Xian Ji Porridge – Only Early Birds Catch the Awesome Cantonese Porridge Here

Germaine Tan
Germaine Tan
March 30, 2020

Only open for 2.5 hours a day, Xian Ji Porridge is located within the Tiong Bahru estate. Tiong Bahru is known for being a hipster cafe area, so who would have guessed that there will be a little stall selling old-school Cantonese Porridge?

xian-ji shop
xian-ji sitting area

Started by a friendly couple, Mr Soon and Mdm Cheah, Xian Ji Porridge has been around for three decades! They share this shop with Little Elephant Thai Bistro, which explains their very colourful decorations and bar area. Mr Soon is a retired army officer who decided to come out to do his own business. His wife, Mdm Cheah, and her sister help out at the stall.

xian-ji owner
xian-ji top down

Everyday, the trio starts preparing the ingredients and cooking the porridge from as early as 3am! They will be ready to start selling by 7am and usually close by 9.30am! Yes, you heard me right! ‘The early bird catches the worm” truly describes the situation here.

Xian Ji Porridge has quite a variety of porridge — from fish head and fish slices, to minced pork and lean meat porridge. I decided to go for the good old Century Egg Minced Pork Porridge with Watercress ($7). I was asked if I wanted to  add watercress which I thought was interesting so I went for it!

xian-ji pork porridge close up
xian-ji pork collage

They were very generous with the ingredients! There were quite a few huge pieces of well marinated minced pork. There was quite a strong smell of Tee Po (Sun Dried Flat Fish Bones) in the marinade, which might not sit well with everyone. The minced pork was more chewy than it was springy. There were also huge pieces of century egg. After awhile, the taste of the century egg became rather pronounced. I quite liked it! It reminded me of those Century Egg Porridge you would typically get from traditional Dim Sum Eateries.

xian-ji overview
xian-ji fish collage

I also tried the Sliced Fish Porridge with an egg ($7). As compared to the Minced Pork Porridge, this version was a little more watery. The decision to add an egg was the best ever! Beating the egg into the smooth porridge just gave it a lot more flavour. They use 生鱼 (Haruan Fish) which was really fresh and soft! Mdm Cheah told us that they used to sell the raw version which was their best seller, but due to the new regulations they had to take it off the menu. This flavourful porridge is something I will crave on days when I’m feeling under the weather. There were huge pieces of ginger and green onion which I guess played a big part in imparting the strong flavours.

xian-ji overview portrait

We added a side of You Tiao ($1) to our porridge. The You Tiao was not very crispy. However, it was not too oily and added a nice texture when eaten together with the porridge.

While the porridge might be a little on the pricey side, I really do feel that it is quite worth the buck for the portion and freshness of ingredients. The next time I have an insomnia attack, I will be sure to visit them again!

Xian Ji Porridge

Address: 57 Eng Hoon Street, Singapore 160057

Area: Tiong Bahru

Opening Hours: 7am to 9.30am daily.(Closed on Mondays)

Cuisine: Cantonese

MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.