Set in quiet surroundings, visiting this restaurant gives one the feeling of being tucked away from the world. Located at the ground floor of a HDB block, it reminds one of another well-known Teochew restaurant in the east side of Singapore, Chin Lee. Yuan Xing is popular with families, because it’s accessible yet it provides quality food at an affordable price range. A mere three-minute walk from the Boon Keng MRT station, it is also easy to locate for people who do not drive. Formerly known as Guan Hin, the 37-year-old restaurant commits itself to serving the most authentic Teochew dishes.
We started with the chicken in pepper sauce, which had been strongly seasoned and marinated to achieve a tenderness that brought joy to the mouth. It was served with achar (pickles) on the side, resulting in a tasty, complementary matching.
Next, we tried the prawns with yellow chives, which had a most succulent texture, and were fresh and juicy. The texture of the prawns was effectively enhanced by the crunchiness of the chives, which also brought out the sweetness in the prawns. The crispy sole fish also added a most enjoyable fragrance to the dish.
The fried dry rice noodles had sufficient wok hei (the flavor and essence infused in food by cooking in a wok over a high open flame). It was also made up of the three gems of Teochew cooking: chai po (salted turnips), kway teow (rice noodles) and egg. Although a simple dish, the flavors of each element worked together to bring about a taste explosion for the palate.
The final dish we ordered was the stir-fried bean-curd. It was a pleasure to eat—the tofu was immensely smooth, and was slathered with egg gravy. It simply glided down the throat. This dish is a must-order.
For dessert, we had yam paste with pumpkin and gingko nuts. The yam was smooth and well-blended, and the pumpkin added a balanced sweetness to this old Teochew favorite. The chef was also generous with his serving of gingko nuts.
As a plus, Yuan Xing’s traditional sambal belacan was perfect accompaniment for the aromatic food served here. It only takes a little of the belacan to add an edge to every dish, and spice up your experience at this homely, cozy restaurant.
Yuan Xing Teochew Restaurant
Blk 34 Whampoa West
Bendemeer Road #01-01
Tel: 6298-3179 (for bigger parties, reservations are recommended)
11:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. for lunch, 6:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. for dinner