We finally got the chance to try the restaurant that many people have talked about – the New Ubin Seafood Hillview Avenue. They had recently moved to their new location in the canteen of Lam Soon Industrial Building from their previous location at Sin Min Industrial Estate. From one industrial estate to another, but the new Hillview location is more convenient for us. We dropped by for lunch at this zi char restaurant which is recognised in the Bib Gourmand list of Singapore’s Michelin Guide 2016.
New Ubin Seafood Hillview takes up a large part of the canteen space on the 6th level of the Lam Soon Industrial Building. This is not the most posh of locations but it certainly has character. Carpark lots are plentiful around the building but the best access if you are driving is to go up the ramp that leads to the car park on level 6. The canteen is then directly accessible from the carpark.
There are tables in the outdoor space that is naturally ventilated and in a dark (windowless) air-conditioned space. We would prefer the outdoor tables unless the temperature gets unbearably hot (as it was that day).
The menu of New Ubin Seafood Hillview contains the usual seafood zichar restaurant items plus some unusual ones. Some Western influence is notable, particularly the meat items which the restaurant is well-known for. Here is a sample page from their menu. Their entire menu is available online. We ordered the dish that we have heard so much about – the US Black Angus Ribeye Steak ( $14 per 100 grams), steamed bamboo clams ($20 for 3) and fried Hong Kong kai lan ($13).
One of the attractions of New Ubin Seafood is their no corkage policy. Many regulars cite that as one of the reasons for returning to the place. Good food deserves good wine to make a great meal. We therefore came prepared with a bottle of 2005 Domaine du Vieux Telegraph Chateauneuf du Pape, which we suspect would go well with the famous ribeye served here. Very decent wine glasses were provided.
We ordered 500 grams, the minimum quantity, of the ribeye steak. It was served after about 15 minutes. We had agreed to the recommendation that it be prepared medium rare. It turned out to be too uncooked for our liking. We had it sent back for more cooking but the result was still quite rare. The meat was heavily salted. Our meal did not start on a high note. Thank goodness for the CDP which helped to make the meat more enjoyable.
The bamboo clams were more like what we expected. They cost $10 each but with the 3 for 2 promotion going on, we had 3 for $20. The taste was quite good although more garlic would have been nicer.
The most humble dish of the day turned out to be the best dish. The HK Kai Lan was superb. Strong leafy taste with crunchy stems. This was really good.
Finally, the “heart-attack” fried rice was served in the end. This dish comes with each order of steak. The rice is fried with soy sauce and the beef fat that is extracted from the cooking process.
Overall, we had mixed feelings about lunch at New Ubin Seafood Hillview. The main item was not as we had expected. There was a flash of brilliance in the kai lan. The overall concept of locating the restaurant in the canteen of an industrial building is also an interesting change from the usual mall or shophouse locations. Would we return? Probably yes, but we will try more of the traditional zichar items next time. The free parking and no corkage policy are also positive reasons to dine here.