Chinese Feasts

Chinese Feasts

Featuring KEK Keng Eng Kee Seafood (Alexandra), Peony Jade Restaurant, Taste Paradise (ION Orchard), Red Star Restaurant, Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck Restaurant (Paragon), Lei Garden (CHIJMES), Summer Pavilion (The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore), Imperial Treasure Noodle & Congee House (ION Orchard), East Ocean Teochew Restaurant (Takashimaya), Din Tai Fung (Wisma Atria)
Veronica Phua
Veronica Phua

My god-daughter introduced us to this place. She loves their signatures of Baked Salted Egg Yolk Custard Buns ($6.80++) and Steamed Crispy Rice Rolls with Shrimp ($5.80++) the most, and I have to agree with her - those are terrific. The former has the thick savoury-sweet golden lava encased in a light and crumbly pastry while the latter offers a fun mouthfeel with the contrasting textures.
We went a bit overboard and ordered too much food for the four of us but hey, is anyone surprised? 😂 Ended up taking some home because we just couldn’t finish 😅
Overall, I liked the food. When I return, these would be what I’d reorder: Steamed Pork Ribs with Yam (it’s so smooshy soft), Century Egg and Lean Meat Congee, Mentaiko Har Gao, and Fresh Shrimp with Fried Carrot Cake in X.O. Sauce.
On another note, I found service to be good here - efficient but still warm.

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On the second floor of Capitol Piazza is @famoustreasure, a Chinese restaurant that describes what they serve as Nanyang cuisine, running the gamut of Cantonese, Teochew and Hokkien dishes. Regardless of which dialect group’s you order, what you can be certain of is that the item would be really tasty. That’s my experience so far from the visits I’ve paid.
When T.H. and I took my parents on Thursday this week, we ordered six dishes to share amongst the four of us. Nibbled on their complimentary appetite-whetting juicy tomatoes marinated in sour plum juice before the first one arrived. It was Poached Pork Belly with Garlic ($18++). I liked it that the thinly- sliced meat had a clean taste and was paired with an ideal amount of golden garlic.
I have always enjoyed the Chinchalok Squid with Lady’s Finger ($20++), so it’s a must-order whenever I’m at Famous Treasure. Stirfried in a fragrant savoury sambal, the squid is springy but not rubbery, and the vegetable retains a bit of crunch.
Another dish that I never miss is the simple but delicious meat-stuffed Hakka Beancurd presented with lady’s fingers in a claypot with lipsmacking sauce ($16++).
The “Soon Hock” (Marble Goby) with Preserved Vegetables (market price: $11 for 100gms, and ours cost $88++) was finished with black vinegar, crunchy peanuts and sliced chilli padi upon serving. I have always found the gravy the fish comes in to be so flavourful, I actually drown my bowl of plain rice in it. A dollop of raw minced garlic and extra chilli padi are imperative as final touches.
“Har Jeong Gai” or Deepfried Chicken Wings with Shrimp Paste ($18++) is my forever kryptonite and I was not disappointed at all by my first taste of @famoustreasure’s version. The crunchiness level was commendable.
The same applied for the Braised Pork Rib with Lemongrass which my mum had requested for, after spotting it in the menu. Each long piece of the spare rib’s wonderfully tender meat was saturated in an appetising tangy-sweet glaze. How thoughtful of the kitchen team to wrap the tip of the bone in silver foil so we could easily hold the rib to eat.
In case you are curious, our bill, inclusive of a couple of mugs of beer, came to just over $300.

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Perhaps it’s the start of a new year but I was hit by a wave of nostalgia and thought of Oasis Taiwan Porridge, a Chinese restaurant TH and I used to frequent very regularly for suppers about two decades ago. This was during the time when it was located in Kallang - also in a round building and surrounded by water, just like it is now at Toa Payoh Gardens (and if you know what I’m talking about, I guess we’re about the same age 😂).
Since there were just us two yesterday, I could only order most of our old favourites: Stirfried Szechuan Vegetable with Pork, Chye Por Omelette, Cold Silken Tofu in Soya Sauce with Century Egg and Pork Floss, Stirfried Beansprouts with Salted Fish, and Braised Pork.
The highlight for me though, has always been their porridge which is cooked to the perfect consistency with sweet potato. And because it is served in a thermos container wheeled over on a trolley which stays by your table, it is still nice and warm when you help yourself to more later.
Aside from the rather dry braised pork we encountered yesterday, the rest of the dishes were fine. Flavours tasted as old-school and robust as I recall. The food was still on the oily side (it’s like they never got the government’s memo to go healthier 😂) but it’s exactly why the clean-tasting porridge paired well with them I guess.

