Chui Huay Lim Teochew Cuisine 醉花林品潮轩辕 @ Chui Huay Lim Club 醉花林俱乐部
醉花林俱乐部 Chui Huay Lim Club, translating to Drunk Flower Forest Club, one of Singapore’s oldest club was founded in 1845. It was originally set up for Teochew (one of the largest Chinese clans in Singapore and have been in Southeast Asia since the mid 19th century) businessmen to engage in business networking as well as a social venue for recreational activities. Their goal was to promote Teochew heritage and Chinese culture.
Many a times, heritage and cultures are preserved in the respective dialects’ culinary world (the philosophy as cited in my “About” page, “If you want to get to know them better, eat with them and learn their culture.” Teochew Cuisine’s distinctive cooking technique emphasises on light seasoning; using less salt and mild flavourings, thus it is safe to say they are China’s first weight watchers, lol…
As mentioned in yesterday’s post, the original dinner venue at Sik Bao Sin was closed on Monday so Jerry suggested eating at Chui Huay Lim Teochew Cuisine. We ate there before and I wasn’t impressed. Adrian, however, raved about the food so much so that I jumped on the opportunity to go back and give this restaurant another shot.
Braised Goose over Tofu is a dish usually prepared beforehand. They can be served as an appetiser or part of a main course. The goose meat was tender and did not have loathsome gamey smell. The braising liquid which normally employs 5-spice like cinnamon and star anise weren’t overpowering. Tofu retained its delicateness. Thumbs up for this dish.
I asked Jerry what are the must have dishes when he dine here and he divulged, Stir-fried Prawns with Yellow Chives and either the the Deep-fried Traditional Teochew Prawn or Liver Rolls. We ordered the chives with prawns and the liver roll. I loved the garlicky aroma of the yellow chives and succulent juicy prawns. The liver roll was well executed but somehow, the liver smell got to me this time round and I did not particularly enjoy this dish even though liver is one of my favourite food. As I’d mention, my tolerance of certain food (lamb, coconut milk coupled with very hot spices, to name a few) has become lower.
The minute Teochew Fried Kway Teow with diced Kai Lan was placed on our table, we could smell the wok hei (breath of wok, and that means good!). As simple as the dish was with only two main ingredients, the slippery smooth flat rice noodles with crunchy diced stalks of the kale was really yummy.
I was being greedy when I ordered the Teochew Puning Fermented Bean Chicken. The waitress asked me if we would be able to eat all the food. Bless her 🙂 I knew we couldn’t but we were prepared to “dabao” the leftovers. I normally do not return to the same restaurant within a short duration so I had to try whatever took to my fancy when studying the menu. This dish was chosen partly because I was intrigued, it didn’t look or sound like a Teochew food to my limited knowledge of their cuisine. The chicken was tender, juicy, bordered on salty and tasted very Cantonese to me, lol… It is funny how we or rather I associate some foods to certain dialects. Teochew or Cantonese, I liked the chicken but I should warn you not to dip them into the taucheo (fermented soybean sauce) provided unless you love saltiness.
I remember Sofia asking me why do I go back to restaurants when I did not have good food experience on my first visits. I replied that I usually do not write them off as the kitchen could be having a bad day. Sometimes, the food is just bleh, sometimes it worked out on the second or third or many more subsequent visits later. Perhaps a change of executive chef? I don’t know and do not have the answer but I am always happy when passionate chefs/restauranteurs take feedback (directly from customers or through constructive criticism of food reviews by bloggers) seriously and improve on their products. It is admirable of them to eat the humble pie.
Chui Huay Lim Teochew Cuisine managed to tease my tastebuds tonight. I would be back again if Adrian suggest it next time.
Chui Huay Lim Teochew Cuisine 醉花林品潮轩辕
Address: 190 Keng Lee Rd,
#01-02 Chui Huay Lim Club.
Tel: (+65) 6732 3637.
Operating hours: Daily
Lunch: 11.30am – 3pm.
Dinner: 6pm – 11pm
Happy discovering 🙂