I don't remember how long Teochew City has been operating at Centrepoint - at one point, this location was occupied by the Swatow Teochew restaurant group - that insanely popular Teochew (also known as Chiuchow or Chaozhou or 潮州) restaurant chain which went turtle-up suddenly in 1991 thereabouts when its businessman-owner died mysteriously in Japan.
Today, the top Teochew restaurants in Singapore are Huat Kee in Amoy Street (posh, but standards became erratic in the recent year) and Swa Garden in MacPherson Rd (still run by the original founder of the first Swatow Teochew restaurant, before he sold out to the late businessman who turned it into a chain). Teochew City, perhaps the only Teochew restaurabnt located in the Orchard Road commercial/retail belt, had been resiliently retaining its clientele the past 2 decades through its repertoire of time-tested and well-executed Teochew staples.
Our lunch at Teochew City today consisted of:
- Fishmaw and pork-crabmeat balls soup - light & flavorsome, atypical of Teochew cuisine which reflects its roots in coastal Southern China;
- Teochew-style braised goose, with tofu and hard-boiled eggs - this dish is often used by Teochew-Chinese diners to gauge the culinary skills of a Teochew chef, and often determines the rise or fall of a Teochew restaurant. At Teochew City, the goose-meat was fragrant, pliable and fine-textured, one of the best versions in Singapore;
- 8-Treasure steam-cooked vegetables - tasty, although the undisputed #1 restaurant for this dish is still Swa Garden in MacPherson;
- Fried oyster omelette - OK. I'd still not been able to find a good version of this dish in Singapore, preferring the ones churned out by top Teochew/Chiuchow restaurants in Hong Kong, e.g. Pak Loh in Causeway Bay;
- Teochew-style fried koay teow (炒粿条) - gluggier, crispier and heavier than the Hokkien versions. The Teochews often shaped and compressed their fried noodles into a disc-shaped "cake" before serving. This version at Teochew City was amazingly tasty - very highly-recommended. I'd return to this restaurant solely for this dish.
Teochew City Seafood Restaurant
176 Orchard Road
Tel: 6733 3338
Teochew City Restaurant
176 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238843, SG