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Yong Tau Foo - Soon Li Yong Tau Foo Yong Tau Foo from Soon Li Yong Tau Foo at Bukit Merah View Food Centre. One of the most stressful and terrifying supper experiences one can undergo, with a most handsome reward…if you survive the onslaught. Sometime around 10pm, the stall owners would slowly begin their preparations, and from 11pm you start seeing people seating themselves around the stall waiting for the witching hour to be upon them – the broad categories include hungry university geeks, bored couples, chatty older folks and people who, urm, will trigger guilt-ridden alarm bells in your head as to the detriments of regular suppering (and this group forms a disturbingly large bulk of the crowd).

Come midnight, once everything is ready, the stall lights come on, and (like when you alert the Witch in Left 4 Dead) the horde closes in via stampede to instantly form two queues – one to pick the ingredients, and one to place your order and make payment. It is essential to go in a minimum party of two and assign the relevant roles beforehand if you want to reach home before daybreak. You will feel cold limp sweaty flesh caress your body parts from behind as the ravenous zombies dart for taupok and brinjal below and above your arms; you will hear desperate cries of “aiyah just 随便 (anyhow) pick lah!!” from warriors who simply want the ordeal to be over; your body will be shoved left and right by aggressive golems in the fray if you don’t stand firm when you’re picking your items; your patience will be worn thin when the uncivilized and daring brazenly cut queue and fling their bowl ahead of yours, in manner of skillful frisbee toss, in the bowl queue. It will be ugly.

Yong Tau Foo - Soon Li Yong Tau Foo

But if you survive – and I have, precisely six times – you will be rewarded by one of the best yong tau foo around. The variety of ingredients is wonderful (their pork items in particular like their pork belly fly off the shelves), and the ikan bilis-heavy soup demands consumption in its entirety. I always ask for green chilli padi to be added, but do be warned – they add a fierce edge to the soup and will sting you without mercy if you happen to bite on them.

Yong Tau Foo - Soon Li Yong Tau Foo

(There is a cheat code, like in every other game, if you wish to avoid the horrors of the above-mentioned experience – just go after 12.30am. By then, order will be restored by way of self-regulation, and all you have to do is queue for a long, long time. But where’s the fun in that?)

Soon Li Yong Tau Foo is a must try. This is non-negotiable. But before you taste the best, you gotta pass the test. 4.4/5

Yong Tau Foo - Soon Li Yong Tau Foo

Soon Li Yong Tau Foo
Blk 115 Bukit Merah View
#01-78 Bukit Merah View Food Centre
Singapore 151115


Shawn began documenting his food experiences since he started reading Law at the National University of Singapore. Initially he turned to food for solace from the rigours of university life, and food eventually became his safe haven away from the horrors of legal practice. However, it dawned on him one day that he has become sufficiently enlightened about the magic of discovering new and good food, and that it was time to share his findings with others. Instead of aligning himself with the vast sea of vanilla foodie influencer-style of writing, which would admittedly open more doors in terms of free meals and public relations love, Shawn decided to approach food writing by way of satirical humour, turning the don't-ya-wanna-eat-what-I'm-eating-cuz-I'm-a-public-figure self-importance/self-indulgent gravitas of Instagram foodie-ism in Singapore on its head and conveying his thoughts about food in a manner which is decidedly obscure at times and on others, frankly nonsensical. The rigours of legal practice and desire for a form of indulgent escape led to Shawn's second passion - experiencing and writing about new and luxury hotel properties. Secret Life of Fatbacks is an extension of Shawn's Instagram account (@Larvitar). For intellectual property reasons, he is unable to name the website anything related to the titular Pokémon character. Feel free to ask him in person what "Fatbacks" refers to. Shawn is not a professional critic, blogger or photographer. He is simply a guy who loves food and luxury hotels very much and (likes to think that he has) a quirky sense of humor. Shawn is presently a full-time lawyer, and when he is not premature ageing due to stress and vicious deadlines, he is somewhere spending an exorbitant amount of money trying out new dining places and hotels.

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