If the Chinese food you know are quick fixes from takeout joints, you’re seriously missing out!
Each Mandarin dialect – Teochew, Cantonese, and more – have unique takes on food they’re proud to call their own. Here are 10 best Chinese dialects in Singapore for Asian fine dining.
When Westerners speak of Chinese food, it’s more often than not Cantonese cuisine. Flavours are traditionally well-balanced, with spices used only in modest amounts to let the flavours of the primary ingredients shine through.
And at Cantonese restaurant Summer Pavilion, the first thing that’d catch your eye is the beautiful China porcelain tableware.
Then, once you tuck into their Cantonese fare, you’ll understand how they earned their Michelin star. Signature dishes include Barbecued Iberico Pork, Marinated South African Abalone, and more.
The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, 7 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039799
NEXT: Mitzo ?
The folks at Mitzo take you out of your comfort zone when it comes to Chinese food. Not because of the jellyfish dawdling in the tank behind the bar – while most Cantonese restaurants feature it on their menu instead – but because of the bold inventiveness that each dish exemplifies.
That’s not to say Mitzo doesn’t stay true to its Cantonese identity. So, expect dishes like Black Truffle Crispy Roast Duck, Grilled Codfish in Veuve Clicquot Champagne Sauce and Chinese Honey, and more.
Grand Park Orchard, 270 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238857
NEXT: Teochew Restaurant Hua Kee ?
Teochew-style dishes, borrowing from Cantonese cuisine, are more delicately prepared, most commonly by poaching, steaming and braising, and are relatively light-handed on seasonings.
One such dish at this restaurant: the Braised Goose, a simple yet comforting Teochew specialty that many a Singaporean grew up eating.
The more adventurous can also try dishes like Jellied Pork Trotter or Braised Claypot Bittergourd.
#02-01 RELC Building, 30 Orange Grove Rd, Singapore 258352
NEXT: Paradise Teochew →
At Paradise Teochew, there’s an entire category dedicated to Teochew braised specialties in its menu, from Braised Sliced Pork Belly and Braised Octopus to unconventional options like duck web or pig’s intestine.
Other dishes, like the Sautéed Sliced Beef in Satay Sauce, feature local influences.
At lunchtime, tuck into a selection of delectable dim sum. Kids (and, like, everyone) will love the adorbs pig-shaped Steamed Custard Buns (pictured).
#03-04 Scotts Square, 6 Scotts Rd, Singapore 228209
NEXT: Spring Court ?
Singapore’s oldest family-run Chinese restaurant, Spring Court has been passed down 3 generations, but what remains is quality food and dedication to an amazing dining experience.
Some say they serve the best popiah (fresh spring roll) in Singapore; their signature dishes like the Suckling Pig and Yam Ring with Seafood (pictured) won’t fail either.
52-56 Upper Cross St, Singapore 058348
NEXT: Jing Hua Xiao Chi →
No prizes for guessing what stands out at this humble, old-school eating house that labels themselves as “Singapore’s original dumpling house”.
Jing Hua Xiao Chi offers xiao long bao (steamed buns with a burst of broth within), pan-fried dumplings and all other renditions you can think of.
You get plenty of bang for your buck as well, with most items on the menu after $10.
#B1-04/05 Palais Renaissance, 390 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238871
NEXT: Szechuan Court →
You’ll know a Szechuan dish when you see one, from its bold flavours and liberal use of chili peppers and Sichuan pepper. And you’ll know even better when you taste one – you’ll want to brave the fiery zing of Szechuan Court’s Braised Beancurd with Minced Beef in Hot Bean Chilli Sauce (pictured), for one.
Or, if you’re not hot about spice, dishes like Cereal-Coated Crispy Prawns and the Pan-Fried Pork Spare Rib coated with the chef’s special mango sauce will tickle your tastebuds – not in the way the chili will, of course.
Fairmont Singapore, 80 Bras Basah Rd, Singapore 189560
NEXT: Blue Lotus ?
Fun Fact: Blue Lotus is Masterchef Asia finalist Lennard Yeong‘s favourite restaurant for the famed Singapore Chili Crab. And when you’ve tried their rendition, the Blue Lotus Signature Chilli Pomelo Crab, it’ll be one of your favourites too.
Going along with the theme of all things characteristically Singaporean, finish off with the Crispy Fried Durian Ice Cream. We highly suspect it’ll make you a durian convert.
#01-13 Quayside Isle, 31 Ocean Way, Sentosa, Singapore 098375
NEXT: Mellben Seafood ?
Chili Crab may be Singapore’s star dish, but at Mellben Seafood, other renditions of this crustacean dish are equally, if not more, delish. Our favourite’s the Creamy Butter Crab, which is everything it says it is: creamy, buttery, and sinfully delightful.
And seafood’s not all they’ve got – they’ve also nailed dishes like Salted Egg Yolk Lollipop Chicken Drumstick, Guinness Stout Pork Ribs and more.
NEXT: Two Chefs Eating Place →
Tze-Char (cooked-to-order) eateries are aplenty across Singapore, but Two Chefs is one of the most popular. For good reason: you probably won’t find their signature dish, Butter Pork Ribs (pictured) intensely smothered in condensed milk powder, anywhere else.
Pro tip: at such tze-char restaurants, you’ll more often than not be able to order off-the-menu items within reason. Want your meat stir-fried with another marinade, for instance? As you wish!
#01-129, 116 Commonwealth Crescent, Singapore 140116
NEXT: Summer Pavilion →
By Pinky Chng, January 2017
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