Sometimes the name of a restaurant confuses me. My Aunt once recommended me to Diamond Kitchen which she described as a tze-char place. Tze-char is the Singaporean term for cheap fry-cook eatery normally located in the heartland, kopitiam (cafe) and hawker centers. Diamond Kitchen, located near Marine Parade, turns out to be an-airconed restuarant with chandeliers and table clothes.
Great-Eater Restaurant on the other hand is located at a noisy kopitiam in Jurong West serving restaurant food, with pricing to match. It’s popular with NTU students and my eldest son, a freshman there, took us there before we dropped him off at his hostel.
We got our table easily, probably because we were early. Decorative Crab shells hanging around hinted to us that this is not a normal tzechar place. Almost every table has a crab dish. We decided to try, even though crab is an extravagance and we were really just having a normal family dinner. The waitress who took our order recommended their specialties to us, some were too exorbitant. We declined the Deep Fried Talipia with garlic, which will cost market price of $60-70 and instead chose the Hong Kong steamed Green Wrasse Fish Head.
It was indeed smooth and tasty but at $50 was expensive when a song fish head cost $18 elsewhere. I wonder how much it would cost to order the full fish.
We ordered two crab dishes to try. The house special Baked Crab with salted eggs ($68) was done just nice, and cost only a little cheaper than Jumbo at East Coast. ($70 at about the same size.)
The other crab dish was the stew crab beehoon.($46). I found the beehoon salty and didn’t taste much of the crab.
What was delicious and not found elsewhere was the Crispy roll. ($20). The rolls consisted of seafood wrapped in beancurd skin. We don’t get to eat deep=fried stuff often at home so the kids really enjoyed this.
Another recommendation by the waitress was the steamed baby squids. ($32) The little squids in a big plate seemed expensive. While we are familiar with deep fried baby squids, this steamed with soya retained the freshness and taste of squid without the chewiness of large squids.
We ordered some other simple tze char dishes to compare. The Chicken in three-cups wine ($20) for a a small version was oily and the chicken not tender. Should just stick to seafood. The small Claypot Beancurd ($15)is forgettable, so is the plate of Fried beans ($14).
Towels and Peanuts are the miscellaneous that are charged at $0.30 and $1/plate respectively. With drinks ordered from another stall, the dinner cost us $300 for 10 pax.
I can’t decide if this is expensive as our dinner at Clementi usually cost just around $100, and rarely exceeds $200 even with crabs. But if you really like crabs, you should give this place a try. I saw this couple who only had chili crab and mantou (bread rolls) enjoying themselves.
Great-Eater Restaurant Pte Ltd, Blk 964 Jurong West St91 #01-342. Tel 63970480.