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After sitting on my wishlist for many months, I finally got to dine there, thanks to @terence.jee’s invitation for us to join him, @lesterjuay and KS (@chanksters) at @sanshugong.sg. Although the words “private dining” appear in the name, this place is more like a small restaurant with a main seating area and a private room (bookings for this is through bossman Roy Oh and requires a minimum spend of $600).
Having visited a couple of times before, KS knew exactly what to pre-order but of course we added more items to the list. Below is a rundown of all that we stuffed ourselves on that evening:
1. Salted Yellow Roe Crab ($108++) - They do it really well. Dipping the crab in the housemade tangy chilli is a must as it adds an extra kick.
2. Shirako with Chinese wine - A “special of the day” recommended by the bossman, this had a nice aromatic sauce to complement the creamy cod sperm sac.
3. Sour Plum-infused Cherry Tomatoes ($8++) - Popped these chilled babies for a refreshing juicy hit.
4. Deepfried Sea Cucumber - Proving to be as amazing as we’d heard, the gelatinous braised sea cucumber was coated in an extremely thin layer of umami crunchiness that elevated it to another level.
5. Chicken Stuffed In Pig’s Stomach Soup ($88++) - Outstanding! I had been looking forward very much to this dish and it delivered in grand style. While the mildly peppery broth was rich in collagen and strong in the fragrance of gingko nuts, what I enjoyed a lot as well as were the fall-apart tender chicken and gently springy pig’s stomach. Immensely delicious with fresh-cut chilli padi in soya sauce.
6. Ngoh Hiang ($12++) - I am usually neutral about this item but @sanshugong.sg’s was superb. The minced pork and shrimp filling was bold in five-spice seasoning and the water chestnuts were cut large, so the sweet and juicy crunch they introduced, was apparent.
7. Braised Combination Platter ($44++) - Consisting of tofu, goose meat, goose wings and pig’s large intestines, this was a traditional dish executed on point.
8. White Bittergourd ($28++) - The vegetable proved more bitter than I anticipated, but the minced Iberico pork and fried flounder fish were good foils for it.
9. Pan Fried Oyster Omelette ($15++) - Impeccably done with a proper crisp on the top and slight chewiness underneath. Another must-order in my opinion.
10. Kway Teow Fried with Vegetable Stems and “Chye Por” ($18++ for a medium portion) - Heaving with “wok hei”, it’s a solid choice for a closing carb.
11. Pan Fried Teochew Kueh ($10++) - The mochi-like balls with a “liu sha bao” style of salted egg custard and taro (yam) filling, were appealing.
12. Teochew Tau Suan with Gingko Nuts - Giving it a lift was the bright fragrance from dried citrus peel.
13. Deepfried Water Chestnut Cake ($5++) - Our unanimous favourite from amongst the desserts. The contrast of the shatteringly crisp battered coating and the gooey soft filling was out-of-this-world. Talk about ending with a bang!

Thank you very much Terence for bringing your sake to share with us. #nocorkage

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It seems that decades ago, Uncle Ho Hoi Ching or “Ah Ching” use to be the head cook at the original famous Geylang Claypot Road for over twenty years. He then left to start his own stall in a coffeeshop in Bedok South, but these days, you can find him at:

430 Upper Changi Road, #01-09
East Village
Singapore 487048

This eatery is owned by Mr. Teng and occupies two units. It used to be called “Eng’s Wanton Mee & Claypot Rice East Village” but the signboard has since been changed and doesn’t include the word “Eng’s” any longer. Our friends who took us there, chose to sit outside under the evening sky as the weather was really pleasant. Mr. Teng then brought me to the kitchen to have a peek at Uncle Ah Ching and his assistant at work. The heat was so intense from the multiple charcoal stoves, the younger man’s shirt was soaked through with sweat.
The claypot rice was indeed every bit as amazing as May described. One of the wait staff did the final touches for it right at the table - lashing on the thick black sauce before giving the contents of the claypot a thorough mix.
I found the salted fish used to be of superb quality - it’s moist and intense, lending a stunning funky savouriness to the dish. The rice was very fragrant, and the chicken pieces - large, juicy and incredibly tender to the bite (yes, even the breast meat). As for the “lap cheong”, it was decent and there was a reasonable amount of “chye sim”. We were also given some sambal chilli to spice things up if we wanted.
The portion May got was good for 4 to 5 pax and it proved plenty partly because she also ordered a few other dishes, but that’s another story which warrants its own post 😊

