This Tze char restaurant at Tanglin Halt is famous and getting a seat is near impossible. I came for lunch once, when the crowd was less but the afternoon heat had put me off. Last Friday, I was invited to a family dinner which my cousin had managed to place a reservation. Despite the drizzle, there was a queue waiting at the small restaurant, all resigned to the wait.
Serving typical tze char fares, the price we paid at $227 for 12 was nonetheless reasonable considering we had ordered two chili crabs.
The first dish, tofu with mushrooms was good. The silken tofu in braised sauce went well with rice with the mushrooms adding texture to the overall taste.
The spinach with three eggs is ubiquitous with tze char with only the broth differing in volume or thickness. This has the right combination.
The deep fried yam was special as this was the first time I have tried this. I would have preferred the crust to be more crispy though.
The salted egg prawns was nicely coated generously with the crunch of fresh prawns evident.
The san lau hor fan, thick rice noodles with sliced fish couldn’t match the ones made famous by Hong Kong Street restaurants. It’s no wonder there was left over
The butter pork rib was coated with a layer of milk powder, the butter taste masked by it. Most of us agreed that the milk powder could be left out. Still, credit for the creativity.
The crab was a disappointment. While the gravy was thin with some liking the tinge of tomato taste, the crab meat lacked firmness and was watery. When we commented to the cashier, we were told the crabs just arrived this morning. Thus it’s not the freshness but the poor cooking skill.
A special dish made famous by this restaurant is the raw cockles with garlic and chili. The sauce comprising of soya sauce and vinegar gives a kick and removed the fishiness of the shell fish. My only complaint – many of the cockles, served with the top shell removed, was too small to thoroughly be satisfying.
This eating place is a eat and go place and not a conducive place for socialising and catching up. We couldn’t hear each other across the table and by the end of the dinner, I had a sore throat shouting to be heard, and my boss had lamented I talked too loudly. 😀