Update February 2023: Gim Tim is no longer offering this Teochew Porridge Buffet.
When I heard that one of my favourite Chinese restaurants in Ang Mo Kio was offering a weekday porridge lunch buffet, I just had to fix a lunch date with D to check it out.
Gim Tim Restaurant is what I call a hidden gem that’s nestled in between HDB flats in a quiet stretch of Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4. I love its Hokkien/Teochew/Cantonese dishes that have somewhat retained that traditional essence of these cuisines. I did a review on Gim Tim back in 2011 and you can read more about it over here.
The buffet spread wasn’t huge. There were probably just over 20 different items (including desserts) which were more than enough to go with a hot and comforting bowl of porridge. On one section, there were claypots filled with braised dishes like pig trotters, chicken feet, beancurd skin (tau kee), duck wings, salted vegetables, mui choy and sambal egg plant. On another section, there were chaffing dishes of assorted stir fried vegetables (cabbage/okra/long beans), egg tofu, chicken with black fungus, fried fish in a savoury sauce, braised pork belly with tau kwa and egg, etc.
There was only one choice of sweet potato porridge but we could dress it up with the assortment of condiments provided next to the porridge pot – peanuts, fried anchovies, fermented beancurd, black bean minced pork, hae bee hiam, tau cheo, olive vegetable and pickled cucumber. A pity there wasn’t any fried dace with salted black beans.
We managed to try every single dish and everything was tasty. There wasn’t any one dish that we didn’t like in terms of flavour. The only two dishes that we didn’t think of having seconds were the fish that had a lot of small bones and the duck wings which were quite a hassle to eat and there weren’t much meat anyway.
Throughout the meal, the staff would bring out portions of freshly fried prawn paste chicken (crispy and delicious!) and red bean pastry (a real delight too!) – both were pretty good.
Besides the red bean pastry, there was also one other dessert i.e. the Pulut Hitam (black glutinous rice) that was thick and not overly sweet. The coconut cream that came out of a packet was somewhat lumpy though when poured onto the rice but that didn’t affect the overall taste so it was still alright.
It was a very heartwarming meal that evoked fond memories of my Granny because she was a true-blue Teochew lady who loved her braised pig trotters, duck wings and chicken feet. And perhaps this is also why I’m so easily drawn to hearty porridge meals like this.
At just S$13.80nett per person, this porridge buffet (with Chinese tea/iced or warm water included) is indeed value-for-money. My highly recommended dishes would be the pig trotters, chicken with black fungus (go for the dark meat as the breast meat was dry), prawn paste chicken, egg tofu, braised pork belly & egg and red bean pastry. Service was also prompt (quick to clear plates) since the restaurant wasn’t full house on a weekday. There’s no reason not to come back again. 🙂
Gim Tim Restaurant
Blk 157 Ang Mo Kio Ave 4
Tel: +65 6459 7766
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gimtimrestaurant/
Porridge lunch buffet
11.30am to 2.00pm (Mon-Fri excl. PH)