Zhen Zhou Dao, Singapore-Style Porridge

Salted Egg Fish Skin from Zhen Zhou Dao, Singapore. SFF
Salted Egg Fish Skin @ S$15

Zhen Zhou Dao 真粥道 has been one of my favourite haunts recently because they serve great comfort food, have friendly service staff and is located pretty close to home. If you've been following me on Instagram, you would have seen the above dish appearing on an almost weekly basis on my feed. My favourite dish at Zhen Zhou Dao is Salted Egg Fish Skin. A fairly new dish that was only added on the menu in the past 2 months or so, this dish combines two ingredients that I really love, salted egg yolks and fried fish skin. The crisp slices of fish skin were coated with golden, sandy-textured and savoury salted egg yolk puree. Chili padi and curry leaves were added to give the dish an added oomph! This is definitely a Must-Try!

Prawn Rolls with Water Chestnut 马蹄虾枣 from Zhen Zhou Dao, Singapore
Prawn Rolls with Water Chestnuts 马蹄虾枣 @ S$10

During a recent visit, we decided to try the Prawn Rolls with Water Chestnuts 马蹄虾枣 (Hae Chor). For some reason, it seemed to have a slightly porky flavour on the day that I tried it. My friends were pretty happy with it though. Crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside, the chunks of water chestnut added little crunchy bits of sweetness to the roll.

Traditional Porridge at Zhen Zhou Dao - Singapore-Style Porridge
Zhen Zhou Dao's Signature Traditional Porridge @ S$6.50
Homemade Minced Pork Ball, Sliced Pork and Liver

Let's move onto the cafe's original specialty, Singapore-style porridge. The cafe's name, Zhen Zhou Dao 真粥道, is a play on a Chinese expression 真周到 (which is pronounced in a similar manner) that means "thoughtful". The cafe was initially opened to serve quality porridge with recipes that have been perfected after several experiments at home. The base porridge is cooked with a special broth till it becomes a thick gruel that is similar in texture, though not as silky smooth as Cantonese Congee. There are more than 20 different types of porridge available to suit the varying tastes of their clientele.

Minced Pork Ball & Sliced Pork Porridge at Zhen Zhou Dao
Minced Pork Ball & Sliced Pork Porridge @ S$6

The first time I visited Zhen Zhou Dao, they'd run out of Traditional Porridge by 8 pm on a weekend. In addition to sliced pork and pig's liver, the porridge contains fresh pork balls that had been beaten and shaped by hand. I found myself enjoying the slightly firm yet tender pork balls even though pork is not my favourite meat. The Minced Pork Ball Porridge at Zhen Zhou Dao is a Must-Try! If you don't enjoy pig's liver (like me!), take your pick from 4 other liver-free flavour combinations.

Plain Porridge at Zhen Zhou Dao, Singapore
Plain Porridge @ S$3

I like to order dishes from the Cze Char (Zi Char) menu, so I would usually opt for Plain Porridge to complement the flavourful dishes.

Zhen Zhou Dao's Braised Platter
Braised Platter @ S$8
Egg, Pork Belly, Tau Kwa & Tau Pok

I usually order the Braised Platter to go with porridge. The tender pieces of pork belly and Tau Pok (fried tofu puff) had absorbed the rich and savoury flavour of the soy sauce-based gravy. The blander ingredients such as the firm cubes of Tau Kwa (pressed tofu) and hard-boiled egg tasted better when cut into smaller pieces and drizzled with gravy.

Chye Poh Omelette at Zhen Zhou Dao, Singapore-Style Porridge
Chye Poh Omelette @ S$6

Another dish that I like eating with porridge is Chye Poh Omelette. Cooked to order, the Chye Poh (salted radish) Omelette was not excessively oily nor was it too salty. I especially loved the smoky flavour from the browned edges of the omelette. Dipped in homemade chili sauce, this was a perfect complement to porridge. This is a MUST-TRY!

