Goldleaf Taiwan Porridge Restaurant (金葉) in Amoy Street (Relocated to Katong)
Goldleaf Taiwan Porridge Restaurant used to be located in a prominent location along Orchard Road. According to their website, they were established in 1971. They moved out of Orchard Road in the 90s and has been relocated to several places. They are now currently in a shophouse in Amoy Street. For us, it has been a case of out-of-sight, out-of-mind. The Goldleaf Taiwan Porridge name came up recently and we decided to look it up at its Amoy Street home.
Hanging on the wall of the restaurant is this picture of the original Goldleaf Taiwan Porridge Restaurant at 185 Orchard Road. How many of our readers have been to this place, I wonder. Based on my primitive research, it would be close to where Orchard Central is now. As the house number was an odd number, it should be on the right side of the road. The address of Orchard Central is No. 181 Orchard Road. Here is a picture of the present no 181 from Google map.
The interior of Goldleaf was fairly basic. We were there in the evening and there were only a few other diners. Here are pictures of some pages from the menu.
The small tofu appetizer ($2.50) that was served once we have placed our order was a good start to the meal. This is the kind of food that goes so well with porridge.
Taiwan porridge is similar to Teochew porridge – watery and with the rice grains still intact. The key difference is the addition of chunks of sweet potato. The sweet potato does not really affect the porridge taste, but provides a splash of colour and an added point of interest. The porridge is comfort food that acts as a blank canvas on which the flavours of the savoury dishes can be painted on. The free flow porridge at Goldleaf restaurant costs $2 person .
This is the 3-cup chicken 三杯鸡 ($12) – chicken cooked with Chinese wine. The taste of this was very good. The wine and herbs made this a very fragrant and tasty dish.
The volcano bean curd ($18) was highly recommended to us. We chose it because of its interesting name and were curious as to what it would be like. There is a choice of fish or meat filling. We selected fish. The dish turned out to be a saucer-shaped beancurd containing slices of sautéed fish (toman fish probably) topped with vegetables. Beancurd features in quite a few dishes on the menu. The Goldleaf chefs must be quite good with their beancurd. We thought that the beancurd was very good. The other ingredients played a supporting role in this dish.
We always associate Hokkien food with prawn rolls (hae chor), so this dish was on our mind. The hae cho at Goldleaf was fine but not exceptional. It was very salty and that was the prominent taste.
Overall, the Goldleaf Taiwan Porridge restaurant is a straightforward restaurant serving classic dishes with the porridge. Apart from just having a long history, they seem to have been long time supporters of the National Day Parade. There was a wall of certificates of appreciation!