I first blogged about this restaurant 4 months ago.
I’ve been back to this restaurant 5-6 times since my first visit.
It’s now my favourite Teochew restaurant hands down and each time I come here, I’m struck by something new – either a dish or an impression.
Some views have developed or changed along the way.
But always in a good way.
Pure Teochew or Hybrid ?
I say Teochew but I suspect I would now describe it as a hybrid of Teochew and some Cantonese influence in its dishes.
Yes there are many Teochew dishes done impeccably here but it’s menu can be a little eclectic at times, there is sometimes a twist in the way they do things.
Some of their dishes are prepared in a way which is more reminiscent of a Cantonese style.
But most of their dishes have a refined and lighter touch which the Teochews excel at so delightfully.
And I’m beginning to understand why they added “private dining” in their name.
First, the service is really efficient and attentive.
There is no corkage charge and they give you really nice wine glasses.
That adds to the allure of a private dining element.
Granted, the restaurant is a trite noisy because of the acoustics of a smallish restaurant but if you sit in the private rooms, the noise is somewhat reduced.
But otherwise, sit outside and celebrate the vivacious cacophony of its patrons.
While they have a fairly extensive menu with fixed dishes, their seafood offerings always depend on the best catch of the day.
The freshest fish offering of the day, large sweet clams and other seafood depending on the catch.
So don’t expect to waltz in and expect the ubiquitous “steamed pomfret” to be in their menu all the time.
Be surprised and expect to be hit with wholesome freshness.
It is fair to say that each time I come here, I’ve eaten a different fish (catch of the day) recommended by Roy and Fiona, the friendly owners of the Restaurant.
And they have all been utterly delicious – a perfectly steamed Garoupa in delicious soy, Mackerel stir fried with shallots and wild mushrooms, the sweetest steamed baby Threadfin served chilled/room temperature, crispy King George Whitings deep fried amongst a bed of crackling garlic, a seven star Garoupa fishead cooked in an umami soup, the list is endless.
And all incredibly fresh, sweet and succulent.
They really have their fish dishes raised to an art form at this restaurant.
New Wing Added
At my last visit, the restaurant has added on a new wing which adds on one extra private room and two to three tables.
But even with this new wing, they are still packed to the gills.
I suggest you book 2 to 4 weeks ahead.
Some new Dishes I’ve tried
I’ve never been able to not order the raw crab with yellow roe every time I visit.
This is not easy to find anywhere else and needs pre-ordering.
Fresh and incredibly succulent. The roe is to die for.
A chicken is wrapped in lotus leaf and baked with wild mushrooms and encrusted with salt.
The sauces are steeped into the meat which was delectable and fragrant.
This needs preordering.
The skin had a nice crisp and the meat was succulent and moist.
The salad leaves were glazed with a nice plum sauce which worked well with the pork.
They do this so well.
The sea cucumber seems to have been lightly fried. It came half way crispy yet moist and yielding.
You need fine culinary skills just to get it at that perfect medium.
And that sauce is incredibly delicious.
This is a crowd favourite amongst my makan Kakis.
White Bitter Gourd with minced pork and sole fish (ti po)
The savouriness of this dish works beautifully with the delightful bitterness of the gourd.
You can’t miss this dish if you are a fan of bitter gourd like me.
I just wished the sole fish was more crispy or had more in the dish. It didn’t stand out enough.
But overall still exquisite.
Lala or Flower Clam
I’ve had this prepared fried just with lard. Very nice indeed.
Not to be missed if they have it on the day you are there.
Just feast your eyes on those giant cockles.
The cockles were so clean and it was half raw which I really love.
Too many places over- cook Cockles and it is such a delight to find cockles treated with just a delicate touch.
Yes nothing Teochew about this dish.
They have uni flown in once a week so it’s fresh.
It’s creamy and buttery in texture.
Not fishy at all. Just a hint of urchin brininess.
It was sublime.
Deep fried Japanese sawagani mini crab
Deep fried to a crisp with shattering umami garlic.
Delicious and comes in limited quantities.
Carabinero Sashimi prawns with mee sua in a rich broth
Carabineros also known as the scarlet prawn, is known as crevette impériale in France and carabineros in Spain and lives in the deepest parts of the eastern Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.
At San Shou Kong, the prawn is served sashimi style, ensuring that you savour every bit of sweetness of the succulent prawn.
And the head, which makes me so happy, they deep fry it to a savoury crisp.
Please suck on that prawn head and never let it go.
It is umami personified.
Finally, they pour this rich broth over perfectly cooked soft mee sua.
Really a piece de resistance.
Chai Po Kway Teow
Yes many places serve this.
But this is the best I’ve tried.
It comes pungent and redolent with wok Hei.
And wait for the subtle heat to build up. Yes they’ve added cut chilli so subtle you cant see it.
But it added to the magic of the dish.
So simple but so spectacular.
San Shu Gong Private Dining 三叔公私房菜. 135 Geylang Road Singapore 389226 Opening 12pm- 3pm, 6pm – 1030 pm