Teochew porridge, also known in colloquial dialect as ‘Teochew Mui’ 糜 to foreigners is a really strange and peculiar dish to say the least as it is nothing like the mushy rice porridge or al dente risotto in any shape or form. Neither is it gooey like the typical Asian congee. So what exactly is it?
Teochew porridge is quite simply cooked rice grains swimming in a soupy broth (might be flavoured or plain) and consumed with a selection of Chinese side dishes like nasi padang. It refers more to a style of serving rather than a particular dish. Typical items a Teochew porridge stall will typically have include fried or steamed fish, minced pork meat, braised duck, pork intestines, eggs, boiled vegetables, fish cake, squid, tofu or tau pok and many more. A popular breakfast as well as supper option amongst Singaporeans, Teochew porridge is comforting and delicious.
Here’s my list of the places you should go for the best Teochew porridge around the island.
1. Joo Seng Teochew Porridge & Rice
This is my go-to place for Teochew porridge fix – just 5 mins drive away from Bukit Timah. The braised duck meat and boiled squid are particularly good and very consistent in quality. A huge variety of dishes including a few non-Teochew delights greet visitors – indeed it is somewhat akin to an “economical rice” stall.
Address: 14 Cheong Chin Nam Road, Singapore 599738
Operating hours: 10am – 4am (Daily)
2. Joo Chiat Teochew Porridge (formerly Teck Teochew Porridge)
For fans of Teck Teochew Porridge, please note that the stall is no longer at Tembeling Road. It has since shifted to Old Airport Road Food Centre and is now operating as “Joo Chiat Teochew Porridge”.
This stall is a mix of Teochew porridge and zi char, with fishes being displayed out front. Menu items are quite limited with only the braised stuff being standard, and you will need to ask the uncle what they have since it’s like a zi char but with no menu. The advantage is that many of items will be made fresh behind the kitchen like the stir-fried cabbage. Remember to order the signature braised pork trotters as well.
Address: Block 51, Old Airport Road, #01-31, Singapore 390051
Operating hours: 10am to 10pm (Closed Mon)
3. Choon Seng Teochew Porridge
This must be one of the most closely guarded secrets of Teochew porridge fanatics. Not many food bloggers seem to know of Choon Seng’s existence based on my research, although it’s been around for a really long time and is ostensibly very popular. Do try the pigs head – ears and snort – and the braised pork belly and remember that coming early is a must as most of the sides are finished before 2pm.
Address: Blk 43 Cambridge Road, #01-09, Singapore 210043
Operating hours: 11am to 2.30pm (Closed Sun)
4. Teochew Porridge (Macpherson)
Walking along Macpherson Road, you will find a simple stall that says Curry Rice & Porridge (咖喱饭粥). This retro and nostalgic stall has a nondescript signboard that is so easily missed unless you looked for it. Awesome curry and homemade otah, both of which aren’t anywhere close to being Teochew, can be had here. Nonetheless, the Teochew style steamed sea bass is great and can also be had with porridge, making it pretty much modus operandi of a Teochew mui stall.
Address: 554 Macpherson Road, Singapore 368230
Operating hours: 11am to 3.30pm, 5pm to 9pm (Closed Sun)
5. Soon Soon Teochew Porridge
Most Teochews will find the sides served here very close to the heart, almost like they came from mum’s kitchen. Traditional is the keyword here so you will certainly not find the usual non-Teochew sides commonly found elsewhere.
Address: 13 Simon Road, Singapore 545897 | Facebook
Operating hours: 11am to 10pm (Closed Tue)
6. Ah Seah Teochew Porridge
This place is very highly recommended by my Teochew friends but I have to admit that I wasn’t impressed as I found “Heng Long” and “Soon Soon” just up the road to be better. However the prices here were quite some cheaper than the other stalls, so perhaps it’s the Singaporean notion that “cheap is good”. Parking in this area is always a pain though.
Address: 31 Teck Chye Terrace, Singapore 545731
Operating hours: 11am to 12am (Closed Alt Mon)
7. Ye Shang Hai Teochew Porridge
This seems to be a perennial favourite among taxi drivers with most stopping by for meals or gatherings as is evident from carpark in front being filled with taxis. Don’t be discouraged by the long queues during meal times as it clears really quickly. Portions are tapas-sized which allows you to sample a larger variety of sides.
Address: Blk 117 Bukit Merah View, #01-217, Singapore 151117
Operating hours: 10.30am to 5am (Closed Tue)
8. Soon Kee Teochew Porridge
Somehow the best meals are always in the “ulu” locations. Not your usual Teochew porridge crowd – you’ll see towkays with their shiny Rolex watches having breakfast, NS boys wolfing down their bowls of mui after days of questionable cookhouse grub, families and a mix of other unimaginable groups. Soon Kee by far has the best braised pork as it simply melts in your mouth and the spicy lala clams are never sandy.
Address: 33 Sembawang Road #01-04/07, Singapore 779084
Operating hours: 8am to 2pm (Closed Sun)
9. Lim Joo Hin Eating House
This Teochew porridge is so popular, it has seen the likes of Hong Kong superstars Chow Yun Fatt and Andy Lau visit its humble premises. One of the better midnight Teochew muis around Singapore, the braised pork is pretty good while overall standard of dishes is decent. Prices can be a bit expensive though, as they have increased prices due to their ‘celebrity’ status.
Address: 715 Havelock Road, Singapore 169642
Operating hours: 11am to 5am daily
10. Heng Long Teochew Porridge
Located along the popular midnight eateries of Upper Serangoon Road, the crowded Heng Long is a favourite. They have the usual myriad of Teochew sides but beyond that, they also have sweet & sour pork which goes really well with the porridge. If the queue is too long, there is another porridge stall called Ah Li San right beside which also serves as good a Teochew porridge.
Address: 1006 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534744
Operating hours: 6pm to 4am