Love In Vain @ Tian Tian Seafood Restaurant 天天海鲜鱼头爐

I have blogged quite a few cze char posts like Kok Sen Coffee ShopHong Kong Street Chun Tat Kee, Hong Kong Street Zhen Bao Ji Cze Char, Hong Kong Street SteamboatJu Feng Garden Kitchen. So cze char 煮炒 or street restaurant cuisine is no longer unfamiliar to you.

Today’s post is about Tian Tian Seafood Fish Head Steamboat which is one of our favourite 煮炒 place. When the girls were studying in Melbourne, any holidays back in Singapore would mandate a dinner session at Tian Tian’s. The menu is quite extensive and the price is more reasonable than Sin Hoi San another cze char on the opposite road. I personally like Tian Tian because of the steamboat’s side order of handmade meatballs. Other dishes like the sambal cockles and petai with minced meat or ikan bilis are also very yummy! But what intrigues me most was why Vanessa only likes Kangkong? Is this dish addictive or even psychedelic? Lol… I thought it was funny until I researched and read. Hmmm…

Vanessa doesn’t like leafy vegetables and I remember Valerie trying to coax her into eating some broccoli saying those were little trees. The trick didn’t work and to date, she only eats sambal kangkong or water convolvulus as most cookbooks here would term it. I’ve only learnt about Morning Glory as edible in 2009 when I was living in Dubai. I was having lunch in Grand Hyatt’s Wox, an Asian noodle restaurant reminiscent of hawker stands in South East Asia that serves some flavourful Cambodian, Vietnamese, Singaporean and Chinese dishes. I saw morning glory listed in the menu and was curious about this dish. All I could think was the blue and purple flowers. I ordered it. Chey! It’s Kangkong.

Ipomoea aquatica, known as water spinach, water morning glory, water convolvulus, ong-choy, kangkong, or swamp cabbage, is popularly used as a green vegetable, especially in East and Southeast Asian cuisines. In the USA ipomoea aquatica is a Federal Noxious Weed, and can be illegal to grow, import, possess, or sell without permit. However, a market exists for the plant’s powerful culinary potential. See: USDA weed factsheet. As of 2005, the state of Texas has acknowledged that water spinach is a highly prized vegetable in many cultures, and has allowed water spinach to be grown for personal consumption, in part because it is known to have been grown in Texas for more than 15 years and has not yet escaped cultivation. Because it goes by so many names, it can easily be slipped through import inspections, and it is often available in Asian or specialty produce markets.

Morning glory was first known in China for its medicinal uses, due to the laxative properties of its seeds.

The morning glory represents “love in vain” for whatever outside circumstances according to the Victorian language of flowers. Info: Wikipedia

Below are some of the dishes we would order when visiting Tian Tian.

Tian Tian is one of my children's favourite cze char restaurant.

Tian Tian is one of my children’s favourite cze char restaurant.

Refreshing Young Coconut drink imported from Thailand - S$4.80

Refreshing Young Coconut drink imported from Thailand – S$4.80

Live seafood in popular cze char restaurants are very common. I’m eyeing the bottom right corner – Bamboo Shell Clams.

Live seafood in popular cze char restaurants are very common.
I’m eyeing the bottom right corner – Bamboo Shell Clams.

Bamboo Clams 竹蚌 - S$10 a piece.<br />Steamed with delicious sauce heavily laced with minced garlic and spring onions.<br />So far I have tried this dish at a few seafood restaurants and I found Tian Tian to prepare them best!

Bamboo Clams 竹蚌 – S$10 a piece.
Steamed with delicious sauce heavily laced with minced garlic and spring onions.
So far I have tried this dish at a few seafood restaurants and I found Tian Tian to prepare them best!

Hotplate Tofu 铁板豆腐 - S$10.<br />Tonight's tofu (the eggs) was undercooked so I had to send it back.

Hotplate Tofu 铁板豆腐 – S$10.
Tonight’s tofu (the eggs) was undercooked so I had to send it back.

It wasn't even sizzling when it arrived, both the first and second time. Quite a disappointment actually. We've eaten here countless times.

It wasn’t even sizzling when it arrived, both the first and second time.
Quite a disappointment actually. We’ve eaten here countless times.

Since I did not want to send it back again, we just have to mix it well and hopefully the eggs would be more cooked. The taste however was still great!

Since I did not want to send it back again, we just have to mix it well and hopefully the eggs would be more cooked.The taste however was still great!

