At a corner of Far East Square is this beautifully two-storey heritage building that makes you feel like you've stepped back in time. I remember climbing those creaky steps a few years back when it was another restaurant, and the highlight being a glorious suckling pig—still one of the most wonderful I’ve had to date.
Zui Yu Xuan Teochew Cuisine by the JUMBO Group of Restaurants now occupies it, and the space has been refreshed—even with KTV facilities available in their 6 private dining rooms.
Sister to well-practiced Chui Huay Lim Teochew Cuisine restaurant, the menu spots down-to-earth, family-friendly Teochew fare.
You’ll find tried-and-true classics like their Teochew Cold Crab 冻醉膏蟹 ($12 per 100g)—magnificently sweet meat lined with rich, creamy roe, served with a kumquat plum dip—as well as a selection of homely appetisers.
Their Teochew Classic Platter ($58/6 pax, $98/10 pax) is great to share over bowls of piping hot rice porridge.
Or if a platter is too much, I especially enjoyed the Ngoh Hiang (S13 per portion, a la carte)—delicious and meaty, wrapped in deep fried beancurd skin and filled with crunchy bits of water chestnut—and the Pig Trotter Terrine ($13 per portion, a la carte) that’s just like having strips of bak kut teh in jelly form, but with more bite.
What you should definitely try is their Geoduck Clam blanched with Superior Broth ($16.80 per 100g). If you liked the rendition at Jumbo Seafood, you’ll love this.
The fresh clams, sliced, can be savoured sashimi-style, but the delicate slices are best enjoyed lightly cooked their full-flavoured, thick and rich broth. An assortment of mushrooms add that extra umami, bits of spring onions for a fleeting hint of spiciness.
Also not to be missed is their Teochew Oyster Omelette ($13). Under that humble, crisp and slightly charred appearance is a scrummy, gooey mess of oysters and eggy starchiness. Pairs wonderfully with their vinegar-spiked chilli sauce.
I know sea cucumbers are very divisive, but Zui Yu Xuan’s unusual twist of Crispy Fried Sea Cucumber & Shiitake Mushroom with Abalone Sauce ($24) might just flip the tables on this.
Instead of a typical slippery outlook, there is a crispy deep-fried crust with a so-bad-it’s-good crunchy satisfaction—before you reach that familiar plump, gummy texture, if you must know—smothered in a rich abalone sauce.
An impressive, carb-worthy dish is the Wok Fried ‘Kway Teow’ with Diced ‘Kai Lan’ and Preserved Radish ($18/small, $27/medium, $36/large) that’s intoxicatingly perfumed with wok hei, and their comforting Pomfret & Rice Boiled Teochew Style with Dried Shrimp & Crispy Rice ($108)—the fish’s delicate sweetness
For desserts, I liked that the thick Yam Paste with Pumpkin & Gingko Nuts ($5.20) is smooth and also a touch healthier—using shallot oil in place of pork lard—though the switch also means a touch lacking for the traditionalists.
Their Teochew ‘Tau Suan’ with Gingko Nuts ($5.20) threw me off with addition of orange peel. It took some getting used to, but I’m actually glad it was more citrusy and refreshing than my usual memory of this dish.
This was an invited media tasting session, though all views expressed are my own.
Zui Yu Xuan Teochew Cuisine 醉宇轩经典潮膳
Address: 131 Amoy Street, Far East Square, Singapore 049959
Tel: +65 6278 5626
Opening hours: Daily 11.30am-3.00pm, 6.00pm-11.00pm