Gong Xi Fa Cai Yi Ding Hao by Chef Cao Yong – $38 Lobster Porridge at a Hawker Stall
August 07, 2020
I first met Chef Cao Yong when he took part in Mediacorp’s food competition program “Food Struck! 食不可挡” a few years back. He was one of the youngest chefs on the show and probably the only one who opens zichar stall in hawker centres as compared to his peers who work in big restaurants. But, his dishes were definitely as remarkable.
In fact, his resume is very impressive. He came to Singapore with his parents when he was 15 years old. He dropped out of school and started cutting vegetables and doing a little meal-prep work at small restaurants. Slowly, he progressed and worked his way through various top-tier restaurants. He previously led the Singapore team to the World Championship Chef Competition in Shanghai and emerged as champions.
Now, together with his father, he is running two zi-char stalls in Jurong. We dropped by Gong Xi Fa Cai Yi Ding Hao (恭喜发财一定好煮炒) in Yuhua Village Market last week to have a taste of his dishes. I don’t know what took me so long but I am glad to finally visit.
Their signature lobster porridge is a steal, and a must-order. The huge lobster is bathed in a comforting superior broth and the flavours of the meat fully captured in it. The rice grains are cooked till soft, without losing their chewiness. I was happily slurping the broth on its own.
Prices start from $38 for one lobster, $68 for two lobsters and $88 for three lobsters.
Chef Cao Yong makes a wide range of sauces in the stall and you must definitely try their Nonya Assam Steamed Red Grouper (from $30). The steamed grouper is smothered in their homemade nonya assam sauce that is very appetizing. It has all the flavours to tickle one’s taste buds — it’s spicy, sour, sweet, savoury and packed with umami! Even though we already had lobster porridge, we just had to have another bowl of rice drenched with the gravy.
Another dish I would recommend is the Spanish Pork Ribs “Dong Po Gu” ($20 / $30 / $40). Instead of using pork belly, Chef Cao Yong uses Spanish pork ribs which were so tender. The ribs are caramelized to give them a lovely sweetness.
Other dishes we ordered include Prawn Roll ($12 / $16) and Taiwan Style Stewed Chicken Wings with Three Cup Sauce ($12 / $18 / $24).
If you are wondering why this stall is called Gong Xi Fa Cai Yi Ding Hao. It’s because the stall was initally owned by “Gong Xi Fa Cai” drink stall located just 2 units away. But the name was catchy, so chef decided to keep the signboard.
Gong Xi Fa Cai Yi Ding Hao (恭喜发财一定好煮炒)
Address: Blk 254 Jurong East St 24, Yuhua Village Market & Food Centre #01-11, Singapore 600254
Opening Hours: 11am to 9.30pm daily