I sometimes wonder why certain foods in Singapore never quite take off even though they can be quite popular. Aside from Satay Bee Hoon, Ampang Yong Tau Foo seems to fall into this category of dishes.
This stall has been dishing out Ampang style Yong Tau Foo for over forty years and is still pulling in the lunch crowd. Yet in all that time, Ampang Style Yong Tau Foo had never quite taken off in Singapore even though many Singaporeans would go all the way to KL to eat Ampang Yong Tau Foo. One might argue that it is because the ones in KL are much more kilat (awesome) than the ones we have here, but surely it doesn’t take a tofu scientist to come up with a kick-gluteaus-maximus Yong Tau Foo right? I think that if I got hold of a hawker stall, one of the dishes that I would sell would be Ampang Yong Tau Foo, but instead of using just fish paste, I would stuff it with minced pork and salted fish, deep fry them and serve it with a braising sauce. Won’t you like to try some?
Anyway, it is interesting to note that this Ampang Yong Tau Foo can trace its lineage all the way to Ampang in KL to a time just after Ampang Yong Tau Foo became famous in the 70’s. One of the stall owners in Ampang decided to expand his empire by setting up a stall in Singapore and chose this row of shop houses in Sembawang just outside of Nee Soon Camp. It was, at that time, quite a ulu (outback) place that reminded him of home. But after one year, he decided to balik kampung (return home) and bequeth the stall to his relative, Mdm Ng, who has since been running the stall. The good thing about Ngee Fou is that it is still very much a family run stall and even though most of the servers wear Ngee Fou T Shirts, they are in some way or other related to the Matriarch of Tofu.
I guess the question on everyone’s mind is “how does this compare with the one you blogged about at Foong Foong?”
Well, in short, it is still worth going all the way to Ampang for the Yong Tau Foo there, although the one here is not bad. The braising sauce here is very good though and better than the one in Ampang, I felt. However, they have since stopped using pork to fill the Yong Tau Foo and use only fish paste instead which is a bit of a shame. The other really stark difference is the amount of filling in each item. Whilest the one in Foong Foong is bursting at the seams, the ones here are emaciated and wrinkly such that you feel that you are eating mainly fried beancurd skin. Still, as far as Ampang Yong Tau Foo go, this is still a good place to get your fried Tofu fix without having to stamp your passport and the sauce really does save the day. 4/5
This place is a staple for NSmen during reservist. You still get a good feed, but how I wish that the next generation of hawkers would do something to rival the ones in Ampang. It really can’t be that hard.
928 Ngee Fou Restaurant Ampang Yong Tau Hu