While increasingly health-conscious Singaporeans are spoilt for choices with salad shops, the same cannot be said for soups – the ‘ang moh’ kind. You hardly find many brands around. And having canned soups with sodium aplenty is not exactly the most beneficial choice.
Very thankful we found The Soup Bar at Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market & Food Centre, opened by another young hawkerpreneur Gary Lum. Owner Gary Lum has a decade of cooking experience working in kitchens of Ritz Carlton, St Regis and French restaurant Brasserie Gavroche.
He starts preparing for his soups at 6-7am, cooked from scratch, offering 6-7 varieties such as Carrot and Cumin, Broccoli and Potato, Pumpkin and Ginger, Forest Mushroom, Minestrone and Bacon, Chicken Stew in Brandy and Beef Stew with Red Wine.
Life as a hawker is tough, but Gary is enjoying every bit of living his passions. And fans’ feedback has been extremely encouraging.
I say don’t play play. His soups are certainly restaurant quality, yet at hawker centre prices. They are priced at $4.80 to $5.80 for a generous portion with complimentary bun.
The Forest Mushroom ($5.20) beats what many cafes and even what some restaurants serve – usually watered down versions. This is ‘ho liao’, with blended button, shitake, and sautéed king oyster mushrooms, thick and creamy with that distinct mushroom-y taste. Makes a satisfying lunch.
That is why office workers love to ‘tabao’ this back.
The other popular soup, the Beef Stew with Red Wine ($5.80) is another hearty soup with substantial portion of ingredients (for its price), every mouthful with tender beef, carrots and potatoes. Plus NO MSG.
You should have seen my satisfied look, both in terms of finishing a comforting bowl of soup, and proud of another local young hawker who is not afraid to work hard to achieve his dreams. Support!
The Soup Bar
Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market and Food Centre, Block 6, Tanjong Pagar Plaza, #02-51
Opening hours: 10.30am to 8.30pm (Mon – Sat)