I've been meaning to try this place ever since Tan Hsueh Yun ran the article on it in the Sunday times - on how the food's excellent and all that. Hence, when my colleague informed us that he was driving that day, we seized the opportunity to venture down from our office in Tanjong Pagar to another Tanjong, the sleepy Tanjong Katong Road - to try out this "cze char" place. The day the review was published, I went with family to try the food there but unfortunately we couldn't get a table as it was fully booked.
Hence, it was a great relief to see that the place was rather empty for a weekday lunch. The effervescent owner, Grace Lim (daughter of Moses Lim i.e. Tan Ah Teck) came out to greet us and motioned us to try the porridge (which is what they're famous for) with some cze char dishes. We gladly obliged.
We ordered a pork ball porridge to share (she mentioned that it came with homemade pork balls which of course perked our interest), with some century eggs on the side; as well as other dishes. The pork ball porridge was a bowl of home-made goodness - flavourful porridge and with good texture from the pork balls. Very homely food. I was particularly impressed by the century eggs - they were very creamy and with a natural century egg flavour which was particularly appetizing, since not many places these days sell century eggs with that sort of eggy flavour that characterises a good century egg. (8/10 for the porridge)
The prawn rolls came out also and these were again excellent - very rough texture that comes from hand chopping the prawns rather than blending them, and deep fried. (8.25/10)
We also ordered the "gan chao mee sua" which had a very fragrant aroma that wafted into our consciousness the moment it came out of the kitchen. The meesua was done very well, very tasty on its own without even the need for any condiments or chill of any kind. (8.5/10)
Tan Hsueh Yun also recommended the vegetables with fermented beancurd, which we also ordered - these were again done very well. The kailan was done just right, with the fermented beancurd a joy to eat (and not too smelly). (8.25/10)
Last was the poached superior beef with bean sprouts - this was another good dish with the meat having good flavour and marbling (of course - fat means flavour), served with bean sprouts and a savoury salty sauce which I would imagine would be great for spooning over rice. (8/10)
Zhen Zhou Dao's a delightful place to eat and I would certainly revisit, perhaps with my family the next time. Good food, prepared well, with heart and soul.