The quirkily-named Swatow Is Here serves claypot porridge with luxe toppings like flower crab and eel. It's opened by husband-and-wife duo Jimmy Tan, 56, and Sandra Chieng, 49. Jimmy shares that he tried a similar porridge during his travels to Guangzhou and Shenzhen years ago, and liked it so much that he decided to set up this stall in 2016. Before making the switch to the F&B industry, Jimmy used to own a construction company specialising in children’s playgrounds for two decades. He shares: “The construction scene wasn’t doing well then, so I decided to try something different. I couldn’t forget the taste of the porridge I had years ago as it was quite unique, and I hadn’t seen it in Singapore.”
So he went back to China and was told by the chefs in Shenzhen and Fujian that the porridge originated from Swatow, Guangdong. He made his way there, and found a chef who taught him how to cook the porridge for a fee of $6,000. He says: “I followed the recipe closely, except that I don’t use poppy husks [which is apparently added for flavour] to boil the rice as it’s illegal in Singapore. I also don’t use MSG here, unlike in the original recipe.”
Jimmy imported claypots and porcelain bowls from Swatow for his food. “The claypot keeps the porridge hot longer,” he shares. The stall’s funky signboard is designed by an advertising company. “Initially, I wanted to name my stall ‘Claypot Porridge’, but they told me that I should use a more generic name so that I can expand to other food items in future,” says Jimmy. “I decided on Swatow Is Here ’cos my food originated from Swatow!”
Check out the photo gallery above for our low-down on the food here.
Swatow Is Here is at #01-359 Blk 46, Holland Dr, S270046. Tel: 9669-9595.
Open daily (except for days off announced on their Facebook page) 11am to 2.30pm; 5.30pm to 9pm or till sold out. www.facebook.com/Swatow.is.here/