Comforting Hainanese porridge at Soon Lee Porridge

Porridge was one of my top comfort foods as a kid. There’s something so heart-warming about its smooth runniness, and light flavours. Though deceptively simple in appearance, the bowls of porridge at Soon Lee Porridge pack a nice punch.

Soon Lee Porridge’s menu is simple, and they only sell three types of Hainanese porridge, with the option to add an egg. The stall has been based in Clementi since 1980, and it’s currently helmed by the third-generation. A man of a few words, the current owner took over the reins from his father at the age of 20, having learnt the tricks of the trade since the tender age of nine.

Hainanese porridge is traditionally thicker and grainier than other types of porridge, such as Cantonese and Teochew porridge. At Soon Lee Porridge, each bowl of Hainanese porridge is made to order. First, plain porridge is scooped from a large cauldron into an individual pot. A secret, flavourful stock is then added, followed by the rest of the ingredients. 

Food at Soon Lee Porridge

Many have claimed that Soon Lee’s Pork Porridge ($3 for small) is their favourite among the three types, so I had to get it. The bowl contained numerous pork slices, pork balls, pork liver, and a good amount of spring onions and shallots.

The porridge was delightfully smooth and creamy. Amidst the lightly flavoured grains, I could make out a slight richness from the secret stock, which was finished with sweet and salty undertones. The bowl was filled with a decent amount of porridge, and for $3, it was worth it. 

The bite-sized pork slices were fleshy and tender, and I could detect a slight hint of sweetness from each meaty bite.

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