Today, we invite you to share our humble lunch of Teochew porridge and Ghim Moh Chwee Kueh. The Ghim Moh Market Teochew Porridge by Meng Cheong Teochew Food Stall is quite a popular stall. There are more than one Teochew porridge stall in Ghim Moh market and food centre, but I must admit we were attracted to Meng Cheong by their food display. Judging from the quantity of meat balls and other food that had been prepared, we can tell that they were expecting a strong demand during lunch time.
Meng Cheong Teochew Food Stall started operations soon after 10 am. That is probably the best time to be there as the food platters were all freshly prepared and full. They looked very appealing. The bricks of Teochew ‘loh bak’ (braised pork belly) were particularly attractive, but we had to resist. One would expect a Teochew porridge stall to be manned by some elderly Teochew uncle or aunty but this was not the case. The chef was a young man who speaks Teochew and perfect English. We are always glad to see rejuvenation of our dialects and traditional hawker food stalls.
The menu is a simple one. Each choice of dishes costs $1 or $2 except the fish items which are sold at “market price”. From our conversation, the small individual steamed fishes usually cost $3 or $4 each. We ordered porridge to go with one fish ($4), bitter gourd and braised fish. The total cost including takeaway container for porridge was $7.70. The other items were wrapped in waxed paper.
The steamed fish was about 25 cm long. Its physical appearance suffered from the journey home, but the meat was still perfectly attached and firm. It was cooked just right. Some salt must have been used during the steaming process as the fish was tasty without any sauce. For a $4 fish, it was very good value for money. The only negative point which we could think of was that the belly insides could have been more thoroughly cleaned.
The other dishes were fried bitter gourd with egg and braised leather jacket fish cooked with fermented black beans. The leatherjacket was cut up in roughy 3-cm cubes. It is quite bony but fortunately the bone parts were quite easy to detect and separate. The firm meat (some may say tough) of this fish makes it suitable for braising which softens it. The black bean gravy taste goes so well with plain porridge. Very Teochew in character and very well flavoured.
Finally, we should add that the actual portions of the two dishes were larger than what is shown in the above photos as we did not want to overfill the plate. What we see here is about 70% of the total. All in all, the food was adequate for two persons with small appetites. But as we all know, one gets hungry quite soon after eating porridge. That’s where the Ghim Moh chwee kueh comes in.
李老三 Ghim Moh Chwee Kueh is quite a well-known stall. Run by an elderly couple, it serves a large stack of these steamed rice cakes in the course of a day.
Here is the price list for the Ghim Moh Chwee Kueh. The smallest order is $1.40 for 4 pieces which was what we had.
Here are pictures of our chwee kueh. We don’t have to say much, they were very good. The kuehs were excellent, very firm and bouncy. The chai poh was not bad but we would have preferred a more fried taste. But still, we are happy to eat these anytime.
Meng Cheong Teochew Food Stall
Ghim Moh Chwee Kueh (李老三)
Blk 20 Ghim Moh Road Market & Cooked Food Centre
Ghim Moh Road