Swatow Is Here: Traditional Homemade Teochew Porridge With Flower Crab & Other Seafood At Buona Vista

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After staying in Shenzhen and Guangzhou, I’ve been looking for authentic homemade Teochew porridge. None of them tasted the same until I found Swatow Is Here at Buona Vista.

Chef Jimmy Tan serves homemade clay pot porridge, which comes with sumptuous seafood, such as flower crab and yellow eel. Don’t get confused though, Swatow Is Here isn’t connected to the Swatow Seafood Restaurants.

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Chef Jimmy has previously visited Shenzhen and Guangzhou and fell in love with their porridge. Once he got back to Singapore, he left his construction business and went to Shantou, China to look for a master who could teach him how to perfect this style of porridge.

After lots of practice and several trips to China, he established Swatow Is Here. The porridges come in a special clay pot that is meant to keep the porridge warm. Chef Jimmy also uses short grain rice for his porridges, so that it has a thick and creamy consistency after cooking.

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Cooked in pork bone broth with flower crab and ikan billis, the rice soaked up some umami flavour and sweetness from the crab. The broth is slightly different compared to the ones in Shantou, as the ones in China use poppy husk (opium shell) to increase the aroma of the porridge.

Located in a coffee shop, Swatow Is Here has a homey and familiar vibe for local diners. Like some restaurants, there is a numbering system for busy times, and the waiting time for porridge is usually 10 – 15 minutes.

There are seven different types of porridges to choose from. For those who are not used to traditional Teochew porridge, Chef Jimmy recommends the Special Pork Porridge (S$4/S$8/S$16). This is more similar to the usual pork porridge from other traditional hawkers.

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For homemade comfort food, the Four Treasure Pot (S$10/S$25/S$35) is where you can find all the luxurious ingredients in one pot. The flower crab, yellow eel, prawns and clams added a rich umami flavour to the dish.

Though the flower crab made the porridge slightly more premium, it is difficult to get to the crab meat out of the shell. You’ll definitely need to have some chopstick skills to get them out.

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The vibrant orange prawns in the porridge had a sweetness that balanced out the briny flavour of the broth.

The porridges that I had in Shenzhen and Guangzhou did not come with eels in them, hence this version took me by surprise. Sadly, the eel did not add any extra flavour to the dish as the flower crab and prawns had overpowered it.

I recommend enjoying the eel on its own, with the condiment of fermented bean sauce with chilli padi.

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The clams added pockets of chewiness to the creamy porridge. In China, the clams are sauteed and served as an appetiser to give the porridge a richer aroma.

Swatow Is Here also gives customers the choice of adding Oysters (S$2), Scallops (S$2)La La (S$1) and other seafood ingredients into your porridge.


I’m ecstatic that there is now a store in Singapore selling authentic Teochew porridge. It certainly brings back fond memories of my time in China.

Head over to Swatow Is Here and experience traditional Chinese comfort food. These porridge are so unique that you won’t be able to find them anywhere else in Singapore.

Expected Damage: S$4 – S$35 per pax

Price: $ $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Swatow Is Here

46 Holland Drive, Singapore 270046

Price
Our Rating 4/5

Swatow Is Here

46 Holland Drive, Singapore 270046

Operating Hours: 11am - 2.30pm, 5.30pm - sold out (Daily)

Operating Hours: 11am - 2.30pm, 5.30pm - sold out (Daily)

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