Chinese Delicacies

Chinese Delicacies

Featuring Shisen Hanten by Chen Kentaro, Zhong Guo La Mian Xiao Long Bao (Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre), No Name Hainanese Curry Rice (Beo Crescent), Social Place, Tongue Tip Lanzhou Beef Noodles (Tiong Bahru Plaza), Mimi, Give Me More (Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre), KL Traditional Chilli Ban Mee (Macpherson)
Mel Lee
Mel Lee

The menu at Social Place is quirky but the food is solid. Plus, the eatery is a whimsical place to hang out and chill.

The modern Chinese tapas restaurant sits on the upper floor of The Riverhouse, and aptly named ‘secret’in Mandarin. It brings to life the enchantingly melodious blend of tradition and modernity. Each plate is well-presented and carefully curated showcasing intriguing flavours from Sichuan, Shanghainese, Cantonese, and Mongolian cuisine.

Consisting of a flavorful, clear broth, shaved beef, tender Chinese radish slices, lots of cilantro and scallion, deep red chili oil, and chewy handmade noodles, this bowl of beef noodle soup is hands down one of the best I have tasted. I almost thought I wouldn’t be able to finish the mountainous heap of noodles, so large was my bowl, but of course I did.

The hand-pulled noodles possess the perfect chew and just-cooked bite in the impossibly long strand that forces you to enjoy the slurpability. Do not wear a white shirt if you plan on dining here, even if you think you’re a chopstick expert.

🗒 Signature Beef Noodles ($8.90, plus top-up of $4 for set lunch)

Though I’m not a big fan of foie gras, I must say the standout at this two Michelin starred restaurant is the Foie Gras Chawanmushi with Crab Roe Soup, a sublime combination of Japanese and Chinese influences. Imagine decadent goose liver covered with soft and luscious chawanmushi, topped with a thick crab roe soup, served in a beautiful bespoke bowl with a candle below to ensure the soup is maintain at the right temperature while being consumed.

At first glance, the Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre doesn’t seem like the place to find mind-blowing eating experiences. Vendor stalls are basic, with the kind of efficient service you’d expect of hawker dining.

However, stalls like Give Me More with its elevated beef noodle soup embodies much of the spirit of hawker eating: unassuming cooking that is affordable and deliciously authentic.

The soft chunks of braised shank constitute an uppercut of pure bovine intensity. The tendons are slippery, fatty deliciousness. The broth is slow-simmered, flavoured with aromatics like star anise and peppercorns. And the noodles are spot on, more pleasantly toothsome than al dente.

🗒 Braised Beef Tendon & Shank Noodle ($7.50)


Some foods get the hype for various factors other than flavour, and other foods are just that damn good. This is totally worth the hype. Of course, YMMV.

🗒 Chili Ban Mee with Scallops ($8)

Sweet and savory. Slippery and slick. Juicy and tender. Hot and sour. So. Freaking. Good.

These are all words that came to mind as I gobbled down the plate of ’Hong You Chao Shao’ (红油抄手), the Sichuan-style wontons that came coated in an intensely aromatic sauce made with vinegar, and roasted chili oil. It's the sauce that brings on the contrasts with its almost overly intense flavor, thanks to sweet sour vinegar, soy sauce, and plenty of chili oil with crunchy bits of fried dried chilies and spring onions.

🗒 Sichuan-Style Wontons in Hot and Sour Vinegar and Chili Oil Sauce ($4.50)


A dingy stall in a kopitiam which has been around since 1964 with time-worn mosaic flooring and old-fashioned baby blue wall tiles. Tick.

More than a dozen mouth-watering dishes with various gravies of different brown hue. Tick.

Three types of gravy (curry, lor and chap chye gravy) packed full of flavours that tempt you to load your plate with the inevitably oversized mound of gravy. Tick.

Give me a plate of rice now! Wait, no. Make it two.


🗒 Crispy Fried Pork, Steamed Minced Meat Ball, Braised Taupok, Battered Fried Prawns, Fried Egg, Rice ($11.90)


Mel Lee

Level 5 Burppler · 53 Reviews

So little to eat.

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