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.
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.. 🙂
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)
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?
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..
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.
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.
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.
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. 🙂
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.