The most unique Yong Tau Foo in Singapore
I was first introduced to Yong Tau Foo when my parents were trying to pacify my 7 year-old self who didn’t want to attend piano lessons. It’s strange – you’d think that parents would bring their kids to McDonald’s for a vanilla cone, but mine pulled up at Upper Thomson’s Ngee Fou Ampang Yong Tau Foo.
Most people are only familiar with the regular YTFs with clear soup, but here are 7 other variations you probably didn’t know existed:
1. Thai-style YTF @Yentafo Kruengsonge
Unlike our savoury soups and gravies, Bangkok Pink Yong Tau Foo at Yentafo Kruengsonge uses a pink, mildly sweet sauce made from fermented red tofu.
The Thai founders personally came to Singapore to source for the right suppliers to retain as much of the Thai taste as possible. But to cater to Singaporean tastebuds and comply with regulations, they swapped the pig blood for sweet grass jelly instead.
It’s available in three levels of spiciness: Dek-Dek (non spicy), Jai-Soh (spicy), and Rod Jeb (so spicy that you’ll regret it when you’re on the toilet tomorrow).
We recommend the Kruengsonge soup Jai-Soh, which has a depth of flavour that’s missing in the dry version, and just the right level of spiciness. If you’re going with a friend, order a bowl of original Thai Tom Yum Noodles ($9) to share.
Address: Yentafo Kruengsonge, Cathay Cineleisure Orchard, 8 Grange Road, #02-06A/B, Singapore 239695
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 10am – 10pm
2. Best Laksa broth at Xi Xiang Feng Yong Tau Foo
Xi Xiang Feng Yong Tau Foo ($4) is one of the oldest and most popular stalls in Singapore for a genuine Yong Tau Foo experience. Choose from either chee cheong fun, bee hoon, or mee drenched in laksa broth or with a sweet sauce.
And here’s the secret to their delicious dish – super fresh ingredients with no preservatives which are kept only for a day at the most. The boss also has their bee hoon delivered every day to make sure that you’re getting chewy noodles instead of the dehydrated pre-packed ones.
We recommend getting the bee hoon with sweet sauce, because the difference compared to other hawkers when it comes to these two ingredients is STARK.
Address: #01-23,, 724 Ang Mo Kio Ave 6, Singapore 560724
3. Fresh handmade fishballs @ Golden Mile Special Yong Tau Foo
Dominating the Chinatown Yong Tau Foo scene is Golden Mile Special Yong Tau Foo ($5), established in 1958, and still highly raved in 2017. You’ll be sinking your teeth into textured, flavourful handmade fishballs, washed down with Teochew fish-based brew.
The shop’s exterior is meh at best, and they’ve only got limited varieties of mostly green and brown ingredients, but there’s a reason why they’re famous – it’s all thanks to their fresh ingredients, made lovingly with yellowtail fish paste filling.
Tip: Visit before lunchtime to avoid leaving with an empty stomach.
Address: Golden Mile Special Yong Tau Foo 黄金特制酿豆腐 (Golden Mile Food Centre), #B1-44 Golden Mile Food Centre, 505 Beach Road, Singapore 199583
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, 1045am – 3 pm (or until sold out)
4. Crispy fried delights @ Fu Lin Bar and Kitchen
Ditch those new year resolutions at this contemporary industrial-themed restaurant, because there’s no use trying to resist the sinful fried goodness at Fu Lin Bar and Kitchen. Get their 6 Pieces Set (Dry) with Signature Noodles for around $6+, with 3 additional items at only $0.80+ each.
Be sure to grab their crispy bean curd skin- the crackling crisp when you bite into it is worth every calorie, and the thick bee hoon soaks up the lightly salted sauce.
Address: 127 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068596
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, eve of PH and PH, 10am to late
5. Fermented bean curd gravy @ Loh Mei Yong Tau Foo
With Loh Mei Yong Tau Foo as one of the only stalls in Singapore left selling Yong Tau Foo ($4-$6) of this fermented variation, we’d better try it before it goes completely extinct here. The stew tastes like a blend of kuay chap with fermented bean curd, and is an acquired taste. Choose from chicken wings, pork belly, pig offal, cuttlefish, tau pok, and mushrooms to add to your merry brew.
Address: Loh Mei Specialist, People’s Park Food Centre, 32 New Market Road, #01-1106, Singapore 050032
6. Underrated Ampang YTF @ Upper Thomson
I am heavily biased, but Ngee Fou Ampang Yong Tau Foo has the most underrated Yong Tau Foo I’ve ever tasted in Singapore. Individually, each dish is supple with fish paste filling. Their eggplant is soft on the inside, and firm from the slight chao-tah on the outside. Their towkis are crisp, and the taste of soybean is delightfully full-bodied.
But the best part of this Yong Tau Foo is the gravy. Mixed with bits of garlic and flour, the thick consistency and fragrant soy brings everything together perfectly. #makengeefoufamous
Right next to Ngee Fou is their sister restaurant, rumoured to be owned by a rival family member. Ngee Fou still tastes better.
Address: 928 Upper Thomson Rd, Singapore 787121
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 10am – 8pm
7. Tastiest Ngoh Hiang @ Hup Chong Hakka Yong Tau Foo
This is the closest you’ll get to version 1.0 of Singapore’s very own Chinese salad. There are many Hakka Yong Tau Foo options out there, but with over 30 years of experience under its belt and two outlets, Hup Chong Hakka Yong Tau Foo trumps other stalls with their fragrant, densely-packed ngoh hiang. A bowl of 5 pieces costs $3.10 with noodles.
Only downside – there aren’t many vegetable choices.
Address: Hup Chong Hakka Yong Dou Fu: Blk 206 Toa Payoh North, Singapore 31026
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday: 6.30am – 3pm, 5pm – 8.30pm
Bonus: Japanese Oden (Bar Ippudo)
Testament to Yong Tau Foo’s international legacy is Japanese Oden ($5.80 for 3 pieces). Packed with daikon, chikuwa (fish and gluten tubes), tamago, and konnyaku, the Japanese usually have sake to go with this delicacy – but it doesn’t hurt to enjoy it on its own.
Fun fact: For the uninitiated, a bowl of konnyaku noodles is just 8 calories, and prevents diabetes.
Address: 1 Scotts Road, #04-23, Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208
Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 11.30am – 10.00pm, Friday & Saturday, 11.30am – 11.00pm
Uncommon Yong Tau Foo for days
Yong Tau Foo isn’t just limited to the basic soup and dry versions. As a dish with a long history, its variations from both local and international origins are worth a shot, especially when you’ve been visiting the same YTF stall for lunch every day.
Next time you’re out for lunch at a hawker or in the CBD, take a different route, and explore the endless possibilities of this Asian stuffed salad. You never know what pleasant surprises you’ll find.