23rd Nov 2014
By Mu Yao
Teochew porridge is one of those things that you can have anytime of the day. Okay, maybe I'm biased (I'm teochew). It also happens to be one of the hardest things one can review — so many things, how to review? But I'm going to try anyway.
So another late-night bout of studying for Southeast Art History was responsible for causing the hunger pangs that led me to this place. With my trusty study companion, Yong Sheng, we eventually took a chance and decided to try out Sin Hock Heng Teochew Porridge, prominently located at a corner kopitiam, and was bright and spacious inside. There were numerous other teochew porridge stalls around it and in the next few streets ahead (have no idea why they all decided to clump up together to set up shop), so this one is at Lorong 37.
There's quite a decent variety of dishes on offer, but copiously absent was the presence of fresh fish (maybe it was really late, that's why). The remaining offerings looked pretty good though, so we decided to take our chances. Here was our spread:
First up was the braised intestines. This was very well-braised and flavourful, and the intestines had a tender/soft texture rather than chewy. It was also well-cleaned, and clearly, the savoury taste of these delicious innards was a very good accompaniment to the porridge. Speaking of the porridge, I have to point out that the rice was on the harder side, but still, very edible and good.
We had to order a vegetable in a valiant attempt to be healthy. So since no Teochew porridge experience would be complete without 梅菜 (Preserved Chinese Mustard Greens for the uninitiated), we decided to try their version. We thought it wasn't particularly flavourful, and it was relatively disappointing — too oily, and the preserved salty/sourness could be stronger. Still, could have been worse.
Their Hae Bee Hiam (Spicy Dried Shrimp Sambal) was excellent though. This is good especially for people who don't like their Hae Bee Hiam spicy (I prefer mine spicy though). I loved the fact that it had a slight sweetness to this on top of the savoury, salty taste of the sambal, and that it wasn't too oily also. A definite must-try with the porridge.
The baby-squid in sweet chilli sauce was the real surprise of the night. I am not a particularly big fan of squid (because if not done well it just becomes rubbery and horrible), so I was initially dubious when Yong Sheng first ordered it. But I was glad he did — the sweetness of the chilli sauce was such an effective complement with the chewy, bouncy texture of the squid. I have to say though, you may want to remove the inner bone inside the main body of this baby squid — otherwise you will have problems chewing it.
Overall, I would recommend this place if you are around Geylang and have a craving for Teochew Porridge. It is by no means outstanding, but from what I've tasted, this may warrant me coming back for more. Our bill came up to $12 for 2 people, so I would leave it to you to judge whether it is cheap or not. I've personally had cheaper.
Sin Hock Heng Teochew Porridge
701 Geylang Road Lorong 37
Tel: +65 9821 0692
Mon to Sun: 9.00AM - 4.00AM