I spotted a chance to take my mum to a food tasting, who is so curious about my blogging work. So I brought her along to AOne Porridge food tasting to show her exactly how it works and of course, unknown to her, I had my own secret agenda.
You see; my mum, being the matriarch of our family, is a very good cook. Her signature dishes are often snapped up by me and my relatives and they always came armed with tupperware to pack some home. So, I thought, it would be good for my mum to tell me what is good at AOne.
Conversation with Mum
“So what are we going to eat today?” My mum began her curiosity.
“Chinese food.” I replied.
“What (kind of) Chinese food?” She pressed.
“Porridge.” I answered.
There was a pause.
“You going to bring me to eat porridge ah?” She wavered.
Ah… the skepticism of mothers. Perception, women.. My mum maybe frugal but porridge was not something in her expectation when I told her what we going to eat.
“Yes lah, but also have other dishes. My friend say got vege, got some meat dish, other things lor.” I assured her.
Tea was served first when we arrived.
There were two types: fragrant Chinese tea and fruit tea.
“This taste exactly like the ‘teh bi teh’ I had when I was young.” My mum commented.
“Really?” I took interested in her story.
“Yar, when we were younger, our family isn’t rich so every food we have is precious. After ah ma (her grandma) finished praying to the Gods, we take that tea leaves to make tea. Cannot waste food.” She commented, sharing her story.
“Really taste like.” She added, taking in another sip.
“Taste like restaurant Chinese tea to me…” I replied after downing the tiny cup of hot tea.
“But surprisingly not bitter at all.” I added.
“Of course la, restaurant one need to boil big batches, so they need to put more tea leaves, tea is stronger and bitter.” She explained. I nodded.
“The other one is too sweet. Like the ribena flower drink I make for you at home.” She commented, after tasting the other red-coloured tea. I nodded.
“But I like sweet.” I replied.
Oh yes, the fruit tea has ribena flowers in it, and thus the base notes of currant taste with many hints of citrus, probably from all the other fruit bits in it.
Dishes were served to our table and we began to eat after the presentation and the feverish snapping of photos by us bloggers. Mum started digging in as well.
“So how? Which one is good?” I digging her for her expert views after she had a round of all the food.
Premium Dried Scallop Porridge
“The fish porridge one definitely can get the taste of the scallop…” She began to say.
“But i can cook it better.” She digged.
Okay, mum, I know you are a good cook.
Hypothetically speaking, all of us thought it was fish porridge, but there was squid in it and scallops, but the porridge had more scallop taste than the rest of the other ingredients. Honestly, the core of the porridge is destroyed by the ingredients.
So what porridge is this??
Well, fish or scallop porridge? You decide.
Taste wise, it was slight to the bland side. But because there wasn’t any overpowering taste to it, the scallops taste punches through.
Dried Scallop Porridge with Minced Meat & Assorted Eggs (Century Egg, Salted Egg, Egg)
“The pork and egg porridge taste much better, more ‘liao’ , ” She said.
“It is more tasty. It is much better for people who prefer food with strong flavours.” she added.
Yes, to me, this is much much better.
Sorry for my biases, but I LOVE century egg and pork porridge. Any store that sells it, it would be good. So thus, it is good. Nuff said.
Premium Claypot (Abalone Mushroom, Scallop, Sliced Fish, Prawn, Fish Maw)
“How about the premium claypot?” I asked.
“Hmm, normal.” She replied.
“Normal?” I probed.
“Yar lar, sama sama everywhere. Nothing special.” She said.
Okay, I must admit, this claypot, a medley of premium seafood, didn’t really jumped to me. Although said, it contains real succulent scallops, sliced fish, prawns, fish maw and mushrooms, it is really a standard chinese restaurant fare. However, the dish being served in such family bistro is still quite a rarity.
Steamed Scallop with Minced Garlic & Vermicelli
“This one, not bad. Never try before.” She said, when the steam scallop with minced garlic and vermicelli dish spuned into position in front of us on the lazy susan.
“This one?” I pointed to the dish.
“Yar, very different. Soft scallop and the garlic is ‘gao gao’.” She said in Singlish.
I took my spoon and scoop up a portion and delivered it into my mouth.
On first bite, the garlicky goodness from within the scallop explodes in my mouth. The crunch of the fried garlic and the slippery vermicelli snakes and spread its flavours over all over my taste buds. It’s just garlic seafood heaven.
Since it is steamed, the saltiness of the sea is captured with the scallop and the garlic, soya saucy taste mixed in to create a really warm dish to savour. Haters of garlic, you better stay away from this dish.
My mum then starts blabbering.
“This one we can try making at home…” She said softly.
