Beguiled by the name “fried porridge”, I visited this seafood zichar (read: quick fry cooking casual dining with seafood and variety of meat and vegetable sharing dishes) place tucked in a coffeeshop at Foch Road, in the quaint Jalan Besar area co-located with sleazy pubs and transit hotels, and simultaneously one of the birthplaces of hipster cafes in Singapore with the likes of Chye Seng Huat Hardware Store and The Bravery.
What exactly is fried porridge? The name intrigues, as usually porridge is a boiled rice staple. In this rendition, cooked porridge is fried in a wok with sauce and ingredients to thicken the consistency of the porridge, and as one would expect, impart a certain wok hei (read: a slight char and smoky aroma associated with stir-fry at high temperature) to the dish. Oh, how expectations kill.
When I had this porridge on a fateful Wednesday evening, the porridge lacked the smoky wok hei I’ve been in search of, having heard so much about it on social media. The taste is likewise lackluster, the copious amounts of spring onion overpowering the dish, killing all semblances of flavour. The other dishes at this joint is run-of-the-mill zichar, nothing much to write home about. I won’t recommend visiting this place intentionally unless you stay around the area, or needs some savoury Chinese stir-fry after a day of cafe hopping in Jalan Besar.
Royal J’s Seafood
30 Foch Road