Singapore: Upper Serangoon Road is Just Great (Part 1)

[a.k.a Things to Eat along Upper Serangoon Road]

Having moved to the Upper Serangoon Road area for quite a while, it’s about time I started exploring the food options near my house – and of these there are many. With the help of Amos I managed to convince my parents to try these places, no mean feat considering that 1) the queues are very long and 2) there isn’t any aircon, both of which are mega no-nos for my mother. The recent rainy weather helped though, especially in making hot food a little more toasty and comforting.

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What’s a better as a post-thunderstorm meal than a bubbling claypot of tender, well-marinated dark sauce chicken with heaps of garlic, herbs and ginger? This place stays true to its zhong-guo roots by not stinging on the chili – we ordered the xiao la (least spicy) but left the place drenched in sweat with tongues a-stinging. Nevertheless the good amount of chili added very much to the depth of flavour, built upon intense spices in the broth. They also have a herbal frogs legs option as well. Dinner for 4 including rice and three plates of self-service sides at $3.80 each came up to ~$40, pretty good value after all. Would I challenge myself to something spicier? I’ll think about it.

Qi Wei Ji Bao 奇味鸡煲 - China Claypot Chicken
973 Upper Serangoon Road

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Creamy pork porridge we stumbled upon by accident, intending at first to buy the curry rice with the neverending queue (see below). This neighbouring stall sells only pork porridge and meatball soup, done pretty well, with minced meat, pork slices and liver included in the porridge. While a little on the salty side (all personal preference) the flavour was really quite excellent without the meat being tough and over-cooked. Another satisfying rainy-day meal. Oh plus point is that it opens till 4 am!

Sin Chie Toke Huan Pork Porridge
1018 Upper Serangoon Road
Singapore 534756

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An eight-month old artisanal bakery just before Sin Chie Toke Huan, branch of its namesake off Upper Thomson. It looked so incongruous with the stretch of casual hawker food that we were drawn to it after the claypot dinner. They have a good selection of bread, with samples (always a pleasure!) – we particularly liked the french onion, chocolate and cinnamon-raisin loaves, taking home one of each. Light and fluffy, without being stingy on the fillings, and keeps well overnight; quiet enjoyable to eat. The french onion smells particularly delightful while being toasted, and it is recommended to spread a dab of butter before savouring it. What particularly caught my eye were the croissants – massive things that, though $5 each, were easily 2 or 3 times the size of your regular croissant. Couldn’t find it in myself to consume it on the spot, and these things taste better fresh, so I’m saving it for next time!

The Bread Table
http://thebreadtable.com
1010 Upper Serangoon Road
Singapore 534748

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And finally, the hainanese curry rice that people can’t seem to get enough of! The queues are neverending, but I can see why – nicely soaked curry rice without too much of a spicy kick, proving to be more of a backdrop that binds all the side dishes nicely together. Pork chop was lean and not greasy (plus point), fried eggs adorably cookie cutter in appearance, and every side dish we got tasting freshly cooked and quite delicious – the subtle stale aftertaste of food that’s been left out too long really gets to me. Of course we were really stuffed after but I’d definitely go back for a hearty, comforting meal. Anyway the queue moves pretty fast, so it’s really not a problem. Also opens till late (I mean 4 am)!

Sin Chie Toke Huan Curry Rice
1018 Upper Serangoon Road
Singapore 534756

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