Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Zhen Zhen Porridge @ Maxwell Food Centre, Singapore



Continuing my Singapore trip posts, this time round we made it to Maxwell Food Centre which is just off the tourist belt of Chinatown. I must admit I've never really been around this area! It's pretty interesting with large Chinese temple, Indian temple and a mosque all on the same road. Since we had a lot of time to kill, we walked around the area and saw the touristy stalls and shops.



My original intention for swinging by Maxwell Food Centre was to try the famous Hainanese Chicken Rice. While waiting for them to set up stall, I walked around the whole area. Spying the long queue of people right in front of the porridge stall, I was curious to sample what they were selling. Coincidentally, the newspapers that particular day had featured the same stall in a story about hawker revenues and the tax man. According to the Sunday Times, they had sent a reporter to sit nearby and diligently count the number of bowls/plates sold to estimate the stalls' revenue. Based on their information, it seems this stall sells 36 bowls per hour with an average price of S$4. With a work day of approximately 7 1/2 hours, it's estimated to have a monthly revenue of S$43,860 (on a 30 day month)! Not bad I reckon but definitely back breaking work for the owners.



In fact when I was in the long queue, I could spy the whole process of the porridge stall. They have a large metal container filled with the porridge at the side. It's constantly churned by a machine till the porridge reaches a smooth consistency. Slightly thicker than the ones you get in Malaysia, you won't spot a single rice grain here as it's been churned to a million small pieces. As and when you place your order for which type of porridge, the owner at the back will heat up the porridge in the saucepan over high heat. He adds the ingredients accordingly to cook. Once done, it's placed in plastic bowls and passed on to his wife. She sprinkles a mix of chopped spring onions, fried shallots and fried choy poh (preserved radish) plus a dash of sauce on top of the porridge.



Since I had no idea what to order, I got chatting to this nice girl in the queue right behind me. She advised me they had a lot of varieties - pork slices, century eggs, fish and etc. I decided to try the raw fish slices since it was unique. They do it differently here as it's sliced to wafer thin pieces with a deli meat cutter and topped with lots of toasted sesame seeds, fried shallots, chopped coriander and sliced ginger. There is also cut limes on the side for you to squeeze the juice out on the fish slices. Add it quickly into the porridge to allow it to cook.

We all gave our thumbs up to this porridge - really worth the queue time! The porridge was thick plus smooth. The ingredients were super fresh and a lot for the price we paid. It was about S$7 as I had ordered a small raw fish plate and porridge with century egg pieces. If you're ever around this area, do give this place a try. Only thing is the wait time can be quite daunting.

Zhen Zhen Porridge
Stall No. 54
Maxwell Food Centre
Singapore

(Non Halal. Stall is open from early morning till 2 pm or until food runs out. Closes on Tuesday.)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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18 comments:

sc said...

they serve raw sliced fish too? must be real yummy :) i usually get my dose of 'raw sliced fish-dunk it in the porridge' at masjik jamek..

boo_licious said...

sc - their raw fish is pretty good. Is this masjid jamek place you mention only opened at night and is next to a prawn noodles stall?

tankiasu said...

Oh I heart those raw fish slices! Yummm....

The Yummie dummieS said...

I'm glad you made your way down to one of the best porridge stall in Singapore! I certainly hope you had a good time at Maxwell. Did you try the beef hor fun at Lee Tong Kee opposite Maxwell? Check out my lastest post!

sc said...

not sure if there's a prawn noodles stall there, but yes, this stall is only open at nite, at the five food way at Jln Tun HS Lee, opposite the RHB corner. wrote about it before, check it here
http://food-4-thot.blogspot.com/2006/08/low-yau-kee-porridge.html

the chu chap porridge and steam chicken is utterly delicious too

boo_licious said...

tankiasu - yup! That was definitely the highlight.

yummy dummies - sniff, I didn't get to eat any beef noodles but I did eat Tian Tian Chi's chicken rice.

sc - ok, I know which one. Yes, the porridge is also good here, sometimes we go down town for a quick bite/. Strange but the ones in Msia are so much thinner vs the ones in Spore.

Precious Pea said...

It's been raining whole morning....so nice if i could have a bowl of your yummy looking fish porridge for lunch. Sadly, the only accessible porridge is from McD. :(

MeiyeN said...

da porridge looks yummy and with da raw fish slices, oh so perfect!

boo_licious said...

precious pea - yeah when I was writing all that, I was thinking so nice to have it also since it was raining.

meiyen - too bad we don't have it in KL or else can go makan anytime.

tigerfish said...

Oh yes, I had to pass this the other time coz the queue was tooo looong!
But I know the porridge is smooth and silky good! And very fresh fish slices. Yum!

boo_licious said...

tigerfish - yeah the queue can be bad! Luckily I had time or else I would have missed this.

Timothy said...

I remember my last visit to this place in Singapore a looooooong time ago. I also remember we have to order our food in mandarin. Good thing I speak a little....

But it was good memories. Thanks !

boo_licious said...

timothy - yes, kinda different from here since all we do is speak cantonese to the KL hawkers.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

lan lan porridge i like..no to teocheow style!!..aiyah if they say hav to diet everyday wif porridge..dis kinda of porridge i dont mind at all.

boo_licious said...

joe - this kind of porridge is full of ingredients! so don't think it's a diet at all.

The Yummie dummieS said...

Wah lao! You ate Tian Tian chicken rice!!! *envy* I always wanted to try it but the queue is just too long

Jackson said...

wow... i like the 2nd picture!!! Seems like Singapore is a food paradise as well!

boo_licious said...

yummie dummies - I specially went to sample it, ok!

jackson - yeah, taken after a few attempts as the place is super cramp.

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