Johor Kaki Travels for Food

Tony Boey johorkaki@gmail 🇸🇬 Singapore active senior food, travel & lifestyle diary

Chin Lee Restaurant @ Blk 115 Bedok North. Fine Teochew Cuisine at Reasonable Prices 深利美食馆

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Second time at Chin Lee Teochew restaurant in Bedok North. We had dishes we didn't try before. Again, Chin Lee delivered a stellar lunch which six of us enjoyed every dish

Restaurant name: Chin Lee Restaurant 深利美食馆


Address: Bedok North Road, #01-285 Block 115, Singapore 460115


Tel: 6444 5554 ☎ 6449 5454


Hours: 11:30am - 2:30pm | 6:00pm - 10:30pm


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Chin Lee is located at the ground level of BLK 115 of Bedok North Road. It is directly across the road from Bedok Police Station and a short 10 minutes walk from Bedok Reservoir MRT station.

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Inside, Chin Lee is air conditioned, very clean and comfortable.

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Decor is elegant without being ostentatious.

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The first dish - orh luak on opeh leaf drew ow.....s and ah.....s like we had never eaten oyster omelette before. That's the thing about a good orh luak.... every time feels like the first time.

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The plump succulent oysters were bigger than my fat thumb. More importantly, they tasted fresh like it was straight out of the sea. Umami and sweet flavours complemented by egginess. I like it that Chin Lee's orh luak is not overly greasy.

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酱油王煎鱼 Pan-Fried Fish with Superior Soya Sauce.

The turbot fried and smothered in a savoury sauce of fermented bean paste, soy sauce, lots of leek and garlic wasn't very photogenic.

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Okay.... the turbot fish from France isn't a pretty creature to start with, even when alive 🤭 (Image courtesy of Wikipedia.)

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The turbot is quite meaty. The white flesh was tender and slightly sweet. But, truth be told, the thing I like most about this dish was the sauce.

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I found myself heaping loads of the savoury sweet garlicky sauce onto my bowl of white rice till I emptied my bowl.

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潮州炸猪手 Teochew Crispy Pig Trotter.

The pork trotter was braised in savoury aromatic sauce, dried and then deep fried.

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Deep fried braised pork trotter is sometimes too salty and too greasy. No such problems at Chin Lee - the skin was crackly crisp and there weren't too much fat or grease. The meat tasted savoury but not too salty.

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Crayfish stir fried in a sauce with multi savoury layers.

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The crayfish tail is eaten folded into a crunchy lettuce leaf. The savoury sweet meaty prawn was tender and slightly squeaky to the bite. The fresh lettuce leaf added a bit of sweetness to each mouthful.

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Tofu skin stewed till tender-soft in a multi layered savoury garlicky sweet sauce.

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地鱼炒时菜 Stir-fried Vegetable with Flat-Fish.

A couple of obligatory greens to round up the sumptuous meal. Both were nicely done - just enough sear to rid any green taste without sacrificing any juice, crunch or natural sweetness. The bit of savoury sauce, grease and tee poh (dried sole fish) added an umami overlay to make these dishes so delicious.

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反炒芋 or Stir Fried Yam.

Fried mashed yam cubes with fried icing sugar. The yam cubes had a slight crisp outside. Inside it was firm-tender with burst of subtle yam flavour complemented with sugary sweetness with each bite.

I said it before - fried mash yam could be the new orh nee to round up a Teochew feast.

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Chinese tea aficionados will be glad to know that Chin Lee is BYO friendly - we can appreciate our own tea in our own tea sets.

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Thank you Chef Eric Chua for your hospitality.

We love every dish we had today. But yeah, I wonder why we didn't order the Die Die Must Try 菜莆粿条 Teochew Kway Teow 🤔

Date visited: 19 Jan 2021


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Traditional Teochew cuisine done with finesse, served at reasonable prices with friendly service and in a pleasant environment.
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Restaurant name: Chin Lee 深利美食馆
Address: Bedok North Rd, #01-285 Block 115, Singapore 460115
Tel: +65 6449 5454
Hours: Lunch 11:30am - 2:30pm Dinner 6:00pm - 10:30pm

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Chef Eric Chua's father founded Chin Lee Restaurant which was first located at the intersection of Changi Road and Frankel Avenue. Some 40 years ago, they moved to the foot of Block 115 in Bedok North and have been here ever since. Chin Lee has build up a loyal following through the years with consistently good traditional Teochew dishes.

