After all that rich, spicy food, let’s have something easy on the tummy. How about some old-fashioned Teochew muay (porridge)?
It looks bland and blah, but there’s something strangely comforting about Teochew porridge, especially after an excess of rich, oily food.
On the contrary, the mindboggling array of side dishes at Teochew porridge stalls is colorful, and some, like braised pig trotters, can even be artery-clogging stuff. But today, I shied away from the richer meat dishes, going for the less greasy ones instead.
There were a few kinds of fish available, ranging from the more expensive pomfret to cheaper ones like rabbitfish. Don’t know what the above one is. I just pointed randomly.
The flesh was very soft and delicate, but not as sweet as I thought it’d be. By the side is a basket of condiments like vinegary chilli sauce and preserved soy beans, which I used for the fish.
This is one of my favorite dishes with porridge. Kiam chye (salted mustard green), on its own, is salty and crunchy, but this is stewed till soft, sweet, and not too salty. The taste was perfectly balanced here. Very nice.
The braised tau kwa (firm beancurd) was good too. It was lightly infused with the flavor of the braising sauce, but still smooth in texture.
Well, I was stuffed, but happily so. The porridge was perfect: the rice water wasn’t overly watery and the grains were still al dente. I also enjoyed the chai poh (preserved radish) omelette. Like the beancurd and stewed pickles, it had just the right amount of salt. I’ll definitely be back.
The entire meal, including a glass of fresh brewed barley drink, was S$7.30.
Joo Seng Teochew Porridge & Rice
14 Cheong Chin Nam Road (opp. Bukit Timah Shopping Centre)
Tel: 6463 0768
Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 4 a.m.