Orchard Rd Yong Tau Foo: 2 Must-Try Ingredients

Hi Makan Kakis!

This week, we welcome back Mum of 3, nutrition & food science teacher and the cook behind home-based Artisome Food, Sharlene Tan, who was a Top 4 contestant in Masterchef Singapore Season 3. Relive all the culinary excitement – catch up on Season 3 again and if you’re feeling inspired, why not register for Season 4? Auditions are now open. Details here!

Now when it comes to food, Sharlene’s tastes lie along the lines of dishes piled with crispy lard and comfort food that doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. She looks for flavours and textures that go together and make you feel warm inside and make you happy. Case in point, one of her favourite things to eat – Yong Tau Foo.

HEAR:
Click to listen/ download podcast of this week’s souper-stuffed episode!

SEE:

IMG_5655In particular, Yong Tau Foo soup really appeals to Sharlene because it’s the most basic building block of the dish and it needs to be rich and umami. Sharlene enjoys visiting  different stalls, depending on her location and when she’s in the Orchard Road area, Lucky Plaza is where she heads for her fix. At My Favourite Cafe on the 6th floor, they serve up delicious Yong Tau Foo at affordable prices and their soup is as she likes it – flavourful and tasty from ikan bilis and soy beans, but not heavy on MSG.

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Run like a well-oiled machine, the casual eating place features a display counter where you grab a bowl and tongs to pick whatever ingredient you want. I was there near closing time, but there enough tantalising morsels to choose from, like stuffed tofu products, fishcakes, fishballs, deep-fried dumplings and vegetables.

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However, two ingredients stand out and Sharlene says they are “Must-Tries” – fried pork balls and braised shiitake mushrooms. I made sure to select generous portions for myself.

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The dried mushrooms are imported from Korea then rehydrated and braised to meaty, juicy perfection. Sweet, salty and pillowy, the mushrooms are gorgeously thick and plump. And if you fancy having your own mushroom extragavganza at home, packets of the same dried mushrooms are available for purchase and takeaway!

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Another must-try are the deep-fried meat balls. These generously-sized globes of porky goodness are crispy on the outside (look at that golden brown crust!) and succulent on the inside.

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Sharlene appreciates that they serve the meatballs separately if you order Yong Tau Foo soup, so they don’t get soggy and you can enjoy their crunchy exterior.

IMG_5658Besides the two above-mentioned essentials, I picked stuffed tau pok, stuffed red and green chillies, stuffed beancurd skins, crispy fried tau kee, enoki mushrooms and xiao bai cai for a dry version. Apart from the meatballs and tau kee, everything was blanched and reheated in hot soup, drained, then presented in the bowl with a garnish of crispy fried shallots. For extra flavour, they have a self-serve station for sweet pink sauce and savoury-sweet chilli sauce.

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In my excitement and greed, I totally forgot to check the cost of my choices, so my total bill came up to under $16, including a drink – I was ok with this.

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For the more judicious diner, their price guide is clearly displayed. 6 pieces of Yong Tau Foo and your choice of noodle or rice is $6.30. 7 pieces without noodles or rice costs the same and each additional piece costs $0.90. I have to agree with Sharlene – it’s never cheap to eat in Orchard Road, but My Favourite Cafe serves up one of the more affordable options for a healthier (if you watch those fried items!), complete meal when you’re in the area.

IMG_5711TASTE:
My Favorite Cafe Yong Tau Foo
Lucky Plaza, 304 Orchard Rd, #06-046, #06-047, S(238863)
Open Mon – Sat: 9am – 5pm (closed Sundays)
Tel: +65 6734 6935

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