Plum Village (梅村酒家) is said to be the oldest Hakka restaurant in Singapore. Located at Jalan Leban, off Upper Thomson Road, it is also one of the few traditional Hakka restaurants we know of in Singapore.
Sembawang Hills Estate Restaurants
Plum Village Hakka Restaurant is one of several food outlets at the cluster of retail shops near the Sembawang Food Centre e.g. Bee Heong Palace Restaurant, Springleaf Taiwan Porridge and Thus Cafe (a very popular hip cafe in this area). The are also some nostalgic elements about this place. An old taxi stand still remains (but not operational) which used to host the Sembawang Hill Taxi Services which was listed with a 5-digit telephone number.
The Plum Village restaurant is a small one. The decor is simple and it looks like it has remained the same for decades. I understand that it can get crowded at meal times, especially weekends. It is advisable to call in advance to make a reservation.
Plum Village Hakka Restaurant Menu
This is a picture of the Plum Village Hakka Restaurant Menu. They probably have an English version but pride prevented us from asking for it. We could just about make up several of the dishes.
Like the rest of the restaurant, the decor and table setting at Plum Village harks back to the 80s or even the 70s. We ordered the 算盘仔 suan pan zhi ($9 abacus seeds), 梅菜扣肉 Hakka mei cai kou rou ($13.80 braised pork belly with preserved vegetables) and 客家酿豆腐 (三宝) three types of yong tau fu ($8.40 for two persons).
Plum Village Hakka Yong Tau Fu
Hakka yong tau fu is probably the most familiar Hakka dish for us. It was recommended to us that we try the selection of three types of yong tau fu – referred as the 三宝 serving of yong tau fu. This cost $4.20 for each set of three pieces. The three pieces were bitter gourd, tofu and tau pok, all stuffed with fish paste and served in a soup. What impressed us about this dish was the simplicity. The pieces of yong tau fu were uncomplicated with the fish paste providing ost of the taste. The clear soup felt like the type of soup we would make at home if we were able to cook.
The braised pork belly in contrast, was a rich meaty dish. The pork was well cooked till extremely soft and dark sauce was very good. What made it stand out from other types of braised pork was the preserved vegetables which had a sweetish taste to balance out the oiliness of the meat. This is a dish that has to be eaten with steamed rice ($1 each).
The most distinctive dish of the day was the “abacus seeds”. We had to try this as we know of no other Chinese cuisine that had this. This is a dish of small balls made with flour and yam, fried with garlic and minced meat . They resemble the “seeds” in an abacus, hence the name. It was a nice fragrant dish and one which we were glad to be able to try at Plum Village restaurant.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
Plum Village Hakka Restaurant 梅村酒家
16 Jalan Leban, Singapore 577554
Tel: +65 6458 9005
Opening Hours: 10am – 1:30pm | 4pm – 8:30pm
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog