Review: Top 5 Eats at Zui Yu Xuan Teochew Cuisine

Review: Top 5 Eats at Zui Yu Xuan Teochew Cuisine

Set in the colourful downtown heritage area of the city, Zui Yu Xuan is an elegant restaurant making delicious Teochew cuisine

Set in the colourful downtown heritage area of the city, Zui Yu Xuan is an elegant restaurant that serves equally delightful and delicious Teochew cuisine. Zui Yu Xuan’s entryway is beautiful. The traditional Chinese decor is a gorgeous court yard that looks like it came straight out of a period drama. Its interior is furbished in neutral colours, and is the perfect place to bring your (would-be) mother-in-laws. But it serves a laid-back crowd too, with its upper level equipped with KTV and private rooms seating 6 to 25 pax.

Now for our top 5 must-eats:

1. Teochew Classic Platter

The star of this platter is the Pig Trotter Terrine: it’s a collagen rich, time honoured Teochew delicacy. One bite and the gelatinous slice melts in your mouth with a soft delicate texture that’s bursting with flavour. Pig trotters, pork belly, pig skin, bones, fats and connective tissues, among other ingredients, are slow-cooked in soup stock for eight hours till tender.  

Best served chilled and often, immediately out of the refrigerator (especially in Singapore's hot climate), this long-lost Teochew dish goes well with tangy homemade chilli sauce, adding a flavoursome punch to any dish. Handmade deep-fried liver rolls accompany this delicious platter, and the minced pork and chicken liver is so cleverly seasoned and mixed with yam and water chestnut that even those wary of the chicken liver taste won’t realise its there at all. Handmade deep-fried prawn balls and braised duck with beancurd also make it on to the platter, and are the more ‘vanilla’ items on the platter. Still very delicious, though.

  Teochew Classic Platter. Photo: Marianne Charmaine Ng

2.  Pomfret and Rice Boiled Teochew Style with Dried Shrimp and Crispy Rice

A very popular dish, it’s also called ‘pao fan’, which is, as its name suggests, fragrant rice boiled in a hearty, umami seafood broth. It’s another texture heavy dish, as the soft, soupy rice has bits of crispy rice mixed into it, with the sweetness of the dried shrimp adding another layer of flavour into the dish. Priced at SGD$108 per portion (for group, feeds 8 pax), & $9 per portion (individual bowl).

Pomfret and Rice Boiled Teochew Style with Dried Shrimp and Crispy Rice. Photo: Marianne Charmaine Ng

3. Teochew ‘Puning’ Fermented Bean Chicken

This plump, free-range chicken is bathed in a fermented bean sauce and is a savoury delight. Notes of charred, smoky flavours mixed with the umami saltyness of the fermented bean sauce makes this chicken dish very addictive, for the sauce alone. Priced at SGD$22 for half chicken, SGD$40 for whole.

Teochew ‘Puning’ Fermented Bean Chicken. Photo: Marianne Charmaine Ng

4. Teochew Oyster Omelette ‘Gooey Style’

This traditional classic Teochew dish is widely loved, and this particular style of oyster omelette is heavy on the egg and tapioca starch slurry, which is my personal favourite. Fresh, plump oysters are panfried with the eggs and slurry, and cooked till just set, so that it renders the dish crispy on the edges and soft on the inside, giving a ‘gooey’ texture that blends perfectly with the bursting flavours of the oysters when you bite into it. Priced at SGD $13 per portion.

Teochew Oyster Omelette ‘Gooey Style’. Photo: Marianne Charmaine Ng

5. Yam Paste with Hashima Collagen

And of course, you can’t leave Zui Yu Xuan without dessert. One of the desserts that set Zui Yu Xuan apart from its sister restaurant Chui Huay Lin Teochew Cuisine, has to be its Yam Paste with Hashima.

Found only at Zui Yu Xuan, this is a perfectly light dish to end off your Teochew cuisine experience. Though it may sound ghastly for such a pretty name (hashima is essentially the dried fatty tissue found near the fallopian tubes of true frogs), this dessert is elegant, and feels like royalty. Hashima is often eaten for its skincare benefits, and you’re treated to a generous helping of that in this yam paste dessert. Paired with the creamy yam paste, this dish is very delicate, not too sweet, but just sweet enough to satisfy any or nee cravings. With added ingredients too.

Yam Paste with Hashima Collagen. Photo: Marianne Charmaine Ng

  

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