Chin Huat Live Seafood 镇发活海鲜 is the first live seafood restaurant in Singapore. According to its website, this took place in 1995 when the restaurant allowed diners to select their catch of choice directly from the tanks. We went to Chin Huat Seafood restaurant at Clementi St 12 (off Sunset Way) for a seafood lunch recently.
Chin Huat Live Seafood is located among a cluster of restaurants at Sunset Way. It is the largest restaurant in the area, with a indoor air-conditioned space as well as a large, sheltered outdoor space. It is relatively quiet on weekdays but roars into live on weekends. Chin Huat is not only known for their live seafood, they are said to serve one of the best roasted sucking pig in Singapore.
We were there on a weekday and the restaurant was very quiet. A continuous slide-show loop displayed famous personalities who had patronised the Chin Huat restaurant.
Live Seafood Prices
One cannot but be impressed by the vast display of live seafood in the tanks outside the restaurant. Geoducks, crabs and lobsters seem to be popular dishes at Chin Huat Live Seafood, judging from the amount of the stocks of these critters. Prices vary from day to day according to market prices. On that day, the most expensive item was Australian lobsters that cost $238 per kg. Sri Lankan crabs cost $79.80 per kg
Chin Huat Live Seafood Menu
Here are pictures of some pages from the menu. Apart from live seafood, they also serve a wide variety of cooked food items. We did not have any crab dish that day. Instead we ordered a fish, live prawns and a noodle dish.
The set lunch menu priced at $11.90++ looked interesting and worth a try in future. Chin Huat is a BYO restaurant and does not charge corkage. Our drink of the day was a bottle of Gewürztraminer from Alsace, France.
We asked for a small Soon Hock fish that would be appropriate for two persons. We were served a 0.78kg specimen that cost about $60. The live fish was first shown to us. It always feels luxurious to eat a whole fish, especially a live one that was quite adequate for two persons. The fish was fresh and cooked just right, steamed Hong Kong style.
The steamed garlic prawns with vermicelli ($25) was a stunning dish. The quality of the prawns was one of the best we had this year. Their shells were thick and substantial, the meat was firm. The only problem with this dish was that the quantity of vermicelli was too low. You cannot even see them in this picture as they form only a shallow base at the bottom. The glass noodles were extremely tasty, having soaked up all the garlic, soy sauce and prawn taste.
There is a section in the Chin Huat menu that contains “Flavours of Yester Year”. These include items such as chai poh hor fun, kong bak pau and Teochew orh nee, i.e dishes which we wanted to eat at the same. We could only have one and picked the claypot Hokkien mee ($7.80 for a small dish). It was a great tasting noodle dish.
We cannot confirm whether Chin Huat Live Seafood is indeed the first live seafood restaurant in Singapore. But it does look like it is quite believable, judging by the great demand for live seafood at this restaurant in Clementi / Sunset Way. The pictures of the famous personalities at the restaurant and the crowds of people in the evenings, especially weekends. They are quieter at lunchtime when an affordable $11.90++ set lunch is offered.
Chin Huat Live Seafood 镇发活海鲜
Block 105 Clementi St 12, #01-30, Singapore 120105
Monday – Friday
11:30am – 2:30pm
5:30pm – 10:30pm
Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays
11:30am – 2:30pm
5:00pm – 10:30pm
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an independent Singapore food blog