A Taste of Tradition: A Visit to 兴隆潮州粥 Heng Long Teochew Porridge

April 21, 2024

In the bustling heart of Singapore's food landscape, where modern eateries and fusion cuisines dominate, finding a spot that still honors the culinary traditions of yesteryears can feel like discovering a hidden gem. 兴隆潮州粥 Heng Long Teochew Porridge is one such treasure, a humble establishment that has been serving up authentic Teochew fare with a dedication that has remained unwavering over the years.

Photo: Allen Teh

Discovering Heng Long Teochew Porridge

Nestled in a nondescript part of the city, Heng Long Teochew Porridge might not catch your eye at first glance, but the flavors and experiences it offers are anything but ordinary. It’s a place frequented by those in the know—local foodies and Teochew cuisine aficionados who appreciate the subtle, comforting flavors characteristic of this Chinese culinary tradition.

Photo: Allen Teh

The Ambiance: Simple and Unassuming

Walking into Heng Long, you're greeted by a modest setup reminiscent of the old-school eateries from decades past. The decor is straightforward, with fluorescent lighting illuminating wooden tables and stools that speak more to functionality than fashion. Here, the food takes center stage, and the ambiance, while plain, adds to the charm of a no-frills, honest dining experience.

Photo: Kevin Tan

The Heart of Teochew Cuisine

Teochew cuisine, known for its emphasis on the natural flavors of the ingredients and less on heavy seasoning, is perfectly encapsulated at Heng Long. The porridge itself is a testament to simplicity—soft, almost soupy rice that's meant to be enjoyed with a variety of side dishes that add texture and flavor to the meal.

Photo: ng lipeng

A Culinary Journey Through the Menu

The beauty of dining at Heng Long lies in the array of dishes you can pair with your porridge. Here are some highlights:

Braised Duck

A classic Teochew dish, the braised duck at Heng Long is marinated in a blend of spices and slow-cooked to perfection. The meat is tender, peeling away from the bone with minimal effort, and the sauce—a rich amalgamation of soy and spices—complements the subtle taste of the porridge beautifully.

Salted Egg and Preserved Radish

Photo: J

No Teochew porridge meal is complete without the salted egg and preserved radish. The sharp, salty bite of the radish and the rich creaminess of the salted egg create a delightful contrast with the plain porridge, making each spoonful an exciting taste adventure.

Steamed Fish

Photo: Eric Lee
Photo: John

Teochew cuisine celebrates the freshness of its ingredients, and the steamed fish is a showcase of this principle. Typically a white, delicate fish like pomfret is used, steamed with ginger, tomatoes, and preserved plums to enhance its natural sweetness and texture.

Crispy Fried Anchovies and Peanuts

For those who love a bit of crunch, the crispy fried anchovies mixed with roasted peanuts make for a perfect side dish. The anchovies are salty and crispy, while the peanuts add a nutty, creamy texture that balances the crispness.

Vegetables and More

Photo: J L

Vegetable dishes like stir-fried cabbage with tofu and kai-lan (Chinese broccoli) in oyster sauce are not only refreshing but also provide a necessary balance of greens to the meal. Each vegetable dish is cooked to retain its natural color and crispness, adding both visual appeal and nutritional balance.

Sweet Endings: Teochew Kueh

To conclude the meal, a variety of Teochew kueh (cakes) are available. These traditional Chinese desserts, ranging from tapioca kueh to the sweet and slightly salty bean paste kueh, are not overly sweet and offer a subtle end to a rich meal.

Beverages: Herbal Teas and More

To accompany your meal, Heng Long offers a selection of Chinese herbal teas, each selected to complement the dishes and aid in digestion. The light, refreshing teas provide a soothing finish to the savory dishes.

Service With a Homely Touch

The service at Heng Long is as warm as the porridge it serves. The staff are familiar faces to many patrons, often remembering regulars’ favorite dishes and making everyone feel at home. This personal touch adds to the overall welcoming atmosphere of the restaurant.

Final Thoughts

Photo: J Seng

Dining at 兴隆潮州粥 Heng Long Teochew Porridge is an experience that goes beyond just eating. It’s about embracing a culinary heritage that has stood the test of time, enjoying simple, well-cooked food that warms the soul. It's a testament to the enduring appeal of Teochew cuisine and a reminder of the pleasures of simple, unadorned fare in a world that often overcomplicates.

For anyone seeking a taste of traditional Singapore

兴隆潮州粥 Heng Long Teochew Mui
824 Tampines Street 81, Singapore 521827
Open Hour:
Sunday, 10 am–4:30 am
Monday, 10 am–4:30 am
Tuesday, 10 am–4:30 am
Wednesday, 10 am–4:30 am
Thursday, 10 am–4:30 am
Friday, 10 am–4:30 am
Saturday, 10 am–4:30 am

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