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Soups for the Soul

Time to drink up! These five Singaporean restaurants prove that nothing sustains the spirit quite like a steaming, fortifying, bowl of soup.

It is 2021. Politics are fevered, the pandemic rages on, and mashed potato dispensers have yet to return to 7-Eleven. In the face of these trying times, may we offer the perennial comfort: a warm bowl of soup. Whether because of its convenience, light consistency, or easily digestible nature, soup has long been regarded as the most medicinal of meals — take it from Hippocrates, who prescribed lentil broths for just about everything. Thus, as we ease into this strange new year, look to these restaurants – and their soups – for the nourishment our souls so desperately crave.

1. GREENWOOD FISH MARKET

(Image courtesy of Greenwood Fish Market)

This family-run restaurant and retailer believes in quality seafood, and their Seafood Chowder is living proof. Depending on the season, it can boast Manila clams from America, Oriental clams from Korea, green-lipped mussels from New Zealand, black mussels from France, or even tiger prawns from the Lion City. The soup is then drizzled with chilli oil and served with homemade pesto flatbread. Creamy yet light; flavourful yet understated; warm, with the hint of a kick, this recipe transports us to the snowy harbours of New England, where solace is found in a hearty bowl of chowder.

For more information, visit greenwoodfishmarket.com

2. SUMMER PALACE

(Image courtesy of Summer Palace)

Summer Palace serves up a soup fit for royalty with the Double-boiled Assorted Seafood Soup served in Golden Pumpkin. Prawns, scallops, and crab meat are poached in superior stock, made by slow boiling mother hens, Yunnan ham, and pork bones for up to seven hours. Imbued with the rich tastes of all its constituents, the broth is then poured into a seeded Malaysian pumpkin and steamed, for that final element of sweetness. The process is an extensive one, but the product, at once decadent and nutritious, is so worth it!

For more information, visit regenthotels.com

3. YUN NANS

(Image courtesy of Yun Nans)

It may seem impossible, but not a single drop of water is added to Yun Nans’ Steam Pot Chicken Soup. Instead, it uses a unique pressure-steaming technique on black-feet chicken; any liquid comes solely from steam condensation. And the result is an even simpler pleasure, entirely focused on the chicken — which, given the steaming, boasts nuanced and delicate flavours despite its only seasoning being salt and pepper. Yun Nans has truly mastered the proverbial chicken soup, free from grease and heaviness, guaranteed to soothe even the most troubled mind.

For more information, visit order.yunnans.sg

4. SONG FA BAT KUT TEH

(Image courtesy of Song Fa Bak Kut Teh)

How could we, in good conscience, curate a list of soups without including Bat Kut Teh? The Singaporean staple brews pork – your choice of ribs, loin ribs, or premium loin ribs – till tender perfection in a Teochew style broth of garlic and Sarawak peppers. The peppers, to which the dish owes its distinctive taste, are roasted in-store and specifically chosen for their bold aroma. Best of all, refills are on the house, so the weary Singaporean – either craving a taste of home or suffering from sinus congestion – can guiltlessly indulge in this familiar classic.

For more information, visit songfa.com.sg

5. GREEN COMMON

(Image courtesy of Green Common)

While the Korean army stew may be the original comfort food, its ingredients are anything but. At Green Common, a vegan-friendly and plant-based eatery, the processed meats of yore are replaced with cleaner, vegetarian alternatives. Their Planet Army Stew includes Beyond Meat; Daiya cheddar cheese; OmniMeat – which is cholesterol, hormones and GMO-free; alongside rice cake, mushrooms, carrots, gochuchang, kombu, and kimchi. Thanks to the traditional Korean ingredients, Planet Army Stew retains all the fiery warmth of its meat-based original. Comfort food has never been so comforting – not just for the stomach, but for the world.

For more information, visit greencommon.com

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Claire Quan

Editorial Intern

Small in stature, large in appetite. Likely to be found loitering around secondhand bookstores, frequenting dance studios, and petting other people's dogs. Dislikes complete sentences.

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