When we think of porridge, we typically associate them with cold, rainy days or as food for the elderly and sick. Unassuming and simple, porridge tends to be a dish you have been relegated to eating more than being a treat or an indulgence – when was the last time you voluntarily picked porridge over a thick, juicy slab of your favourite protein?
A variant many of us have grown up with, Teochew porridge, is more than just food for the frail or a secondary consideration. Originally a more extravagant version of economy rice, if your local economy rice stall has it, chances are a good Teochew porridge place offers it in multiple styles. Besides the variety, the next obvious distinction is how all dishes available need to complement the essential porridge staple.
Teochew porridge stalls occupy the midpoint between the cheap, pre-mixed dishes of economy rice fare and the restaurant-styled, made-to-order elaborate dishes of zi char stalls. Typically housed in more expansive spaces or possessing a standalone storefront, Teochew porridge makes for a quick yet wholesome meal that is especially cost-effective when eating in larger groups. As a bonus, many acclaimed brands open late into the night too.
To change the unfortunate association with Teochew Mui, we have compiled a list of 14 Teochew porridge stalls in Singapore that offer not just that same warmth and nourishment for when you need it, but ones that also provide food so luscious that they’ll make you reconsider how delicious Teochew Mui and a few accompaniments can be.
AH SEAH TEOCHEW PORRIDGE
Well-known by residents of Serangoon, Ah Seah Teochew Porridge’s longevity can be attributed to a simple formula: hot food at affordable prices. Unlike other Teochew porridge places in Singapore that serve a variety similar to those in economic rice stalls, Ah Seah Teochew Porridge’s fare preserves many elements of traditional Teochew cuisine to provide a more authentic and old-school experience.
As per their Teochew cuisine expertise, a visit entails ordering their braised duck. The slices are generously sized – no thin, tenderised strips here – and drenched in a fragrant sauce that holds subtle notes of five spices and orange peels. Yum!
31/33 Teck Chye Terrace
Tel: +65 6283 7409
Daily: 11am – 12am
Nearest Station: Serangoon
Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/ChoonSengTeochewPorridge/
CHOON SENG TEOCHEW PORRIDGE
Choon Seng does everything you would expect from a good Teochew Mui stall – a comfortable variety, substantial portions, warm and well-cooked dishes, and efficient processes. Sounds like a match made in porridge heaven? We think so too, but what’s the catch?
You pay for what you get, and at Choon Seng, you get zi char quality dishes. With items like steamed garoupa, whole crabs, and an assortment of pork cuts available – including everything from belly, offal and even pig’s head! – you can expect not an affordable meal, but an indulgent affair meant to rejuvenate any faltering spirits.
43 Cambridge Road
Block 43, #01-09
Tel: +65 6293 0706 / 9678 8458
Mon to Sat: 11am – 3pm
(Closed on Sundays)
Nearest Station: Farrer Park
HENG LONG TEOCHEW PORRIDGE RICE
Located a stone’s throw away from Soon Soon Teochew Porridge, Heng Long is perfect for those who prefer modern-day Teochew porridge fare.
Instead of a conservative, Teochew-centric spread, Heng Long offers an exhaustive list of dishes – from sweet and sour pork to chilli lala – that blurs the lines between Teochew Mui and economy rice. However, having this level of quality and a huge variety of dishes comes at a literal price: one that is significantly steeper that of the usual teochew porridge stalls in Singapore.
1012 Upper Serangoon Road
Tel: +65 6844 3545
Mon to Sat: 10.30am – 5am
Sun: 10.30am – 4.30am
Nearest Station: Kovan
** Multiple outlets islandwide.
Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/payalebarsq.retail/
HOUSE OF TEOCHEW
The newest addition to the Teochew porridge scene as of the creation of this list, House of Teochew offers homecooked-styled dishes with all the comforts of dining in a restaurant setting. And you get to have both at a fair price point!
With over 40 dishes available, instead of subsisting on a few pricey items that may not meet the disparate palates of your group, enjoy the convenience of dining in a modern mall while retaining the flexibility to sample from a larger variety of dishes (their braised pork belly is a must-get!).
60 Paya Lebar Road
Paya Lebar Square, #B1-06
Tel: +65 6747 1588
Daily: 10am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Paya Lebar
Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/Joochiatteochewporridge /
JOO CHIAT TEOCHEW PORRIDGE
Rebranding itself from Teck Teochew Porridge after a move to Bukit Batok Crescent, the stall has retained much of its original charm – mouth-wateringly fresh seafood and an extended off-the-menu selection of freshly cooked items à la zi char stalls.
As with any respected Teochew establishment, the highlight of their offerings is the only unchanging part of the menu: their braised dishes (especially the pork trotters). With a revolving selection of off-menu items, dining here will always be a tasty surprise – one where you can continuously taste the creativity of the cooking team.
31 Bukit Batok Crescent
The Splendour. #01-01
Tel: +65 6909 5209
Tue to Sun: 10am – 10pm
(Closed on Mondays)
Nearest Station: Bukit Batok
Photo Credit: https://www.burpple.com/@sydxinngee
JOO SENG TEOCHEW PORRIDGE & RICE
Normally when we think of brand monopolies in an area, we tend not to associate them with good, or even decent food. Despite being the only Teochew porridge stall along the entire Bukit Timah stretch, Joo Seng’s longevity can instead be attributed to its scrumptious fare.
After expanding from traditional Teochew offerings – their braised duck leg is fork-pulling tender – into a concept closer to economy rice, the brand has seen a spike in following. Attracting not just the older, familial crowd, a surprising number of these folks are youths looking for a warm, economical supper spot.
