I think this is the “lost” Ampang Yong Tau Foo that everybody’s talking about.
So, I’m a Singapore citizen again. I had lost my identity card after clubbing one spring evening nearly two years ago, and since this was my third lost, I didn’t feel any motivation to make it considering that it’d cost SGD 300 this time. In the time between, the oh-so-effective police force seemed positively inept, failing to find my card (in a wallet filled with cash and cards including my army identity card, army transit card) and my then almost brand new iPhone. It’s hard not to look back and think about the past considering so much had happened since, and fortunately for you, I’m not feeling particularly nostalgic about it right now.
Feeling a little hungrier than usual, I decided to stock up on carbohydrates, proteins and fats the moment I stepped into the office. The team was away for events this morning, so I went downstairs and walked into a spartan looking style to sample some Ampang style Yong Tau Foo. Yong Tau Foo, which means “stuffed beancurd”, is a Chinese Hakka dish. Vegetables, and even fried fritters today, are stuffed with a ground meat paste and served in a clear consomme soup (although contemporary versions also offer laksa gravy). It is often eaten as a compliment to steamed rice, egg noodles or vermicelli. Although it’s a Chinese dish, the dish has taken on variants across Southeast Asia as a result of the interaction with the native cuisines, and the Ampang style, a suburb of Kuala Lumpur, has become well-known and its popularity has transcended borders through Singapore. Ampang Yong Tau Foo essentially drops the clear consomme soup for a more flippant presentation on a plate, either in a shallow broth or some savory starch infused gravy.
When I arrived at Ampang Yong Tau Foo, I was surprised at the ease of ordering. The staff simply asks for the number in your party, whether you want rice, drinks (sour plum juice is the default) and they’re off to prepare your orders. Being more familiar with Ngee Fou Ampang Yong Tau Foo along Upper Thomson Road, I was surprised to see that instead of a starch filled gravy, what little gravy on the delicate plate was actually just the clear consomme soup that I was used to in regular Yong Tau Foo which was to be honest, a little disappointing. Neatly stacked were the essentials and topped up with a generous fried beancurd skin stuffing which reminded me of that Chinese breakfast thingy I had while in Beijing.
Overall, it tasted good, but it wasn’t anything worth driving out to Katong for.