The grandma of a friend once mistakenly replaced a cup of water with syrup and we had a rather sweet mutton curry (with raisins) on Christmas day. Surprisingly, it turned out...well, strangely delicious. Many wonderful things were accidentally discovered, weren't they? As I took my first sip of the Teochew-style broth, I began to wonder if the classic peppery taste started with an accidental case of too much white peppercorn. Whatever sparked the idea, it had since garnered a legion of fans and at the preponderating Founder, the constant queue outside the restaurant is almost a landmark along Balestier Road.
From the huge collection of photographs of famous patrons (some faded, literally or not) to the business card showing a smiling, prosperous-looking founder, I couldn't help but felt a certain sense of pride surrounding the restaurant. Not that it's bad but if my bowl of pork ribs was extraordinary, I would have gladly joined in the Founder parade. We forgot about the prime pork ribs and had the normal, chunkier cuts instead. Still packed with heat from the peppercorns and contrastingly light taste of broth, I thought the meat could have been tenderer. One thing's for sure - we never ran out of broth as a diligent uncle kept on refilling our bowls. Interestingly, it was the pork trotter, with its flaking goodness in a flavoursome braise that got us excited instead.
Despite the rush, a confused taxi driver (with no change and a malfunctioning receipt printer), a bowl of grass jelly beancurd that was supposedly presented in a yin yang design and of course, some bak kut teh that was just okay, it was certainly good catching up with friends. This is one of our many Balestier Road stories.
Founder Rou Gu Cha Cafeteria
347, Balestier Road
Rochor Beancurd House
432 Balestier Road