G I F T
Seafood feasting occurred last Saturday with my parents coming over to join us at our home for dinner because bossman @lambertchen had kindly arranged for a most generous delivery of @diamondkitchensg’ dishes. We are all familiar with the restaurant’s menu having dined there ample times since they first opened at Laguna Park years ago. So we knew what wonders we were to savour.
Instead of the more typical styles, we had the very fresh and firm-of-meat crabs prepared in Diamond Kitchen’s unique “Gan Xiang” and “Mongolian Sauce”. While the former was very aromatic and delivered a punch, the latter‘s equally addictive appeal came from its slightly sweet and savoury creamy sauce.
Also superb, the “Salted Egg Sotong”. What’s impressive was how the battered coating remained crunchy even after travel time and when it had cooled down.
Fried chicken wings don’t come more umami than Prawn Paste Chicken or “Har Jeong Gai”, and I thought Diamond Kitchen’s rendition was delectably bold in fermented shrimp factor. Shiok!
A wonderful dish to order if you love pork is the “Champagne Pork Ribs”. All of us found the boneless and extremely tender pieces of lean meat superbly tasty from a special marinade.
For vegetables, Lambert selected for us the “Three Eggs Spinach” and it was faultless.
The “Beef Hor Fun” from #DiamondKitchen is pretty much a legend in its own right. With a bold “wok hei” and large slices of buttery beef, this carb has been a perennial bestseller for as long as I’ve known the brand to exist. I’m pleased to say standards have been maintained.
We also got to slurp up another carb - the “Superior Stock Clam Bee Hoon” which I’ve enjoyed a lot on previous occasions too. If you love seafood-based noodles, it is not to be missed. The serving we had contained an abundance of clams and the delicately sweet broth smelt truly inviting with the aroma of Chinese wine.

(Media Gifting)
Fancy a Chinese banquet at home? The best deal I’ve come across lately is from @famoustreasure. If you call the restaurant directly at 9730 7548 / 6881 6668 to order their Takeaway Menu, and pick the food up yourself (address: 13 Stamford Road, #02-27/29 Capitol Singapore, 178905), you enjoy a crazy-value 50% discount!
Having dined there before, I knew what I wanted for our family dinner.
The Braised Rice Vermicelli with Local Lobster and Leek in Superior Broth 上汤蒜子本地龙虾焖米粉 was at the top of my list and so was the Deepfried Marble Goby with “Cinchalok” Sauce. I was right to guess that the former would travel well since the noodles and crustacean were packed separately from the soup, and the latter which featured their signature funky-savoury-tangy-spicy sauce I’d had twice and enjoyed a lot, was also given the same treatment which helped retain the crunchiness of the fish. My parents and I enjoyed both dishes very much. They were particularly fond of the lobster noodle broth as it’s fragrant and concentrated in seafood richness. Thumbs up too for the large and uber fresh lobster with its firmly succulent meat.
I couldn’t not order Famous Treasure’s Roasted Honey BBQ Pork either as it has quite a reputation. And deservingly so, given that the fat-striped pork was very tender and the sticky black sauce it’s prepared with, finger-licking good. Luckily the restaurant gave a little more of it on the side.
Another Chinese restaurant must-have for my family is the Crab Meat with Fish Maw Soup soup. At only $10 a bowl if you do the order-direct-collect-yourself method (usual price: $20 per bowl), there was no way I was going to skip getting it.
Really, this ongoing promotion is quite wonderful. It would be a shame to miss.

We attacked the BBQ with gusto. Who can resist such a fragrant and roe-rich crustacean? Not least when it’s been appetisingly seasoned in salt and Unagi sauce. That sweet-savouriness your lips first makes contact with, really alleviates the enjoyment of the BBQ Crab. I’d advise pre-ordering to avoid disappointment.

Besides the vegetarian Fried Hor Fun with its insane “wok hei” and the roe-rich BBQ Crab, my other favourite dish from last night’s dinner at @shaobbq was the “Dweh Her” - please pardon the spelling but I can’t include the nasal sound required in the Teochew word to mean “hard-fleshed fish”. Completely ironic though as the fish has the most cottony-soft flesh. Which is why Chef-owner Jack Ding offers two ways of preparation - cooked in a broth with noodles, or battered and deepfried. We opted for the latter and loved it so much, a second round was necessary. I was smittened by the contrast between the silky, soft fish meat and the extreme crunch of the coating. Furthermore, it was enhanced by some very fragrant garlic bits stir-fried with chilli, spring onion, salt and pepper. This was what made the dish incredibly tasty.

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I am not huge on the popular Chinese classic dish of “Sweet & Sour Pork” but @lousangsg (previously known as #makhongkee) does one that I can’t get enough of.
The pieces of pork are fried till very, and I mean VERY, crunchy. And the sauce is more sweet than sour but by golly, it just works. I know taste is subjective but to me, this is the best version of the dish I’ve had in recent years.

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While perusing the menu at @lousangsg, the “Claypot Stewed Beef with White Radish” ($20++) caught my eye, so order it we did. And it managed to exceed expectations as the big chunks of fantastically tender beef and beef tendon came in a thick and remarkably flavourful sauce. The pieces of radish were also super juicy. I give this top marks.

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Need to share this other dish that we enjoyed here - the “Chye Por Neng” or Omelette with Salted and Dried Radish. It‘s huge, thick-ish and fluffy and fragrant. The preserved radish mixed in there had a good crunch and wasn’t too salty. Ratio of it to egg was also spot-on.

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