Oh yes, I don’t doubt my mum. Her taste buds are like recorders. She can recognised and recreate a dish just by tasting it. She is that good. That said, that is, if she can taste all of the ingredients out from the dish itself.
Deep fried pumpkin and lotus root with creamy salted egg sauce
“This one is very nice!” She said after the first bite.
“Is this sweet potato? Or potato? or Pumpkin?” She asked.
I took one and chomped on it.
“I think mine is lotus root.” I replied her. Chomping down the delicious salty eggy coated lotus root, I hurriedly took one long strip piece instead of a round piece, then I bite into it again.
“Pumpkin!” I happily announced.
“This one is like the salted egg crab sauce.” She commented on the golden crusted encasement of the vegetable, I agreed. The eggy sauce coating, albeit oily with every bite, has some level of salty goodness. It is like eating crab but not eating crab and I seriously am a little befuddled on how to describe this.
“This one, the restaurant usually they make with prawns..” She said.
Yes, incidentally, AOne Claypot house also has this exact same dish with prawns rather than vegetables. But, I’ll still take the vegetable version any day.
Mum did not give any comment on the honey chicken but it was a hit among us youngsters.
To me, the chicken is chewy, the outside is crispy and drizzled over with a sweet tangy sauce, we welcome this dish with both hands.
Four Heavenly Kings – Assorted Vegetables in Sambal Sauce
Mum was critical with this dish.
“The vegetables are too old..” She started, pulling out a piece of vegetable fibre from her teeth. “Hard for old people to eat la…” She added.
“The vegetables are also fried with those big Ikan billis sambal sauce with minced pork, not the traditional hei bi hiam (sambal shrimp paste)” She commented. Mum likes her food adhering to some traditional tastes, but some of us beg to differ.
Because of the ikan billis, the overall taste of the vegetables is different. For the others, the vegetables were pretty good and it is very appertising with a bowl of white rice.
For me, I would agree with my mother. Compared to the traditional recipe, this vegetable lacks a punch in the seafood department. However, it is also because the lack of that “oomph” flavour, this dish becomes mellow to taste, and maybe more acceptable to many people.
In additional, I would have to agree, it’s best to get younger, fresher vegetables, than the bigger older ones to reduce that stringy chewy fibrous aftertaste that older folks would not like.
Verdict: Mum’s Recommendation
“So mum, which dish will you recommend?” I asked. She thought about it as her eyes roamed from empty plate to empty plate.
“Top 3:” She began.
“Number 1. Deep fried pumpkin and lotus root with creamy salted egg sauce!” She said. “That dish quite interesting~”
“Number 2. Steamed Scallop with Minced Garlic & Vermicelli” She continued. “That one never eat before, so, not bad~”
“Number 3. Dried Scallop Porridge with Minced Meat & Assorted Eggs…” She finished.
I would not disagree with my mum’s choices; after all, she has more critical palette than I do.
About AOne Claypot House
AOne’s goal is to create a casual atmosphere so everyone can be comfortable to enjoy familiar food that shares memories from their childhood. Using claypot as their heart and soul, it represents bring out the flavours of good food, consuming at the right temperature. It is healthier too, since claypot cooking uses less oil.
Mother’s Day Special
AOne has come up with a Mother’s Day menu so you can treat your mother to a nice meal in appreciation for all her love and care. You can call 91259611 for reservation details.
AOne Claypot House
Opening Hours: Daily; 10:30am – 9:30pm (Last Order)
Official Website: http://www.aoneclaypot.com/
- Junction 8, #01-49 Singapore 579837
- Tampines 1, #05-04 Singapore 529536
- Chinatown Point, #B1-47 Singapore 059413
- Jurong Point (JP1), #03-09 Singapore 648886
- Nex Shopping Centre, #B1-73 Singapore 556083
- The Sports Hub, 1 Stadium Place #01-33/34 Singapore 397628
- The Seletar Mall, 33 Sengkang West Avenue #02-14/15/16 Singapore 797653
- Causeway Point, #03-31 Woodlands Square Singapore 738099
- Suntec City Mall, 3 Temasek Boulevard, #B1-135, Singapore 038983.
Lastly, before we left the place, my mum said this quietly to me:
“Can bring daddy here to eat next time, he sure will like.”
Thanks mum, now I have a place set for Father’s day too.
More stories soon,
*Above tasting session was sponsored by AOne Claypot House. Please note that although the food session was sponsored, the quality of my reviews are not compromised.*
Do you have a favourite dish in AOne Claypot House? What is it?
Do share with me by leaving your comments in the comment box below!! I wanna know! Next time I can go try~~~ Mine currently is definitely the pork and egg porridge!!