April 03, 2013

Tonny Restaurant @ Geylang ~ A March Makan Dinner

March 2013 Makansutra dinner brought us to the colorful bustling streets of Geylang! Tonny Restaurant is the place and it's helmed by no other than Chef Tonny himself. With over 30 years of culinary experience under his belt, Chef Tonny, who hails from Hong Kong, is best known for his homely Cantonese style dishes. I waited in hunger and anticipation for dinner to start.

Finally, "上菜了!", I announced happily to my table of hungry foodies as I spotted the waitresses carrying out plates of these Hong Kong Wontons with Spicy Sauce from the kitchen. The dumplings were big, plump and juicy! Totally delectable with its fresh, succulent prawns enveloped within the thin wanton skin. The spicy sauce was not really spicy by my standards, but was just nice in this dish as it did not overpower the natural sweetness of the prawns.

Unique would be an appropriate term to describe the next dish, Panfried Dace Fishcake. The addition of water chestnut to the fish paste gave every bite a delightful crunch. Together with the liver sausage stuffed in the middle, it was a wonderful combination of flavors and textures which greatly gratified my tastebuds.

Blindfold me and I wouldn't have guessed that this dish is made of yam. It's a first for me tasting this Crispy Yam with Truffle Oil, in which the yam greatly differs from the typical preparation method of being mashed or sliced. The yam was thinly shredded and deep fried to a crispy light brown. Drizzles of truffle oil and sprinkles of black and white sesame adds flavor and fragrance to the simple yet innovative appetizer.

A crowd pleaser but somewhat ordinary in comparison to the previous dishes, the Deep Fried Prawns was none the less enjoyable with its light crunchy batter and thick, luscious meat.

Next up was the Fried Green Wrasse fish fillet with Crab Roe. I was intrigued by what I call the crystal kway teow, but the proper term for it is mung bean sheets 粉皮. Made of mung bean starch, the wide, translucent flat noodles was very springy and chewy in texture. The fish fillet was fresh and firm, well complemented by delicate taste of crab roe sauce which also adds a dash of color to an otherwise plain looking dish.

The Eggplant stuffed with Kurobuta Meat looked like a decadent yong tau foo item at first glance lol. First impression aside, this was one of the best eggplant dishes I ever had! The eggplant is served whole and stuffed with not just any ordinary minced pork, but kurobuta meat which is extremely tender because of its exquisite marbling. Smothered in rich flavorful sauce, every mouthful of the stuffed eggplant was a taste of great satisfaction.

The French Beans with Homemade Waxed Meat looks like a homely stir-fry dish which we can easily whipped up in the kitchen ourselves. I'm usually not a fan of waxed meat but this homemade version exuded an alluring aroma which I couldn't resist.

The dish was a tad salty and greasy on its own but was perfect with a bowl of white rice. Yes, I had thrown my no-carbs diet out of the window, but the saving grace is that I restricted myself to only one bowl :p

An intense aroma came whiffing into the dining hall, signalling the arrival of the Claypot Chicken with Chinese Wine. The meltingly tender and juicy chicken was bathed in an utterly mouth-watering stock which embodied all the wonderful essence from the ingredients. This was one of the best dish of the evening!

There was an unanimous agreement from everyone at the table that I should go ahead to help myself with the chicken wing. LOL.

The Braised Duck with Winter Bamboo Shoots was so beautifully presented! The duck itself is excellently executed with its tasty, tender meat falling off the bones effortlessly. I doubt it not if you were to tell me that this is only achievable after long hours of marinating and braising. Another star of the dish was the bamboo shoots with its notes of sweetness in each crunchy bite.

That evening was a blessed evening where I got to gnaw on both chicken wing and duck wing. I'm a contented, happy PinkyPiggu. TYL :D

At this point, some diners have started to leave as we were running late into the evening, but were persuaded by the organizers to stay for the highlight of the dinner, Braised Fish Noodles with Goose Liver Paste. The usual fish noodle dough is made from fish paste and flour, but the version here is specially made in-house with fresh fish meat added. The noodles had a firm, springy texture and was thoroughly enjoyable. Shimeji mushrooms and goose liver paste completed the very delicious dish.

We had the Deep Fried Sesame Dumplings for dessert. The little dumpling were soft, chewy with a crisp slightly flaky skin, and oozing warm sesame paste. The best way to savour this is to pop the whole dumpling into your mouth, gently bite into it and revel in the sweet gooey sensation, which I did for my second helping.

As I look at this photo of Chef Tonny which is printed on the restaurant menu, I couldn't help but started imagining him in the hot kitchen standing over the smoking wok, sweating his brows, shouting orders, checking the food, making sure everything is in order to feed all the 132 hungry tummies in the dining hall. Not an easy feat! Thanks to him and his team for bringing us such delicious food, most of it are specially prepared for this makansutra dinner and not available on the menu. If you're keen to try any of the dishes which we had or something different, do check with the restaurant beforehand or provide a budget for Chef Tonny to work with. I don't think anything can be too difficult for Chef Tonny, afterall he's the one who created the ingenious signature dish, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Too bad we didn't get to taste it that evening.

What a fantastic feast! Definitely one of the best makansutra dinner I had in recent months. Usually there will be 1 or 2 dishes which I don't like but that evening, all the dishes met the mark. Love it all.

(Photo Credits: Andrew)

It's another great evening of catching up with foodie friends and meeting new people who shares the same passion. You are part of my superb dining experience and raised it to a truly memorable one.

Many thanks to Andrew and Tony for organizing :)

Tonny Restaurant
Address: No. 8-10 Geylang Lor 3, Singapore 388862
Contact: +65 6748 6618
Website:  http://www.tonnyrestaurant.sg/
Opening Hours: Tue - Sun, 12pm - 3pm & 6pm - 10.30pm (Closed on Mondays)

Other Makansutra Dinner Posts:
品珍私房菜 Yummy Recipes ~ A Yummy Makan Night
Grand Makan Session @ Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck
Parco Caffè ~ Makankakis Goes Italian!

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