Yummy Claypot on Joo Chiat Road

2009May16-Yum-21

It’s been a while since our makankaki group have gotten together and checked out a new place, so it was without hesitation that I answered the call. Besides, the prospect of tasting the Claypot Pig’s Stomach Stuffed With Black Chicken Soup is irresistible.

Yes, it was a fleeting moment when it occurred to me that this could be some perverse cure (or cause) of the H1N1 flu virus.

Yummy Claypot is located next to the now-defunct Emperor’s Soup, opposite the now-closed Rabbit Brand Seafood Restaurant which was next to the first Azhang, all of which is near the row of shops where the recently-closed Amici used to occupy after My Mum’s Place closed. Indeed, it’s a depressing part of Joo Chiat.

Nevertheless, Yummy Claypot seems to have great potential as a hangout for good food especially when a huge claypot of creamy white soup was brought out.

I love pig’s stomach soup. It is one of my most favorite soup (the other being Salted Veg Duck with tofu Soup) and I would clamor for my mum to make it. She does this rarely because she says that it is very difficult to clean and prepare the pig’s stomach. So whenever she does it, she would do a big batch that will last several days as we would have it as soup, with mee sua (with added fish maw and Abalone if it was Chinese New Year) and as a stock for other dishes as the soup gets more and more concentrated.

So it was with great anticipation when I saw the claypot soup.

Black Chicken In Pig's Stomach SoupBlack Chicken In Pig's Stomach Soup          Black Chicken In Pig's Stomach Soup2009May16-Yum-10          2009May16-Yum-122009May16-Yum-15          2009May16-Yum-18

It was a most interesting sight because the stomach was lifted from the claypot and was cut open to remove the black chicken from innards. This sparked off a discussion on the preference for the male pig stomach because it is thicker and hence meatier. On closer inspection, the pig’s stomach soup we had was from a sow because it really was much thinner than I am used to.

Anyway, I felt that the soup had a slightly muted peppery taste that was not quite creamy (condensed milk instead of good stock?) and the thin strips of pig’s stomach while nice, was vaguely unsatisfying.

Another interesting conversation was when Yummy Claypot’s signature Fried Chicken in Honey sauce arrived. It looked very similar to the signature “Steven’s Chicken” we had at the Orchid Live Seafood. So I was asked which I preferred.

Fried Chicken In Honey Sauce

I thought Steven’s Chicken tasted better even though it was described by someone as “liberal with the Maggi Seasoning”. This is mainly because the Yummy Claypot version was not well-executed; it was soggy (as opposed to juicy) and the honey glaze was so weak that you could hardly discern any sweetness or flavor. Very blah, as some might put it.

What we all enjoyed was the simple dish of long beans with “chye por”, a salty, sweetish pickled minced vegetable.

Mixed Beans (Actually, just one) With Chai Por (Preserved veg)

In French cooking, as taught by the Culinary Institute of America, described in Micheal Ruhlman’s book, vegetables should be as soft as possible without any crunch. Here, we love the crunch of a well stir-fried vegetable. The long beans, enhanced smokiness of the wok hay complimented by the salty sweet chye por, was quickly decimated.

Other great dishes were the Fried Bee Hoon with pork bellywhich was flavorful but lacked the visible pork (it’s shredded into the bee hoon) which may cause some dismay to people expecting chunks of meat.

2009May16-Yum-38

Personally, I like it because it reminds me of what my mum and grandmother used to cook for lunch.

There’s also the pork trotters which came out too cold and it’s pretty icky to eat cold braised pork trotters, even then, I tried some but it was pretty bland. So I concentrated on the chestnuts which were sweet and delicious from the sticky braised sauce.

The Olive fried rice was also great. Unfortunately, the surimi was a jarringly garish garnish, but that’s OK, since I can just pick the pieces out. The aroma of olives comes through aromatically, I suspect they used the preserved olives, which opened up the appetite despite the fact we’ve just had several courses already.

And of course, what is a claypot restaurant without the famous claypot rice? This version was a surprise to me because I’ve never had claypot rice topped with diced Chye Sim that covered the rice completely. It lent a fresh crunchiness that would appall any CIA instructor.

Claypot Rice

The rice itself was good, but I feel that Old Mother Hen is still the benchmark. This particular version I felt was tasted, as how wine tasters would describe certain wines, closed. The flavors were muted and just short of flavorful. It was as if the Chef deliberately held back some of the ingredients (I think some salt would be good, someone suggested adding Chye Por).

I’ve done some experimentation with claypot rice and I can tell you that it is not easy to achieve the balance of wok hei, crispy rice without going overboard and ending up with burnt crunchy bits. Especially with a large claypot, it’s near impossible without specialized equipment. So do cut Yummy Claypot some slack.

2009May16-Yum-25

Dinner at Yummy Claypot was interesting. The menu was large and varied with interesting dishes but this being Joo Chiat, don’t expect a classic Chinese course-by-course dining experience. In fact, we had to stop them from pushing out all the dishes at once which, on hind sight, was not a good thing to do since they just left the dishes elsewhere to get cold.

I think we all agreed that the Chef, in calculating food cost, erred on the cheap side. While this might appeal to the casual diner (of which there are many in Joo Chiat), it stops Yummy Claypot short from achieving the greatness that it is definitely capable of.

Yummy Claypot is at 340 Joo Chiat Road (next to Lau Hock Guan Bah Kut Teh), Tel: 6345 7345, Open daily Lunch 11-3pm and Dinner 5.30pm -2am.

2009May17-Yum-50


Posted on 29th May 2009 in Chinese, Makankaki

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There Are 7 Comments

 

p. commented on May 31, 2009 at 8:29 pm


hey i’d just like to say i’m a big fan of your honest reviews. thanks for a great read as always.


 

ivan commented on June 2, 2009 at 12:56 pm


@p.: Thanks. Hopefully, you can rally for me at the omy.sg food bloggers’s category.


 

Camemberu commented on June 7, 2009 at 1:08 am


Aiyohh, I ***LOVE!!!*** pig stomach soup!!! My mom used to make the best. Pity this one is not quite remarkable (Joo Chiat so nearby for me) . Where would you recommend for pig stomach soup?


 

ivan commented on June 8, 2009 at 9:44 am


I think it’s good, go try it. It’s not what I am used to, but that’s just me missing my mom’s cooking.


 

klyn commented on October 26, 2009 at 9:58 am


Went yesterday. The claypot pig stomach stuffed with chicken soup was quite nice (not black chicken) but the claypot chicken rice was really a disappointment. The dual kailan was acceptable and the prawn porriage was just ok. Overall, it was acceptable if you are not fussy about the location and not really picky about food.


 

ivan commented on October 30, 2009 at 1:29 pm


@klyn: Glad you agree with me. Rather than break any new gastronomic ground, Yummy Claypot is simply a great place to satisfy your midnight cravings.


 

[…] home-cooking front, this blog made hisself some fried chicken. This blog was introduced to another yummy claypot and in an event totally not associated with the Association of Bloggers (Singapore), a group of […]


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