Awhile ago I went to the Golden Mile Hawker Centre to try the infamous sup tulang – mutton bone marrow soup. Mutton bones are cooked in a bright reddish-pink chili sauce, which does not taste at all spicy and does not look at all natural.
Needless to say, this is quite the messy dish. Thankfully, unlike the time I attempted to politely eat chilli crab, I had a fork (and spoon) instead of chopsticks. (While I can use chopsticks, my fingers aren’t strong enough to hold onto a heavy bone.) So I daintily attempted to get the meat off the bone with my fork and spoon.
Even though I was sitting a bit away from the sup tulang stall, I was apparently being watched, because one of the guys came over and told me it wasn’t going to work – I needed to use my hands. I was simultaneously curious about how closely I had been watched (and how many Westerners come to their stall) and amused by the permission to eat with my hands.
I really enjoyed the meat on the bones, but there wasn’t a whole lot, as I think the crowning aspect of the dish is supposed to be the marrow inside. You can watch Anthony Bourdain using a straw to suck out the marrow when he ate sup tulang, but I was not given a straw and I did not feel like asking for one. So I developed my own method – I discovered that inverting your spoon/fork and using the narrow end to dig out the marrow works quite well.
While I don’t think sup tulang makes my favorite Singaporean foods lists, it is on my list of places to take visitors if they’re up for it/there’s time because of the novelty of the dish and the “Anthony Bourdain ate here” factor. Conveniently, the stall is also next to a famous Roti John stall, which I’ll explain in my next food post.
There are several sup tulang stalls at Golden Mile (505 Beach Rd). I had it at Haji Kadir & M. Baharudeen Soup Tulang, Stall #B1-14.