Seafood Mee Sua Soup at Zhen Zhou Dao, Singapore
Seafood Mee Sua Soup @ S$8

Relative to the porridge, the Seafood Mee Sua Soup paled in comparison. As Mee Swa tends to impart a slightly floury flavour to the soup, thereby muting the flavour,  the dish seemed bland.

Deep Fried Chicken Wing Marinated in Shrimp Paste (Har Cheong Gai) at Zhen Zhou Dao, Singapore
Prawn Paste Mid-Joint Chicken Wings @ S$10

Though the Prawn Paste Chicken Wings were juicy on the inside, they were coated with too much batter for us to fully enjoy the flavour of the fermented prawn paste.

Zhen Zhou Dao Poached BeefPoached Superior Beef with Bean Sprouts 白灼肥牛 @ S$15

Another of my favourites at Zhen Zhou Dao is the Poached Superior Beef with Bean Sprouts. Poached slices of fatty beef lay on a bed of blanched bean sprout and were seasoned with a soy sauce-based dressing before being garnished with scallions and sliced chili. The tender slices of beef seemed to melt in the mouth with a lovely beefy flavour that was enhanced by the soy sauce. The refreshingly crunchy and sweet bean sprouts helped to balance the saltiness of the soy sauce dressing while the garnish added a touch of spice to the dish. This is also a Must-Try!

Hotplate-Style Tofu at Zhen Zhou Dao, Singapore
Hotplate-Style Tofu @ S$10

I was a little apprehensive that this dish would be served on a hotplate and we'd all smell like hotplate tofu. Thankfully, no real hotplate was involved. The homemade tofu block while smooth and soft was a little bland and the minced pork sauce that smothered it did little to lift the flavours. My favourite part of the dish was the fluffy scrambled egg that sat on top of the tofu.

Trio Eggs with Round Spinach in Broth from Zhen Zhou Dao, Singapore
Trio Eggs with Round Spinach in Broth @ S$10

The Trio of Eggs with Round Spinach in Broth was excellent. Topped with firm chunks of Salted Egg and Century Eggs, the spinach swam in a tasty stock that was given an additional sheen by a beaten egg that had been drizzled over the dish to yield a wispy, smooth and soft egg "flower" (egg drop soup-like) finish. Unlike the versions sold at many other places, Zhen Zhou Dao has added some wolfberries (aka goji berries) to the dish. This is a Must-Try!

Salted Egg with Bitter Gourd at Zhen Zhou Dao, Singapore
Salted Egg with Bittergourd @ S$10

The Salted Egg with Bitter Gourd dish was like scrambled salted eggs with bitter gourd slices. Though fairly tasty, I prefer the versions where the bitter gourd slices are coated with a grainy salted egg yolk sauce instead.

Four Heavenly Kings (Stir Fry/Sambal) from Zhen Zhou Dao, Singapore
Four Heavenly Kings fried with Sambal @ S$10
Aubergine (aka Brinjal), Okra (aka Ladies Fingers), French Beans & String Beans

My favourite vegetable dish at Zhen Zhou Dao is the Four Heavenly Kings. In spite of the grandiose name, the dish essentially comprises four different types of common vegetables, Aubergines, Okra, French Beans and String Beans. Diners are offered the option of a spicy sambal or non-spicy stir-fry version of the dish. I like spicy food so I opted for the spicy version. The four vegetables provided varying types of texture to the dish. Though Okra and Aubergines are generally harder to handle than the other two types of vegetables, both were well-prepared without becoming mushy. This is also a Must-Try!

Zhen Zhou Dao 真粥道
228 Tanjong Katong Road, 
Singapore 437016
Phone: +65 6345 5163
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PraiseGourmet
Operating Hours:
Tuesday to Sunday: 12 pm to 9.30 pm (closed on Mondays)PS: This place is run by Moses Lim (Under One Roof) and his family. You can spot him at the cafe sometimes. He's a most affable person who indulged my trigger-happy friend's request to get a shot taken with him.