Shi Zhen Yu Tang – Unexpectedly Flavourful Steamed Grouper in a Tray
Toa Payoh West Food Centre is one of my favourite hawker centres. In the morning, there is Chey Sua Carrot Cake, Come Daily Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee and Hong Kong Lung Hwa roast duck. And when night falls, there’s fish soup! We walked around the hawker centre one evening to look for dinner and were surprised to find many fish soup stalls. But the more popular one is definitely Shi Zhen Yu Tang (时珍鱼汤).
A must-try here is the Steamed Grouper Fish in a baking tray. This classic Teochew dish has all the key elements such astomatoes, preserved mustard cabbage and salted plums, added into the soup. Interestingly, the owner also adds fried sole fish and dried scallops as well. The delightfully flavourful soup promises an explosion of savoury, sweet, and tangy flavours. The fish was fresh and firm, but tender at the same time. This tray, which is meant for 2 pax, costs $35, but it can feed 3-4. There’s an option to add bee hoon or rice too.
The owner highly recommended their deep-fried fish roe. Lightly seasoned, the roe was deep-fried in hot oil for a few minutes — just long enough to brown the surface and make it crisp, but keep the inside soft too. The deep-fried fish roe was truly a treat!
The ngoh hiang, unfortunately, was under-seasoned on our day of visit. I liked that the homemade meat roll was fat and full of crunchy chopped water chestnut. It was also crispy, without being too greasy, but it could have been better seasoned. We also ordered the oyster omelette which was moist, and generously studded with plump oysters.
Our dinner was definitely comforting and satisfying. Be prepared to wait for more than 30 minutes during lunch hour. Note that the hawker centre is closed for renovation for 3 months from June 2019 onwards.
Shi Zhen Yu Tang (时珍鱼汤)
Address: Blk 127 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh #02-08, Singapore 310127
Opening Hours: 10:30AM–3PM, 4:30–10PM, closed on Tuesdays every fortnight
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.