Dinner Gathering for 10pax @ Yuanxing Restaurant (Guan Hin) on 19Mar2013

longevity bun for the 55s

longevity bun for the 55s

the significance of 55

the significance of 55

We had a gathering of 10 friends the other evening. One friend did a make-shift “gold-plated” 55 sign and also arranged for the restaurant to serve longevity buns 寿桃 -(a nice touch!) – this being the 55th season of our journey on planet earth – though we could not help speculating which houses and/or shops might have number(s) 5 missing. 🙂

None of us had heard of Yuanxing Teochew Restaurant..it turned out to be Guan Hin, an old street name (老字号) which now uses the hanyupinyin name.

We started off with the usual appetizer platter. The ter kar tan (pork trotter jelly 猪脚冻) was very good here – I reckoned Crystal Jade Paragon standard and better than Chui Huay Lim and a few other teochew restaurants I had tried..The other items – spring rolls, hae jor & another deep-fried item which I don’t know the name – were good too. The jellyfish & century egg were usual fare.

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appertizer platter

Next came the ubiquitous yam basket. This is more of a common cantonese restaurant dish – anyway supposedly hailed from the 4 heavenly kings of cantonese cuisine from the sixties, and still being contested by both Dragon Phoenix and Lai Wah each claiming to be the rightful inventor.. 🙂

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the ubiquitous yam basket

Next came some deep-fried meatballs? – I haven’t a clue what it was – quite good tasting, so ok lah..the garlic fried kailan was quite ok, got some wok hae though not near the best..(the picture on the left below is a close-up of the ter kar tan猪脚冻)

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We had braised goose (卤鹅) next. This was very good. It was real goose and NOT braised duck served in most restaurants (unlike Hong Kong where it is everywhere, goose braised or roasted, are not commonly served in restaurants in Singapore). Why is that I wonder? bird-flu? Hongkongers more resistant or tidak apa towards bird-flu?

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braised goose – yummy!

Next came a deep-fried chestnut prawn. This was their signature dish. hmmm, I wonder..not sure the chestnut added anything to the prawn & might have taken away the fresh, plump, sweet-tasting feel of a usual good prawn dish..

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deep-fried chestnut prawns

We had the usual roast chicken. and taken with five-spice salt, it was quite nice – though it is rare in most restaurants that serve this dish to deliver one that has moist, tender, sweet breast meat – usually it is on the dry, sinewy side & not s0 tender, and so it was the case here.

The kong ba pao was quite ok here, the usual and a nice dish to enjoy, if packing high calories & cholesterol.

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The mustard greens with chinese mushroom and gluten was a very nice dish, great texture and very tasty indeed. I would certainly order this, as well as the braised goose & ter kar tan 猪脚冻 when I next visit.

mustard vegetable with chinese mushrooms

mustard greens with chinese & button mushrooms & gluten

Next we had these huge slipper lobsters (we call crayfish in Singapore). This apparently is also a signature dish here, though I am not a fan of the sauce (which was like a non-spicy chilli crab sauce) – I prefer the one served at Ah Orh which is a more yellowish sauce with lots of yellow onions & egg – and I thought the meat was overcooked and not tender.

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a slipper lobster dish

And to round up the sumptuous meal & an evening of F3=food, fun & feel-good, we had the sea coconut & longans – nice dessert, though the few teochews among us were wondering why we were not having orh nee..hahaha..I guess the friend who organised this great dinner was worrying about our cholesterol & waistlines..lol. 🙂

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sea coconut with longans dessert

The “damage” came to just $36nett per person, though we were missing some big-ticket dishes like pomfret, soup & cold crab or other crab dishes.

One friend, the teochew expert among us, who never fail to enthrall us with his own remarkable romanised teochew language system, commented afterwards on Facebook that the standard of food here was not consistent. On the face of what was served & the price though, I would still give it another go sometime.

c.h.e.f andy

Lunch @ Tonkichi at Orchard Central on 22Mar2013

chawanmuchi (茶碗蒸)

chawanmushi (茶碗蒸)

had a simple pleasant lunch with my sister at Tonkichi @ Orchard Central today.

we were both eyeing the Friday special chirashi don lunch set when we passed by the other day, so we just ordered that – 2 sets.

the shortage of foreign workers is  showing up clearly in many economic sectors in Singapore, not least the restaurant service sector. we saw only 2 waiting staff, they were both well-trained and efficient but very busy as there were quite many tables taken up even though it was just 12.30pm – that maybe a good thing actually.

we were quickly given our chawanmushi – to keep us occupied. this was good. texture was very slightly dense but of smooth consistency, sweet-tasting and the chicken was good, no ginkgo nuts.

chirashi don

chirashi don

it was a rather long wait after the chawanmushi starter, just about 1/2hour. luckily we were not in a hurry.

chirashi don

chirashi don

the chirashi don has 7 pieces of sashimi – 2 salmon (good), maguro (ordinary), 2 tamagos (good) & 1 amaebi (good), and the vinegared rice was good too. I would consider it a good quality chirashi don set at S$15.90++ by most comparison. However the S$20++ chirashi don set at Kuroson would beat this hands down in terms of both sashimi quality & quantity & overall set quality which also includes free refillable green tea (hot or cold).

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Tonkichi @ Orchard Central

the set also included a tiny soba – quite irrelevant carbo load but no harm having.

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watermelon – looked slight pale but was sweet & juicy

the watermelon was juicy & sweet.

given a choice, I would always go to Kuroson, but if I am in the area (Orchard Central), I might just do this again.

c.h.e.f andy