Everyone has a particular dish they brand as comfort food, but porridge is an undeniable frontrunner for the category. Unlike Teochew porridge, which relies on an assortment of side dishes to dress its welcome blandness, Cantonese porridge is wholesome and soul-warming.
Rice is cooked till it is thick, almost gooey, and fortified with a spread of humble ingredients, ranging from meat and seafood to eggs. Topped with a fresh bouquet of ginger and chopped scallions, congee is the culinary equivalent of an embrace.
The next time you find yourself in need of comfort food, we’ve done the legwork for you with our list of the best porridge in Singapore. Take your pick.
7 best places to get the best porridge in Singapore:
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Yin Ji is one of Guangzhou’s most renowned congee chains, having been established in 1950s. The chain has since migrated to Singapore with its first flagship in Amoy Street, offering locals here a taste of congee from the birthplace of Cantonese cuisine. The porridge itself is silky, enhanced with crunchy peanuts, sliced omelette and scallions. For simple, fuss-free congee in the Central Business District, you’ll find us at Yan Ji.
(Image credit: @yinjisg)
Zhen Zhen is one of Singapore’s longest-standing congee stalls, clocking in over 30 years in Maxwell Food Centre. The choices are simple, choose between combinations of fish, chicken and century egg in a size spanning small to large. Your porridge of choice arrives piping hot and riddled with umami, beckoning you to wash it down with some sugarcane juice. Fish congee is the most popular item at Zhen Zhen, thanks to the generous amount of springy fish slices buried under the porridge, which is cooked to the texture of a thick broth.
(Image credit: @okaru_singapore)
Mui Kee is a familiar destination for anyone who has scouted Hong Kong for its gastronomic gems. Last year, however, this Mongkok classic has made itself a permanent second home in Shaw Centre, ensuring that fans no longer have to travel abroad for a bowl.
There are no dips in quality, though. Singapore’s Mui Kee outpost still cooks its congee base for five hours for a velvety-smooth consistency and cooks your final order in old-school copper pots.
Beyond the signature pork, fish and chicken congees, Mui Kee offers premium options like having your congee paired with Alaskan king crab, abalone and lobster. Whether you’re going for the standard or the specials, be sure to order a side of crispy dough fritters.
(Image credit: @muikeesg)
Although simple in appearance, the Hainanese porridge at Soon Lee Porridge packs a mighty flavour punch thanks to a secret stock, lard oil, generous portions of meat, and lashings of spring onions and shallots. Add an egg into yours to upgrade this luscious bowl of comfort food.
(Image credit: @mightyfoodie)
Other than absurdly long queues, another Singaporean way to gauge the quality of a food stall is how fast its offerings sell-out. In the case of Xian Ji, the fact that its congee is often exhausted way before its closing time at 1pm practically testifies that this congee is next level.
A bowl of their signature pork porridge features all the fixings that we want to start our mornings with — meatballs, watercress, offal and pork slices, all imbuing the melt-in-your-mouth congee with a rich meatiness.
(Image credit: @jasonxllow)
Those living in the east of Singapore will be familiar with Bedok’s famed Chai Chee Pork Porridge, a popular dinner and supper destination for those seeking congee after-hours. The signature is as simple as it gets: gooey porridge meets minced pork and crispy dough fritters, best enjoyed with the addition of a runny egg.
(Image credit: @jamietan04)
Hidden in the Hougang heartlands is Sin Heng Kee, a homely eatery that specialises in all types of congee. More than 20 different versions are available on the menu, but all come with the treacly porridge base that keeps you going back for more. We especially love the meatball and egg version, as Sin Heng Kee makes their own meatballs by hand, so they’re extra-springy.
(Image credit: @tasterbite)