food

Johor Road Boon Kee Pork Porridge, Jalan Besar: “It has been a long time since I left a stall satiated”

Last Updated: April 8, 2021

Written by Felicia Koh

Before my pregnancy, I’ve never thought of porridge as an indulgence. Seven months back when I was able to indulge in almost everything—raw, spicy, and gut-inducing—porridge to me was deemed as ‘sick people’s food’. Now, carrying a 31-week baby bump, a warm bowl of congee has practically become my best friend, the only kind of comfort food I am able to down effortlessly without any queasiness or discomfort.  

Store front of Johor Road Boon Kee Pork Porridge

After exhausting all 12 porridge places from our list of 12 best porridges in Singapore, I turned to the internet for some help. I knew I was craving for thick, indulgent Hainanese-style porridge, and the moment I typed these words into Google search, the first hawker that caught my attention was Johor Road Boon Kee Pork Porridge

Known to be one of the longest standing and most popular pork porridge stalls in Singapore, Johor Road Boon Kee Pork Porridge is now helmed by its second generation. Upon reading online that the hawker is usually sold out by early afternoon, I forced myself out of bed early on a Wednesday morning and headed to Veerasamy Road to ensure that I get my hands on this legendary bowl of porridge. 

What I tried

Two bowls of porridges from Johor Road Boon Kee Pork Porridge

The offerings aren’t too complicated. Here, the congees are made based on four main ingredients—Pork, Chicken, Sliced Fish, and Cuttlefish. With it comes a series of combinations for you to mix and match according to your liking. Before you know it, you will be presented with steaming hot bowls of Cantonese congee bursting with ingredients, finished off with addictive slices of fried dough sticks. 

I was greeted by a middle-aged lady who took my order while munching on chwee kueh. Impatiently, as if I’ve taken away precious breakfast time from her, she handed me a paper with my queue number and instructed me to come back to collect my porridge once my number flashed on the LED signboard. 

It was at that moment that I realised that the other kopi drinkers were all, in fact, waiting for their bowl of Johor Road Boon Kee Pork Porridge. As I glanced around, almost half of the diners in the hawker centre were eager diners fiddling with their phones. “This is going to be a long wait,” I thought to myself.

A bowl of Sliced Fish With Cuttle Fish porridge from Johor Road Boon Kee Pork Porridge

Despite the numerous choices I had, I knew I wanted to feature two distinctly contrasting porridges catering to readers with different palates. Naturally, the hawker’s Large Sliced Fish and Cuttle Fish Porridge (S$4) kick-started my meal on a lighter note with its clean, immaculate flavours. 

A spoonful of fish from the Sliced Fish With Cuttle Fish Porridge

For just S$4, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of ingredients I found in my bowl.  Beneath goopy layers of congee, there were slices of batang fish and strips of fresh cuttlefish. Generous thin slices of ginger took away any remaining fishiness from the seafood. At the same time, its subtle spiciness enhanced the overall flavour of the porridge, resulting in addictive, wholesome mouthfuls best eaten first thing in the morning to warm your tummy. 

A bowl of Large Pork Porridge With Egg and Century Egg

The Large Pork Porridge With Egg and Century Egg (S$4.50) came as an indulgent treat. “Don’t forget to reduce your intake of century egg” was my gynaecologist’s advice during my last doctor’s appointment when it came to his knowledge that I’ve been craving (and consuming) congee with century egg almost every day during my second trimester. 

A spoonful of pork from the Large Pork Porridge With Egg and Century Egg porridge

His advice slipped from my mind the moment I laid my eyes on Johor Road Boon Kee Pork Porridge’s Large Pork Porridge With Egg and Century Egg. There was the same velvety texture as the first bowl, but this time around it was made more robust and savoury from the liberal helpings of tender pork slices and century egg. 

A spoonful of egg and century egg from the Large Pork Porridge With Egg and Century Egg porridge

Let’s not forget to mention, the addition of a freshly cracked egg to the already intoxicating mix. The semi-cooked egg boasts a creamy mouthfeel that coated my mouth salaciously. This was the kind of texture you can only get in restaurants—maybe even better. Truth be told, its flavour and texture could probably outshine those sold for twice or thrice its price.

Final thoughts

Porridge, by itself, has never made it on to my list of guilty pleasures and I’m glad that I’ve discovered a newfound liking for this humble meal. Since my pregnancy, I’ve seldom finished an entire dish but at Johor Road Boon Kee Pork Porridge, I cleaned both bowls of porridges without any difficulty. It has been a long time since I left a stall satiated, and with one happy tummy, I’m glad this time around, I did.

Expected damage: S$4 – S$5.50 per pax

Other articles you might like:

Happy Congee 滿粥了, Jalan Besar: “Intensely indulgent porridge that makes me very happy.”

Hong Kee Porridge, Commonwealth: Of velvety Fish Porridge & an important lesson in food writing

Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Johor Road Boon Kee Pork Porridge

638 Veerasamy Road, Yi He Eating House, Singapore 200638

Price
Our Rating 4/5

Johor Road Boon Kee Pork Porridge

638 Veerasamy Road, Yi He Eating House, Singapore 200638

Operating Hours: 6.45am - 2pm (Tue to Sun), Closed on Mon

Operating Hours: 6.45am - 2pm (Tue to Sun), Closed on Mon

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