Chui Huay Lim Club is nestled in a corner along Keng Lee Road, near Newton, and the Club itself is more than 160 years old. The flagship restaurant is also called Chui Huay Lim and it literally translates as Forest of Drunken Flowers. Hmm…how poetic.
The family and I decided to go there for dinner and taste test the food as we were thinking of having our family reunion dinner with my paternal side there next month. My bro and I were a bit surprised that the Chui Huay Lim restaurant is managed by the Jumbo group.
|Photo courtesy of Chope.co|
The decor of the restaurant is very pleasant and the entrance has 4 private rooms that can be merged into 2 larger rooms. Each room is also equipped with a karaoke system, which I think my eldest aunt will be pleased to know.
The menu is chockful of traditional Teochew standard fare like Braised goose, ngoh hiang, steamed fish and Yam Paste dessert! The prices were a bit steep though.
We started off with half a Braised Goose and the slices were really tender while the tau kua (firm beancurd with a harder skin) was really silky and soft. The sauce was not too salty and there was no starch to make it appear shiny…this is Teochew cuisine. Not cantonese.
I think all of us really liked this vegetable dish. It’s Chinese spinach cooked with salted egg, century egg and dried scallops. It was very tasty and the vegetables still maintained some crunch despite being cooked in a broth.
What respectable Teochew restaurant is without ngoh hiang? They have the typical version (above) as well as the ones with liver. It’s a bit like choosing your type of sausage, isn’t it? Except that these parcels have water chestnuts and other yummy things inside. My mum loved it. I think it’s good but it’s still not wow enough to convert me into a ngoh hiang fan. However, it’s probably one of the few ngoh hiangs that I will eat more than 1 piece of.
Above is another signature dish – ‘Puning’ Fermented Bean Chicken. The chicken used is ‘free range’ or as we Singaporeans would call it, kampung chicken. The chicken was very tender and tasted almost like Hainanese chicken except that it has a slightly salty/sweet taste due to the sauce. It is served on a bed of preserved vegetables that were a bit sweet and really delicious. All of us wiped this plate clean and it’s really the sauce that made this dish special. The fermented bean taste was very subtle and was mellowed by the preserved vegetables.
Then came our staple of stir fried mee sua with seafood. Check out my piece of scallop! Yums! If you like fried beehoon, you must order this. A small portion is just enough for 4 pax but they are a bit stingy with the seafood (2 pieces of scallop, 2 prawns and 2 pieces of squid). Reminds me of the fried mee sua that my grandmother used to cook.
I love love love Ouni (sweetened yam paste) and Chui Huay Lim has combined this with another favourite of mine – hashima! So…of course we ordered the Yam Paste with Hashima. The hashima was cooked with a bit of ginger and this is probably to also cut back on the onion oil used in the yam paste. Because the hashima was not the star of the dish, it was mistaken as jelly by my dad. The flavour of the ouni was just nice in terms of sweetness. However, It’s not as smooth as expected.
At the end of your meal, you’ll get a small cup of Osmanthus and red tea to wash everything down. It works a little bit like an espresso. I guess.
For 4 of us, we spent about S$180 for the above dishes and this is after 10% off the main food items as my dad bought the Jumbo membership card (S$20). It is a little pricey considering the amount of food ordered and the quantity of each dish. The quality is good, which is to be expected from Jumbo. The parking at the club is a breeze with their underground carpark. We probably will come back again, but only for special occasions.
Chui Huay Lim Teochew Cuisine
190 Keng Lee Road
Chui Huay Lim Club
Tel: +65 6732 3637
Lunch 11:30am – 3:00pm
Dinner 6:00pm – 11:00pm