Honors of a Hospitable Host

Singapore Zam Zam Restaurant
697 North Bridge Road,
Singapore 198675
T: 6298 6320

Ah Seng Bak Kut Teh 阿成肉骨茶
492 North Bridge Road
Singapore 188737

Tiong Shian Porridge 長城粥品 (New Bridge Road)
265 New Bridge Road,
Ann Kway Building
Singapore 088745
T: 6221 1596 / 6222 3911

Friends from afar flew in to celebrate the union of our common friends, and since I’m the linguist and bona fide foodie of the lot, I took it upon myself to play host over the weekend as their; chaperon, local guide, body guard, translator, bargain hunter, negotiator etc. It is quite needless for me to share much about the shopping related badges achieved/ unlocked, and let’s just stick with what I’m good at… food.

We were in the shopping belt caught off guard by the wet weather, and not wanting to deviate too far from the precinct, my food radar was put to the test. Objective was simply to introduce & showcase a variety of local delights that are worth bragging, and if possible, sprinkle some element of cultural diversity.

To start things off, Murtabak (Chicken) – no other joint in town I’d rather be visiting, and that’s the good old double Z. When seated on the upper deck, one can look out the windows to appreciate the grandeur of Masjid Sultan, against the graduated blue shade sky. The murtabak is typically an oil based pan fried dough with generous filling comprising of: chopped onions, scrambled egg, and choice of minced chicken/ mutton/ sardine. Paired with curry dip, choice of: chicken/ mutton/ fish. Just for kicks, we ordered the mutton tikka masala, which is thicker and less messy.

# the murtabak is already good enough on its own, but with a little dip of curry gives it a little more flavor and fragrance. The ketchup doused cucumber slices is just a complimentary for those with lesser threshold for spice.

Next up, piping hot Bak Kut Teh (BKT) 肉骨茶 as well as Liver & Kidney Rice Vermicelli 腰子猪肝面线 – for some reason, this joint hasn’t received as much laurels from the public, than I feel it deserves. The clear soup packs a good punch from the peppercorn and caramelized double boiled garlic cloves, and the meat of the ribs falls off the bones effortlessly. The liver & kidney is nicely done, without having to fear of any unpleasant odor or taste. The bite size cut fried fritters are ideal for dunking in the soup as anyone would for Oreo and milk.

# take your time with the ribs and meat, because the idea is to consume as much soup as you please, because one can request for top up on the soup.

They wanted to experience the local commute apart from cab or train, so we hopped onto the air-conditioned bus that took use down to Chinatown. There, they feasted on the myriads of trinkets & souvenirs, and we settled for some Raw Fish Porridge 生鱼粥.
The raw fish is sliced thinly, tossed in a mix of julienned ginger, chopped red chili, shredded lettuce, deep fried shallots and chopped spring onions, drizzled with light soy sauce & sesame seed oil, and served with 2 calamondin limes. Help yourselves to the additional light soy sauce if you prefer a little more taste, or you can squeeze the lime for a little more zest.

# the whole point of ordering your fish raw, is to have it raw. So don’t go dunking your fish in the piping hot porridge, for it defeats the whole purpose.

Nobody really disputes about the quality and taste of Chinese porridge/ congee with cooked content in the likes of; shredded chicken, century egg, minced meat, sliced fish etc. However, when it comes to Raw Fish, there are few and far between.

At the end of the day, I’d say that the 3 hour long food trail was a success. Now, I’m looking forward to see if I can do a full day food trail in the near future.

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