It is interesting that many of the well-known Seafood Soup stalls started off in the North area of Singapore, particularly at Woodlands and Marsiling.
Jia Li Seafood Soup which is helmed by Auntie Ivy Cheong (more affectionally known to regulars as “Ivy Jie”) first started out in Marsiling and was pretty popular for its umami-rich seafood soup.
The stall has moved a couple of times, and is now back in Woodlands at Primz Bizhub 21, Woodlands Close.
There is another outlet located at Kovan (same coffeeshop as Ng Kuan Chilli Pan Mee and Breakfast Club).
The popular Jia Li Seafood Soup has been around for some time, but this Woodlands outlet is brand-new and has food with a quality as good as it was on day one.
Foodies come to this place for the main thing of a bowl of rich soup packed full of seafood flavour.
The classic Seafood Soup comes in regular or big versions ($7.50, $9 onwards) with options of dory fish, batang fish (Spanish mackerel), or red grouper. Price differs depending on the fish you choose.
For a more indulgent treat, get a Seafood Soup with Crayfish ($14 onwards) or Seafood Soup with Crayfish and Prawns ($16.50 onwards).
I headed straight for the premium bowl of Seafood Soup with Crayfish and Batang Fish ($16) right away.
From each spoonful of the cloudy soup, you can tell the effort and time that has been put into creating the gorgeous stock.
Chicken, pork ribs and scallops make the base of the stock which is cooked for several hours, with the fresh seafood added later on.
The light cloudiness comes from the cooking of the pork bones – no additional milk is added. Therefore, there are parts of it that reminded me of having tonkotsu soup.
For the price, the bowl deservedly comes with an ample amount of seafood and some minced meat.
The minced pork with tee-poh (flounder fish) is shaped into chunks rather than scattered during the cooking process, and therefore you can appreciate a succulent bite.
There are three halves of crayfish, each portion being firm and sweet. So are the slices of batang fish, carrying the best flavours of the ocean.
The regular bowl of Seafood Soup ($7.50 onwards) has prawns and minced pork, with some tomatoes to give the soup another dimension.
To be honest, I was pleasantly at the size, freshness and sweetness of the prawns.
The wild-caught Angkar Prawns have a sweet and meaty flavour with a good crunch.
For an extra price, you can have rice or noodles such as instant noodles, mee-sua or ee mee to go with the soup.
Or else, the Seafood Bee Hoon ($8.20) would soak up a good portion of the soup and infuses the noodles with salty, sweet, and umami.
Beyond the seafood soup, the Yong Tau Fu Soup ($6.50 for 7 pieces) may pleasantly surprise you – they use the same soup stock in the making.
The hand-made Yong Tau Foo includes items of deep-fried beancurd, fishcake, lady’s finger, brinjal and bittergourd.
The pieces are included with a mix of fish paste and minced meat which gives the filling a delicious meaty spring and more savouriness.
Even if you do not like bittergourd that much because well… it is bitter, you may be surprised that that this was cooked till it is pleasantly soft and naturally sweet.
The menu has been expanded with include Ginger Braised Duck ($6.50) that is good to go with a bowl of rice.
If you are ever in Woodlands or Kovan, consider Jia Li Seafood Soup as a comforting rustic meal to have.
Jia Li Seafood Soup – Woodlands
Primz Bizhub 21, Woodlands Close, Singapore 737854
Opening Hours: 11am – 9:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Jia Li Seafood Soup – Kovan
941 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534709
Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm (Mon – Wed, Fri – Sun), Closed Thurs