*This meal was sponsored by Seah Soon Teck Teochew Porridge
I sometimes get questions on why I rarely feature hawker stalls on my blog. It’s definitely not because I only eat at restaurants! The truth couldn’t be more far off, since I spend bulk of my meals at Kopitiam or Koufu when in SMU. I think the main reason is that restaurants often have an underlying theme or dining philosophy that they want to bring across, which is often showcased in the decor or food presentation. On the other hand, there is hardly anything to comment about for a plate of freaking orgasmic chicken rice, plus lugging a dslr to a coffee shop to snap a picture of chicken rice does make one seem really touristy.
So when I do blog about a hawker stall, I make sure that there is really something extra special about it that warrants a blog post and I got to say that Seah Soon Teck Teochew Porridge does possess such qualities.
I was invited down for a tasting when it opened for business at its present premises in March this year. I was glad to get the opportunity to sample a potential place where I can do my future takeaways since I live around the area.
The manager Alvin was very generous and gave my friends and I quite a spread but I will focusing purely on what I feel is worth ordering if you do take the chance to visit.
Prior to this meal, I had never heard or eaten Pig Aspic, also known as Pig Trotters Jelly. It’s a delightful appetizer that is served chilled, best eaten with a douse of chili sauce. I also liked the Shark Aspic, which had significantly less gelatin and more shark meat. I have have shark meat elsewhere before but it was always too tough and chewy for my liking. The shark meat here is significantly more tender, with a texture reminiscent of sting ray meat, albeit slightly chewier. It might be a little bland so for a flavour boost, dip it with the accompanying sesame peanut plum sauce.
The squid is excellent too. It is fresh and not overcooked, leaving the sotong meat springy, soft and creamy.
I am very distrusting of economic rice stalls’ pork belly dishes. I love pork belly and cai fan stalls always seem to screw them up somehow. Fortunately, Seah Soon Teck’s pork belly dish is competent, though it would be better if the braising sauce was more robust.
I recently did a community involvement project in a rural China village and I witnessed the whole process of how a pig is slaughtered, how it is skinned and “prepared”. “Prepared” is a nicer way of saying cutting an incision along the middle front of the pig (from the mouth to where your belly button will be), where the tongue and all the organs will just spill out, waiting to be cleaned. I used to be a fan of Kway Chap, but after seeing how pigs intestines are cleaned, I haven’t had it in over a year. Although the partially processed poop is squeezed out of the intestines, I don’t see how one is able to clean the insides of the intestine thoroughly. However, I made an exception today and I’m glad I did, the large intestines were flavourful and devoid of any questionable odours, not to mention it had a melt in your mouth texture. I ended up finishing almost half the plate.
Now one thing definitely worth ordering here is the Braised Duck. I swear this is one of the best braised ducks I have ever eaten, and in my opinion can possibly match up against Lim Seng Lee Duck Rice, which is a braised duck stall that many of my NUS friends swear by. A key difference between the two duck rice stalls is that the duck here is more chunky, providing more bite (compared to Lim Seng Lee which is more tender), and also more flavourful as the braising sauce has been fully infused into the duck.
Last but not least, you have also got to try their homemade meatballs, which look a little like fishcakes made with a visible combination of prawns, meat and fish. While I have eaten similar fishcakes at a couple of economic rice stalls, the one here takes the cake and goes extremely well with the plain porridge.