An ex-colleague recommended Tiong Shian years ago and it is still one of the few porridge places that I regularly go to. It specialises in Cantonese-style porridge as well as claypot dishes and one of its signature dishes would be the claypot frog legs which they are famous for. Its main outlet at Chinatown (New Bridge Road) is always bustling with customers, every day and night.
As the husband and I were around the Balestier area, I decided to bring him to the Whampoa outlet to try out the porridge.
This is one dish that almost every customer would order. Thinly sliced raw fish drizzled with light soy sauce and sesame oil and topped with fried shallots, sliced red chillies, chopped spring onions and shredded ginger. Such a humble looking dish but packed with a lot of robust flavours. The fish was fresh with a slight crisp to it and it didn’t contain any fishy smell at all. Squeezing the lime over the fish gave it a sharp and refreshing aroma. To eat this, you’d have to combine each mouthful of fish with a bit of every condiment so the different flavours and textures would all explode in your mouth.
This is another must-order side dish if you love pig’s large intestines as much as I do. It’s a pity the husband doesn’t really appreciate them much as he doesn’t get to eat them in England. These were braised for a long time so every bite was effortless as they were so soft and tender. Very flavoursome too as the intestines had soaked up the savoury braising liquid. These intestines were all properly cleaned so there wasn’t any unpleasant odour or dirty residue.
I’d normally go for their Mixed Porridge which consisted of a generous portion of ingredients such as sliced pork, minced pork balls, liver, intestines (both fried and poached) and cuttlefish that were cooked to perfect tenderness. I loved the consistency of the rice porridge as it wasn’t too watery. The rice grains had disintegrated slightly so the porridge remained fairly thick.
The husband opted for the pork porridge that came with sliced pork, minced pork balls and liver. It tasted just like the Mixed Porridge so the only difference was in the ingredients.
Both porridges were not heavily seasoned so we could just adjust the taste with additional pepper or light soy sauce to our preferences.
The husband thought the porridge wasn’t spectacular as it was just like any other ordinary porridge that he could get from the hawker centre but I beg to differ. This was one of the few better tasting ones out there. Maybe I am just fussy when it comes to porridge but I can easily return again to try out the other porridges plus the side dishes are just hard to resist.
For full review and pictures, please visit http://www.springtomorrow.com/2014/03/09/tiong-shian-porridge-centre/
Raw Fish,Lou Ta Chang,Mixed Porridge Other Ratings: