Goldhill Hakka Restaurant 1997 金山客家釀豆腐餐馆

Hakka YTF 客家釀豆腐Hakka Yong Tau Foo (HYTF) is unique to this dialect group as chicken rice is to the Hainanese.

IMG_9601©BondingToolKeef read raved reviews on their Hakka cuisine and decided to check out this Goldhill Hakka Restaurant 1997. Apparently, Goldhill is  literally translated from the restaurant owner’s name Jin Shan (金山) . His father peddled Hakka food during the 1940s, to subsequently opened a restaurant, and name it after him. The name doesn’t sound very Hakka and of course I could be wrong but I’m guessing the joint could very well be run by Hokkiens not Hakkas.

IMG_9605©BondingToolThe restaurant was almost full house when we stepped in. We managed a table near a wall and asked for their menu. The middle aged man look stunned for a slight second and quickly decided we were ignorant newbies.

IMG_9609©BondingToolThe guy read out the menu to us in Hokkien and throughout, none of the staff spoke a word of Hakka. They don’t have one (menu) and they don’t need to. They only serve a few items: Abacus Seeds, Hakka YTF, Steamed Fish, Steamed Crayfish, Steamed Clams (Lala), Raw Fish Yu Sheng and Oyster Sauce Vegetables.

IMG_9610©BondingToolThis medley of bittergourd, chillies, tofu, tofu puffs are filled with fish paste, which is the star ingredient for HYTF or any YTF. The fish balls here are handmade as can be seen by the irregular shapes. The YTFs we eat at Food Courts are supplied by food factories. You can taste the difference in seasonings and texture.

IMG_9611Almost everyone has a plate of this tofu – it seemed a common practice as witnessed by the surrounding tables. Keef and I are the only one who shared ours and I was glad we did. This supposedly plate for one has two of everything and I was already quite stuffed before our next dish came on.

IMG_9612©BondingToolThe texture of the fish balls or rather the fish paste were more floury and seemed totally bounce-less. I like the common springy type but Keef said he like this as he felt they were uncommon and hence gave him the authentic feel. We both agreed the soup was too salty.

IMG_9613©BondingToolThe stuffed red and green chillies were not spicy at all because the seeds have been removed. The accompanying sweet and chilli sauces for the HYTF was good (msg?), slightly thicker than the runny sauces found in food courts.

IMG_9615©BondingToolOur next dish was the Abacus Seeds popularly known as Hakka Stir-fry Taro Dumpling “Suan Pan Zi” (客家炒算盤子). Here, they do it differently, the ingredients were fried then heaped on top of the boiled yam dumplings.

IMG_9618©BondingToolI could taste some dried shrimps and very thinly sliced dried cuttlefish in this topping. The taste of this Abacus Seeds is light and the texture of the yam dumplings was very “QQ” springy, which is the reason why I liked this dish.

IMG_9622©BondingToolOur next dish was the Steamed La La (clams) in clear broth. I did not detect wine in it – maybe there was and if so, must be just a hint. There were some chillies and ginger strips in this simple dish.

IMG_9627©BondingToolI took in the soup since it must be laden with mineral goodness but I was to regret this later. This dish was overly salty just like the YTF and the barley drink we had was not enough to quench my thirst. Back at Keef’s later, we had 2-3 cans of coke (coke is supposedly good for getting rid of msg side effects) between us and lots of ice water after that or we’ll be piling on calories and sugar too.

IMG_9628The flow of people coming and going was very good during our late lunch visit. Nobody hangs around after eating and the crowd was consistent during the 40 minutes we spent there. Our bill came up to S$25 in total for the 3 items and 2 barley drinks.

IMG_9596

Keef rated the place 6.5 out of 10.
I’ll keep it at 5 because of the horrible thirst experience.
There’s another YTF restaurant just next door which we may check out next time.

