It was a family occasion, and the well-travelled Uncle Leon* suggested this Chui Huay Lim Teochew restaurant which is home to authentic Teochew dishes, set in a cosy and classy ambience at 190 Keng Lee Road #01-02 Chui Huay Lim Club, Singapore 308409 (Tel: 6732 3637).
All of us liked the ancient-looking tiled green roof and pillared entryway outside, and the modern glossyness that hit us once we were inside. The restaurant itself was set in classic and tasteful designs of Chinese (Teochew, specifically) arts and interior decor. We sat down to chat and await our feast to begin.
The first course, aka the appetiser, was the Pig Trotter Jelly - tender and jelly-like literally, this delicate,, chewy piece of supposed-delicacy went down easily. I could not really get used to the taste, and found it rather bland. Plus the fact that it was cold, made me feel a little uneasy.
Next came the Prawn Ngo Hiang (Five Spices Pork Roll) was crispy on the outside. Well, inside, the minced meat and deliciousness of metallic-tasting prawn gave the solid filling a sumptuous overture.
The Seaweed Fish Maw Soup came next- a warm welcome for sure. Filled to the brim with fine ingredients such as crunchy seaweed, crispy fish maw and a scrumptious, nutritious broth, we all asked for second helpings.
There is nothing like fresh fish to determine the excellence of a restaurant's standard - and we loved the very fresh, bouncy and lightly-ingrediented Steamed Pomfret that graced the tongue smoothly.
After the meat overload, it was time for something light, fresh and crisp for a well-balanced diet - the Stir-Fried Kailan (Chinese Brocooli) was the perfect choice.
Back to the meats, this time red one! The Braised Duck with Tofu beneath was a surprise for me as it was the first time I was having Teochew food. The tender, perfectly-braised duck pleased the tastebuds, as did the soft, silky smooth braised beancurd underneath it, still reeling with the juicy tastiness of dark sauce.
Another round of mixed vegetables, the Conpoy Vegetables Dish complete with cabbage, black fungus, carrots, mushrooms and scallops was a mixed blend of palatable crunchy nutrients. It reminds me of our Cantonese Peng-Cai.
After another round of vegetables we are back to the meat - Pu Ning Chicken - braised chicken with fermented Puning bean paste / sauce. The milky-soft chicken flesh was so smooth and fine. The Puning bean paste added a hint of sweet-and-salty flavor, delicious!
Oops I missed out pictures of the Fried Seafood Mee Sua (rice vermicelli) that came as the last dish! I thought it was a little dry though it was packed with good seafood like prawns, squids and scallops.
The final course was dessert of Pumpkin Yam Paste - a sweet, sticky mixture of mashed pumpkin and yam. I enjoyed this hot dessert dish - was not too sweet, and the yam and pumpkin actually complemented each other very well.
The hearty meal lasted about two hours and cost around SGD$500.00 for 8 of us, which was rather very affordable.