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Royal J’s Seafood: Malaysian Fried Porridge!
Cheese Prawns
Royal Cheesy Prawns $28

Fried porridge, cheese prawns and crab tang hoon.  These are the three signature dishes of Chef John’s new Zi Char stall at Foch Road.

Chef John created quite a stir (pun intended) last year when he introduced his fried porridge to Singaporeans in his little coffeshop stall in Macpherson.  He owns a successful Zi Char stall in Ipoh but has been wanting to break into the Singapore market for a long time. The stall at Macpherson was set up to see just how Singaporeans will react to his brand of Zi Char.  Having had a great response to his fried porridge, he has now confidently expanded to a fully functional Zi Char Stall offering several Malaysian dishes which are not so common to the Singapore Zi Char scene.

Crab Tang Hoon
Crab Tang Hoon $48

The first dish we tried was his cheese prawns.  This is a dish which is getting quite popular in Malaysia and throngs of Singaporeans travelling to Restoran Thong Sheng in Malacca just to eat it.  Cheese prawns are also popular in Chef John’s hometown of Ipoh.  This is his version where he first slow cooks tiger prawns in a claypot before adding his secret blend of mayonnaise spiked with a secret blend of spices, mozzarella cheese and curry leaves.  It looks quite different from the version served by Restoran Thong Sheng but its hard to go wrong with a dish like this!  4.25/5

The crab tang hoon was another signature dish which features a robust seafood soup base with crab and tang hoon.  The crab infused soup was very good although the tang hoon could have been a little more resilient.  4/5

Poached Chicken
Kampung Chicken $28

The surprise of the day was the kumpung chicken which is easily the tastiest poached chicken we have tasted in a long time.  Chef secret is to poach the kampung chicken in a rich stock before adding his super tasty soy sauce and topping it with a generous mound of fried garlic.  Unlike our local chicken rice, the well exercised muscles of this kampung chicken has got a bit of bite! The only thing missing is a nice bowl of chicken rice.  Definitely worth ordering! 4.5/5

Fried Porridge
Fried Porridge $15

Of course, a visit to Royal J would not be complete without a claypot of their famous fried porridge!  Most of us would probably of trouble imagining how porridge can be fried, so here is the video to prove that the porridge is indeed fried in a wok.

Personally, I like the fried porridge because it is laced with tasty ingredients like shredded cuttlefish, diced yam, fried shallots and a generous handful of crispy pork lard and I do think that the wok does infuse a certain amount of smoke to the ingredients but the tossing of the porridge in the wok is simply a theatrical means of heating up the porridge, in my opinion.  Hey, you know that Chinese Chefs cook soup in a wok too right?  They just don’t call it wok fried soup.  But wok fried porridge does stir up (there’s that pun again) the imagination, doesn’t it?  4.25/5

Tasty Fried Pork
Tasty Fried Pork $12

The other surprising dish we had was the tasty fried pork which might look like some sort of coffee or Guinness pork ribs, but the flavour is quite unique and the pork is freshly fried so that it is juicy on the inside yet crisp on the outside.  Very nicely done!  4.25./5

Tau Pok
Thai style tofu $10

Chef’s idea of a Thai style salad is crispy toasted tau pok topped with sliced cucumber and red onions with sweet chilli and mayonnaise.  I like the crispy tau pok but somehow this dish felt a bit disjointed and the mayonnaise was just a little too loud for a Zi Char dish.    3.5/5

Chef John

Conclusion

Chef John is quite adventurous and is always game to try new things, so when you go there to have a Zi Char meal, you are bound to taste something that is just a little different from your usual Zi Char place, and I mean that in a good way!

Read my previous story here.

Stall

Royal J's Seafood

Address:
30 Foch Road, Singapore 209276
View Map
Opening hours:
Lunch: 11:00AM to 2:30PM
Dinner: 5:00PM to 11:00PM
Contact:
93573993

Other info:
Visit Website
  • DAVIDPD

    Must try this Foch Road Food Centre!!~~~

  • yenuo

    Went to try this with my family yesterday and we were utterly disappointed at the sucky attitude we were met with. We were initially looking to order a decent amount of food but firstly, there wasn’t enough menus to go around mine (and the other tables) but when there were finally menus available, they were not given to us. Secondly, their staff failed to inform us that not 100% of what was posted in the menu was available, so we only found out when we were about to order… We then had to reconsider our options since most of the things we wanted weren’t available and upon reordering, we were told yet again that they had run out of some dishes. (I might want to add that it was only 7pm.) Lastly, we were informed that the waiting time was 45mins to an hour. (There wasn’t much crowd to begin with).

    My family then decided not to wait such a long duration and wanted to cancel our order (less than 5 minutes after ordering, I might add), but the woman tried to make it difficult for us and told us she would ‘check to see if our orders were already being cooked.’ Weren’t we just told that there’d be a 45min to an hour’s wait?

    All in all I think this tze char stall is looking to only do ‘big’ businesses, so if you’re thinking of checking it out, be sure to be that in a big group. (We were there as a family of 4 and I felt largely unwelcomed).