Sweet and Sour Pork 咕嚕肉 - S$10.<br />Not the best but good enough for carnivore me :p

Sweet and Sour Pork 咕嚕肉 – S$10.
Not the best but good enough for carnivore me :p

Feeling anaemic?<br />Pig's Liver in Claypot  沙煲姜葱猪肝- S$9.<br />Ask for them to be 80% cooked in a claypot lightly perfumed with sesame oil, hua tiao chiew, lots of ginger and scallions, too! The gravy goes super duper well with rice.

Feeling anaemic?
Pig’s Liver in Claypot 沙煲姜葱猪肝- S$9.
Ask for them to be 80% cooked in a claypot lightly perfumed with sesame oil, hua tiao chiew, lots of ginger and scallions, too! The gravy goes super duper well with rice.

Sambal Kangkong   马来风光 - S$8. The mystical morning glory cooked in chilli, belachan and pounded dried shrimps. Undisputably the favourite vegetables with many considering it a local delight and must-order dish in a cze char restaurant.

Sambal Kangkong 马来风光 – S$8.
Demystified morning glory cooked in chilli, belachan and pounded dried shrimps. Undisputably the favourite vegetables with many considering it a local delight and must-order dish in a cze char restaurant.

With the delicous lip-smacking sauces on rice, everything seemed extra nice.

With the delicous lip-smacking sauces on rice, everything seemed extra nice.

Cze Char or Street Restaurant cuisine is very popular as they simulate home-cooked food prepared by wifey or mom. It takes away the inconveniences of preparing the many dishes a couple or small family might want to enjoy but find it a hassle or due to lack of time.

Cze Char or Street Restaurant cuisine is very popular as they simulate home-cooked food prepared by the wifey or mom. It takes away the inconveniences of preparing the many dishes a couple or small family might want to enjoy but find it a hassle or due to lack of time.

Bill for 2 but can feed 4 small eaters :)

Bill for 2 but can feed 4 small eaters 🙂

Tian Tian Seafood Fish Head Steamboat as the name implied serves rather good steamboats.

Tian Tian Seafood Fish Head Steamboat as the name implied serves rather good steamboats.
We like the red snapper fish meat steamboat and plenty of secondary ingredients like fatty beef, deep-fried beanskin, liver, sea cucumber, enoki mushrooms, deep-fried fish skin, prawns, geoduck, handmade pork balls, nappa cabbage, tang oh 茼蒿 or garland chrysanthemum, etc… etc…

Happy eating 🙂

Tian Tian Seafood Restaurant 天天海鲜鱼头爐
Address: 239 Outram Road.
Singapore 169042.

Tel: +65 6324 1082/3.

Operating Hours: Daily
5pm – 3.30am

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Comments
9 Responses to “Love In Vain @ Tian Tian Seafood Restaurant 天天海鲜鱼头爐”
  1. Janet Rörschåch says:

    That morning glory water spinach dish looks awesome. I’m surprised to find out that the US won’t allow it to be grown except in Texas. Well, with their success, maybe it will be allowed in the rest of the states. By the way the word convulvulus is a mouthful.

    It’s amazing the number of places you’ve lived. Do you have any favorites?

    • Sam Han says:

      Hi Janet, I like most of the places I’ve lived, they are very exciting in their own way. Having said that, Singapore is still my favourite (food, fashion, cosmopolitan culture and most importantly safety) except for it’s humidity which can reach to 100% at times and that sucked. Malaysia, Selangor state, is one place I may consider for retirement. 😀

  2. daniellajoe says:

    Red snapper is one of my favorite fish and young coconut water ice cold = paradise 🙂

  3. drunk ninja says:

    omg, I LOVE LOVE LOVE bamboo clams. Unfortunately, we don’t get it here so when I visit HK i always make sure i have a lot!!! I just love all sorts of clams like small clams (which we have here) and geoducks (same deal but quite expensive here).

    I also like the kangkang vegetable but I find in order to make it really good, you need a nice big “firey wok”

    • Sam Han says:

      I love all kinds of clams too 😀 and yes nice big firey iron wok for the breath (wok hei) and belchan or fu yee that will stink up your house, lol…

  4. Love ong choy, but did not know it has so many names. Thanks for sharing this local favourite.

  5. Sofia says:

    ooohhh Sam, the sambal kangkong reminds me of the one my mum makes 3> xx

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