Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Singapore, a melting pot of culture, serves up a wide selection of cuisines to satisfy our taste buds. Never go hungry again.
Julius Lim
Julius Lim

Fans can look forward to new dishes such as Hainanese Ah Mai’s Chee Cheong Fun ($7.80), Hainanese Pig Trotter’s Assam Curry Noodle ($9.80) and not forgetting the unique Baked Hainanese Rice Cake Lasagna ($8.80), a fusion of East meets West by using chwee kueh and a blanket of sliced cheddar cheese that melts under high heat. The chwee kueh is then doused in an eggplant tomato stew and topped with fine French bean and a béchamel sauce.

Popular favourites will be part of the mainstays in the menu such as Hae Bee Hiam Spaghetti and Newspaper Curry Rice. For those with a sweet tooth, there’s the new Pandan Waffles (from $1.80) with fillings such as peach jam and gula melaka kaya.

Highlights of the ala carte menu include the quadruple of appetizers that include the addictive Crispy Burdock ($14) which are deep fried and tossed with sesame seeds and 7-spice powder, which comes with nourishing aspects of lowering blood sugar and increasing satiety from its high fibre content. Double-boiled soups such as the Silkie Chicken Soup ($22) brings a comforting slurp with a touch of sweetness from the longan and wolfberry, and a calming effect and aroma from the fresh jasmine flowers.

Other meat and seafood dishes in the menu that are unique to Yue Bai include the Crisp-fried Pork Cartilage ($38) that is coated with a mandarin peel sauce and served with a crisp ring made with firm tofu and millet and a crowd favourite, the Deep-fried Granola Prawn ($36) that is coated with house-made granola of rolled oats, pecans and wolfberries. If you are feeling hungry, the Herbal Poached Rice ($38) will warm the heart and soul with the fish broth poured over the egg yolk fried rice and cod fillet or the Braised Hokkien Hutou Vermicelli ($35) that is prepared as a Henghwa version.

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This rendition of the traditional yu sheng with an Italian twist is a unique interpretation and a refreshing one as well as a medley of julienned vegetables such as carrot, daikon, celery and house pickled cabbage is topped onto a freshly baked mozzarella cheese pizza base. Completed with raw Hokkaido scallops, house-cured Atlantic salmon slices, a house made plum sauce and textural garnishes that include crispy rice paper, toss to a prosperous year and share the joy with 8 slices of this Lo Hei Pizza.

Starting with the Smoked Flying Squid ($24) that has been smoked in lychee wood and paired with a 10-day fermented chicken rice chilli, resulting an umami bite balanced with the spicy citrus flavours. To give the additional texture, the rice cracker provides the nice crunch.

Coined as the Centrepiece, the restaurant’s mains include the Bo Kho Sticky Beef Cheeks ($45) that has been braised Vietnamese style till a tender texture and paired with smoked pineapple. The Black Pork Chop ($42) is rubbed with a blend of peppercorns and woodfire grilled.

The surprise of the evening was the Yam Abacus ($16) as the chewy yam ‘gnocchi’ is cooked with sautéed mushrooms in a soy sauce and brown butter mixture that results in a rich and savoury flavour profile. Best to share as it can get quite heavy after a few spoonfuls but otherwise a very comforting dish. Dessert was the Quay House Egg Tart ($16) that doesn’t look like your typical egg tart but more cakey and served with toasted rice ice cream.


These specialty dishes will be available for takeaways between 7 January and 5 February. From highlights such as the new Golden Treasure Seafood Pot ($168, 5-6 pax) which comes with an assortment of seafood such as fish maw, sea cucumber, scallops and goji berry cooked in a shark’s cartilage collagen broth in a casserole pot, to the other new dish of Braised Chinese Spare Rib in Wuxi Style ($68, 4-5 pax) that has been cooked in red yeast rice and Shao Xing wine; these make great sharing dishes to celebrate the occasion.

Other festive takeaways include the Prosperity Lo Hei with Mini Abalone and Crispy Fish Skin ($58/$68), the umami Braised Pork Knuckle with Sea Cucumber, Black Moss and Broccoli ($98) and a dessert of Osmanthus Jelly with Coconut Pudding ($68, 6-8 pax) that is handcrafted in the shape of a carp to symbolise good fortune, wealth and luck.

The Fortune Set Menu ($72++ per pax, minimum 4 persons) is an 8-course meal that starts with the Prosperity Salmon Fruit Yusheng as a refreshing appetiser before the sweet-savoury Double-boiled Apple Soup with Pork, Wild Yam and Dried Scallops. The Steamed Silver Cod Fish with XO Sauce brings the umami factor while the House-cured Chinese Sausage & Duck Fried Rice adds to the wok hei. The piece de resistance of Char’s Double Roast which comes with the Signature Char Siew & Free-range Soya Chicken, is the unanimous favourite.

