Di Wei is one of the F&B places which have opened at Seletar Aerospace Park, set in former colonial-era British Air Force bungalows. Di Wei specializes in Teochew or Chaozhou/Chiuchow cuisine, which tends to be simpler, and lighter in flavors compared to other Southern Chinese (Cantonese, Fujianese, Hainanese) regional cuisines.
The maternal side of my family here in Singapore are all Teochews, so it made sense that we have our family dinner in a Teochew restaurant in order to satisfy the elders.
Stewed pig’s ears and pig’s snout in aspic. Served cold, this is a classic Teochew appetizer and the chefs needed to get the balance of aspic vis-a-vis other ingredients right - too firm, and the dish would be rubbery and inedible; too soft and it’ll collapse into a mess on the dish. The version here was fine, albeit slightly blander than the excellent ones I usually find in Bangkok’s top Teochew restaurants like Tang Jai Yoo, Sin Kwang Meng or Yim Yim, all nearly 90 years old.
We dip cubes of these jellied meats into a chopped raw garlic-vinegar dip.
Teochew-style braised duck - a must-order dish at Teochew restaurants anywhere, and a yardstick by which any good Teochew restaurant will be judged by, whether one is in China, Hong Kong, Macao, Bangkok or Singapore.
The one here passed with flying colors - braised perfectly in good quality soy, with hints of star anise, cassia and other spices.
Teochew rice porridge with white pomfret. Teochew-style rice porridge consisted of cooked rice in a clear, savory fish broth, usually with dried leatherjacket fish or dried scallops added in for additional depth of flavor. Teochew rice porridge differs markedly from their Cantonese counterpart, where the rice porridge is cooked till it achieves a thick, smooth gruel-like consistency.
The rendition here included seaweed, ginger and preserved mustard, then topped with fresh coriander leaves before serving. It was good, but not mind-blowing.
Teochew-style stir-fried flat rice noodles with pickled mustard, fresh mustard leaves, eggs and pork. This is a family favorite, and done pretty well here.
Wok-tossed gai lan vegetables and carrots
Sugar-coated taro - one of my fave Teochew desserts, and I look out for this dish in any Teochew restaurant I’m at. I’d even found it served in a Teochew restaurant in Brussels a few years ago. Taro batons are flash-fried in hot oil till cooked, then tossed into a thick sugar syrup, which is then allowed to cool. so the taro will be covered with thick, crusty sugar icing.
Glutinous rice balls in sugar syrup - a Chinese classic, not strictly Teochew - mochi-like rice balls in a sweet soup with a hint of ginger.
Di Wei ticks all the boxes for all the dishes we ordered. We’ll need to return to try their rendition of the more elaborate dishes. Di Wei is more of a small family-style restaurant, and nowhere in the league of fine-dining Teochew places like One-Michelin-star Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew Cuisine.
Di Wei Teochew
1 The Oval, Seletar Aerospace Park, Singapore 797859
Tel: 6262 5946
Opening hours: 11.30am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 10.30pm, daily