SWA Garden Restaurant 汕园潮洲酒楼

My sis-in-law’s recommended us this Teochew restaurant at 540 Macpherson Road ( Tel 67445009).  It’s located amongst a row of restaurants and zhicha shop houses at the end of Macpherson. I like the nostalgic look of the restaurant – tiled wall, laced-curtained glass door, friendly waitress who speaks Teochew – and packed with old people, so don’t think of going without a reservation. By how the waitresses greet the customers, most are regulars.

Without looking at the menu, my SIL rattled off the order – Hae Zou (Prawn roll), braised goose meat, chyepo kway teow, oyster egg , orhni (Yam paste).  I wanted cold crab, but it’s sold out. The waitress recommended crayfish which we didn’t want. Steam fish ? no?

In the end, we ordered fish maw soup, fried fish head, brocoli and sweet potato leaves with balachan.

The portion for the goosemeat was small (for 7pax). The meat, laid atop tau gua was fragrant but frankly, none of us could tell the difference between goose and duck meat.

The fish maw soup was delicious, but a little too diluted, I thought. The starchy soup should be a good replacement for sharks’ fin soup, which Aaron had been asking for since lunch. (He must be lacking in keratin!)

The two vegetable was well fried – the brocoli with just the right bite, and the sweet potato leaves not overly done. So was the oyster omelate – generous pieces of succulent oysters fried just right. The chicken liver hae zou was Mike’s favourite. The other prawn hae zou looked more like prawn ball, There were only 5 pcs and so I didn’t try it.

The plate of kway teow, my SIL’s favourite, was a disappointment. I couldn’t taste the chyepo (subtle taste, she explained) and most of us found the dish bland and dry.

By the time the fried fish head came, i was really filled up. The fish head, at the request of mom, cos she is refraining from taking chili and thus cannot eat the balachan sweet potato leaves, came fried in black tao-see and sliced chili. (sigh…somethings are just not meant to be. I should suggest to her that missing out one dish is not such a big loss that she has to order another dish just to replace what she could not eat. Did she eat the fish head dish? Of course lah. You know what they say about selective hearing, this is selective chili eating.) I didn’t like the dish, although the waitress claimed it’s a popular one with the regulars.

By the time the orhnee came, Aaron couldn’t eat anymore. SIL had to give half her Chinese-soup-spoon portion it to Ivan. It was okay, not as smooth as I would have liked it, and I didn’t like the oil floating at the top.

The dinner cost Mike about $175. (Small plate of brocoli is already $17 !) I thought it was quite reasonable (about $25 per pax). Mike apparently enjoyed the dinner, like my Teochew SIL.

People living in the west may be better off going to Liang Kee at Havelock, which is very similar, both in menu and ambience.

About vickychong

Just an ordinary woman.
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