Spend less, live better – that seems to be the prevailing counterculture in the face of mindless consumerism. Ah Chiang’s Porridge in Tiong Bahru, with cheap and good food, should please those into the frugal and green lifestyle. It is located in a conservation low rise estate and is naturally ventilated. It does not have unnecessary decorations, napkins, tablecloths, expensive tableware or any staff to change your plates after every course. If only it also lay claims to using organic ingredients and sustainable food, Ah Chiang’s Porridge will be a darling of the clean and green living set. Well, the shop does say it has “GMO Free” bean curd.
Ah Chiang’s Porridge operates out of a coffeeshop at the junction of Tiong Poh Road and Seng Poh Road, which also sells bean curd. It is an old school breakfast kind of place. The porridge stall opens from 6 am in the morning.
Ah Chiang’s Porridge is an unpretentious place. The furnishing is functional. There is an indoor sitting area as well as tables out by the roadside under an awning. There is no air-conditioning.
In keeping with the times, there is a lightbox menu above the cashier’s counter and facilities for cashless payment are available.
You find your own table and then go to the counter to order and pay. Tell the cashier your table number and the food will be served to you.
Ah Chiang’s Porridge is essentially Cantonese style congee with pork, fish, seafood or century egg. There are also chicken porridge and vegetarian porridge or porridge with a combination of the various ingredients. A fair range of side dishes is on the menu.
We ordered a Minced Pork Porridge ($4) and a Century Egg Pork Porridge ($5.50) with side dishes of chye poh omelet ($6) and baby kai lan with garlic ($6). There is an option to add egg to the porridge at no extra charge. The porridge is cooked to order, so be prepared to wait for at least 15 minutes for your porridge.
When our bowls of porridge arrived they looked plain and simple. The rice grains had been cooked to a smooth creamy consistency. The porridge was not too watery and had a nice fluffy and starchy texture. Even without any other ingredients, the porridge was tasty with just a drizzle of sesame oil. Soya sauce and pepper could be added to taste. With the egg and other ingredients stirred in, each bowl of porridge was a helping of gooey goodness. It was simple comfort food that was tasty and delightful.
The omelet and vegetables were simply presented. The portions were quite substantial and the dishes were of respectable zhi char standard.
We had a delightful dinner at Ah Chiang’s Porridge. We enjoyed the flavourful restaurant-quality porridge in a humble coffeshop setting at hawker centre prices.
Ah Chiang’s Porridge is a place you can go alone or with your colleagues and friends. Don’t be afraid to take your family or even your date there too. The idea of healthier meals for less may just impress them. There are more people, especially among the younger generation, than you may know who are buying into the spend less, live better culture. Frugality is back in fashion.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
Ah Chiang’s Porridge
Blk 65 Tiong Poh Road #01-38
Tel: +65 6557 0084
Opening Hours: 6 am to 11 pm
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