Shoppers at Takashimaya who are thinking of Teochew food can head to East Ocean Teochew Restaurant in Ngee Ann City, Orchard Road. It is located on the 5th level, on the same floor as Best Denki. The restaurant looks modestly sized from the entrance but this restaurant is huge. We thought we could beat the crowds if we went early on a Saturday morning at 11 plus in the morning. But we were wrong, there were too many early birds in Singapore with weekend dim sum and Teochew food on their minds.
A large wine collection greets visitors to the East Ocean Teochew Restaurant. Further inside lies a large rectangular shaped dining hall. All the large tables were taken. We had used the online reservation to make a reservation but we were told that they do not adhere to the online system on weekends. Fortunately, most of the weekend diners at East Ocean Teochew were there in big groups. There were one or two unoccupied small tables. The big space, the crowd and the hustle and bustle reminded us of ‘yum cha’ at a popular Hong Kong dim sum restaurant. It was a noisy place but not in an unpleasant way as the buzz adds life and energy to the occasion. This would be a good restaurant to go for any home-sick HK visitor in Singapore.
East Ocean Teochew Menu
Here are pictures of the East Ocean Teochew menus for the weekend, dim sum and sample pages from the a la carte menu.
One menu at East Ocean Teochew which we did not take a picture of was a menu of food items, creatively styled to make cute creatures. Each plate of three pieces costs $7.20). We thought the cutest of the lot were the little dinosaurs. They were lightly deep-fried. These are certainly not traditional Teochew items but the taste reminded us of fried rice cakes – ‘poong kueh’, probably because of the skin and the crunchy fried peanuts inside.
The steamed Teochew dumplings ($4.80) were quite ordinary. The skins of these were thick and mildly mushy. The baked BBQ pork buns (lor lo bao) which we associate more with Cantonese dim sum were much better.
The best dim sum dish was the pan-fried chives dumplings ($7). A quintessential Teochew dish, they contained sufficient chives (koo chye) to give that unique taste to this item.
The Fried Yam in Home Style ($11) is an unusual dish that we had not encountered at home. The cubes of yam were fried till they have light crisp surfaces. The dark gravy that the yam was coated with has complex flavours. I can’t identify what went into it but it was delicious.
Another must eat dish at Teochew restaurants is the duck. The Sliced Soyed Duck ($18 for a small portion) was tender and soft. It has a gentle duck taste, which makes it suitable even for those who usually shun the duck’s characteristically strong taste.
Our meal at East Ocean Teochew Restaurant, Ngee Ann City started and ended with the traditional strong Chinese tea in small teacups.
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
EAST OCEAN TEOCHEW RESTAURANT
391 Orchard Road #05-08/09 Ngee Ann City
Tel: +65 6235 9088
Mondays – Fridays
11.30am – 3.00pm | 6.00pm – 11.00pm
Saturdays, Sundays & Public Holidays
10.00am – 3.00pm | 6.00pm – 11.00pm