We celebrated my dad’s birthday some time back and since we rented a car for the weekend (yup we don’t own one), we decided to go somewhere far and unreachable from home. We were on the verge of considering going JB but oh well, East Coast was far enough!
I had been here once many years ago, when it was still housed in the old big splash building. Shifted and renovated, the seating arrangements were more spacious and generally more clean than what I remembered. After confirming a table, we went straight to the marketplace!
The selling point of this place! At the entrance, there were rows and layers of tanks filled with live seafood. So you basically went shopping with a trolley, going through the selections with a personal helper at your side, who would bring out the preys of your choice, weigh them, and also made recommendations on cooking methods. There was also a vegetable fridge where you could get your fix of greens, as well as desserts and fruits counters!
Boiled Live Prawns ($7.70/100grams)
You don't really need much skills in cooking this. Fresh jumping prawns scalded briefly in boiling water, eaten with a dash of soy sauce. The sweetness within released with crunchy meat and "paste" in the head. Pure tasty!
Stir-fried Baby Kai Lan($3.20/100 grams), Chilli Beef with Basil Leave ($16.00)
The kai lan was pretty standard, fried with garlic and has a nice "wok-hei"ish taste. I don't really like the beef though, overwhelming chilli with spicy but no basil leave taste. Quality of beef slices was alright, reasonably tender but lack of the desired beefy flavour.
Steamed Deep Sea Red Coral in Soy Sauce($14.10/100 grams)
Steamed fishes were one of my favourite dishes in a Chinese dinner. The smooth tender meat drizzled with light soy sauce, I could down bowls of rice with this! More affectionally known as 东星斑 to the Chinese, this was supposed to be one of the best breed of fish to be steamed.
Unfortunately, my parents felt that the quality didn't match the hefty price tag and that it could have tasted much better. To me it was already good enough, but perhaps thats because I had not eaten enough fishes to tell a really nice one!
Black Pepper Crab ($5.02/100 grams)
Unlike the national favourite Chilli Crab, my parents preferred something more fiery in taste, so they opted for black pepper style instead. Since the quality of crabs were hardly comparable in Singapore, the plus points would really depend on how well the sauce was conjured. The version here was good, but short of outstanding. Still, who doesn't love succulent crab meat?
Steamed Tapioca ($4.00)
Though you could hardly went wrong with this, its really hard to get a perfect one steamed to the right texture and hardness. This wasn't close, but still a sweet way to end off the seafood fiesta.
Total bill for 3 was $230.26 after taxes. It had been a long time since I last had chinese seafood in Singapore, but given its comfortable air-con surrounding, I'm quite sure its pricier than most of the seafood restaurants out there. But I guess it was fun to shop for your dinner!