What on earth am I (an East-Coast dweller) doing in the boondocks of Jurong West? Well, just for the fun of it. I visited an old pal's favourite haunts for food - Bak Kut Teh (pork rib soup) and Chicken Porridge at said hawker centre.
We were there a bit too early at 11.45am for the bak kut teh and were told it'd be half an hour before the pork ribs would be ready. So we attacked the chicken porridge first.
Two bowls of hot porridge (each with a raw egg) with a plate of moist steamed chicken (all S$10) arrived fairly quickly. Not as thick as congee but more substantial than Teochew porridge. Fairly light-tasting, so I added the soy-sesame dressing from the plate of chicken to the porridge (yeah, I like my stuff really savoury!).
A lot of people went for the fish porridge (the fish slices were served separately topped with some crunchy-looking crackers).
Finally the bak kut teh (S$3.90) arrived. It's the clear type (Teochew style?) and with 5-6 generous pieces of ribs in one bowl. We were literally the first served. Unfortunately, that also meant the pork ribs did not have the benefit of stewing in the hot soup for a few more hours, so the meat did come a bit chewy (go at 5pm and it should be be falling off the bone). The part I really enjoyed was the soup. It was incredibly peppery and I could have just eaten that and the rice drizzled with the dark soy sauce and chili padi.
Da Po Bak Kut Teh (#01-45): open daily noon to 10pm
Soh Kee Cooked Food (#01-44): 9am-7pm; closed Mondays; open only half-day Sunday