It may look simple but because there are only a few elements to the dish, each element has to be spot on for the entire dish to come together. Here are five spots we head to when we're craving a piping hot bowl of sliced fish soup. Evaporated milk optional.
2 College Road, Outram Park
Opening hours: 11.45am to 2.30pm for lunch, 5.30pm to 10.45pm for dinner; daily.
Awarded: Bib Gourmand
What our inspectors say: The location is a little unusual but then there’s nothing like being surrounded by hospital buildings to remind you of the importance of a good diet. Order the famous speciality here of milky white fish soup with noodles – made by cooking fresh snakehead fish and fish bones for over 4 hours – and you’ll feel instantly invigorated. The fried shrimp paste chicken is also worth trying. Ka Soh also has branches in Malaysia and Indonesia.
First Street Teochew Fish Soup
1014 Upper Serangoon Rd
Opening hours: 8am to 3pm, daily. Closed on Mondays.
True to Singaporean belief that it's got to be good if there's a line, First Street Teochew Fish Soup ladles up a tasty bowl. Customers are given a choice of three fish to choose from: grouper, batang or pomfret (prices range from $5.50 to $15). But the price isn't unwarranted; fish slices are thick, meaty and fresh. But be prepared for a half an hour wait during the lunch hours.
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325 Beach Road
Opening hours: 10am to 8pm
Blanco Court Fried Fish Noodles has moved to a standalone space in June, and the new location is just a couple of units down from the coffee shop that used to house them. Despite the new address, their signatures remain the same. Their fried fish soup topped with crispy bits of fried eggs is the star but their sliced fish soup deserves a mention too.
Piao Ji Fish Porridge
Amoy Street Food Centre, 7 Maxwell Road, #02-100/103
Opening hours: 11am to 3.30pm, daily. Closed on Thursdays.
To date, two stalls champion the fish soup business at Amoy Street Food Centre and Piao Ji is one if them. Only opened for the lunch crowd, the lines at the stall can range anything from half an hour to an hour and a half. Part of the reason for this is due to the hawker cooking each bowl separately. The result is a beautiful, hearty bowl of sliced fish and prawns, depending on the price you're paying ($7 for a tasty basic bowl to $15 for the works). But the real magic is in the care invested in their chili where flavours of ginger, soy sauce and tau cheo (read: fermented bean paste) shine.
Amoy Street Food Centre, 7 Maxwell Road, #02-129
Opening hours: 11am to 3pm, Mon to Fri. Closed on the weekends.
Here's the other stall dishing out exceptional fish soup at Amoy Street Food Centre. Known as the more value-for-money fish soup option at the centre, Han Kee's fish soups begin at $5 and works up to $9, which is quite a relief for the wallet compared to its neighbour's. Also only open to feed the lunch crowd, the lines here are massive. But when you finally make it to the front, you'll get a light, savoury broth made with boiled fish bones, mung beans and anchovies served with a generous portion of thickly sliced, fresh fish. Nothing too fancy here, just a bowl of honestly good food.