my friend c was back from the states after a three months stay. to welcome her back, we had a (chinese) dinner at yuan xing teochew restaurant.
located under a HDB block (housing development board aka public housing), yuan xing has been around for over 30 years, serving authentic teochew cuisine. though i am half-teochew, i have no idea that some of the dishes are originated from my dialect group.
because we had a huge group, we ordered tons of dishes and it felt like chinese new year reunion dinner all over again.
we were told by the waitress that we had to order their signature dish – braised goose. i am not a fan of gamey meat but i really dont mind the braised goose. the braising liquid mainly soy sauce, sugar, salt, vinegar, pepper and lotsa of spices (star anise, chinese five spice, and so on) kinda hidden/ reduced the gamey taste for me. i actually ate quite a bit of the goose.
and of course, we needed some fried food. we ordered liver roll (ngoh hiah) and prawn ball. since i dont do pork and liver, i had the prawn ball. the first bite into it reminded me of prawn paste chicken – pungent fermented shrimp paste. i rarely said this – i think the prawn ball was a tad underseasoned which was promptly saved by slathering it with lotsa of sambal chilli.
the oyster omelette was nothing extraordinary. though i have to say the oysters were plump and fresh and not overcooked. the same goes for the spinach with white bait – its good homecooked dish – nothing was overcooked.
my favorite dish of the night was the tofu with seafood. the tofu was stuffed with fish paste and unknown meat, giving the plain old tofu lotsa of flavor. my only regret was that i only had one piece of tofu.
the next dish we had was steamed garoupa – we were a little cautious about ordering fish from restaurant (the last round, we paid S$100 plus for the fish – this was only S$45. phew). still this was a dish which i recognized as a teochew cuisine – salted mustard vegetable and tomatoes are essential for teochew steamed fish.
we ended the meal with a traditional teochew dessert – orh nee with gingko nut – sweet taro/ yam. i love orh nee – sweet, steamy mashed yam. but yuan xing version was too heavy for my taste – it was too thick and too sweet. as the orh nee was not strain, i can feel bits stuck in my throat.
i wont go crazy over the food at yuan xing. however what was great about yuan xing was its cosy and homey and very reasonably priced (there were 11 of us and we paid S$20 each. that is very good). every dish they served reminded me a bit of home. great comfort food.yuan xing teochew restaurant blk 34 whampoa west, bendemeer road