Last Updated: February 17, 2021
I’m 23 weeks pregnant, and yes, I am indeed thrilled for my journey towards motherhood. As much as I’m enjoying this pregnancy glow and the random little kicks and shivers in my belly, I’m, in fact, more excited to be able to eat whatever I want again. Seafood, for example, is a category of food which I love, yet can’t bear to look at—let alone eat—during the start of this pregnancy.
Thankfully, my appetite got a whole lot better after my first trimester. Strong, fishy smells no longer causes me to barf, and neither does it put me off. With these little aversions out the window, indulging in a hearty bowl of seafood soup was naturally the best way to celebrate the start of my second trimester. After three months of abstinence, there is just no better way to pamper me than with a bowl from Rayben King of Seafood Soup.
Nestled within the rows of automobile shops along Sin Ming Drive, Rayben King of Seafood Soup is situated in a humble, unassuming coffee shop beside the main road. Despite only being a couple of months old, this hidden gem seems to be getting its well-deserved attention attested from the numerous positive reviews online.
Indeed, as I made my way into the coffee shop, I realised that 90% of the lunch crowd was devouring bowls of seafood soup by their tables. Almost everyone had their heads down and hands dirty as they worked their way peeling prawn shells and sucking the juices out of their flower crabs. Like hungry vampires, the diners were mostly eating without any conversation; a good sign, in my opinion.
Helmed by two friends, Ray and Benson, Rayben King of Seafood aims to create luscious bowls of modernised seafood soups targeting both the young and the old. Here, there is only one dish that is being served—Seafood Soup—in three different sizes, L (S$8.80) for the lone eaters, XL (S$18) for one to two pax, and XXL (S$38) for sharing between two or more.
Of course, the pregnant foodie and her dining partner had to order the XXL version. After all, for just S$38, we got to enjoy a luscious bowl of seafood soup loaded with an entire lobster, flower crab, fresh prawns, slices of batang fish, pacific clams, white clams, and squids together with an array of complementary ingredients.
Wanting to enjoy the essence of the seafood broth right till the very last sip, I opted for the soup and rice combination—my idea of a perfect way to savour everything in the bowl without being disrupted by strands of noodles in the mix. You can, however, choose to have your bee hoon cooked into the dish for an entirely different dining experience of which I will surely try during my next visit.
An intense whiff of brininess filled the air when my bowl of XXL Seafood Soup was placed on the table. As with all soupy dishes, the very first thing I usually consume is a spoonful of broth. The moment that warm soup hit my tongue, I knew deep down inside that this was a bowl well worth my close to two-hour travel from Punggol.
Not only was it decadent and milky, but it was also filled with deep natural umaminess of glutamate from the usage of various seafood; the kind of flavour that is only released after long, tedious hours of boiling.
What I simply adored about my bowl of XXL Seafood Soup from Rayben King of Seafood Soup was the never-ending trove of treasures it seemed to contain. Every scoop was a discovery of new ingredients.
The first scoop revealed chewy abalone-like nuggets of pacific clams, and the next was a spoonful of minced meat—a beautiful addition that not only intensified the broth’s richness but also added a pleasant sweetness that enhanced the overall flavour of the dish.
Needless to say, the succulent lobster, flower crab and vibrant, sunrise-coloured prawns added to the fireworks of flavours that were exploding in my mouth. As impressed as I was with its quality and freshness, it was, in fact, the most humble of ingredients in this dish that won my heart—they were none other than the slices of batang fish.
Words alone can’t seem to explain my love for these thick, white slices of mackerel. They might be cheap cuts of fish, but the taste of these inch-thick pieces of goodness was well worth its weight in gold. Every slice had a defined tension, a nice springy mouthfeel that will seduce the palates of even the pickiest eaters. And yes, there isn’t any hint of fishiness, so you can safely eat to your heart’s content.
As I am re-reading this review, I admit that I do come across as being biased towards this bowl of XXL Seafood Soup from Rayben King of Seafood Soup. “Felicia, are you sure there is nothing bad about this bowl of soup?”, you might wonder. Frankly speaking, I don’t seem to be able to find anything negative to say about this dish.
Is the three months of seafood abstinence to blame for my prejudice? This, I really can’t seem to tell. All I know for sure is, deep down inside, this is a hawker that I will certainly visit in my own time. This is a place that I am excited to share not only with all of you, our readers but also with my family, friends and loved ones.
Expected Damage: S$8.80 – S$38 per serving
Our Rating: 5 / 5
Rayben King of Seafood Soup
39 Sin Ming Drive, Singapore 575713
39 Sin Ming Drive, Singapore 575713