Reimondo Seafood Congee, Pasir Ris: “Snazzy and exciting.”

There’s a narrow staircase that leads up to the second floor of Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre. It’s a quick little bypass to a realm of hipster grub and kitchens run by millennials, trodding past all instances of hawker normalcy. Up here on ‘The Fareground’, diners can expect the unexpected in playfully presented servings of pasta from Wild Olives, or build-it-yourself iberico pork bowls at Tasty Street

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I’m greeted by Reimondo Seafood Congee almost too immediately. Well, one can hardly miss its slick wooden signboard flush with Japanese wordings that I won’t attempt to read. Swanky, eye-catching shopfronts are all the fuss here—wholly justified when taking into account the nature of food being peddled. Contemporary twists on traditional hawker favourites or fun sandwiches could earn you a spot on this upper floor, and Reimondo’s iterations prove equally snazzy and exciting.

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It’s an enthusiastic take on sloshy bowls of rice porridge that Chef Raymond (hence Reimondo) puts forth with much vigour. You get flash-frozen seafood and tea-smoked fillets of salmon, which are laboriously prepared over a fiery wok and generously stuffed into his congee. A smoker in a hawker stall? Very 2021. 

There’s an attention to the produce which makes Reimondo Seafood Congee anything but pedestrian. I’m brimming with excitement just speaking to Raymond, as he carefully multi-tasks between entertaining this nosy writer and prepping his ingredients.

What I tried

Occasional bursts of flames shoot out from the kitchen, which definitely isn’t something I would expect to see at a congee stall. The menu here is kept fiercely lean. Two congees, two side plates. It’s only apt to order all of them for the purpose of this review. After all, it’s not every day that I find myself in the far-flung east of Pasir Ris.

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But I just might, with this Seafood Congee (S$6.90 for small, S$12.90 for large). It’s a colourful array of sea treasures swimming in a pool of thick, velvety porridge. You get teasing peeks of half-submerged crabstick, salmon flakes, deshelled prawns, scallops, and a pile of golden-brown youtiao (fried dough fritters) so that the dish is still traditionally congee. 

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Give it a good stir to mix it all in, along with a drizzle of prawn-infused oil that’s laced over the top. The result? Umami-packed bites that are chock-full of fresh oceanic flavours. There are diced bits of lala (clams) to boot, which does make this seafood affair wholly abundant. I’d wish for a more intensely seasoned congee to send this bowl from pleasingly tasty to obscenely delicious.

What grapples me immediately is a wave of smokiness that permeates throughout the congee. It’s a cleverly curated consequence of wok-tossed prawns and scallops. So THAT’S what the flames before were. I’m enthralled at the savoury and smoky bouts of flavour here and am beginning to understand the unique appeal behind Reimondo Seafood Congee’s offerings.

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There’s the Salmon Flakes & Lala Congee ($3.50), which comes by way of a bowl that is a little cheaper, a little less generous, and a little less flamboyant than its pricier counterpart. It has all the fixings from before, save for the prawns, scallops, and house-made crabstick. A Seafood Congee Lite, if you will. The question is: Does its pocket-friendlier price point warrant an order? 

I’ll be lying to myself I said I didn’t long for a chunky, plump bite of seafood to sink my teeth into. The bites here are more monotonous, with more slurping than biting going on. Yes, the salmon and lala do still breathe some hints of umami into the congee, but as expected, it is missing the impressive smokiness from before. My verdict? Skip the next order of bubble tea and spend the extra three dollars on the Seafood Congee instead. It’s more worth your while.

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Moving away from the congee side of things, the playfully named Prawn UFO (S$4.90) presents a quartet of fried wantons that arrive in spaceship-esque fashion. Encasing a flavour-packed prawn filling, each delicately crispy morsel does prove quite addictive, especially when dipped into the tart mayonnaise. Is it out of this world, as its moniker so firmly posits? Not yet, but I reckon you’d thoroughly enjoy this side dish to go along with your bowl of congee.

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My last order demands a little more patience. Reimondo Seafood Congee’s Tea Smoked Salmon (S$9.90) is a star that leaves its fans waiting. My arrival at 5pm beckons an hour-long wait. Chef Raymond tells me that its popularity leaves him preparing these fillets of salmon in batches. More specifically, first in the noon and later in the evening at around 6pm. But as I’ll soon be reminded, good things come to those who wait. 

A lovingly smoked fillet of salmon arrives in bright orange, adorned with a healthy splash of scallions and honey wasabi mayo at the side. It’s impossibly soft and oh-so-moist. I want all salmon to present itself like this. 

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Picking away at this with my chopsticks in-hand is seriously fun. The pink flesh boasts a gloriously fatty mouthfeel and subtle notes of tea leaves that heavily entices the palate. I’m attacking this one all by myself, though grabbing a friend or two to share this with is much less sinful. 

Final thoughts

Places like Reimondo Seafood Congee demand our patronage with their marked iterations of longstanding classics. Can you find congee like this elsewhere? Maybe, but I reckon at much higher prices. It’s a commendable venture into the ever-increasingly vibrant local hawker scene, and one that puts forth some utterly toothsome plates. Go down and give it a try. After all, what better way #supportlocal than at these courageously curated hawker stalls?

Expected damage: S$4 – S$12

Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Reimondo Seafood Congee

110 Pasir Ris Central, Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre, #02-07, Singapore 519641

Our Rating 4/5

Reimondo Seafood Congee

110 Pasir Ris Central, Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre, #02-07, Singapore 519641

Operating Hours: 12pm - 8.30pm (Fri to Wed), Closed on Thu

Operating Hours: 12pm - 8.30pm (Fri to Wed), Closed on Thu