Far East Square is sun-filled by day where a bustling office crowd leaves no nearby eateries empty. As evening creeps in, bars in the area come to life where tower beers sit in plain sight on tables. If you are thinking Far East Square is all about being a drinking nightspot, hold that thought.
Step a little further in and you would find a historic-looking Chinese entranceway leading to a courtyard that was once part of the Chui Eng Free School founded in 1854 – transformed into a Teochew restaurant. Opened by the Jumbo Group of Restaurants, alongside sister restaurant Chao Ting 潮亭 that operates only during lunch, Zui Yu Xuan Teochew Cuisine 醉宇轩经典潮膳 would make you feel at home with its comforting and authentic Teochew fare.
Besides its majestic looking exterior, the restaurant’s furnishes maintain their oriental touches with Chaozhou-imported Teochew art pieces, gold-plated ornaments and traditional costumes on display. The private rooms (that can accommodate six to 25 guests) are also equipped with Karaoke systems.
The ambience perfectly sets the mood for an exquisite meal ahead.
Start with the Teochew signatures such as the Cold Crab ($12 per 100 grams) plumped with yellow roe, Pig Trotter Terrine $13 and Deep Fried Home-made ‘Puning’ Beancurd $12, lightly crisped and soft on the inside.
The homemade Deep Fried Prawn Balls $22 and Deep Fried Ngoh Hiang $13 were equally tasty with the former being crunchy and bouncy in texture.
Uncommonly seen in Singapore is the Teochew ‘Puning’ Fermented Bean Chicken (Half: $22, Whole: $40). It’s a taste that you might or might not get used to. The meat was really tender while drenched in a sauce that had a deep savoury touch (or a wacky appeal) to it.
Crispy Fried Sea Cucumber and Shiitake Mushroom with Abalone Sauce $24 features contrasting components which are just as thrilling in texture.
I strongly urge you to try the sea cucumber because it has that heavenly thin layer of crispiness just on the surface while encasing an elusively soft inside. The Shiitake mushroom, on the other hand, was firm with a good chew that I particularly enjoyed.
The Geoduck Clam blanched with Superior Broth ($16.80 per 100 grams) was nothing short of expectations. The tasty-looking curlicues were easily cooked in a few seconds just from lightly dipping them into the boiling soup.
One of my favourites has got to be the Fried ‘Kway Teow’ with Diced ‘Kai Lan’ and Preserved Radish (S: S$18, M: S$27, L: S$36) served with springy flat noodles, and accompanied with the all-so-familiar pangs of wok-hei in between each mouthful.
The Teochew Oyster Omelette ‘Gooey Style’ $13 may look unassuming without the proud flaunt of the oysters. But, they are actually hidden within the gooey egg omelette in their juiciest form.
If you like your omelette to be extra gooey, you will find this addictive.
You really can’t go wrong with the Pomfret and Rice Boiled Teochew Style with Dried Shrimp and Crispy Rice $108 per portion, the ultimate soupy comfort food that we all love.
The portion is said to be good enough for eight diners, and I thought that the amount of fish scooped into each bowl was way more generous than that. Perfectly smooth and succulent, the fish slices were gems while the soup lent a warm fuzzy feeling at the pit of my stomach. The soup taste was light yet soothing right after a heavy meal.
Adding in the dried shrimp and crispy rice would give the soup a bit more flavour which I strongly recommend you to. I like the crunchiness of the two ingredients too.
Chinese traditional desserts are always welcomed. Some highlights include the Yam Paste with Pumpkin and Gingko Nuts $5.20, Teochew Tau Suan with Ginko Nuts $5.20 (mixed with tangy orange peel) and Teochew Glutinous Rice Balls $5.
If you are in the vicinity during lunch hours, head over to Chao Ting for the delicious bowls of Pao Fan. The menu has three items to choose from: King Prawn ‘Pao Fan’ 大虾泡饭 $11, Sliced Fish ‘Pao Fan’ 鱼片泡饭 $9 and Fried Fish ‘Pao Fan’ 炸鱼片泡饭 $9.
Zui Yu Xuan Teochew Cuisine 醉宇轩经典潮膳
130/131 Amoy Street, Singapore 049959 (within Far East Square)
Tel: +65 6788 3637
Daily: 11.30am – 3pm, 6pm – 11pm
Recommended Dishes: Fried ‘Kway Teow’, Pomfret and Rice Boiled Teochew Style and Tau Suan
Drinks and Alcohol: Available
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