Yue Bai: Cosy Modern Hokkien Restaurant

Clockwise: Crisp Fried Burdock$14, Chicken Ngor Hiang $14, Salted Egg Lion’s Mane Mushrooms $18, Purple Rice Cake $16, Roselle Flower infused Chinese Yam $12

A Boutique Chinese Restaurant

What attracted me to Yuè Bái, was the fact that it is a boutique Chinese restaurant that is helmed by a Chef who also owns the place. While most Chinese restaurants are designed to host banquets, Yue Bai’s setting is more intimate. It feels like a Japanese omakase restaurant where you feel a real connection to the Chef and his craft.

Chef-Owner Lee Hong Wei

Dietary Therapy (食疗)

Helmed by local-born Lee Hong Wei, diners can expect to embark on a culinary journey celebrating Chinese heritage through a modern interpretation of traditional dishes rooted in 食疗 (shí liáo) ie Dietary Therapy. This ancient practice utilizes food’s natural healing properties to enhance well-being. Chef Hong Wei is currently showcasing his Summer menu which is inspired by Southern Chinese cuisine. It offers familiar flavours presented through a contemporary lens specially designed to dispel the heat of summer. After a recent trip to his ancestral land of Fujian, Chef has weaved many Hokkien elements into his current menu.

Review of Dishes

Our meal commenced with an enticing array of starters. It includes the Roselle-infused mountain yam, whose mild tanginess was perfect for whetting the appetite. I also enjoyed the Crisp Fried Burdock root! Although I would have mistaken it for another root vegetable if the menu didn’t specifically list it as such. Chef Lee specifically selected burdock root in line with his 食疗 (shí liáo) philosophy, valuing its cooling properties and ability to dissipate heat.

Double boiled Soup

Double Boiled Night Blooming Cereus, Dried Fig, Duck Breast $18

For the soup, we were presented with a broth made from duck breast. It was double-boiled with 霸王花 ie night-blooming cereus, and dried figs. The night-blooming cereus, epiphyllum oxypetalum or “Queen of the Night,” is a cactus species. It is renowned for its spectacular flowers that bloom only at night and wilt by dawn.

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it is believed to possess cooling properties and is commonly used to address conditions related to heat and dryness in the body. It is often included in herbal formulations aimed at alleviating respiratory ailments such as dry coughs and bronchitis. The soup was very pleasant. It was subtly sweet without any gaminess or strong herbal notes typical of Chinese medicinal herbs. 4/5

Braised Pork Belly

Tong Ann Braised Pork Belly, Dried Oyster, Dried Shrimp, Chestnut $38

Tong Ann Braised Pork Belly, also known as “Tong An Fen Rou” (同安封肉), is a traditional Chinese delicacy from Tong’an District in Xiamen, Fujian Province. Chef added this dish to the menu after a recent visit to his ancestral village.

This dish is celebrated for its rich flavors and tender texture. It stands out due to the inclusion of dried seafood suhc as dried oysters and shrimp. These are added to the usual blend of soy sauce, sugar, and aromatic spices. Chef slow-braises the pork belly in a cloth bag for hours until it becomes incredibly tender and deeply infused with flavor.

The addition of dried seafood imparts a taste reminiscent of Hokkien Bak Zhang. Chef uses German pork belly, which has a generous layer of fat! The pork is cooked until it is jiggly yet maintains enough integrity to fall apart with the gentle pressure of chopsticks. 4.25/5

Textures of Mustard Greens

Braised Chinese Mustard Green, Minced pork, Sundried Chinese Mustard $24

If you were dining at a fine restaurant, this next dish might be named “Textures of Mustard Green.” This means taking a single ingredient and presenting it in various forms. In this case, pickled mustard greens are stir-fried with minced pork and served alongside fresh mustard greens. It was a pleasant dish, though I felt the flavor of the pickled mustard greens was somewhat lacking. 3.5/5

Braised Yam

Braised Yam, Alkaline Rice Cake $18

I’ve always loved yam, but it usually plays a supporting role in savory dishes like braised pork belly or fish head steamboat. Yam has a distinct flavor, so it’s great to see Chef make it the star of this braised yam dish. The yam is braised in a savory-sweet sauce made from black bean paste. It is then served with alkaline rice cakes shaped like mahjong tiles. I appreciate that you can truly savor the flavor of the yam! 4.25/5

Hokkien Lor Mee

Hokkien Braised Noodle, Seafood Medley $35

We typically associate lor mee with yellow noodles and a dark sauce. But “lor” simply means “braised,” and the sauce can be light, like the chicken collagen soup Chef used to braise the noodles. The soup is nice, velvety smooth, and quite delicate. This is certainly a different experience from the robust lor mee we are used to. 4/5

Stir Fried Sweet Potato Cakes

Stir Fried Sweet Potato Cake, Shiitake, Sakura Prawn, XO sauce $32

Stir-fried sweet potato cakes are another dish Chef grew up with. The transparent sweet potato “kway” is wonderfully chewy, offering a delightful texture. However, we felt the XO sauce could have been more punchy. 4/5

Dessert – Jasmine Milk Pudding

Jasmine Milk Pudding $12

For dessert, we were served a delicate milk pudding scented with jasmine petals. I expected it to be sweet, but it was very mild. Like the rest of the dishes, Chef Lee’s palate leans more toward savoury than sweet flavours. I felt it could do with a little honey or pandan-infused syrup. But I like that you can taste the flavour of the milk and the subtle sweetness of the lactose. 4/5

Wine Pairing with Portuguese Wines

Portuguese Wine Pairing

Lisa adds: The first question that comes to mind is “Why serve Portuguese wines in a Chinese restaurant?”. There is, of course, the romantic idea of how historical trade routes connected Portuguese traders to the Far East of Fujian. In a more modern context, the reason is simply because the co-owners of Yue Bai are distributors of Portuguese wines! And why not?

Portuguese wines are known for their diverse range, providing the team with flexibility to discover wines that complement the intricate, rich, and delicate flavors of Hokkien cuisine. While I may not be a wine expert, I can certainly say that the pairings were all quite enjoyable. One standout pairing for me was the Alicante Branco 2018 with the appetizers. This white wine from Alentejano, Portugal, strikes a wonderful balance—not too light or too bold, not too soft or too acidic. It’s a perfect match for savoury starters like the Crisp-fried Burdock and Salted Egg Lion’s Mane Mushrooms.

Chinese Culture and Caligraphy

In a setting inspired by Chinese culture and elegance, Chef Lee’s passion for Chinese literature and art is evident through his calligraphy and paintings adorning the restaurant walls. If you are interested in trying your hand at Chinese calligraphy, you can also arrange for a calligraphy session before proceeding with dinner!


Yue Bai distinguishes itself as a boutique, intimate Chinese restaurant helmed by a chef-owner passionate about showcasing Chinese culture, calligraphy, and the traditional Chinese Medicine approach to food as medicine (食疗, shí liáo). The food is beautifully presented, and the inclusion of ingredients to dispel the heat of summer adds another dimension to the dining experience.

This was a media tasting. That means the meal was hosted but we are free to express our own opinions.

Yue Bai

33 Duxton Rd,
Singapore 089497
View Map

Opening hours:

Lunch: 11:45 am to 3:00 pm

Dinner: 5:45 pm to 10:00 pm





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