Johor Road Boon Kee Pork Porridge – Delicious Hainanese-Style Porridge at Jalan Besar
No, this isn’t located at Johor Road because we don’t even have a Johor(e) Road anymore (sike!). Rather, this Hainanese-style porridge stall is located along Veerasamy Road in Yi He Eating House. If you’re looking for a chill place to enjoy breakfast, go to Johor Road Boon Kee Pork Porridge which serves up piping hot bowls of zhou from as early as 6.45am.
The stall first started out as a humble pushcart along Johore Road in the 1950s and is one of the oldest pork porridge stalls still in operation in Singapore. It is now run by second-generation owners and still retains a loyal customer base, so much so that I heard queues can go up to 40 minutes during peak hours. Thankfully, I only clocked about 15 minutes of wait time and they use a number system so I could still keep an eye on the queue while sitting at the very edge of the coffeeshop.
A large vat of plain porridge was simmering in one corner of the stall, as the chef cooked each order of porridge individually with three pans on the stovetop. There are four main ingredients that you can choose to mix and match with, namely pork, chicken, sliced fish and cuttlefish. A standard bowl is $3 while the large is $4 and adding an egg and/or century egg can bring the cost up to $4.50.
The Pork Porridge ($4, regular) was laden with all sorts of ingredients such as you tiao (fried dough fritters), chye poh (preserved radish), fried shallots, pork lard bits and spring onions. Of course, I sprung for the egg as well and its creamy texture did wonders for the already flavourful porridge. It was very savoury, even more so with an additional dash of pepper.
The minced pork and pork slices didn’t have an overwhelmingly strong taste of pork and I was surprised to see that liver was also included. The latter came in quite thick slices, were cleaned well and were not too powdery. As for the you tiao, the fried dough fritters had nicely soaked up all the goodness of the porridge.
I also decided to get a mix of Chicken and Sliced Fish ($4.50, large). Texture-wise, the thick porridge was equally smooth but that’s where the similarities end (apart from the accompanying condiments). It was a lot lighter in terms of flavour and you can clearly taste the ginger that’s meant to complement the soft fish slices. The chicken was also very tender, making this bowl really comforting.
The variations of porridge already have an adequate amount of flavour depending on your choice of main ingredients. But let’s say you have a liking for fish and food with 重口味 (stronger flavours); you can always add on soy sauce and pepper at the storefront.
After patronising Johor Road Boon Kee Pork Porridge, I can’t say that porridge is merely sick-people or sweater-weather food. I’d recommend coming early for breakfast; after all, nothing beats starting the day with a flavourful bowl of porridge that’s easy on the stomach and pleasing to the tastebuds!
Johor Road Boon Kee Pork Porridge
Address: Yi He Eating House, 638 Veerasamy Rd, Singapore 200638
Opening Hours: 6.45am to 2pm, Tuesday to Sunday.
MissTamChiak.com made an anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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Notorious among friends for her massive sweet tooth, Sheila is game to try any food that comes her way – as long as it’s edible. She spends half her time battling food comas with attempted naps and a good sweat sesh at CruBox to shed off those pesky calories.