Category Archives: Chinese

Penang Place

Penang Place 
Penang Place
6 International Business Park #01-05
Atrium Building (off Boon Lay Way)
Singapore 609918
Tel: 6899 9446
Website: http://www.penangplace.com/index.htm
Opening Hours: 11.30am to 2.00pm (lunch) and 6.30pm to 9.00pm (dinner); Closed on Sundays
 

Went to this place for lunch one fine working day and first impression simply didn’t gel with the quality of food here.

First impression was hmm… ordinary. Got the feeling that it’s a Peranakan Jack’s Place. Went round the buffet table and ok, not too bad a spread for a weekday lunch.

Being at a Penang makan place, of course I had to try the char kway teow, the Penang laksa and the chendol.  These are after all the “die die must try” dishes when you are at Penang.

And oh boy, I must say that the char kway teow here is the most authentic Penang char kway teow that I’ve eaten in Singapore. It’s truly like having the same dish at Penang. Not oily, not spicy and don’t have too much of the black sauce that you find in normal char kway teow in Singapore. One helping is never enough of this good stuff.

The Penang laksa here is good but not as tasty as the ones that they serve at Chilli Padi.  It doesn’t have the oomph that I was looking for – a bit bland and not enough of the prawn paste (heh koh).

Chendol chendol chendol – I always love the chendol that they serve in Malaysia because of the pandan jellies.  The ones that they serve in Singapore are the dark green ones and has the plastic-like look that I never liked.  The ones that they serve at Penang Place here are the same ones that they serve in Malaysia – light green and has that tinge of pandan taste.  You basically have to make your own chendol (like all buffets).  The red beans that they served here are the big ones (small kidney like), but since I am not a red beans person, I typically skipped that stuff.  I had literally 2 full bowls of the chendol – just like the ones that they serve in Penang.

Don’t try the otah at this place – it simply does not taste nice.  They attempt to make it like the Thai otah by steaming their otahs but the coconut simply overwhelms the otah.

I managed to squeeze 1 seasame chicken – I couldn’t taste much of the seasame but the chicken drumstick is crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside.

Since I am a small eater and I think I did very well by eating quite a fair bit, I wasn’t able to stuff any more of their food in.  But am happy coz I had a taste of Penang here at home. Now I don’t have to fly to Penang any more to fulfill my char kway teow/chendol cravings. Overall, great but there are hits and misses.  Just simply enjoy those that you love.  🙂

If you are not a buffet fan, they also have ala-carte dishes available, so you can always order from the menu.

Prices are reasonable –  S$19.80++ for weekday lunch and S$21.80++ for weekday dinner.  Add another S$2 if you are dining on Saturdays, Public Holidays eve nights and on Public Holidays.

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Yan Chuan Roaster (S) Pte Ltd

Yan Chuan Roaster
Yan Chuan Roaster (S) Pte Ltd
Tel: 6747 2623 / 6745 6396
Blk 507 Jurong West St 52 #01-164
Tel: 6565 0330

If you want to eat cheap and good duck, be sure to visit this place.  Nowhere else I think you can get a whole roasted duck for S$16!

The thing is this is a wholesaler, which means you can’t order duck rice to go and no half ducks for sale please. 

I also love their “char siew” (roasted pork) and “xiu yok” (roasted 3-layer fat pork). Not sure how much they charge (as I always get my dad to buy). But being a huge “char siew” fan, this one gets my thumbs up everytime I eat.

I will try to get you pictures of the duck & char siew before we hungrily attack them next time. 🙂

Vienna International Seafood & Teppanyaki Restaurant

Vienna International Seafood & Teppanyaki Restaurant
101 Thomson Road #B1-01
United Square
Singapore 307591   
Tel: (65) 6254 6686
Website: http://www.viennabuffet.com/welcome.asp
Opening Hours: 11.30am to 3.00pm (lunch) & 5.30pm to 10.00pm (dinner)
 

We had lunch here on 28 February 2009 (Saturday), thanks to a friend of bf’s who brought us here.

The name of the restaurant is quite deceiving as Vienna is the capital of Austria, and one would expect it to serve Austrian food.  But the rest of its name says “Teppanyaki Restaurant”.  Quite confusing, I must say.

