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As we step into 2021 with Phase 3, the Singapore government has increased the amount of people who can interact within a group from five to eight. That is a welcoming piece of news for our beloved local F&B scene. With Chinese New Year just around the corner, restaurants have started gearing up to welcome the much-anticipated diners.
One of such restaurant is White Restaurant, the father of White Seafood Beehoon since 1999. The restaurant started as a quaint Zi Char restaurant called You Huak, and over the years, have expanded to six outlets across the island. While the restaurant got its namesake from their most popular dish, the White Seafood Beehoon, let us not forget that they also have other Zi Char dishes worth trying out.
We got to sample 10 dishes from White Restaurant that will be available on their CNY menu, and here are some of our favourites from the list.
Prosperity Abalone Yusheng
Ah, the good old yusheng. This particular one is served with 14-head abalones, the dish consists of winter melon, buckwheat, dried persimmon, carrots, deep-fried yam, jelly fish, grounded peanuts, white sesame, pomelo pulps, homemade pomelo sauce and sliced lemon leaves.
Sure, it’s a mouthful (I apologise for the pun), but this very first louhei of the year is a sweet explosion of flavours in the mouth, made particularly tasty by the fried yam and dried persimmon. It is more fragrant and sweeter than usual thanks to the dried persimmon, but tangy enough to keep you going back. It’s a dish that is bound to please everyone.
Abalone & Foie Gras Wonton Collagen Soup
Boiled with fish bones, chicken skull, pork bones, lean pork and chicken feet for over six hours, the broth was piquant and incredibly satisfying. Due to the long hours of stewing with rich ingredients, the broth is not unlike a hot pot soup at the end of the meal, filled with a rich unami that lingered on the tongue.
Unfortunately, even as a foie gras lover, the foie gras wonton did not gel together with the rest of the ingredient as well as hoped for. If anything, this dish is highly recommended for the soup alone!
Conpoy and Curry Prawn Yam Ring
The yam ring is said to be a dish invented in Singapore, by a chef who wanted to use it to win over his beloved and her family. This symbol of romance has evolved to one of blessings and wealth, as the word yam sounds similar to abundance or luck, depending on which dialect or language it is pronounced in. The yam bowl itself looks similar to a Buddhist alms bowl (fatt putt), which is said to help someone receive their blessings for the year, while some say the yam ring signifies the completion of a family.
As a dish with so many good symbolisms behind it, it’s no wonder that it caught on as a popular dish in Zi Char stores. Traditionally filled with capsicum, cashews, prawn or chicken stir-fried till fragrant, White Restaurant’s take on the dish involves curry prawns and dried scallops instead.
Individually, the curry prawn was piquant and succulent and the yam ring well-fried. It’s more filling than usual, as the yam ring is substantially thicker than the usual you may find outside.
Stew-fried Pork Rib with Pineapple and Chinese Herbs served with Golden Crispy Bun
What exactly is stew-fried? Accordingly to the chef, the pork ribs was first fried, before getting stewed for four hours until it’s fork-tender. The strong colour is a result of a marinade of rose wine, as well as the inclusion of dang gui and fresh pineapples, resulting in a sweet and tender meat that falls apart in the mouth.
Ancient-style Steamed Red Grouper
What is a CNY menu without fish? This ancient-style steamed fish is topped with shredded pork, mushroom, fried ginger and preserved greens. Somehow, the dish managed to remind us of our grandparents, and every mouthful is a gentle hug on the tongue.
The White Restaurant Chinese New Year set menus are available from 29 Jan to 26 Feb 2021 at all six outlets. Prices starts from $238.