What I Eat In My Hood: Long-time Geylang Resident
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The even-numbered lorongs of Geylang may have taken a beating from the pandemic, but the food stalls on the odd-numbered lanes are still thriving, reports Joshua Khoo.
The software engineer, who has lived in the area for the last 20 years, says, “It’s not surprising that my favourite places to eat in the neighbourhood are all the stalwarts since many of the best eateries here have truly stood the test of time.”
The best part about dining in Geylang is that many stalls open till well into the wee hours of the morning. “The worst part,” he says, “is that indulging in all these late-night meals makes me fat”!
Geylang Lor 9 Frog Porridge
Location: 235 Geylang Road, Lorong 9
Geylang is home to quite a few frog porridge stalls, but to me, this is the OG. My parents have been coming here since before I was born, they tell me. This stall’s offerings are slightly more expensive than the others, but I don’t mind because the frog porridge is so good.
Food delivery apps are the best thing to have happened because we no longer have to wait in the long queue to get our fix. And yes, if you haven’t tried it, frogs legs taste like chicken, but with thinner, smoother flesh.
That kung pao sauce that the frogs legs are cooked in is so good, you wanna slurp every last drop of it. The porridge is thick and smooth too, and together, they are just too easy to eat!
Location: 517 Lorong 27A Geylang
Stall owner Mr Sim has been doing this for 20 years, so his satay is excellent. They are always smoky and tender, with just the right balance of sweetness to spice. It used to be located at Geylang Lorong 27A, where the famous Hokkien mee is, but they have since moved to this brighter location and the queue is just as long.
They have a delivery service, but you have to order at least two days in advance and a minimum of 50 sticks. So we just suck it up and queue up when the mood to eat this satay strikes.
Whampoa Keng Fish Head Steamboat
Location: 512/514 Geylang Road
We love the broth from this steamboat so much that we usually end up asking for many top-ups. The thick, cloudy soup is deeply savoury, with a mild sweetness from the cabbage and yam in it.
You can have pomfret, red garoupa or batang sliced fish for your steamboat, but I am partial to the pomfret, which comes with a lot less flesh and is more expensive. But I love the fish’s texture, so I’ll splurge on it.
Another thing to try is the Indonesian chicken which is tossed in a sweet-sour and slightly spicy sauce made from prawn paste. I love the deep-fried curry leaves that are mixed into it.
Penang Seafood Restaurant
Location: 32 Aljunied Road
Not long ago, this was a small eatery located on the ground floor of an HDB block with an endless queue of people, especially on weekends. Now, it’s a big and bright air-conditioned restaurant just a stone’s throw away, though you’d still require reservations if you intend to go over a weekend.
My favourite thing there is the la la Hokkien mee. It’s so umami and smoky with wok hei, and enriched with an obscene amount of lard. The fermented pork belly is another must order. Deep-fried and just full of flavour.
That said, regardless of what we order, I’ve never had a bad meal there.
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