The meal continues with the Braised Abalone with Sea Cucumber and Chinese Mushrooms, Sautéed Fresh Ang Kar Prawns and ended with the Peach Resin Pudding.

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Making a comeback is the Prosperity Treasure Hot Pot ($328 regular, $468 large) that comes with a golden broth base that is stewed for six hours. In the pot contains a medley on auspicious ingredients such as roast pork belly, bamboo pith, sea cucumber, abalone, scallops, prawns, mushrooms, fish maw, cordyceps flowers, yam, and Chinese cabbage.

New dishes for the new year include the Crispy Roast Chicken ($24.80 half, $39.80 whole) that is first marinated with five-spice powder, air-dried before going into the roaster, and the Sauteed Tiger Prawns with Superior Soy Sauce ($38.80), the sauce made with a blend of premium soy and nine types of specially curated ingredients including spices and aromatics.

Other familiar dishes include the Prosperity Abalone Yu Sheng ($68.80 regular, $88.80 large), Steamed Jade Perch in Spicy Garlic Lime using Yunnan’s preserved vegetables, preserved plums, limes and chillies, Braised Spinach in Superior Stock with Dried Scallops and Bamboo Pith, and Braised Truffle Ee-Fu Noodles with Fresh Scallops.

Located in 111 Somerset, I have had the nasi ambeng from Pu3 Restaurant previously at their last location and this time round we decided to go for their nasi padang instead. I got the Nasi Sambal Goreng Set which also comes with a well marinated bergedil, juicy fried chicken and serunding sprinkled on top of the rice. The accompanying sambal was mildly sweet and more towards the spicy side which made it very good to go with rice.

The Yuzu Buri fish will be showcased in dishes such as the Yuzu Buri Carpaccio ($16.80) while the premium beef that is known for its excellent marbling and firm meat is used in the Miyazaki Wagyu Steak ($37.80) that is pan-fried slightly and topped with ikura, and Miyazaki Wagyu Fried Rice ($15.80).

Also in the menu is the Ebi Curry Roll ($9.80) that is topped with lobster salad and drenched in a sweet and slightly spicy Japanese curry, Age Kani Tofu ($13.80) of crab tofu deep fried and served with a sweet-sour tonkatsu sauce, Unagi Mentai Slide ($12.80) and a dessert of Milk Crepe Roll Cake ($9.80) made with delicate crepes layered with whipped cream and rolled with vanilla sponge cake.

Each stall prepares their classic specialities a la minute and true to the authentic Penang flavours. Available for lunch and dinner, you cannot miss out on the notable dishes such as Penang Laksa, Oyster Omelette, Char Kway Teow, Nasi Lemak with Chicken Kapitan and the new food for this edition, the Cucur Udang Penang. The bite-size fritter contains a medley of ingredients from shrimps to bean curd, bean sprouts and cucumber. Perfect to dip with chilli sauce for a satisfying and addictive crunch. When you are done with the savouries, head over to the desserts section for Ban Chang Kueh, Ice Kachang and Chendol.

There is also a lucky draw that you can stand to win attractive prizes from a two-night weekend stay in a Premier Room at York Hotel Singapore to a five-pax buffet spread at White Rose Café when you dine during the Penang Hawkers’ Fare. Prices for the Penang Hawkers’ Fare are at $38++ per adult and $23++ per child from Mondays to Thursdays and $42++ per adult and $27++ per child on Fridays, Weekends and Public Holidays.

The showstopper is most definitely the 60-inch Prosperity Rabbit Yusheng ($588) together with an extensive showcase of Chinese delicacies. The new year’s yusheng comes with a medley of premium ingredients such as mini abalone, lobster and Hokkaido scallops, all dressed in a honey pink guava sauce and shallot oil.

With over seven different set menus that cater for an intimate dining for two persons ($148 per pax) to a gathering for up to 10 or more persons, diners can look forward to festive dishes such as the Abundance Treasure Pot with over 18 premium ingredients from six-head while abalone, lobster, whole dried scallop, South Africa fish maw and dace fish ball. Additionally, you can also get the ala carte favourites with my top picks of the Roasted Suckling Pig with Five Grain Glutinous Rice ($488) and Roasted London Duck with Pineapple and Abalone ($198).

What’s Lunar New Year without all the festive goodies? Man Fu Yuan has also brought back the Prosperity Pineapple Balls ($46.80), Almond Slices ($39.80) and Peanut Cookies ($39.80), among the hampers and bundles. Available from 12 Dec to 2 Feb at the Man Fu Yuan Shoppe or restaurant.

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"The best souvenir from travelling is to bring home a memorable food experience" #aworldtoeat

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