Everyday during lunch peak period, there will be a particular stall at The Food place in Raffles City, with a snaking queue. Armed with a one-hour break, I have given up on battles with long wait hours and associating healthy food with long queues.
Chai’s Original Sliced Fish Soup is the stall that always has throngs of people lining up for their fish soup noodles. Ever since I started working in the vicinity, it came to my attention that this unassuming food court in Raffles City houses a famous fish soup brand.
Catering mostly to office workers, followed by shoppers, Chai’s Original Sliced Fish Soup has been around for many years, upholding consistent standard in their fish and soup quality.
There is a newspaper clipping dated back to 2012 pasted right in front of the cashier. The interview revealed how the owner Peter Shih struggled in the early years experimenting with different cuisines in various food courts until he settled down with fish soup. According to him, there are three reasons that continues to draw the crowd to his fish soup.
- The broth is boiled overnight to ensure that the essence of the ingredients within is being dissolved into the broth. This will make the broth even richer and nourishing.
- The fish are painstakingly prepared with their skin removed and then undergone a secret marination. Even during frying, less flour is used to coat the fish before they are being fried at a high heat temperature of 400 degree celsius.
- Another hot-favourite is the crispy fried egg floss which customers often order by the bowl. Selling at a dollar each bowl, this comes in generous portions which customers can either eat as a side or dip into soup.
You can order Sliced fish and/or Fried fish with thick bee hoon, in a porridge or as a mini steamboat. There are also more premium options such as the Sliced Salmon Fish Steamboat $8.50 and Tom Yum Seafood Steamboat $7.50.
In less than a month, I have tried several times, both Original and Tom Yum version with sliced fish in soup and in mini steamboat.
I finally understood why people are so willing to queue for this!
The fish were smooth with tender white flesh. They were very different from the usual to subpar fish soups I had, which usually come with a thin layer of skin, ‘lines’ on the flesh, are generally sliced thinner and a tad tougher or powdery.
But at Chai’s Original Sliced Fish Soup, the quality of the fish is simply amazing.
I hardly see anyone ordering the mini steamboat. I am guessing that it is probably lunch time and the steamboat doesn’t come with rice or noodles.
On another visit, I ordered the exact same thing but in the form of a steamboat. There were more fish and vegetables and other ingredients such as tofu and tomatoes which weren’t found in the normal fish soup.
The fire burnt rather precariously but strongly and the soup tasted even more delicious than before. I had the clear soup (you can also opt for milky version), which was light in taste and gladly not the kind that made me reach for water. The Tom Yum soup was more sourish than spicy. If you like spicy food like me, try adding the small chilis into the steamboat.
The crispy fried egg is a separate order. It isn’t on the menu so simply request for it.
Besides being eggy and fragrant, the texture somehow reminded me of chicken floss. The portion is big and good for sharing. For $1, it is really worth the buy.
Chai’s Original Sliced Fish Soup is one of the best food I have ever eaten in a food court. Even though the queue is always long, it moves fast. Hence on some days, I am able to squeeze in time for a delicious bowl of fish soup or even a steamboat.
Pay with your Passion Card for 10% discount too! (T&C applies)
I am returning again.
Chai’s Original Sliced Fish Soup
252 North Bridge Road, #03-15/16/17
Raffles City Shopping Centre, Singapore 179103
Tel: +65 6338 8055
Daily: 9AM – 10PM
***Follow @oo_foodielicious on Facebook and Instagram for more videos, food reviews, travel / lifestyle insights and easy recipe, and @artofgenie on Facebook and Instagram for portrait, architecture and landscape photography!