(quick aside: pardono for the radio silence. I was out recuperating from a torn ligament, and then away travelling Down Under.)
I love Teochew porridge. It's just so damn difficult to find a good one. Oftentimes, the dishes are less than sparkling fresh, having been left out in the cold for hours on end. But then, there's Teck Porridge, a recent discovery of ours but apparently a stalwart in the Teochew porridge scene. Once a fixture of the Joo Chiat enclave, they uprooted to a hawker stall in the popular Old Airport Road Food Centre, before moving back East again, several blocks away from their original haunt, along East Coast Road. It's been quite the frenzied movement in just a short span of 2 years, and to draw its loyal-but-bewildered fans back, Teck Porridge has rebranded as "Joo Chiat Teochew Porridge".
Whatever its name, this is the best Teochew porridge place ever. The food here is impossibly fresh, with most dishes cooked to order, save for the braised items. Teochew porridge may have been born as peasant food, but Joo Chiat Teochew Porridge elevates it to an exquisite artform.
The Stewed Trotters, blanketed by salted vegetables, was fall-off-the-bone tender, robust but well-balanced, and given an uplifting crunch by the greens. One of the best renditions ever.
Salted Eggs, a comforting and classic accoutrement to plain white porridge.
The Braised Duck was smashing as well, luscious and sumptuous with nary a whiff of game.
The Braised Beancurd Skin was soft and chewy, with the braise steeped right through.
The Braised Peanuts were addictively delicious, rich but nuanced. Another must-try.
The Braised Cabbage was sweet and delicate, with carrots lending a beautiful crunch. Simplicity at its finest.
The stall facade. Right in front is an assortment of fresh seafood on ice, ready for the picking and cooked any way you like. I would suggest steaming it Teochew style, to highlight its unbelievable freshness.
Joo Chiat Teochew Porridge
394 East Coast Road
Tel: 9880 7932
Open Thursdays to Tuesdays from 10am to 10pm
Update March 2017: It's moved AGAIN to:
65 Frankel Ave
Tel: 9897 4477
Open Thursdays to Tuesdays from 11am to 9.30pm; Closed on Wednesdays