Orchard Yong Tau Fu: Delicious yong tau foo with tasty, zero-MSG soup, hidden in Somerset
Hidden away in a corner at Cuppage Plaza is Orchard Yong Tau Fu, a hole-in-the-wall yong tau foo stall that draws long queues, especially during lunch.
Though you might be tempted to give it a pass, considering its limited seating options, I’m here to tell you that a bowl of its hearty, home-style yong tau foo soup is absolutely worth queuing for. Not to mention, a bowl of yong tau foo starts from S$6.30 for 7 ingredients, making it wallet-friendly.
Orchard Yong Tau Fu is a family-run establishment specialising in yong tau foo, and while most yong tau foo spots offer a wide variety of soups, such as laksa and tom yum, Orchard Yong Tau Fu only offers one— its homey yellow soybean soup.
For being a hole-in-the-wall eatery with less than 20 seats, I was impressed by its wide range of fresh ingredients. You’ve got your standard yong tau foo items— stuffed lady’s fingers and chillies, sliced eggplants, firm and egg tofu, as well as not-so-common choices like salted duck eggs, century eggs and lobster balls.
No matter which ingredient you pick, they all go for S$0.90 each. As you’ve got to pick a minimum of 7 items, each bowl of yong tau foo starts from S$6.30. This doesn’t include the cost of rice or noodles, which cost S$0.90 too.
Once you’ve placed your order, a friendly uncle will verbally assign you a queue number. Afterwards, it’s all about waiting for your table.
As I came alone, my wait lasted about 10 minutes and I was eventually given a counter seat facing the wall. If you’re coming in a larger group, be prepared to wait longer.
What I tried at Orchard Yong Tau Fu
Hungry and cold from the rain, I went for 9 ingredients such as Spinach, Fish Cake, Otah, Salted Duck Egg, Daikon (aka 白萝卜), Fried You Tiao, Fried Beancurd, Wanton and Grilled Bitter Gourd, and opted for a bowl of Rice.
Altogether, my bowl of yong tau foo cost me S$9. However, if you’re on a budget, I’d advise you to pick 7 substantial ingredients like Stuffed Firm Tofu, Pumpkin and Broccoli, and if possible, opt out of carbs.
Oh, wow. This was fantastic yong tau foo broth.
All it took was one sip and I could instantly tell that no MSG was used. I could taste a clear sweetness, a lovely full-bodiedness from the yellow soybeans, as well as a light touch of saltiness from the anchovies. To top it all off, there was a sprinkling of white pepper and shallots, making this a really flavourful, sweet, clear and light soup.
No wonder people have been singing praises of Orchard Yong Tau Fu online. This has got to be one of the best yong tau foo soups I’ve ever had.
Orchard Yong Tau Fu’s rectangular-shaped Otah and Fish Cake wedges were springy and fresh. Personally, as someone who gravitates towards stronger and spicier flavours, I preferred the Otah for its gentle spice, though you can’t go wrong with the classic Fish Cake too.
While I usually don’t like placing my fried items directly into my yong tau foo soup, this is the first time I found myself enjoying it.
Despite being soaked in the soup for some time, the Fried You Tiao was still delightfully crispy on the outside, while the inner dough had absorbed all the glorious savoury flavours from the comforting broth.
Not to mention, the you tiao had come with toasted sesame seeds on the top, which added a touch of nutty crunch to each bite. Super yummy!
Though the Daikon was still firm and I could hold it up with my chopsticks, biting into it was like melted butter— soft and luscious, with a delicious burst of full-bodied, sweet broth.
I loved that it had soaked up all the yummy soup, and the Daikon turned out to be my favourite ingredient for the day.
Interestingly, Orchard Yong Tau Fu offers Salted Duck Egg at the same price as the rest of its ingredients. My best advice would be to immediately take it out of the soup, in case it disintegrates directly into the broth.
This was an absolute punch of salted, buttery flavour. I enjoyed biting into this in-between sips of soup, and loved how it acted as a bold contrast against the clean tasting soup.
This fuss-free yong tau foo experience changed my life. Never would I have thought that there’d be such a delicious and affordable lunch option in the Somerset area!
Its hole-in-the-wall concept reminded me of Japan, where no-fuss, standing eateries are commonplace, and I can imagine that dining at Orchard Yong Tau Fu would be perfect for single diners who’d enjoy their lunch in peace.
The only thing I didn’t finish from my meal was the rice. That goes to show how delicious Orchard Yong Tau Foo’s broth and ingredients were— I polished off everything else, and gosh, I didn’t even need the carbs!
It’s a 10/10 from me. You can bet I’ll be back.
Expected damage: S$6.30 – S$10 per pax
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