The long holiday stretch to celebrate Singapore’s 50th birthday meant that there were more occasions for feasting. One such occasion was a lunch at the invitation by a friend to Chui Huay Lim Teochew restaurant where we ate the usual Teochew classics with a bottle of Chateauneaf du Pape wine from the Rhone Valley region of France. Teochew food with French wine is not unusual but I had not tried this wine before, let alone with Teochew food.
As we were having a late lunch the restaurant was clearing up after the early diners had left. The quality of service and ambience were much better in these conditions. At peak periods, Chui Huay Lim can be a very noisy place.
The first dish was a must eat at this Teochew restaurant. The braised duck. Soft and tender with no gaminess at all, it was a good start to lunch. The bottle of 2005 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Chateauneaf du Pape was in great form and tasting well, Smooth and fruity, it made for a great pairing with this dish.
The kai lan was a simple but well prepared dish. It was instantly recognisable as a Teochew version of this vegetable dish by the unique flavours of the dried flat fish (tee poh). The small quantity of the dried fish was enough to impart a layer of complexity to the otherwise plain plate of vegetable. Almost like the way a bit of truffles can make a simple plate of pasta taste that much more sophisticated.
The final dish was the quintessential steamed fish, Teochew style. Pomfret would have been the default choice of this dish but there were no suitable sized ones available that day. So it was steamed tail of threadfin fish (ikan kurau). The 2005 Vieux Telegraphe CDP was not the best wine to go with fish, but still acceptable. Fortunately its tannins have softened over the ten years of its existence and its pleasant fruitiness made it quite a friendly wine that could get along with the fish. It goes particularly well with those with dark soy sauce flavours like the braised duck . There was no dreaded metallic taste that sometimes happens when red wine and fish meet. It was an enjoyable lunch of Teochew food with French wine at Chui Huay Lim.
Chui Huay Lim Teochew Cuisine
190 Keng Lee Road #01-02
Tel: +65 6732 3637
Lunch: 11:30am – 3:00pm
Dinner: 6:00pm – 11:00pm
Nearby Station : Newton