ChaoZhou Porridge: The Midnight Comfort Food

Friday, October 02, 2015

ChaoZhou Porridge at River Valley Road

Are you a night owl? Do you like to hang outside late at night?

Most importantly, do you always feel hungry at midnight?

Head nod Gif

Well, rejoice, because there is another supper option in town that is not prata or McDonald's! 

Opened on July 25th, ChaoZhou Porridge is a restaurant that doles out traditional Teochew porridge in a modern, air-conditioned setting. 

ChaoZhou Porridge at River Valley Road

I liked how they put in the effort to hang lanterns for the Mid-Autumn Festival in their restaurant, because most of the F&B outlets nowadays do not really put in effort in their decor and ambience. The design of the interior is clean and neat, and the whole restaurant is brightly lit up in white, giving us a very welcoming feel.

ChaoZhou Porridge Interior

ChaoZhou Porridge Interior

To learn the ins and outs of Teochew cuisines, the head chef travelled to Chaoshan to learn from the best chefs and to acquire local recipes. Here's a fact to increase your general knowledge: Chaoshan is the region where the Min Nan Teochew dialect (潮汕话) originated from (I copied from Wikipedia). To go all the way to the region to learn the ropes of Teochew cuisines is commendable, and also a testament of the chef's commitment in bringing in authentic and traditional dishes.

You can either order from the menu or pick out dishes that are displayed neatly on white ceramic platters. I highly recommend that you go to their display and pick out the dishes that you fancy, because those that appeal to you visually are more likely to appeal to your taste.

However, some dishes, such as steamed fish, are cooked a la minute, so you would have to order from the menu.

ChaoZhou Porridge - Display

ChaoZhou Porridge - Food Display

ChaoZhou Porridge - Food Display

We started off with a drink that is quite uncommon of porridge places: Hot chocolate. 

Hot Chocolate ($2)

ChaoZhou Porridge - Hot Chocolate

Well, I am pretty sure it isn't Milo disguised as hot chocolate. It's good if you are craving for something sweet and warm. The chocolate taste wasn't that strong though.

Steamed Meat Ball with Porridge Water 【入乡随俗】(1 piece for $5.50)

ChaoZhou Porridge - Steamed Meat Ball with Porridge Water (入乡随俗)

Another plus point of ChaoZhou Porridge is the Chinese names that they give to their dishes. Their porridge is called 上膳若粥, said to follow an authentic Teochew recipe, they are prepared by immersing rice into boiling water and cooked under high heat. Such a process splits, separates and softens the rice grains. The water also turns into a light porridge base. 

Another variation of the ChaoZhou Porridge is the Steamed Meat Ball with Porridge Water, which is called 入乡随俗. Your Chinese teacher will be so proud of you (he/she might even be in tears) when you start ordering your dishes in awesome Chinese: "给我两碗上膳若粥, 一碗入乡随俗,来几盘配菜."

Oh and the meatball is HUGE. One of the biggest balls you would have ever seen.

Big Sotong with Homemade Sauce 【大苏东+潮粥将】($6.90)

ChaoZhou Porridge - Big Sotong with Homemade Sauce (大苏东+潮粥将)

Their sotong is sweet and tender. Taste even more amazing with their special homemade sweet-sour sauce!

ChaoZhou Porridge - Homemade Sauce

I dipped almost every dish in this special sauce because it was that good. You gotta try their sauce out!

Cold Bean Curd with Preserved Radish【菜脯拌豆腐】($4.80)

ChaoZhou Porridge - Cold Bean Curd with Preserved Radish (菜脯拌豆腐)

I am not really a fan of tofu, but there are others who loved this dish. A combination of spring onions and savoury sauce, this will definitely delight folks who like to "吃人家的豆腐" Black Moon Face Emoji

Fragrant Minced Meat【香鼓肉碎】(Small $4.20, Large $8.20)

ChaoZhou Porridge - Fragrant Minced Meat (香鼓肉碎)

Minced meat is one of the must-order when I eat Teochew porridge. I love the savoury combination of sweet porridge broth and the salty flavours of minced meat, very appetising!

Braised Delights Platter 【卤味拼盘】($16.90)

ChaoZhou Porridge - Braised Delights Platter (卤味拼盘)

Duck, Pork Belly, Large Intestines, Egg, Bean Curd and Tau Pok make up this Braised Delight Platter. This was, unfortunately, one of the dishes which I felt was lackluster. The flavours (卤味) wasn't strong enough and the duck meat were dry and cut too thin for my liking.

Clams 【蛤】($6.90)

ChaoZhou Porridge - Clams (蛤)

I was a bit disappointed in this. After all the nice fanciful names, this dish is called.. 蛤. JUST 蛤?! Despite the simple name, the cockles were juicy and fresh. I could taste the sweet flavours that is tinged with garlic and chilli. 

Preserved Radish Omelette【菜脯煎蛋】(Small $2.50, Large $4.50) 

ChaoZhou Porridge - Preserved Radish Omelette (菜脯煎蛋)

I like my omelette to be more "egg-y" and less air-y. This was done too air-y for my liking. It was also slightly oily, making it very 'gelat' after a few bites.

Chaozhou Steamed Fish【潮蒸黑鱼】(Seasonal Price)

ChaoZhou Porridge - Chaozhou Steamed Fish (潮蒸黑鱼)

The mullet is chosen for its meatiness for their steamed fish. The whole fish is steamed in the pot first before having its gut removed. This step retains the juicy and original taste of the fish oil. However, it has a muddy, earthly taste, probably due to the fish being farm-raised.

ChaoZhou (Teochew) Porridge Food Review

After the meal, we were served desserts! 

Crisp-fried Taro Rolls【香芋煎卷】 ($2.30/piece)

ChaoZhou Porridge - Crisp-fried Taro Rolls (香芋煎卷)

ChaoZhou Porridge - Crisp-fried Taro Rolls (香芋煎卷)

I LOVE anything in taro. This was such a treat, with its golden, crispy exterior and those piping hot taro flesh spilling into your mouth with every bite. It wasn't too oily, which was perfect after a heavy meal.

Chinese Tea ($1.50)

ChaoZhou Porridge - Chinese Tea

We washed everything down with their Chinese tea, which is from 車仔, a popular tea brand in China. It can be gratifying to have a cup of hot tea after a heavy meal. You would probably understand that blissful feeling if you frequent Chinese restaurants.

In all, the food here is traditional and the prices are reasonable for a modern, air-conditioned setting. And it can be a healthier choice than prata or Mcdonald's. Unless, of course, you overload on those delicious taro balls.

ChaoZhou Porridge at River Valley Road

ChaoZhou Porridge

221 River Valley Road, 
Singapore 238279 
Nearest MRT Station: Dhoby Ghaut/Clarke Quay
Tel: +65 6268 6763
Opening Hours: 

Daily: 10:30 AM - 5:00 AM

Thank you Xing Yu and ChaoZhou Porridge for the invite!

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