But man! The buffet spread is a sight for sore eyes! Even at lunch, they serve sashimi, sushi, cold dishes such as oysters, scabis, crayfish, smoked salmon, pepper crab, oyster vegetables, clams, etc. For desserts, you can choose ice cream, cakes (American Cheese Cake, Blackforest Cake, Mango Passion, Tiramisu, Fudge, etc.), yang sheng jelly, etc.  Inclusive in the price are free flow of drinks (you can choose either soft drinks or juices – not fresh fruit juice but the cordial kind) and each diner gets a bowl of “Buddha jumps over the wall” soup (I put this in inverted commas as it’s not the real thing but quite tasty).

Now I know why the place was packed on the Saturday afternoon and we were lucky to get a place even though we had no reservations. I must say that the price you pay for is quite good value for money.  Don’t expect high-end quality.  Freshness of the sashimi is also acceptable.

Check the website for the menu details.  If I paste them all here, it’ll make this entry too lengthy.  This will be one place that I will be visiting again soon!

Hua Kee Hougang Wan Ton Mee

Wan Tho Noodles
Wan Tho Noodles
Hua Kee Hougang Wan Ton Mee
Old Airport Road Emporium & Food Centre
Blk 51 Old Airport Road #01-113B

Opening Hours: 12 noon to 12 midnight; closed on Mondays

 

 

There were a few things that caught my eye and prompted to try the noodles here.  First, I saw the char siew the guy was cutting – it looked red and a bit burnt on the outside.  My ideal char siew!

Second, there was a queue at this stall.  If there is a queue at a food stall in Singapore, the food must be good, right? And lastly, there were the numerous accolades pinned at the stall.  Must be really good, right?

Well, it’s half right.  The portion is really very good value for money.  See the picture above? That’s a S$3 portion!  The char siew didn’t disappoint me – it was really tasty.

But I didn’t like the noodles – it was too dry; not enough chilli sauce and other sauce to blend it in.  So that made the noodles kinda stick together.  The wanton was so so – not memorable.

Overall, if you’re looking for quantity, then go ahead and eat it.  Be prepared for a queue – I was in it for about 15 minutes during off-peak hours.  If you’re going for quality, you’re better off eating the Kok Kee Wanton Noodle at Lavender Hawker Centre..

Tian Jin Hai Seafood Restaurant

Steamed Sharks Head
Tian Jin Hai Seafood Restaurant
600 Ponggol Seventeenth Avenue
Singapore 829734
Tel: 9768 8818
Website: http://www.tjhseafood.com/
Opening Hours: Lunch 1130 – 1430 hours; Dinner : 1730 – 2300 hours; Weekend & P.H 1100 – 2300 hours

Tian Jin Hai is no newcomer to the food scene here. In fact, the seafood stall had quite a following during its 10-year tenure at the Kopitiam MacPherson at Jackson Centre.

When the hawker centre was closed in September last year, owner-chef Francis Yeo, 51, went on a month-long holiday in China and the plan was to reopen in the Rochor area after that.  But when he returned, he found that the shop space would not be ready for another four months.

Not willing to sit idle, he went hunting for another location. Chance took him to the Marina Country Club in Punggol where a restaurant space had been left vacant for more than a year since Taiwanese chef Huang Ching-biao’s Chinese eatery closed down. Yeo took it over and reopened Tian Jin Hai last December.

Although the seaside restaurant is not air-conditioned, it is a far cry from the cramped, sweltering Jackson Centre. It has a view of the Johor Baru industrial zone and the spacious premises can fit 30 tables and a bar counter.

And instead of hawker centre-type tables and hard stools, you now find tablecloths and cushioned chairs. But now that it is no longer a hawker stall, prices have gone up accordingly, from a couple of dollars to as much as $10 more.

Nonetheless, you can get a good meal here for about $35 per person, which is comparable to what you pay at other local seafood restaurants.

The dish to go for at Tian Jin Hai is the unique steamed shark’s head (starting from $30 each) which Yeo claims to have created.

It is an unusual dish as the head has no meat at all. Instead, stripped of its skin, it comprises a cone-shaped bone to which are attached thick slabs of what look like a firm gelatin and have the texture of sea cucumber.

Yeo steams the shark’s head Hong Kong-style in a lightly sweetened soya sauce. It sounds very simple, but the sauce is just perfect for the dish, covering up whatever bits of fishiness it might have without being overpowering.

