[Singapore] Tze char dinner at Rainbow Rice House, North Canal Road

Always a pleasure to meet someone whoโ€™s passionate about his cooking - the owner of ๐—ฅ๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐—ฅ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐—›๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ฒ, Louis Tay, is a self-taught ๐˜ต๐˜ป๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ณ chef who likes to dabble in the kitchen, experimenting and tweaking with his recipes to produce a panoply of ๐˜ต๐˜ป๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ณ dishes that cut across culinary boundaries. Louis Tayโ€™s philosophy is simple: as long as it tastes good, it shall be served.

Yesterday evening, a whole bunch of local foodies converged upon ๐—ฅ๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐—ฅ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐—›๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ฒ for a cavalcade of tasty ๐˜ต๐˜ป๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ณ dishes, all cooked by the boss-man, Louis, himself.

What we had:

  1. ๐™๐™ง๐™ž๐™š๐™™ ๐™ƒ๐™ค๐™ ๐™ ๐™ž๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™ข๐™š๐™š - stir-fried, semi-braised noodles which had absorbed its pork-prawn broth for a umami flavour punch, yet retaining a subtle wok-hei aroma.

  2. ๐˜ฝ๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™Ÿ๐™–๐™ก ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ ๐™˜๐™๐™ž๐™˜๐™ ๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™›๐™ก๐™ค๐™จ๐™จ - one of the best renditions of this dish Iโ€™d had: the mini-batons of crisp, batter-fried brinjal retained their crunchiness as they were dry-tossed with the flavouring agents, with crisp chicken floss thrown in.

3)๐˜พ๐™ง๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฅ-๐™›๐™ง๐™ž๐™š๐™™ ๐™จ๐™š๐™–๐™›๐™ค๐™ค๐™™ ๐™ง๐™ค๐™ก๐™ก - this is a really old-school, massive seafood-filled roll. One could taste the bouncy-fresh prawn bits embedded in the squid forcemeat paste, the crunchiness of the water-chestnuts, all wrapped up in bean-curd skin and deep-fried to a golden-crisp on the outside, yet moist and flavorsome inside.

  1. ๐™๐™™๐™–๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ข๐™–๐™จ๐™–๐™  ๐™ฃ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™–๐™จ - a unique fusion-Nyonya rendition of fresh prawns cooked with pineapple in a rich-spicy gravy.

  2. ๐˜ฝ๐™–๐™—๐™ž ๐™—๐™ช๐™–๐™ ๐™ ๐™š๐™ก๐™ช๐™–๐™  - another classic Malaccan-Nyonya dish, although pork belly instead of pork ribs used here, cooked in a jet-black โ€œbuah keluakโ€ (pangium edule) paste. Full-flavoured and perfect to go with rice.

  3. ๐™‰๐™œ๐™ค๐™ ๐™๐™ž๐™–๐™ฃ๐™œ - another rich, juicy meat roll: this one was a combination of pork, shrimps, water-chestnut and taro, scented with Chinese 5-spice and flounder fish powder.

  4. ๐™‰๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™ฎ๐™– ๐™˜๐™๐™–๐™ฅ ๐™˜๐™๐™ฎ๐™š - this is a faithful rendering of the classic Nonya braised cabbage dish.

  5. ๐˜ฝ๐™–๐™—๐™ž ๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ - another Nyonya staple here. Chef Louis uses Gula Melaka (palm sugar) to give his version a deep, smokey sweet flavour.

  6. ๐™Œ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ก๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™˜๐™–๐™ž - lightly stir-fried royal chives & beansprouts.

  7. ๐˜ฝ๐™š๐™š๐™› ๐™ง๐™š๐™ฃ๐™™๐™–๐™ฃ๐™œ - Chef Louisโ€™ own take on the Malay ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ง ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜จ. Besides fennel and coriander, Chef Louis also used tomato puree and tamarind (asam paste) to give the dry beef curry a more complex flavour profile.

Very satisfying meal - just too many things to try in one sitting! Iโ€™ll need to come back.

Rainbow Rice House
43 North Canal Road, Singapore 059299
Tel: +65 6534 3229
Opening hours: 7am to 9.30pm Mon-Sat. Closed on Sundays.