[CLOSED] Ah Ma Jok: Traditional porridge with unique twist of flavours like kimchi & abalone at Selegie

What’s your comfort food? Mine is porridge. I used to look forward to home-cooked porridge by my mom every single day as my grandpa walked me home from pre-school. I heard that Ah Ma Jok at 171 Selegie Road had a familiar taste of nostalgia.

Previously located at Punggol, they moved to a more central location of Rochor in Aug 2022— just in between Dhoby Ghaut and Little India MRT. Hidden behind Wilkie Edge Shopping Mall sits Ah Ma Jok, with its Tiffany blue header and a picture of an old lady in the logo.

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Jok‘ means porridge in Cantonese, which explains the name, Ah Ma Jok. The owner explains that he started up the store in remembrance of his late grandmother who passed on. The lady in the logo is his ah ma, as this whole store was for her.

Edmund learnt to cook the traditional delicacy of porridge from his dad, ah ma, and his partner’s mother which inspired his online business that started in 2020. With the help of his partner’s mother, he has then worked on the recipes to incorporate modern twists in the current menu at his brick and mortar stall.

His menu now has Korean-inspiration like Kimchi Porridge (S$6) and Abalone Porridge (S$17)— just like the Korean dish jeonbok-juk!

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Inside the store, you can sit about 25 people comfortably. They hang up several options on the menu so you can see what entices you. They have extensive menu of porridges of all kinds.

What I tried at Ah Ma Jok

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Unfortunately, they didn’t have the abalone porridge that I was eager about. So I settled for a familiar order of the Pork Porridge (S$6.50) and Kimchi Porridge.

The Kimchi Porridge comes without meat, which is why I opted to add Pork Balls for an additional S$1.60.

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For something as staple as porridge, I’ve never come across a bowl with kimchi. It’s definitely an eye-opener, and the youths are getting more creative in our food scene.

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In this dish, you’ll get a large scoop of kimchi inside. Once you mix it up, you’ll see an orange concoction of porridge, almost like a Korean stew.

This addition switches up the usual meaty flavours that we’d typically taste in the old-school dish. Instead, the kimchi adds a subtle hint of tangy-sour flavours into the whole meal. While one might think that this is an odd combination, I found myself reaching out for additional spoonfuls with this, more than the pork one. I was addicted.

For those who are put off by the orange tones, please try this before you make a decision! I understand how kimchi might be too pungent for some, but Ah Ma Jok’s variation had a pleasant level of sourness that didn’t get too overpowering. Further, the kimchi was more akin to Chinese cabbages, except slightly more refreshing.

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I love congees with a myriad of ingredients. Because, if congee was a person, they’d have the most boring personality. It has a plain flavour profile, but if done well, a good bowl will surprise you just right.

Ah Ma Jok allows for the addition of several ingredients like you tiao (S$1.10), salted egg yolk (S$1.70), century egg (S$1.50), and the list goes on. This allows for you to customise the porridge of your choice to your own dietary limitations to however you like! Like plain old joe transforming to gold.

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Next, we tried out the Pork Porridge. This option would most likely be the option that everyone is familiar with. A dish that is a staple within most Chinese households, when I tried it, it was undeniably nostalgic.

It includes 3 handmade pork balls with soy sauce, several slices of lean pork and sprinkled with fried garlic bits and spring onions. By incorporating fried garlic in the porridge broth, it adds a pungent yet pleasant aroma into the whole dish that makes it more texturally interesting.

The broth is slow-cooked with pork bones for many hours, explaining the fragrant, creamy goodness that you’ll savour.

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I prefer my porridge to have a dash of pepper and soy sauce, but the soy sauce wasn’t necessary as the pork balls left a sweet, tasty bowl that was aptly seasoned.

Final thoughts

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Just like grandma’s cooking, this was easily devoured.

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You can’t go wrong with a good bowl of porridge— one mouth in and you’ll taste the comfort of home-cooked food with years and years of heritage. Edmund mentioned to me that he opened the stall in remembrance of his grandma, well, I’m sure she’s very proud of his works.

Expected damage: S$5 – S$7 per pax

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Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Ah Ma Jok

171 Selegie Road, #01-01, Singapore 188323

Our Rating 4/5

Ah Ma Jok

171 Selegie Road, #01-01, Singapore 188323

Telephone: +65 9320 1407
Operating Hours: 11am - 10pm (Mon to Sat), Closed on Sun
Telephone: +65 9320 1407

Operating Hours: 11am - 10pm (Mon to Sat), Closed on Sun