The crab dishes here are pretty good, especially if you like your crabs huge and meaty. The crustaceans are priced at $40 a kg, no matter how they are cooked. Although the chilli crab here is very popular, I prefer the crab beehoon.

The giant crab (about 1 to 1.6kg) comes sitting on the beehoon and broth in a deep dish. It is not overcooked and you can taste the natural sweetness of the plump slivers of meat. The broth is delicious too and the beehoon soaks it up like a sponge.

Another winning dish is the salt-baked red tilapia ($35 a kg).  The whole fish, scales and all, is packed in salt and baked. When ready, it is removed from the salt crust and the scaly skin on both sides is carefully separated from the meat in whole sheets.

The fish is served standing on its belly, propped up by the sheet of scales on each side. This dramatic presentation, plus the white colour of the fish’s exterior, prompted Yeo to name the dish xueshan feiyu in Mandarin, which translates as ‘snow mountain flying fish’.

Looks aside, the fish also tastes lovely. It does not have any of the muddy flavour that characterises freshwater fish and the meat is smooth and moist.

Some of the cheap dishes are also done well here. The fried kangkong with cuttlefish ($10), for example, is cooked with just enough spiciness in the sambal.

The only drawback of the restaurant is its remote location. But there is a convenient way to get there even if you don’t drive.

The club runs almost hourly shuttle bus services from morning till 11pm to and from Punggol MRT station, as well as Compass Point, Rivervale Mall and Punggol Plaza during lunch and dinner hours.

Personal Note:

I’ve eaten at their stall in MacPherson Road for a long time and especially loves their chilli crabs there.  Standard has dropped a little over the years but still, it remains quite tasty. Am glad that I managed to find them again; although this time they’re located a bit further, I’ll be sure to visit them.

If you are adventurous, do try their famous steamed sharks’ head.  Personally, I have not tried it before because I find the smell of the dish too fishy to stomach.

 

Sungei Road Laksa

Sungei Road Laksa
Sungei Road Laksa
Blk 27 Jalan Berseh #01-100
Jin Shui Kopitiam
Opening Hours: 9am to 6pm, off on 1st Wednesday of the month

They’re the ones who made eating a bowl of laksa without chopsticks famous. Charcoal-cooked laksa, topped with fresh cockles (I counted at least 7 in my bowl) and slices of fishcakes, all these make up a good bowl of laksa.

I’ve eaten this laksa since my growing up days and I think the laksa has been thinned in recent years.  Probably because Singaporeans are more health conscious these days, and the laksa is not so lemak now.  Still you can’t help but slurp up every spoonful of its flavourful gravy.  At S$2 a bowl, the portion is good for a small eater only. 

Chong Pang BBQ Seafood

Extracted from Chong Pang's website
Extracted from Chong Pang’s website
 

Chong Pang BBQ Seafood

200 Turf Club Road #02-01
Tuf City
Tel: 6323 6653
Website: http://www.chongpangbbq.com/
Opening Hours: 4pm to Midnight, Monday to Friday; 12pm to Midnight, Sat, Sun & Public Holiday

Remember the good ole days of cheap bbq seafood at Marina South and you come out smelling like a bbq pit? Alas, the restaurants there have all moved out and raised their prices. 

Chong Pang now charges S$16 (Mon to Fri) & S$18 (Sat, Sun & Public Holidays) per adult including free flow of soft and hot drinks (excluding beer) when it used to charge S$13 per head.  I guess it works out to be a good deal if you drink a lot and eat a lot.

Nevertheless, I shall brave the smells and the higher prices and attempt once more to eat here.  If you’ve already eaten here, please drop me your comments! Thank you.

 Update on 19 Aug 2008:

Chong Pang moved again and this time, to Turf City.  They should be opened by 1 Sep 2008.  Check the website for details. No idea about the pricing yet.  Hope they don’t increase too much! 🙂

Update on 5 Sep 2008:
Chong Pang has opened its doors at Turf City.  I’ve updated the new website add, new opening hours and new prices.

Update on 24 Mar 2009:

Finally I managed to make it to their new place at Turf City.  It’s located at the left hand corner of the building, so it’s not that difficult to find.  But I find the variety of food depleting (less meat and vegetables, no desserts, no satay, no fresh live prawns).  Still, it’s cheap, given that you pay S$16 for a buffet including unlimited flow of soft drinks.