays