A dish that can be found in almost all the hawker centres, coffeeshop, and food courts scattered around Singapore, yong tau foo needs no further introduction. In fact, it is one of the few dishes which I often deem as one to ‘never go wrong’. Rain or shine, hot or cold, yong tau foo is so versatile that it is perfect for any occasion—no matter what you are craving for.
If you think that yong tau foo is just a regular bowl of assorted items stuffed with fish paste, served dry, in a hot broth, or in laksa soup, then Jason Niang Dou Fu will change your mind. Situated along Beach Road, this halal-certified eatery is the place to go for some of the most unique yong tau foo offered on our sunny island.
I made my way to Jason Niang Dou Fu on a Friday afternoon slightly past noon and was surprised by the crowd. Despite most of the office workers around the area still working from home, there was a constant stream of diners walking into the eatery, livening the atmosphere with chatters and waves of laughter which I have not heard for months.
Even with the social distancing measures in place, the area was still spacious enough to house approximately 20 diners. Air-conditioned indoor seatings aside, customers can also opt to have their yong tau foo outside on cooler days.
With more than 40 variety of items neatly displayed on the counter shelf, I was spoilt for choice. Not only does Jason Niang Dou Fu offer the must-haves such as tau kua, tau pok, vegetables and different fish cakes, they also have a selection of fried items like chicken cutlet, fried fish, and fried brinjal for you to choose from.
Each item at Jason Niang Dou Fu is priced at S$0.90 with a minimum requirement of five pieces per serving. White rice and noodles cost an additional S$0.90 or S$1 respectively and their special gravies will also require you to top up S$1.20 or S$1.50 more.
What I tried
Whenever I make a trip back to Johor to visit my mother-in-law, my husband and I will often request for her to buy a packet of chee chong fun yong tau foo from the nearby wet market. And especially since I haven’t had my favourite breakfast item since ‘Circuit Breaker’, I was elated when I noticed that Jason Niang Dou Fu offers Chee Cheong Fun (+S$1) to go with your stuffed items.
For a light yet satisfying meal, the Chee Chong Fun + 5pcs Yong Tau Foo (S$5.50) is not to be missed. The chee chong fun was silky and smooth with a slick layer of oil on its surface (which wasn’t off-putting). When paired with the sweet sauce and deep-fried onion flakes, every mouthful was fragrant with a subtle sweetness.
The yong tau foo which I picked to go with my chee chong fun were fried to a beautiful golden brown. The bean curd skin was crispy to a fault. Not only that, but I also enjoyed the fried fish. Shaped like fish fingers, the fried fish was crisp on the outside, yet delicate and soft inside—an irresistible texture that made me regret just picking one.
How can we have yong tau foo and not try the laksa version? The Instant Mee Laksa + 5pcs Yong Tau Foo (S$6.70) might look potent with its bright reddish-orange appearance, but trust me, its spiciness is definitely one that is highly acceptable to the masses.
The laksa exuded a strong coconut aroma and exactly like how it smelled, the gravy had a rich and milky coconut flavour that made it extremely lemak. The only complaint I had was that it lacked that bit of savoriness that I look for in my bowl of laksa, which typically comes from bits of grittiness from dried shrimps, herbs, and chilli.
Now, on to the long-awaited special gravy and the main reason for my visit to Jason Niang Dou Fu—the Chye Poh Sauce + 5pcs Yong Tau Foo (S$6)—a must-try for first-time visitors to the eatery. My selection of yong tau foo items was served in a claypot and soaked in a generous pool of chye poh sauce.
The starch-like sauce has bits of dried radish that added a distinct layer of crunch to the thick gravy. Although the sauce turned slightly clumpy on the surface after some time, I was actually glad that the dish was kept warm in the claypot throughout my meal. For a melange of texture, some of the items were also refried before the chye poh sauce was slathered on resulting in a delightful sweet-salty dish that truly hit the spot.
While it is recommended to pair your serving of chye poh yong tau foo with a bowl of Yam Rice (+S$1.50), I felt that White Rice (+S$0.90) would probably be a better choice. In my opinion, the yam rice was a tad bit too dry. Furthermore, its earthiness contradicted the strong flavours of the chye poh sauce which I thought was a slight mismatch when eaten together.
Chye poh sauce aside, Jason Niang Dou Fu also has Satay Sauce (+S$1.50), Mee Rebus Gravy (+S$1.50), and Tom Yam (+S$1.50). But do keep in mind that these special sauces are not always available. The eatery only offers Mee Rebus Gravy from Monday to Wednesday, so do plan your visit accordingly if you are making a trip down especially for them!
There are plenty of yong tau foo stalls around, but Jason Niang Dou Fu is an underrated gem that definitely deserves more attention. It might not be the cheapest option, but it is surely one that I will make return trips for. The next time around, I will try their mee rebus yong tau foo, for sure.
Expected damage: S$4.50 – S$8 per pax
Our Rating: 3 / 5
Jason Niang Dou Fu
321 Beach Road, Singapore 199557
Jason Niang Dou Fu
321 Beach Road, Singapore 199557