Finally, I have the chance to feature one of my favourite foods in our best-rated series: yong tau foo. The pressing question: will it outshine my top 3 gatekept places? We shall find out!
I headed over to 90 Circular Road in search of 109 Yong Tau Foo, situated just minutes away from Boat Quay. This standalone eatery has amassed a total of 388 reviews, and has received 4.4 stars out of 5 on Google reviews (at time of writing).
For those who may find directions challenging, it’s worth noting that the eatery is conveniently situated directly opposite the Galaxy Pods Capsule Hotel.
Several patrons have commented that the establishment tends to get crowded during lunchtime, although the queues disperse quickly. Feedback suggests high praise for the delectable laksa gravy, while some mention that the dry version tends to be slightly salty.
I arrived at 11.10am, 10 minutes after opening, and there wasn’t a queue in sight. For a brief moment, it felt that the impressive display spanning over 45 ingredients was prepared just for me (ah, wishful thinking).
A written sign indicated a minimum order of 6 pieces (S$0.90 each), and given the extensive variety of options, I found myself pondering on the selection for each bowl.
As it approached noon, a stream of office professionals started to arrive, and in no time, a considerable crowd had gathered inside; luckily, I arrived early!
What I tried at 109 Yong Tau Foo
I began my tasting journey with the Noodle Dry (S$0.90) version and chose bee hoon as my base. The selected ingredients on top included yam, beancurd, tau kwa, eggplant, bitter gourd and otah roll, all doused in a viscous brown gravy. It cost me a total of S$6.30.
I tossed everything to allow the thick gravy to evenly coat every fine strand of bee hoon, resulting in a rich, garlicky flavour within every bite.
The yam exhibited a pleasing softness and an authentic taste, while the bitter gourd, remarkably fresh, carried only a subtle hint of bitterness.
I found satisfaction in the fact that certain ingredients underwent a 2nd round of frying before being served. This additional step notably elevated the flavours, particularly enhancing the taste of the otah roll and eggplant.
With great anticipation, I looked forward to my next bowl of yong tau foo, this time with yellow noodles and an extra addition of Laksa Gravy (+S$1.20), bringing the total cost to S$6.60 for 6 pieces.
The Laksa Gravy, with its creamy and thick consistency, embodied all the essential characteristics crucial for a delicious broth. Despite my usual preference for yellow noodles exclusively in mee rebus, the combination with the rich and coconut-infused gravy proved to be exceptionally satisfying.
The tofu and seafood paste combination was silky-soft and melted like butter in my mouth. Paired with the accompanying sambal on the side, it introduced an umami-filled burst of flavour derived from the dried shrimps.
I particularly enjoyed one of the beancurd rolls which had strips of carrot stuffed within.
The Shimeiji mushrooms imparted an earthy undertone to the bowl, while the you mai cai contributed light and crispy textures, effectively balancing the richness of the laksa and preventing it from becoming overpowering.
We ended things off with the thick bee hoon Noodle Soup (S$0.90) with long cabbage, lady’s finger, fishball, huge wanton, fishcake with crab stick, and, once again, my favourite: eggplant.
The soup, while light on the palate and exceptionally clean-tasting, had a drawback— it leaned towards being somewhat bland, resulting in the thick bee hoon‘s flavour becoming a little overwhelming.
The oversized wanton skin, filled with a blend of minced meat and carrots, might have showcased its flavours more effectively in the dry version. Nevertheless, it retained a decent taste despite becoming slightly soggy as it soaked in the soup.
The fishcake had a delightful crispy exterior, and I particularly enjoyed the hidden bits of crab stick within, adding another layer of flavour.
Don’t forget to grab some of the sweet sauce available on the counter to enhance your dining experience.
In conclusion,I found myself preferring the laksa and dry versions over the soup variety. The ingredients exhibited freshness and the range of choices was substantial.
However, in the competition among my top 3 yong tau foo spots, it didn’t manage to surpass them. Nonetheless, I consider it to be above average which explains its popularity amongst the CBD crowd.
Head on down to 109 Yong Tau Foo and give it a try.
Expected damage: S$5.40 – S$9 per pax