The newly opened Soup Broth Asia takes Chinese soup one notch above those found at your habitual hawker or food court stall.
|PHOTO COURTESY OF SOUP BROTH ASIA|
Anna Lim proves that you don’t need to be a Michelin-decorated chef to make it big in the local food scene. With 11 outlets and counting for The Soup Spoon, the successful entrepreneur has branched out to an Asian soup establishment, aptly called Soup Broth Asia. While The Soup Spoon’s fare is mostly Western-styled (read: cream-based), the menu here is Asian-inspired, with 12 types of mostly clear-based soup—some entirely unheard of.
The Japanese Chicken Daikon Leek Soup (S$7.20) is comfort food in a bowl, with tender chunks of chicken, carrots, daikon (Japanese white radish), shiitake mushrooms, leeks and bamboo shoots swimming in clear broth. The soup base is prepared from ingredients slow cooked for at least eight hours to produce a gourmet stock. A fresh batch of ingredients, which is cooked separately, is then transferred to the stock, thus preserving the taste and texture.
If you fancy something slightly richer, try the Indonesian Chicken Opor Soup (S$7.20), a milky stew of chicken, zucchini, cabbage, cauliflower and coconut milk, among others. The distinctive flavor of the coconut milk is balanced by the daun salam, an Indonesian variety of bay leaf. It’s reminiscent of your favorite green curry, minus the chilli.
The unofficial star of the menu, however, has to be the Hainanese Beef and Tripe Hotpot (S$8.20). It sounds daunting for one adverse to innards, but the marinated beef cubes, the flavor of which is brought out by an aromatic mélange of spices including ginger, star anise and tangerine peel will get to you before the tripe does.
There’s also the Peranakan classic, the Salted Vegetable with Duck Soup (S$9.60), served with a whole duck leg, as well as the Lotus Root with Pork Rib Soup (S$8.20). Not so commonplace is the Burmese U-paing Gourd and Vegetables Stew (S$6.20), which features the bottle gourd (a common ingredient in Myanmar cuisine), roasted pumpkin, sugar peas, chillies and belacan. Each bowl of soup comes with a serving of long grain rice.
Admittedly, the prices are steeper than that of the hawker stalls or food courts, but what counts is the relatively healthier stock—the fat is trimmed off the bones and other parts used to make the stock, rendering no oily residue on the surface of the soup.
For an additional S$3.80, you can top up your meal with a drink, an appetizer (such as cold tofu or kimchi) and a side meat or vegetable dish (a range of tried-and-tested dishes including sweet and sour pork, soya sesame chicken, wasabi prawns—brilliantly done here, baby kailan, chap chye and braised beancurd).
Special mention has to be given to its dessert, the Goreng Pisang Split (S$4.80). As its name implies, the classic banana split is given a local twist, with a crispy, golden banana fritter in place of a fresh banana. It’s hot, it’s cold. We love it.
Soup Broth Asia
Raffles City Shopping Centre, #B1-62,
252 North Bridge Road.
Tel: +65 6338 6909