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Soon Soon Teochew Porridge 顺顺潮州糜 – My favorite “Muay”
As a Teochew, I have been trained since young by my Teochew parents in the act of appreciating Teochew porridge. Nothing too fanciful, a bowl of piping hot watery “muay” with a few simple dishes are good enough to make my day.
However, it is hard for many others to comprehend what’s so great about eating “Muay” with plain steamed fish, salted eggs, braised tau kway and fried cabbage etc. Those simple, unassuming dishes can be prepared in minutes by any mum at home.
Teochew porridge dishes highly emphasize simplicity and originality, and every dish is cooked with minimum seasoning to retain its original taste, for example, Teochew is famous for steamed fish which is usually only seasoned with light sauce, spring onion, slices of ginger with a sprinkle of fresh chilli flakes, so that the freshness and sweetness of the seafood can be fully appreciated.
Of course, such a simple dish could be too ordinary to many and is nothing remarkable, even my kids are not too interested in eating the plain looking porridge. Under the influence of my in-law’s peranakan background since young, it’s no wonder that they have become accustomed to the heavy use of spices and seasoning in Baba food, which also requires a long and meticulous preparation process. The outcome is saliva-inducing food packed with flavour and aroma, and when compared to the plain Teochew porridge dishes, Baba dishes are definitely a lot more tempting. Honestly, even I find it hard to shake off its allure!
Undoubtedly, I love peranakan food too but teochew porridge has a special place in my heart – and my tastebuds. When the craving sets in for a bowl of porridge, I will find a way to ease my craving and that’s how we ended up at Soon Soon Teochew Porridge.
Soon Soon Teochew Porridge is strategically located in an area that used to be a congregating place for Teochews, occupying a traditional coffeeshop with no air conditioning, in a simple table-and-plastic-stools setting. A fitting environment for the food: simple and nostalgic.
Entering the shop, the large array of cooked dishes displayed at the counter is there waiting to subdue any cravings. Any attempt to resist temptation proved futile, so we gave in: we ended up ordering half a table full of dishes – a Glutton family trait.
There were fish cake, fried eggs, braised tau pok, Hei Bee Hiang (fried shrimp chilli paste), chay chai (mixed cabbage), eggplant etc, -nothing fanciful really, however, this is exactly the beauty of the teochew porridge, like a pretty girl living next door, without any makeup and in the full glory of her natural beauty.
Every dish we tried lived up to the name of Teochew porridge dishes, simple with the taste of home cooked food. This is exactly the authentic Teochew porridge that I always look out for when the craving hits, because what else could be more fulfilling than something so light and easy on the stomach after days of consuming heavy fare?
Though the three of us had more than 7 dishes on the table, we didn’t waste anything, as the bowl of “Muay” married so well with all the dishes. Though my belly was bloated after the meal, it wasn’t too bad – maybe the satisfaction from the “muay” far outweighed the discomfort from my fullness!
Acquainted with a long missed friend…..the feeling was just too good.
Soon Soon Teochew Porridge
Add: 13 Simon Road
Hrs: 11am to 10pm, Closed on Tuesdays