Tong Ah Eating House used to be quite an icon in Keong Saik Road with its distinctive red, white facade and its unique shopfront position on a triangular plot of land. Having commanded the spot for around 75 years, the uprooting of this old school coffee shop set up by the great grandfather of Mr Tang to just a few doors down the same road was deemed a pity by many Singaporean foodies.
After a tiring but satisfying morning of A Packet Of Rice (APOR) distribution to needy old folks, the founding members APOR brought some of us friend volunteers to the Tong Ah’s new address for lunch.
We were lucky to get a table before the restaurant got fully packed with lunch crowd. It seem that their customers still remain loyal after the shift. The interior walls were painted white and red. A deliberate effort to associate back with their old location facade? Other the wall colours, the restaurant interior was functional and bland.
Famished after all the heavy lifting of goodie bags, we were not here for toasts and coffee. The coffee and toast preparation area still looked rather make shift and lack the old school charm.
To ease the ordering process, each of us were entitled to order a dish of our choice and we were really grateful that the dishes were served promptly within minutes. We started with a bowl of savoury Pickled Cabbage Soup (鹹菜海鮮湯) which enhanced our appetite and made us even hungrier!
Sweet & Sour Pork (咕咾肉) never fails to delight Chinese diners. Served hot off the wok, the flavours were managed well for a concerted overall taste experience.
Stirred Fried Fish With Mixed Vegetables was a rather safe dish. It goes well with rice and other dishes but I did not find it particularly outstanding.
If you are a coffee lover, you will fall head over heels with their Coffee Ribs (咖啡排骨) as you savour the sweet coffee sauce off these delectable deep fried ribs!
Since most of the meat and vegetable dishes were already selected by fellow volunteers, I opted for a simple egg dish Fu Rong Omelette (芙蓉蛋).
The Finger Chicken (手指鸡) was finger licking good! The convenient bite sized chicken chunks’ juicy and tender white meat was well protected by its crispy and well marinated exterior.
I personally felt our greens were pretty disappointing… they seem to be served after just a quick boil without additional sauces and condiments. The health-conscious might find it appetising.
This is the 1st time that I have sampled Tong Ah’s Zhi Char Fares since its shift. Tong Ah does whip up delicious dishes but so do other zhi char places in Singapore. It’s unique differentiating factor lies in the old school and semi – alfresco dining ambience at its old address. There were only 2 small tables outside the new restaurant and the view wasn’t fantastic. The restaurant’s interior was pretty bare and I get the vibes that even their own staff have not gotten used to operating in the new set up. But well, it is understandable that people do need time to get used to new environment especially after 75 years. If you are keen to check out Tong Ya at its new location, here’s the full information:
Tong Ah Eating House
Address: 35, Keong Saik Road Singapore 089142
Tel: 6223 5083
You may also like to check out my posts on other delicious food places here