Sunday, 11 February 2018

Where to get Chinese New Year Dishes. Singapore Chinatown Food Centre ☎ 9893 2765

Chinese-New-Year-Dishes-Singapore-Chinatown

Every year before Chinese New Year, the little zhi char stall in Singapore's Chinatown simply named "Claypot & Cooked Food Kitchen" serves up big restaurant style CNY celebratory dishes. It's a well kept secret among regulars.

Chinese-New-Year-Dishes-Singapore-Chinatown

Uncle Hong 洪叔叔 learnt his craft working in the kitchen of 麗華酒家 Lai Wah, a famed Cantonese restaurant headed by legendary Masterchef Tham Yui Kai from the 1960s to 70s.

Today, we are fortunate to be able to enjoy banquet dishes from 60s era Lai Wah restaurant, thanks to Uncle Hong 洪叔叔 in his little, hole-in-the-wall kitchen in Chinatown food centre.

Isn't that so cool?!

Chinese-New-Year-Dishes-Singapore-Chinatown

Uncle Hong's Chinese New Year menu, hand written in a sauce stained, yellowing, dog eared, old old notebook. The dishes are all given auspicious sounding names fitting the CNY celebrations. There's glutinous rice chicken 糯米鸡, 包羅萬有 Abundance and Plenty, Eight Treasures Duck 八宝鸭 and Phoenix with Swallow Nest 鳳吞燕.

I was early and saw Uncle Hong busy making these traditional dishes. This year, Uncle Hong was more receptive to this nosey fellow in berms asking questions, poking around his little overcrowded kitchen with a camera 😄

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No. That's not the latest Victoria's Secrets lacy lingerie.

Chinese-New-Year-Dishes-Singapore-Chinatown

It is lace fat (caul fat) for wrapping Uncle Hong's famous lo mai kai or fried chicken stuffed with glutinous rice, lup cheong (Cantonese waxed sausage), salted egg yolk, black mushroom, etc.

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Uncle Hong stuffing bird's nest into the boneless chicken cavity. The chicken will be double boiled in a ceramic pot to make Phoenix with Swallow Nest 鳳吞燕.

Chinese-New-Year-Dishes-Singapore-Chinatown

The boneless duck which Uncle Hong will pack with Eight Treasures before braising.

(If you noticed that Uncle Hong was wearing different clothes, it's because all these dishes need to be prepared and cooked over two days. Hence, it is a must to call ahead and book ☎ 9893 2765.)

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Uncle Hong making his Abundance and Plenty dish 包羅萬有.

Chinese-New-Year-Dishes-Singapore-Chinatown

The large head of fresh cabbage is packed with abalone (10 head), dried scallop, mushroom, siew yok, roast duck, dried oysters, fatt choy 髮菜, and other auspicious ingredients.

Chinese-New-Year-Dishes-Singapore-Chinatown

Master craftsman putting the finishing touches to your Abundance and Plenty.

Chinese-New-Year-Dishes-Singapore-Chinatown

The huge fully loaded cabbage heads are steamed.

Chinese-New-Year-Dishes-Singapore-Chinatown

While Abundance and Plenty is steaming in the stove, Uncle Hong prepares the sauce using stock made with pork and chicken bones.

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Pouring hot brown sauce over Abundance and Plenty.

Chinese-New-Year-Dishes-Singapore-Chinatown

Tah.. Dah!! Abundance and Plenty. A 1960s Lai Wah classic banquet dish, a privilege for well off folks back then, we can have today from a tiny hawker centre stall.

Chinese-New-Year-Dishes-Singapore-Chinatown

Wealth, health, abundance and plenty of flavours ready to erupt in our mouths.

Chinese-New-Year-Dishes-Singapore-Chinatown

The ingredients contributed layers of savoury flavours and different soft and tender textures. It was balanced by sweetness from the cabbage leaves and everything was held together by the savoury sweet brown sauce.

Chinese-New-Year-Dishes-Singapore-Chinatown

I am always fascinated by Fatt Choy 髮菜, a hairy looking clump of black fungus. It has a soft texture like mee sua (rice noodles). Not much flavour on its own but it is good at sponging up the flavours of everything around it. So, it tastes great. It is most often eaten during Chinese New Year as its name Fatt Choy sounds the same as good fortune or "striking jackpot" in Cantonese 😄

Chinese-New-Year-Dishes-Singapore-Chinatown

4-Star (out of 5) I feel Abundance and Plenty is a wonderful dish at any Chinese New Year celebration feast.

A note. The Hong couple are elderly folk - just the two of them doing everything without helpers. Please be patient while ordering and waiting for your food. Call ☎ 9893 2765 to book.

👉 Glutinous rice chicken 糯米鸡 - $68
👉 Eight Treasures Duck 八宝鸭 - $80
👉 Abundance and Plenty 包羅萬有 - $88
👉 Phoenix with Swallow Nest 鳳吞燕 - $120

I have earlier blogged about the glutinous rice chicken last year 👈 click

Chinese-New-Year-Dishes-Singapore-Chinatown

Restaurant name: Claypot & Cooked Food Kitchen

Chinese-New-Year-Dishes-Singapore-Chinatown

Address:  #02-83, Chinatown Complex Market, 335 Smith Street, Singapore (in the Green zone, directly opposite Hotel Royal at Chinatown)
Map: http://bit.ly/IkanBilisYTF 
GPS: 1.282645, 103.842876
Waze: Chinatown Complex
Tel: 9893 2765 (pre-booking required)
Hours: 9:30am to 3:00pm

Non Halal    

Date visited: 17 Jul 2017    

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2 comments:

  1. Nice post. Such traditional food will be gone from SG soon...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes will be very hard to come by and probably very expensive too.

      Delete

I share hoping that everyone will have a good time but your experience may differ from mine. I love to know how you enjoyed yourself or if you didn't.

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