06 November, 2008

Sik Wai Sin Eating House - Cantonese Tze Char

Notorious for its long history of prostitution, Geylang Road, fronted by low-rise shophouses – protected from urban redevelopment in keeping with its history and heritage – is also famous for the delicious food offerings. And Sik Wai Sin Eating House, once voted Top 50 restaurants in Singapore by the Sunday Times along the likes of Morton’s, Au Jardin, Les Amis, Iggy’s, and Garibaldi, is one of them.

Although located in a dingy tiny coffeeshop, Sik Wai Sin is nothing short of a stalwart in Cantonese-styled Tze Char (literally means “cook and fried” in dialect). In order to bring out the best in each dish, HFB quickly realised that one do not have many choices when it comes to dishes to order – almost every table was eating the same fare!

Stir-fried KaiLan with Garlic was well fried, and wasn’t over-cooked – with stump of the vegetables still retaining crunch. The savoury sauce was flavourful, but dish was oily overall.

One of their signatured dishes, the Homemade Tofu Fried with Giant Prawns, in Egg Sauce was a joy to consume. The tofu was well woked with aroma, and the prawns, lip smacking juicy and crunchy – certainly a brilliant pairing with a bowl of rice.

The Steamed Minced Pork with Salted Fish certainly brings back the good old memories from my grandparents’ time. A dish, which HFB would claim to be traditional, he reckons not many youngsters nowadays would take to this dish because of the fishy smell (from the salted fish). Although another nice dish to go with the rice, HFB finds that the dish was slightly overcooked and thus, the meat was slightly tough. A pathetic serving of the salted fish, nevertheless any extra and the dish will be too salty for consumption.

The Steamed Fishhead is probably their trademark dish, and it was inevitable that one would find this on almost each and every table. Comes in only one serving size (big that is – we tried asking for small), the humongous fishhead can easily feed a handful of adults. Covered in Bean Paste and Pork Lard, it’s probably the latter that sets it apart from the many other steamed fishhead out there. Rid of the muddy taste of a typical fresh-water fish, the fish is fleshy and tender – so much so that even a non-fishhead eater has plenty of meat to go for. Go with a spread of the bean paste and a piece of lard and “nirvana” is the only word that came close to mind.

The last among all dishes served, the Sweet and Sour Pork wasn’t really worth the wait. Although the pork is nicely coated with an intensely tangy sauce captured via an incredible high heated wok, HFB found the meat a little too tough to chew – probably from over-frying. Since being served last, the meat also gets to one towards the end.

*Prices of dishes are not quoted due to restaurant not producing an itemised receipt. However, HFB did remembered not paying more than $30 per pax for the dinner.


Food: 4/5 (Lean towards being oily but overall still good)
Service: 3/5 (Waited quite awhile for the last dish)
Ambience: 2.5/5 (Hot and stuffy, place is cramp)
Price: 3.5/5 (Affordable but slightly pricey for tze char's standard)
Total: 13/20
287 Geylang Road
Singapore 389334

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Steve said...

oh dear. I really do wish I could get over my aversion to fish head anything. I just can't eat something that can look at me!

However, the Tofu and Giant Prawns could well be worth a visit. I cannot, however, imagine the minced pork with salted fish. It sounds an odd pairing (or rather, it's one that's new to me). Must try.

His Food Blog said...

LOL. Well, Chinese eats everything that moves. Heh!

Not sure whether the coffeshop environment will suit you - but I would say give it a try just for the experience!

Sadly, minced pork and salted fish is indeed a traditional dish that not many people will appreciate nowadays.

Anonymous said...

The pictures of each food item looked so appetizing! Especially homemade tofu with giant prawns had the visual effect of "wok-hei" infiltrating from the photo! The only thing is distance...unless you drive, it can be rather inaccessible to get there. Wld like to trip there some day!

His Food Blog said...

Hi Anon,

Would love to have a name/nick to address you though :)

Yeap. Indeed most of their dishes comes with the "Wok Hei" flavours due to the big flame that is used for the cooking.

Geylang is always a pain to travel to but there's always the bus and the train. I rem I took the train for this visit.

Do try it and share with the others what you think. :)

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