Dialect Cuisines

Dialect Cuisines

A collection of the different dialect cuisines in Singapore!
Miss Ha ~
Miss Ha ~

I am a sucker for nostalgia, and so I have always wanted to try the newspaper Hainanese curry rice at The Hainan Story. Not only they are creative by serving the curry rice on a piece of “newspaper”, I have also noticed that the curry rice here has been highly raved.

The first time I had it delivered, I wasn’t too impressed as the rice came across mushy and sticky although I must say I really enjoyed the tender chicken drumstick. However, dining in this time made the experience entirely different. What stayed the same was the huge portion, the heavenly four vegetables and the long bean fried omelette which we didn’t know that we could actually choose. But what was different was that the set was also served with a prawn cracker, sambal tempeh and the sambal belacan that left me burning. And although the slab of braised pork belly was pretty fat, I enjoyed the melt-in-mouth tenderness while being drenched with a gravy filled with spices. This was, in fact, not conflicting to the hainanese curry which was heavily aromatic in the curry rempah. I appreciate the gesture of serving the curry separately so that the rice wouldn’t be damp and we could taste both the curry and the braised pork separately before mixing them all together.

One of the traditional vegetable dish representative of the Teochew cuisine. It was my first time trying this.

Cooked with a superior soup stock, different ingredients including baby corn, various mushrooms, beancurd skin, lotus seeds, chestnuts, Fat Choy (hair-like algae which is usually eaten during Chinese New Year) are then wrapped within pieces of Wong Bok, or Chinese cabbage. The sweetness of the Wong Bok intensifies the flavorsome soup stock gravy.

A recommendation by the restaurant is to eat this dish with their special sauce made using mustard greens. Twists the character of the dish a little with the sauce’s sweetness and pickled preserved taste, which some people enjoy. Not for me though.

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I haven't had such delicious Teochew kuehs like these in a while as they aren't easily discovered (another one is at Lai Heng Teochew handmade kueh at Yuhua Market and Food Centre)!

While queuing, I realised most people buy them in 10s unlike us who chose one each and sat at the shop to eat. Wanted to try the yam paste but it was sold out. Growing up, I like the pink png kueh (glutinous rice kueh) because of its colour. They have both the pink and white ones here, with exactly same filling. I didn't request for the pink one, and was randomly given the white. I am pretty much turned off by those these days because of the thick kueh skin and minimal fillings, but the one here was pleasantly found to have a thin kueh skin, with fragrant glutinous rice, peanuts, mushrooms, dried shrimps, shallots stuffed. So much childhood memories!

The ku chai (chives) kueh was impressive too. Chewy yet resilient kueh skin, abundantly filled with fragrant chives. You know how generous they are with the fillings when it's just so full of bite and so much chives dropping out with each bite.

Help yourself to the sweet soy sauce provided if you find the kueh skin too bland. The chili sauce was more sweet than spicy.

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There's only a standard size and price for the oyster omelette here. But I would think it's slightly pricey because the taste was just ordinary. The omelette was fried till a crispy edge, and the oysters were fresh and juicy. However, there wasn't really many oysters and the oysters were rather small. I would rather head over to Kai Xiang Food Centre located across the road to have a cheaper oyster omelette that's more worthwhile with many plump oysters.

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So after the previous time I brought my folks to Xing Xian, they got so addicted that we could have it every almost weekend. This time, we decided to order some of the zi char Teochew dishes on top of the Teochew porridge.

Adding to my list of chye poh kway teows because it's the main staple food when it comes to Teochew cuisine. Priced at $6, we got a big plate of fried thin kway teow topped with plentiful ingredients like chopped kai lan, egg, spring onion, and of course chye poh (preserved radish). Notice the shiny appearance of the kway teow, mum says because it's fried using pork lard and that's very typical Teochew style.

Some innovation spotted there as chicken floss was served on the side. Call me traditional but feels weird to have it added that changes the characteristic of the original dish as the noodles became sweet. Good thing is, the floss wasn't mixed into the kway teow and you could simply eat without it.

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A characteristic Teochew dish. Even though there are slight variations like this one that includes egg, the main ingredients are always the kway teow, kai lan, and of course preserved radish, chye poh. I like the eggy taste in addition to the wok hei of the kway teow and umami flavour of the fish sauce, but was a little oily till jelak.

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Oyster pancake represents one of the signature Teochew dishes that originated from the Chao Shan area in China, where you can get pancakes that are made with more oysters than the flour batter.

At Chao Shan Cuisine, they serve the oyster omelette ($16/$18/$20) and the oyster pancake. As recommended by the restaurant staff, the oyster pancake consisting eggs, oysters and flour, is fried till crispy especially at the sides. Whereas the oyster omelette is more of a soft and slightly soggy version with lesser flour and more eggy. For the amount of big juicy oysters, it's probably the best oyster pancake I have had so far locally, and I would consider it to be reasonably priced. Some might not like coriander, but it's actually good to pair it with the oyster omelette to clear off some greasiness. Dip in the intensely flavored fish sauce for some umaminess!

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I love traditional food. Like a Chinese version of the hamburger, but you get to decide how much meat and veggies you want in the bun. The pork belly is braised till such tenderness that it literally melts in the mouth. It's so soft that while I was trying to position for a good photo, the meat has already collapsed. 😂 Mopped up the copious thick gravy, cooked using various spices such as cinnamon and cloves (though a little too sweet), with the fluffy steamed bun! A dish that even for the amount of fats, I am willing to heck those calories after a good swim.

#burpple #burpplesg #sgfood #sgfoodies #foodporn #westlakerestaurant #西湖小吃 #kongbakbao #扣肉包

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菜脯粿条。Another traditional teochew dish that I haven't come across much in Singapore.

What I like about this dish here is that you could really taste the wok hei, that gives the nostalgic feeling, even as it looks a bit charred. Together with the chopped Kai Lan, preserved radish, and the flavor of fish sauce, this dish was nothing but yum yum! (Though a lil oily)

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I always feel that traditions should not be lost, including traditional dialect food. Hence I was really happy to have found some representative teochew food here at swatow.

This platter was made up of 3 traditional teochew sides. The most special one was the Teochew Chilled Sliced Braised Pig's Head (猪头粽) which I believe is the only restaurant that serves this in Singapore. I had previously eaten in Shantou, China, and was pleasantly surprised to see it here. Despite it's name, it's not made from the pig's head. It's actually made from specially selected pork, braised with spices, and pressed into a block before slicing. Not too salty.

Then there's the chilled jelly pork knuckles (猪脚冻) made from braised pig's leg into jelly form. The ones served here are not as plasticky as some served elsewhere. Rich in collagen but not my kind of thing.

Finally, the tender braised duck meat served with braised bean curd was worth trying too.

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Foodie for life <3

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