14 Cheong Chin Nam Road
Tel: +65 6463 0768
Daily: 10am – 4am
Nearest Station: Beauty World
Photo Credit: https://foursquare.com/user/32519583
LIM JOO HIN EATING HOUSE
Lim Joo Hin has attained minor celebrity status for having served Hong Kong superstars Andy Lau and Chow Yuen Fatt. This caveat can go two ways: either the food is exceptionally good, or said nugget of info is the only decent thing left about the brand.
Thankfully, Lim Joo Hin is not one to rest on their laurels, and has maintained a titillating – albeit pricier than the norm – fare that continues to entice. If you manage to find a table amidst the brisk crowd, grab their braised pig intestines and assam fish before they disappear!
715/717 Havelock Road
Tel: +65 6272 9871
Daily: 11am – 5am
Nearest Station: Tiong Bahru
Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/SinHockHengTeochewPorridge/
SIN HOCK HENG TEOCHEW PORRIDGE
While many economy rice stalls have started mimicking the vast offerings of Teochew porridge stalls, what keeps the bulwark brands of yonder relevant despite the competition is the passion and effort put into the food presented.
With around 40 years of experience, Mr. Jack of Sin Hock Heng knows this, and continues to push for quality and pride in the food he cooks up. To aid any choice paralysis when browsing the vast 50-dish assortment, order a serving of their assam fish, braised duck and fermented black soya bean minced meat to keep your dining partners happy.
701 Geylang Road Lorong 37
Daily: 8am – 3.45am
Nearest Station: Paya Lebar
Photo Credit: https://www.burpple.com/@kumikokiki
SOON KEE TEOCHEW PORRIDGE
How do we tell if a Teochew porridge place is worthy of attention? Besides the usual “arrive before 1pm or everything has been cleared out” criterion, another marker of Soon Kee’s success is how its food is appetising enough for enduring lines of soldiers to look towards its fare for a taste of home.
Renowned for dishing out one of the best braised pork belly in Singapore, regulars stand by Soon Kee for succulent pork belly slices with alternating layers of tender pork and the crystalline layers of fat.
33 Sembawang Road
Hong Heng Gardens, #01-04/07
Mon to Sat: 6am – 2pm
(Closed on Sundays)
Nearest Station: Khatib
Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/SoonSoonTeochewPorridge/
SOON SOON TEOCHEW PORRIDGE
Located in a weather-worn hole-in-the-wall space on the ground floor of an equally dowdy building in Kovan, judge a book not by its cover for this humble exterior belies one of the most classic Teochew porridge fare you can still find today.
Beloved for its homecooked-styled dishes, you can find a mix of the young and old dining here; the former cultivating a discerning appetite for what constitutes palatable Teochew food, while the latter looking to revisit a taste of their childhoods. As with old-school places, feel free to request for personalised dishes (subject to availability of ingredients).
13 Simon Road
Daily: 10am – 9pm
Nearest Station: Kovan
Photo Credit: https://foursquare.com/swisstiara
TEOCHEW CURRY RICE/PORRIDGE
For a blast from the past and a taste of true nostalgia, amble along the dusty lanes of Macpherson’s industrial estate and you’ll be met with the familiar scent of Teochew braised gravy and freshly cooked dishes. With a non-descript storefront only adorned with a modestly-sized name board, it is an easy place to miss unless you’re specifically hunting for it.
While the dishes served includes a more eclectic mix than just Teochew porridge classics, you can expect all choices – from handmade otah to their medley of fresh fishes – to complement your bowl of porridge marvellously.
554 MacPherson Road
Mon to Sat: 10.30am – 8.45pm
(Closed on Sundays)
Nearest Station: Tai Seng
Photo Credit: https://www.burpple.com/@thegiraffepellyandme
TIAN TIAN FATT RICE & PORRIDGE
We know you’ve heard the advice “arrive early or risk the incessant queue” multiple times, but this recommendation is particularly salient for Tian Tian Fatt. Not because its queues are more interminable than the rest, but more due to how the humble setup doesn’t allow for an efficient assembly line, and how quickly the limited portions fly off the shelves.
As the owner cooks her dishes fresh every evening in time for the dinner crowd, expect the queue to peak when her signature dishes of pomfret and black sauce chicken wings appear in the display.
210 Lorong 8 Toa Payoh
Toa Payoh Lorong 8 Market & Food Centre, #01-213
Mon to Sat: 2pm – 2am
(Closed on Sundays)
Nearest Station: Braddell
Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/whitehousetp/
WHITE HOUSE TEOCHEW PORRIDGE
The original owner of Soon Soon Teochew Porridge, Mr. Peh’s restlessness after selling off his original Teochew porridge store prompted him to exit his retirement by starting another stall: White House Teochew Porridge.
Diners will find a more streamlined selection, but with items of higher quality than before. One of the more notable exceptions is the lack of precooked fishes. Instead, you can order à la carte style for how you want the available fishes of the day to be cooked, and that includes the option of having them made into fish porridge too!
1096 Serangoon Road
Tel: +65 9786 5831
Sun to Wed, Fri to Sun: 10.3oam – 10pm
(Closed on Thursdays)
Nearest Station: Boon Keng
An open secret among the taxi driver community, Ye Shang Hai is beloved for its sheer quantity of dishes, and the obvious Teochew influence that ties most of these dishes together. Helmed by a Teochew hawker in his mid-nineties, the only thing as swanky as his fashion sense is his food.
Although the move from Redhill has seen the brand lose most of its kitchen team, the Teochew boss is taking the reins in the kitchen to revitalise the brand. Look out for their fried chicken feet – instead of being pre-fried, each batch is hand-fried by the boss in-house each day.
55 Lengkok Bahru
Mon & Wed to Sun: 10.30am – 5am
(Closed on Tuesdays)
Nearest Station: Redhill