Chui Huay Lim - authentic teochew experience

Chui Huay Lim (part of the Jumbo Group) is celebrating its 3rd anniversary. Recently, i was invited to a media event where new dishes are whipped up by the good chefs here to commemorate their anniversary. From Sept to Nov, these limited edition dishes will be served at Chui Huay Lim and I was subtly impressed by the dishes. So what's good and what's not? Here goes:

1. Chinese Tea (4Hands)

Ain't really a chinese tea fan, but how premium chinese tea can taste so good, i am left to scratch my head. Chef Chan was enthusiastically explaining how the tea differs - oolong tea (which is sipped before a meal) and tie guan yin (which is served after meals). Personally, the tie guan yin was better, with that subtle sweet after taste lingering on your tongue.

2. Chilled Hand Peeled Lobster with fresh fruits (3Hands)

The chefs specifically highlighted the part on hand peeling the lobster meat. That's because the meat will be in larger chunks, and hence more appealing to our taste as compared to using a machine to scrape off the meat. I found the dish quite average (because we had pince & pints the other day), but nonetheless, the lobster meat was fresh, and blended well with the fresh fruits. Something unique for a teochew dish.

3. Salt Baked Prosperity Chicken with Whole Abalone (5Hands)

Visually stunning when it was first served. At a whopping $120 for this dish, it sure had to be something special, and i can safely say that it's worth the price. Mushrooms and whole abalones aplenty, the chicken was baked perfectly. The meat was tender and salty (which is to be expected) enough to my liking. The mushrooms and abalones were infused with flavours from the chicken as well as that tad of salt. Probably the highlight of the meal.

4. Double-boiled chicken soup (3Hands)

The first impression i got was that it coincides with the Halloween theme! See that porcelain  pumpkin lookalike. Wasn't really impressed with the soup, which was no surprise as i am rarely a soup person (and because my mum cooks great soup). This soup has a more of those traditional, light, brothy taste. if you like these kind of clear chicken soup, you will be wowed.

5. Steamed Jumbo Crab with Hua Diao (4Hands)

Fresh crab steamed in egg and hua tiao. Only one outcome - a dish worth remembering. Good, but I felt it still can't beat the Chairman's crab dish i had in hong kong. Look out for the steam egg on the crab. Immersed in hua tiao jiu and embodies the flavours of the crab, subtle, flavourful, intense.  

6. Teochew Oyster Omelette (5Hands)

One word to describe this dish - SHIOK. If you think that you should not order such a dish in an upscale teochew restaurant, then you are wrong. Such a simple dish has caught the palate of everyone on the table by surprise. A dish I'd really recommend when you are here. A genius at work at frying this delightable 'orh jian'.

7. Pan Fried Yellow Croaker (2Hands)

The yellow croaker is said to be a rare find. Nothing fantastic in my opinion. To add, am not a fishy person where the first taste of its meat encapsulates my point of not liking fish - the fishy overwhelming odour. Some may like it perhaps? It could be an opinion divider.  

8. Steamed Minced Meat with Ages Radish (5Hands ++)

Another dish which won the over the dinner table. Again, a simple dish, yet hard to master. It brings back memories of my grandmother who used to whip up this dish (but this was even better). The 'Cai Po', according to Chef Chan was specifally hand chosen for the dish. Aged for 10 years, it can only be found in a remote part of China. That taste and flavour of this mince meat, you can't get it elsewhere.

9. Tau Suan (5Hands)

Believe me, i was ready to give a pass to this dish when it was served. Many, including me, are not fans of these traditional desserts. It took one mouthful to wow me. Unlike those sold in our hawker centres, this Tau Suan is everything that a chinese dessert should be like. Chef Chan mentioned that they added cured orange peel, which made the taste of this Tau Suan even better. I finished the bowl so fast, i wanted another - perfect end to a fine tasting session.

the man of the hour - Chef Chan

Overall verdict: 4Hands. Having been here on separate occasions as well, the dishes served were of really good quality. These limited edition dishes during the tasting session are also one of the best teochew food i have eaten for some time. Good for a family gathering. I'd recommend this place, however, be prepared to spend.

Chui Huay Lim Teochew Cuisine
190 Keng Lee Road
#01-02 Chui Huay Lim Club
Singapore 308409
nearby MRT: newton
prepare to spend: $50 onwards per pax

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