The man behind the wok is Chef Austen Ong who started his cooking career as a 13 year old apprentice of the legendary Chef Tham Mui Kai (One of the Four Heavenly Kings). Since then, he has worked in Chinese kitchens around the world, spending almost two decades with the Hyatt group. In 2005 and 2007, he led the Singapore team to victory in the world culinary contest held in Taipei which eventually earned him the title of "god of the kitchen". 厨神
Helmed by local born, Chef Martin Foo, the restaurant menu is a culmination of his many years of experience at Lei Gardens and Tung Lok group and his penchant for creativity and esoteric ingredients. What's more, Chef Martin keeps a spreadsheet on his customer's preferences so that he remembers what type of fish you like and how it is prepared!
This restaurant chain used to be known as Paradise Inn but had recently had a makeover. Instead of stools, now there are proper chairs and the dishes are now a little more refined but they are still dishes that you would expect to order at the zi char. More importantly the prices of most dishes are between $8 to $22 which is on par with zi char prices!
I must have walked past Lee Do Restaurant countless of times whenever I visit the Automobile Megamart, but it had never occurred to me that this austere looking eatery is one of the last guardians of Fuzhou cuisine in Singapore! I was equally intrigued to learn that they were the ones responsible for making cold crabs the popular dish that it is today!
Classic Singaporean style Teochew food! One taste and you know you are onto some really good stuff. This kind of Singaporean heartland restaurants are a real gem and are, in my opinion, the type of restaurants that should really be included in the Michelin Guide so that tourists can have a taste of solid Singaporean cuisine.
Discovering places like Chui Xiang Kitchen is really what this blog is all about. I really like these small eateries where the owner is also the chef. Chef owner restaurants are more common with cafes and Western eateries, but when it comes to Zi Char and local cuisine, you often find hired hands in the kitchen. Sometimes the owner doesn't even know how to cook! But when you find a small restaurant where the owner happens to be the chef, chances are that the food is going to be a little more special.
Chef Kang’s Kitchen: The Return of the Canton Wokman!
Congrats to Chef Kang for winning One Michelin Star for 2017! Fans of Chef Kang of the defunct Canton Wok will be ecstatic to know that our favourite Cantonese Chef is back and this time he means business! After a short hiatus, Chef Kang has opened a little boutique restaurant which seats only 40 pax and […]
It's one thing to know how to cook and another thing to be committed to the art of cooking. Some people might know all the steps needed to make a dish properly but would take short cuts for the sake of practicality. I am one of them.
Copon Norp Restaurant: Ozaki Beef Odessey and beyond
I have been asked on several occasions about what I would choose as my final meal and the answer would invariably be a slice of grilled Wagyu Beef on top of of a mouthful of sweet short grain Japanese rice. Beef has always been my favourite meat. It has been since I was a kid, […]
Spring Court Restaurant: The Oldest Chinese Restaurant in Singapore
Did you know that Spring Court Restaurant is the oldest Chinese restaurant in Singapore? I admit that I never knew it until I visited Spring Court recently. Perhaps those Gen Xers and Baby Boomers might recognize it by its old name, “Wing Chun Yuen” which was THE place for Chinese Weddings back in the days […]
If you are a child of the 60’s and 70’s, lunch at the Red Star restaurant will transport you back to the days when the only stress was whether you get to be chosen for the soccer team during recess time. Red Star is the kind of restaurant that some people would love while others […]
Har Kou My apologies to all wine connoisseurs. I know that you all love your fermented grape juice and I am sure that it can be paired with Dim Sum, but being a traditionalist, (I am a fair weather traditionalist – you will probably read another post where I extol the marvels of modern cuisine) […]