Sunday, August 22, 2010

三盅两件 Soup Restaurant ..... good choice for a light and simple meal



Soup Restaurant is a restaurant chain that serves a good variety of dishes from the restaurant's Managing Director, Mr. Mok Yip Peng's family recipes. In spirit of preserving heritage, these family recipes were prepared in the same traditional way. The restaurant brings back reminiscence of street food from the Chinatown of old. Only now, within the modern comforts of air conditioned and nicely decorated environment. Now, all we knew or care to know, was that the Soup Restaurant's food have simple ingredients but were prepared well to taste real good. To most, like me and the generation after me, the heritage behind these food weren't the least remembered. All we remember was the clean, sincere taste that lingered after the meal.





三水姜耳鸡 Samsui Ginger Chicken
The Samsui Ginger Chicken is the signature dish of Soup Restaurant. Any trip to the restaurant would be incomplete without first savoring this dish which originated from the hardworking Samsui women who were pioneers who helped build Singapore. Samsui women banded together, living lives of singlehood. Life was hard, for they chose to engage in hard labour, in construction sites and rubber plantations to earn a living. This dish was the traditional dish that Samsui women had during the Chinese New Year to indulge themselves for the year of hard work.

The chicken was steamed just enough to maintain it's taste, aroma and tenderness. Pieces if these chicken circled a dish of minced ginger. This ginger, to me, is the 'heart and soul' of this heritage food. Traditionally, ginger was believed to relief the aches on our bodies. This could be the reason why it was used for this Samsui dish.


As accompaniment to the chicken, there was a bowl of fresh, crispy lettuce which made it a well balanced diet.


To immerse in its delight, the three main ingredients have to be eaten together. The chicken was first 'cupped' inside a slice of lettuce. Dip the chicken before placing it on the lettuce or like me, just scoop the ginger and simply place it over the chicken. Wrap it up and there you go, ready to bite into a piece of Samsui's history. It tasted better when I found out and respect the origins of this simple, yet appetizing dish.


虾枣 Fried Prawn Rolls
These fried prawn rolls is one of the outlet's specialty. Soup Restaurant seems to let each outlet create their own special dishes and this is one of the specialty dish that the outlet at Seah street recommended. The prawn roll had minced prawn mixed with some pork and generous bits of water chestnut. The ingredients were densely rolled up and had that nice crunchiness as I bit into the water chestnuts. The typical sweet sauce was provided for dipping the prawn rolls.






菜脯蛋 'Chai Po' Omelette
HY and I pointed at the picture in unison and said 'I want this'. 'Chai Po' is salted turnips usually cut up into bits. These salty turnip bits was mixed with the egg and then fried. These turnip bits gave the omelette that salty kick just like when bacon bits were added to mashed potatoes.

阿公番薯叶 Ah Kon Fan Shu Leaves
Fan Shu Leaves are sweet potato leaves. In this Soup Restaurant version, these sweet potato leaves were stir fried with chilli which made it quite spicy hot. The spicy version is named Ah Kon and the non spicy version was named Ah Por. This is quite a typical home cooked dish that I would get to eat at home sometimes.

Soup Restaurant Beggar's Bowl
Another signature dish of Soup Restaurant is their Beggar's Bowl. The Beggar's bowl is essentially a typical shallow ceramic bowl that beggars used on TV shows (we seldom see them now in modern Singapore). In each beggar's bowl, there's the common steamed rice topped with the different 'toppings' that gave the Soup Restaurant Beggar's Bowl some variety to cater to different taste buds. We all felt that it tasted like claypot rice but without the fragrance of the overcooked charred rice that lines the bottom of the claypot.

I ordered the version with chicken and Chinese sausage while HY had the chicken with mushrooms

蜡肠蒸鸡饭
Beggar's Bowl with Chicken and Chinese Sausage

北菇蒸鸡饭
Beggar's Bowl with Chicken and Mushroom


Apart from the dishes highlighted above, we did order a pot of slow cooked soup that Soup Restaurant is famous for. We had the day's special, which is ABC soup, chicken, carrots and corn. I didn't take a photo of the pot of soup as the efficient waitress had started scooping them into our bowls as soon as it was served. There were many other varieties of slow cooked or double boiled soup in the menu.


The Seah street outlet that we visited is located inside a conservation shop house. The interior decor is all Chinese style, with several round dining tables. Service at this outlet was great. Our chrysanthemum tea was constantly refilled without us asking. I will visit Soup Restaurant again if I crave for a clean simple home cooked food and also to pay respect to the Samsui Ginger Chicken.

39 Seah Street
Singapore
Tel : 65 6333 9388

2 comments:

Singaporefoodlover said...

been wanting to try the chicken dish eversince i came to singapore.. too bad i just need someone to eat it with me:(

Slurp said...

Just grab any buddy for a lunch or dinner. It's simple food with great taste. Most importantly don't burn a whole in your pocket.

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