It’s rainy season in Singapore, everyone. I know it’s mostly still humid, but sometimes, it is cold and windy enough to want something warm and comforting. Mainly soup.
With this goal in mind, I headed to a nearby stall called An An Shan Shan Seafood Soup. Located in Bedok, it’s surrounded by HDB blocks and several kopitiams worth of competition.
The owner, Mr Lua, has been in the business for quite some time. He was previously a chef at Yan Ji Seafood Soup renowned for, what else, seafood soup. He decided to open a stall of his own in 2010.
Like many business owners, he took quite a hit during Covid. He came close to shutting down before a group of entrepreneur customers who enjoyed his seafood took over. This helped offset some of the burdens, and he could continue to sell his soup.
Of course, such perseverance led me to wonder if the soup was as good as the story behind it.
What I tried at An An Shan Shan Seafood Soup
Despite being tempted by their signature Crayfish Soup (S$16 for regular, S$18 for large), I decided to go with just the Seafood Soup (S$8.50 for regular, S$10.50 for large). You may be wondering what the point is in deliberating, as the only difference should be the ingredients. But the different items all have different bases, according to reviews from regulars.
Not sure how much was in a bowl, I got an additional order of rice (S$1) to go with my soup.
It was a rainy late morning when I got there right when they opened at 11am – their first customer of the day. I didn’t have to wait very long for my order, but I received the food with a mix of surprise and disappointment.
I could best describe the temperature of the soup as warm. It wasn’t room temperature, but I was expecting a steaming bowl. I was their first customer so it’s not like I had to wait long for it, although the rainy weather may have made it cool faster.
I had read that An An Shan Shan Seafood Soup was generous with its ingredients, especially for its Seafood Soup. My bowl was pretty loaded, so that bit was true.
But The most important factor for me is the taste. The most prominent was the sweetness, likely from a combination of the minced meat and tomatoes. The prawns lent a rich umami to the mix. It didn’t feel oily on my tongue, and I could safely vouch for the freshness as I didn’t catch a whiff of fishiness.
Onward to ingredients, starting with the seafood. It’s meant to be the star of the soup, after all. The bowl comes with two big prawns. There was a snap to the meat when I bit down; expectedly, it was as sweet as the broth.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to suck the prawn heads, I can tell you that you’ll have a juicy experience. Taking the head apart was a messy affair, though. Peeling the prawn took quite a bit of effort. I would have liked it if they were served at least half peeled. A lazier person may find it a hassle.
The fish was soft, quickly coming apart in my mouth and not overcooked. It stood in great contrast to the chunks of minced meat.
While still tender, the springiness of the meat flooded with soup juices made it pair well with the white rice. There was a good ratio of fat to meat in the chunks. Of all the ingredients, the minced meat was the most flavourful.
An An Shan Shan Shan was most generous with these two ingredients. It made up most of the bowl, soup notwithstanding.
The least noteworthy were the big slices of tomatoes and the small mushroom pieces. They still paired nicely with the soup, but just so-so. However, they added a nice dash of colour to the seafood soup with the prawns.
Perhaps it’s up to personal taste, or maybe the weather was a factor, but I would have loved it if the bowl had been served piping hot. On top of that, it still left me wanting, even with an accompanying bowl of rice. But I won’t discredit the whole experience because of a few downsides.
I’ll list An An Shan Shan Seafood Soup as a member of the Clean Plate Club, just not necessarily on a day when you’re buying for more than yourself. Considering the price range, you could burn a hole in your pocket.
Order Delivery: foodpanda
The post An An Shan Shan Seafood Soup: Is $8.50 a bowl worth it? appeared first on SETHLUI.com.