Old mother hen herbal soup

We found this place by accident.

We had parked beside it one night when going for Rochor Beancurd. Out the car, the most tantalising herbal soup aroma assaulted our senses.

It apparently came from this:

Old mother hen

It’s called old mother hen traditional herbal soup, which, incidentally, is also the name of the restaurant.

The smell is heavenly but, unfortunately, I hated the taste of it. Everyone else either liked or loved it, though, so I guess I’m the odd one out.

It has a herbal sweet taste. You know the medicinal luo han guo drink you get at chinese medicine shops? It’s something like that, with stronger hints of assorted herbal infusions.

I just found it disgusting, like drinking medicine, so it was quite disappointing for me.

(By the way, it was on another night that we patronised the restaurant; not the Rochor Beancurd night.)

Sheylara and Wang Wang

The plus point is that we ordered a whole heap of other food and it was all great.

Everyone loved this smelly bean (aka petai or 臭豆) dish.

Smelly bean

The bean is not really smelly. It’s kinda bitter with a smoky pungent taste. Um, well, it tastes a lot better than it sounds, really.

The Goonfather said he’s going to just order this and rice next time he visits.

It was cooked just right, with seafood and sambal. Perfect appetite whetter!

We also ordered Malaysian-style hokkien mee and we received a pretty decent version of it.

Hokkien mee

The sad part was that because there were other dishes that were excellent, this above-average hokkien mee paled in comparison, so this was the last dish to finish.

The crowd favourite was the claypot chicken rice.

Claypot chicken rice

I’m not a huge fan of claypot chicken rice, even finding the famous one in Clementi just okay.


It’s genuinely cooked in claypot, not like many fake claypot rice you get nowadays, and we were told that the chef turns the pot around halfway so that the rice is evenly cooked, just the right consistency and pleasantly grainy.

The salted egg is very evenly distributed so that you get the taste of it almost every mouthful. It’s very, very tasty!

When we finished the pot, we started scraping up the burnt bits and fighting for them. And I don’t normally like eating the burnt bits because, duh, it’s carcinogen. But I couldn’t resist this one!

Claypot chicken rice

I kinda forgot that my camera was set to 1600 ISO and the restaurant was really bright, so the photos are all overexposed. =(

Another good dish is the essence of chicken frogs’ legs.

Essence of chicken frogs' legs

When it arrives, the waiter will pour in a bottle of warm Brands’ Essence of Chicken in front of us. It makes the soup really tasty (although it’s not exactly a soup dish).

It is advised to eat this dish before anything else because it’s very humbly bland, but no less tasty. The natural sweetness of the meat is very effectively enhanced by the “soup”, without requiring extra marination.

The asparagus dish was probably the biggest disappointment for the gang because the asparagus stalks in the picture looked a lot bigger.


But it was still a decent dish; some might say above average. It’s just that it can’t compare to the other more noteworthy dishes, unfair as the comparison might be, since it’s comparing apples with oranges, but that’s how it is in life.

There’s this one which is quite rare in Singapore. It’s called 月光河, which I will loosely translate as “moonshine char kway teow”.

Char kway teow

It’s basically just char kway teow with a raw egg yolk on it which you beat up and mix together so the noodles become shiny and silky.

It’s really good!

It isn’t all that different from regular char kway teow, just that this particular one tastes veritably top-of-the-line in terms of flavour.

Char kway teow

And that’s all we had. There were only five of us so we couldn’t order any much more!

The restaurant looks very humble and just a little rundown but the service is really good and friendly.

Old mother hen restaurant

It was relatively empty because we went at a rather late hour, but we were told that the restaurant had been filmed and reviewed in many TV shows and publications.

Well, it’s definitely well worth a visit. Again. And again. The price is standard zi cha pricing.

Old Mother Hen has two outlets (we visited the main one).

Main: 136 Sims Ave (Between Geylang Lorong 17 & 19)
Opening hours: 11am to 2:30pm / 5pm to 1:30am

Branch: Blk 134 Jurong East St 13
Opening hours: 10:30am to 10:30pm

Old mother hen restaurant

By the way, don’t forgot to read my Star Blog entry this week. We’re talking about Tiger Woods and his mojo!