While I do enjoy a good bowl of fish soup, I usually order fried fish as I like the crunch when biting into a well-fried slice of fish. After hearing raving reviews about Ng Soon Kee Fish & Duck Porridge, I knew I had to go down and give this place a try. Located within Geylang East Market & Food Centre, it was relatively easy to find the stall, mostly because of the snaking queue leading up to the stall.
On Google, it stated that the stall opened at 12pm, which was why I thought I was early when I reached at around 11.37am, only to be greeted by the long queue.
The queue ahead of me had about ten people, and I thought it would take quite fast for it to be my turn as fish soup should be cooked pretty fast. I was mistaken. I was happy to queue, but the scorching heat that is Singapore’s weather was tough to endure. After queuing for 45 minutes, I had sweat buckets but it was finally my turn. I ordered in broken Mandarin, to which the uncle at the store thankfully understood and got to cooking.
I realised why it took so long for the queue to move––– the uncle cooks each bowl of fish soup individually, which takes around two to three minutes on average. In front of him was a container full of fresh fish slices. The left compartment had fish head pieces, while the right compartment had fish slices.
The fish was delivered around 9am that day, and he sells his bowls of fish soup until there’s no more fish left. This ensures the freshness of his fish, which explains why it’s so popular.
The stall was manned by an elderly couple, with a younger woman who I presume to be their daughter. As I waited in the queue, I observed their interactions with the customers and they were smiling at all times, happy to be serving their customers. Sometimes, certain customers would come up to them and start chatting— I presume these are their regulars.
I was obviously holding up a camera, snapping away at pictures and asking them questions about their business. Out of the goodwill of his heart, the uncle even posed for one of my pictures. He was a good sport.
What I tried at Ng Soon Kee Fish & Duck Porridge
At Ng Soon Kee Fish & Duck Porridge, all four of their menu items come priced at S$3, S$5, S$8, S$10 and S$15. I ordered the Mackerel Fish Slice Soup, Fish Head Soup, and a plate of Braised Duck Meat.
Occasionally, they sold interesting items such as Braised Duck Tongue which is only served on Wednesdays. Unfortunately, I was there on a Friday, so I didn’t get to try it.
Mackerel Fish Soup (S$5) was light and due to the freshness of the fish, there was no fishy smell at all. It was stewed with salted vegetables, which gave a hint of saltiness which was not overbearingly salty. However, the fish soup seemed to be a little light on the salt, and if it were a bit saltier I would be satisfied. The fish meat was delightfully tender and flaky.
Fish Head Soup (S$5) was more flavourful than the Mackerel Fish Soup as the fish head was boiled for five minutes instead of two minutes. Therefore, the fish head was stewed longer, which caused the soup to have a sweeter flavour. It was stewed with ginger and tung oh to get rid of any fishiness, thus even though it had been stewed longer, the soup ended up not being fishy at all. There was a sprinkle of fried garlic on top of the soup to give the soup an additional savoury taste.
There were multiple generous pieces of fish head, and the fish head meat had a slight sweet taste. It was a good bowl of soup. I would definitely get the Fish Head Soup at Ng Soon Kee Fish & Duck Porridge.
Braised Duck (S$5) meat was interestingly chopped into cubes instead of the usual strips, and was marinated well in dark soy sauce. There was a good balance of meat and fat, however, if the meat was more tender it would be great.
Personally, I felt that the combination of selling fish soup and braised duck was really unique. With the uncle’s warmth towards his customers and the affordably priced dishes, I can see why this is a popular store. If I find myself at Geylang, I will definitely drop back in to Ng Soon Kee Fish & Duck Porridge for the Fish Head Soup as it was hearty and soul-soothing.
Expected damage: S$3 – S$5.50 per pax
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