Goldhill Hakka Restaurant 1997 金山客家釀豆腐餐馆
299A Changi Road
Singapore 419777.
Phone:6842 4283
Transit: Eunos

Opening Hours: 11.30 am – 4pm
Please call to find out which is their off day.

Happy eating 🙂

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Comments
11 Responses to “Goldhill Hakka Restaurant 1997 金山客家釀豆腐餐馆”
  1. You mention Hainan Chicken Rice. One of my all-time favorite dishes. You can relly tell the quality of a cook by the quality of this dish. Deceptively simple, but rarely, rarely perfect.

    • bondingtool says:

      Yes, the ultimate test but perfect is subjective 🙂 For me as long as the chicken is cooked through without bloody marrows (that’s more cantonese style), the most important condiment is the ginger garlic chilli sauce (hahaha, anything spicy is good for me). How do you describe a perfect hainan chicken rice?

      • First time ever I dare to disagree with you 😉 No, the rice! And the soup! The chicken is the easiest part, as long as it has no fat, no blood no rubbish. I don’t touch the ginger, garlic or chilli until I am sure of the rice and soup.

      • bondingtool says:

        You are not disagreeing, you have your own definition and I like to know what they are. where there are differences in opinions then there can be improvements. You are absolutely right about the chicken being easy and rice the harder. Some people like mushy rice and some fluffy, etc… I am hainanese btw, and my parents in laws hail from hainan island if you seen my post “life expectancy, expect the unexpected”. my mil and i, we cooked very different chicken rice and her daughters, another version. i suppose our versions have been modified to local taste, slightly different from the original hainan islanders. i don’t know if it’s a good thing or not, but i like the modified version (in between hainanese and cantonese) lol… 😀

      • So what is a perfect Hainan Chicken Rice?
        . The rice, soup, chicken, ginger and garlic must appear as one.
        . The soup must be the soup in which the chicken was cooked.
        . The rice must have been steamed in the soup of the chicken, at least partially.
        . The chicken must be soft and clean, no fat, no undelicous or ugly bits.
        . It must smell like Hainan Chicken Rice, with a slight steam.

        I have never had a good Cantonese Hainan Chicken Rice.
        Cantonese cooking takes too many shortcuts, moves too fast,
        and you cannot take shortcuts in Hainan Chicken Rice.

        My best Hainan Chicken Rice has always been in Malaysia, esp Penang.

        On re-reading this, it sounds like “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” – chuckle.

        Anyway, I am sure even if your HCR breaks all the above rules, it will still be delicious!

      • bondingtool says:

        Thank you for your confidence, you are so kind 😀 Have you seen my Hainanese Chicken Rice post? I’ve linked it to Ginger Green Onion Sauce which is a Cantonese dip that I like very much. I hope my recipe pass your test 🙂

      • Ahj, just saw it. In the face of this magical skill, what can an ordinary human like me say? (other than, he is hungry!) 😉

      • bondingtool says:

        Hahaha, so long as hungry doesn’t become angry 😉 But actually, my girls and I prefer the re-fried version of HCR. We usually cook extra chicken and re-fry the leftover the next day. It doesn’t look very enticing but the taste is very jia xiang (家香 – homey). Just stir-fry the leftover chicken with some ginger, garlic, black soy sauce and shaoxing wine (my MIL used brandy). Voila! If you ever come across bad tasting HCR, you re-fry them, lol… 😀

  2. Jessica says:

    I love the images of the round tables and chop sticks! Reminds me of my days in Taiwan. What a cool site you have! You’re right—there is much bonding to be found where food is concerned! 🙂

    • bondingtool says:

      Thank you Jessica for stopping by. I am glad this post brings you some nostalgia 😀
      I agree with your quote the only thing constant is change and share the same thoughts on “As for the future, it is not for you to foresee, but to enable it.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupery
      You have a lovely blog and I enjoy them thoroughly. It seemed you lived quite an exciting life and I hope to see more through your writing and sharing 🙂

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