Friday, 4 January 2019

Empress Porridge @ One North (Fusionopolis Galaxis) & Kent Ridge NUH Singapore

Empress Porridge @ One North (Fusionopolis Galaxis) & Kent Ridge NUH Singapore

I was invited to visit the Empress Porridge outlet at Fusionopolis Galaxis just beside One North MRT station.

Empress Porridge @ One North (Fusionopolis Galaxis) & Kent Ridge NUH Singapore

Empress Porridge started as a tiny takeaway porridge kiosk at the Kent Ridge Wing of NUH in 2012. Just two years on, Empress Porridge has a larger second outlet at Fusionopolis Galaxis (One North MRT station) and a growing catering service.

Retired banker, Mr. Goh's mum used to cook this flavourful, nutritious porridge for the family. She taught this recipe to Mr. Goh's wife (Ms Goh Swee Hong).

Empress Porridge @ One North (Fusionopolis Galaxis) & Kent Ridge NUH Singapore

When the Goh family children were all grown up, Mr and Mrs Goh had a lot of energy and even more time at their hands - it's a common predicament of Singapore baby boomers. (They say 60 is the new 40.)

One day in 2012, news got to the Gohs that a 200 sq feet food kiosk had become available at the Keng Ridge Wing of NUH. Mrs. Goh mooted the idea of serving their family heirloom porridge which she was confident would be well received. The Gohs held a family council and put the decision to a vote.

Four voted "Thanks, but no thanks mum". Mum voted "yes". As is common in many Singapore families, "Empress" has the last word. And thus, Empress Porridge was born 😄

Empress Porridge @ One North (Fusionopolis Galaxis) & Kent Ridge NUH Singapore

Mrs. Goh was right - their signature Empress porridge was an instant hit with doctors, nurses, patients and visitors alike at NUH (National University Hospital).

They love the well balanced savoury sweet flavours from the natural ingredients like dried scallops, dried clams, dried shrimps, dried cuttlefish, fresh pork collar, stewed peanuts, brown and white rice etc. The healthful soft porridge was delicious and had a heartwarming, home cooked comforting feel and taste.

The kiosk soon expanded from 200 sq ft to 300, and now at 500 sq ft to accommodate more customers.

Empress Porridge @ One North (Fusionopolis Galaxis) & Kent Ridge NUH Singapore

In May last year (2018), Empress Porridge opened its second outlet at One North (Fusionopolis Galaxis). This 700 sq ft outlet is now the flagship. It's right beside the Spinelli coffee outlet at the ground level, so it is easy to find even in the sprawling complex.

Empress Porridge @ One North (Fusionopolis Galaxis) & Kent Ridge NUH Singapore

The compact space inside the simply furnished Empress Porridge is comfortable though it can get a bit tight during lunch hours.

Empress Porridge @ One North (Fusionopolis Galaxis) & Kent Ridge NUH Singapore

Empress Porridge now has a Wu Mi Zhou 无米粥 (or 毋米粥) No Rice Porridge Hot Pot set at S$15 per pax (minimum 2 pax). I know of no other place in Singapore that serves this dish. (Would love to visit that too, if you let me know where. I am in love with wu mi zhou now.) 

Empress Porridge @ One North (Fusionopolis Galaxis) & Kent Ridge NUH Singapore

The set comes with fresh prawns, fish slices, and a choice of beef, chicken or house made pork balls.

Empress Porridge @ One North (Fusionopolis Galaxis) & Kent Ridge NUH Singapore

Seasonal greens, white and brown mushrooms, and crispy bean curd rolls.

Empress Porridge @ One North (Fusionopolis Galaxis) & Kent Ridge NUH Singapore

The watery "porridge" is actually the slippery sweet tasting cloudy starchy water from boiling rice - it is served without the rice grains, hence the name "no rice porridge". It is kept simmering over a mini table top stove and serves as the "soup" to cook the fresh ingredients.

Empress Porridge @ One North (Fusionopolis Galaxis) & Kent Ridge NUH Singapore

No rice porridge differs from the usual hot pot soup base as it is just subtly sweet and so does not add much, if any, of its own flavours to the meat or vegetables (unlike soup base). So, no rice porridge is best for cooking fresh, high quality ingredients in hot pots.

We were able to taste the natural sweetness of the fish, chicken, beef and pork fully. It is a nice, clean tasting alternative to the usual soup base for hot pot (which imparts its own flavour to the ingredients).

Empress Porridge @ One North (Fusionopolis Galaxis) & Kent Ridge NUH Singapore

The no rice porridge hotpot set comes with this savoury sauce and chopped aromatics. No, we didn't feel the need to add this to the porridge nor dip the cooked ingredients into it. The natural taste of the fresh ingredients were perfect as they were.

Empress Porridge @ One North (Fusionopolis Galaxis) & Kent Ridge NUH Singapore

The no rice porridge hot pot set comes with a "有味饭 yao mei fan" boiled rice with Chinese mustard, bitter gourd, dried prawns etc to round up the hot pot meal with a tasty bowl of satisfying carbs.

Empress Porridge @ One North (Fusionopolis Galaxis) & Kent Ridge NUH Singapore

Whether you get the Empress Porridge or the Wu Mi Zhou, order their har cheong gai (prawn paste chicken) - it is one of the best I've tasted. 

The fresh chicken was marinated overnight with good quality har cheong (fermented prawn paste). It is deep fried at the shop till crispy golden brown outside while the inside remained tender and juicy. The crispy outside had just the right level of har cheong savouriness which was well infused into the chicken's tender fibres. The natural sweetness of the fresh chicken complemented the savoury har cheong.

Empress Porridge @ One North (Fusionopolis Galaxis) & Kent Ridge NUH Singapore

Sweet potato soup made with three types of sweet potatoes and longan. Nice, as it has layers of different types of sweetness (yet is not overly sweet).

Empress Porridge @ One North (Fusionopolis Galaxis) & Kent Ridge NUH Singapore

Information for you 👉 I will be back for the signature Empress porridge, no rice porridge hot pot and har cheong gai. The subtle sweetness of no rice porridge does not interfere with the natural flavours of fresh ingredients so we can taste it in its full glory. (My favourite style of hot pot.) When I am at NUH, Empress Porridge will be at the top of my mind when I need a tasty, healthful, quick light meal.

Disclosure: Please note that this was an invited tasting.

Empress Porridge @ One North (Fusionopolis Galaxis) & Kent Ridge NUH Singapore

Restaurant nameEmpress Porridge
Address1 Fusionopolis Pl, #01-15 Galaxis, Singapore 138632 (beside Spinelli coffee outlet)
GPS1°17'59.0"N 103°47'17.9"E 🌐 1.299709, 103.788308
Nearest MRT: One North
Tel9384 5639
Hours: 9:30am - 7:30pm (close at 12 noon on Sat, off on Sun)

Non Halal




Date visited: 3 Jan 2019




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I share hoping that everyone will have a good time but your experience may differ from mine. I love to know how you enjoyed yourself or if you didn't.

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