[Singapore] Best Teochew food in Singapore?

Hi there,

I’m organizing a 30th-anniversary-university-classmates (not mine) get-together next week and am trying to find a good Teochew Restaurant in Singapore. So far, I’ve been given the following recommendations:

  1. Chui Huay Lim Club
  2. Imperial Treasure Teochew @ Paragon
  3. Chaoshan Cuisine at Bugis

What is the best option?

Thanks everyone

My pick would be Chui Huay Lim, but do book ahead as it’s usually booked out for functions or private parties - a friend of mine went there last week for his grandfather’s 110th birthday, and the whole restaurant was booked for their family luncheon.

Imperial Treasure Teochew is at Ngee Ann City (the one at Paragon is Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck) - I find the Teochew food there very much influenced by HK-Cantonese style. Ditto the ones served by their rival, Crystal Jade Golden Palace at the Paragon: a mix of HK-style Teochew and Cantonese cuisine. Ambience-wise, Crystal Jade Golden Palace is much nicer (more spacious) than Imperial Treasure Teochew @ Ngee Ann City which I find a bit claustrophobic. Foodwise, Crystal Jade Golden Palace is also better.

Chao Shan Cuisine has relocated from Bugis to 17 Phillip Street, #01-01/02 Grand Building, Singapore 189694. It’s very authentic Teochew, the sort we get in Teochew family restaurants in Singapore (Swa Garden @ MacPherson, Hung Kang @ North Canal Rd, or Huat Kee @ RELC) or Bangkok (Jim Jim on Thanon Phat Sai, Sin Kwang Meng or Tan Jai Yun in Yaowaraj).

Thanks klyeoh. I’ve been at a loss ever since Xu Jun Sheng in Joo Chiat closed down a couple of years ago. I tried Swa Garden and wasn’t impressed. Have been relying on my neighborhood restaurant Chin Lee in Bedok for Teochew food, but it isn’t that great. Shall try for Chui Huay Lim.

Swa Garden, even though it’s pretty rustic, has quite a history which you may remember - back in the late-1980s, it was really successful, and the owner sold it to an entrepreneur who subsequently turned it into the Swatow Teochew restaurant chain which took Singapore by storm, with outlets all over the island. It closed suddenly in 1992 thereabouts, the entrepreneur fled to Japan where he died suddenly. The original founder of the restaurant had then opened Swa Garden in MacPherson and still churn out the same dishes as he’d always done - the Teochew fried koay teow, a simply fried dish with salted radish (chye por) as the main flavouring being its best-known offering.

Have you tried Liang Kee at Whampoa, or its sibling-run rival, Mu Liang Zai Liang Kee in Havelock Road? Both offer about the same spread of dishes: Teochew braised duck, “orh nee” yam paste, 8-Treasure braised vegetables, Teochew-style steamed pomfret, etc.

You can also check out Cheng Hoo Tian, which is now on Bishan Lane in the compound of Kwong Wai Siew Peck San Theng temple. It dates back from 1936 - started in Clarke Quay before moving on to Teochew “pa sat” (Ellenborough Market), then Tessensohn Road . It was last in Keong Saik Rd, before moving to this much humbler premises. I’d not been to this Bishan location myself yet. Their food should be pretty traditional & retro, if my meals at its old Keong Saik location is any indication.