There are pockets of (relatively) cheap and hawker-level good stalls littered across Orchard Road. A safe bet is to check out those drab-looking, depressingly dated shopping malls. Yes, those ones that look dodgy AF. Because the rents are comparatively cheaper at these old malls than at the brand-spanking-new ones, the food in these malls is consequently cheaper, and generally of a higher standard. Just look at the treasure trove of eateries tucked away at 2 of Singapore's most mature malls, Far East Plaza and Lucky Plaza.
Orchard Yong Tau Fu, or Cuppage Yong Tau Foo as it's more commonly known, is one such hidden gem. It's a hole-in-the-wall in the aged Cuppage Plaza, a cramped and tiny shop space with limited seating. It's a full-house most parts of the day, but turnover is fast so you won't have to wait very long for seats to be freed up. Be sure to go by mid-afternoon though, because they start running out of stuff, and sell out by late-afternoon, even if the opening hours stipulate a 6.30pm closing time.
Orchard Yong Tau Fu is popular for several reasons; the ingredients are mind-mindbogglingly varied and sparkling fresh, and the clear broth is rich in depth but not cloyingly so, nor does it reek of MSG. Both tenets of what makes for a superb and comforting bowl of yong tau foo.
My humongous bowl laden with choy sum, fishball, fried fishcake, meatball, prawn paste fried beancurd skin, enoki mushrooms, luncheon meat, clear vermicelli, and half a hard-boiled salted egg ($7).The sambal, purportedly a proprietary blend, made for a robust and punchy fodder to the myriad of ingredients.
The Hubs' bowl was largely similar, save for the exclusion of glass noodles and stuffed beancurd skin, and inclusion of seafood balls and plain fried beancurd skin ($7).
The stall facade. It's right behind all the other stalls.
Orchard Yong Tau Fu
Cuppage Plaza #01-09
5 Koek Road
Tel: 9067 5245
Open Mondays to Saturdays from 8am to 6.30pm;
Closed on Sundays