Some of you may already know that Chui Huay Lim is our favourite Teochew restaurant. We have included it in our “What to eat in Singapore” list of recommended places. Good food, comfortable setting, out of CBD, adequate car park, no corkage are some of its positive points. Another thing that we like about it is the scalability of the type of dinner you can have here. If you are a Teochew towkay, you can easily organise a thousand dollar dinner for two by opting for the usual highly prized delicacies like seafood, sharks fin etc. At the same time, ordinary patrons like us can also come here for a humble meal of some common Teochew dishes. You can read about our earlier experience at Chui Huay Lim here. Today, however our main reason to come here was that we had a craving to eat the humble oyster omelette, “or luak”.
Or luak (in Teochew) or “or chian” (in Hokkien) literally means stir fried oysters in either dialect. It is quite a popular local dish in Singapore, but not as commonly found as top hits like char kway teow or chicken rice. The main differences between the Teochew version and the others are quite subtle but to us they make a lot of difference. The first is the use of tapioca flour into the mix, thereby creating a gooey texture for the omelette. The second is the type of oyster used are usually of a smaller species, which means that they can be more evenly spread out and the taste evenly distributed. The last thing is the topping of Chinese parsley, which for some reason we associate with Teochew cooking.
There must be many places with good or luak and to decide where is the best place is something dictated by personal preferences. For us, the best place to go for or luak in Singapore is the Chui Huay Lim restaurant. One problem here is overcrowding as this place is always popular. But at this visit, it was less cramped, thereby providing a nicer atmosphere than out last visit. At $14 a dish, the oyster omelette is served in a large portion. We like the balance of the oysters, the egg and the starchy gooey texture overall. The oysters are small and sweet. We are not fond of the versions that use large oysters as they are too strong-tasting. To compete the meal, we had the Teochew braised duck ($16) and spinach with century egg ($18).
The duck is really quintessential Teochew. The meat was cooked till soft and goes perfectly with the vinegar and chopped garlic dip. The essence of Teochew cuisine can be felt in the first two dishes. The last spinach dish was more generic Chinese in style but provided a soft and calming end to the meal. All in all, it was a lot of food for two of us. The food would have been adequate for three persons, leaving space for the oh nee dessert (which regrettably we could not find room for that day).
Chui Huay Lim Teochew Cuisine
190 Keng Lee Road
Tel: +65 6732 3637
Lunch: 11:30am – 3:00pm
Dinner: 6:00pm – 11:00pm
Nearby Station : Newton
The Ordinary Patrons
Singapore Food Blog by Ordinary People looking for Places to Eat