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Chin Lee Restaurant is spacious and comfortable inside, and there is al fresco seating outside which is popular in the evenings. I like the casual and welcoming feel of HDB flat ground floor restaurants which haven't changed that much since the 1970s.

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We started with the obligatory Ngoh Hiong. Minced pork, prawn and water chestnut wrapped in dried tofu skin and deep fried to a golden brown crisp outside.

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Bamboo Charcoal Dust Siow Bee 潮州“竹炭粉”烧米 is a pork and shrimp dumpling in a wanton skin cup (siew mai in Cantonese). Dried flat fish added a savoury touch to the pork and shrimp sweetness. The bamboo charcoal added colour but doesn't change the savoury sweet taste of the steamed dumpling.

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I like Chin Lee's Conpoy & Fish Maw Thick Soup 干贝鱼鳔羹. There is a generous amount of savoury sweet fish maw and crab meat held together with thicken soup with dried scallop umami flavour.

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Chef Daniel Tay who recommended Chin Lee Restaurant to us, is a regular here and usually orders their steamed Chinese pomfret fish 斗鲳. But, today we went for their 青衣鱼 Green Wrasse.

The live Green Wrasse fish steamed and served in a pool of brownish watery sauce, smothered in a blanket of finely julienned ginger, fried diced garlic, fried ginger slices and garnished with aromatic cilantro.

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Oh.... I love this Teochew steamed Green Wrasse fish. The meaty fish was tender and juicy. The white meat has a gentle squeakiness to the bite which I like. It was all sweetness and the watery savoury sweet sauce provided the savoury balance. The aromatics heaped on the fish (ginger, garlic, cilantro) added more savoury touch and a bit of subtle heat to the dish.

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The savoury sweet sauce was so good, I was literally drinking, slurping up spoonfuls of it.

Excellent.

Image credit: Wikipedia
Price is seasonal. Today, it was $100 per kilo.

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I like Chin Lee's Fried Oyster Pancake 蚝煎 too. Made with Japanese sashimi grade oyster fried with egg and soft gummy chewy sweet potato starch. Personally, I like the bite and savoury sweet taste of the sweet potato starch in oyster pancake. Chin Lee's rendition of fried oyster pancake is not overly greasy.

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Plump, juicy, briny tasting fresh oysters.

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Stir-fried Vegetable with Flat-Fish 地鱼炒时菜. The kai lan was crunchy with green sweetness balanced with savouriness from the pieces of dried flat fish. Chopped garlic added a savoury garlicky layer to the comforting and tasty dish.

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Teochew Fried Kway Teow 菜莆粿条 is a must order for many people when they visit a Teochew restaurant. Chin Lee does an excellent rendition of the classic dish.

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Not much grease but plenty of toasty wok hei and full of flavour from the chopped chai poh, shredded kai lan and savoury sauce. No heartwarming cockles nor lap cheong nor eggs, just the skills of the chef to magically turn humble rice noodles and preserved radish into a wonderfully flavourful dish.

Must order this when you come to Chin Lee.

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Instead of the usual orh nee for dessert, we got this 反炒芋 or Stir Fried Yam. This was my first time seeing or tasting this traditional Teochew dessert.

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It is cubes of mashed yam stir fried with onion infused lard and served with icing sugar and a pinch of salt. So, it is a blend of yam, and slight salty sweet flavours. The yam cubes are firm and dense but not hard to the bite.

I will be back to Chin Lee Restaurant and shall also try their cold crab and pork trotter aspic which are among my favourite traditional Teochew dishes.

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Today's lunch spot is recommended by Chef Daniel Tay who is a regular at Chin Lee Restaurant. Chef Daniel is the owner of Old Seng Choong and Cat & the Fiddle Cakes.

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Chef Daniel shared with us an assortment of Old Seng Choong mooncakes. We had White Lotus with Egg Yolk Blend, White Lotus Paste with Bakwa, White Lotus Paste with Pumpkin Seed, and White Lotus with Egg Yolk. I like all of them as they are smooth and not overly sweet or greasy.

I like the White Lotus Paste with Bakwa most as the lotus seed sweetness blends very well with the savoury sweetness of bakwa. The bakwa also imparts its signature aroma to the mooncake.  It's Mid Autumn Festival but it took my mind forward to Chinese New Year already. Like a sort of double celebration in the mouth 😄

Date visited: 15 Sep 2020

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