surprisingly delicious collagen chicken hotpot (or is it chicken collagen hotpot?), also known as hakata mizutaki, at this little place along bukit timah. I admit to ALOT a healthy amount of skepticism before coming to this place – I don’t like thick soups, the texture or excessive flavor of fat, and the whole idea of collagen as a age-defying beautificant (literary license) is a pretty strange notion (like, do you just grow so fat you don’t get wrinkles?
and, well, it tastes (and is) a fantastically long-brewed chicken broth, although definitely a little too unctuous and viscous for me. but the chicken that comes out the pot is beautifully tender and flavorful, as are the vegetables that cook in the same.
but they don’t just do a collagen hotpot – you get things like okonomiyaki and oden, the latter possibly my favorite dish ever.
good ampang yong tau foo at this old joint in the totally chill neighborhood that is katong – the ampang designation indicates that the soya beancurd is here stuffed with a seasoned minced meat paste, instead of the typical fish paste.
the store serves only rice and the yong tau foo, which comes in a soup that is too salty for drinking but just nice for flavoring – you can pick from the available selection, or just more easily, just ask for a 1-2-3-4-person (you get the idea) portion of mixed items.
the combination comes with a couple of fish- and meatballs, tofu beancurd and meat-stuffed vegetables pieces (appreciating the stuffed chilli is truly an indication of adulthood), and a bowl of rice to go with.
but always ask for additional pieces of the deep-fried beancurd skin – and eat it the way the british eat biscuits with tea: give it enough time for the soup to get absorbed, but not so much that it loses all its crispiness.
it’s been a family go-to for many years now, and there aren’t many places where you can get your fix of proper yong tau foo, much less the ampang-style. this place is run by chinese malaysians, which seems to indicate that it might serve up something pretty authentic (ampang is also a place in malaysia’s capital) – but regardless, the endless crowds at mealtimes is more than testament to the quality of the simple offerings here.
Ampang Yong Tau Foo
225 East Coast Road
tel +65 6345 3289