September 27, 2015
Lai Huat Signatures ~ Popular Sambal Fish Restaurant Opens At China Street!
Whenever the dish of sambal fish is mentioned, Lai Huat is the familiar name that will inevitably popped up. There are a few eateries across the island bearing the "Lai Huat" brand, owners are somewhat related but businesses are mostly independently run. I would say the quality of food varies too.
If you're looking for one which has well-executed food, air-conditioned comfort, and easy accessibility, Lai Huat Signatures at China Street (nearest mrt Raffles Place NS26/EW14 & Telok Ayer DT18) would be the branch you can consider going to.
Though it just opened in June this year, owner Patrick is no newcomer to the scene as he also runs the outlet at Upper East Coast Road. Signature dishes such as the Sambal Fish (seasonal price, available in pomfret and snapper) are mirrored from his grandfather's recipe which was perfected after months of experimenting.
Admittedly, I do not care much about the crispy fish that was fried till a tad dry for my liking. It was the sambal chilli that elevated the experience into a whole new realm of shiokness. Oven-roasted to a wonderful fragrance with just the right level of spiciness for that oomp kick yet remaining tolerable. I want to eat the sambal chilli with rice. I want to eat the sambal chilli with porridge. I want to eat the sambal chilli with everything!
If you're familiar with the Chinese cze char style of dining, you'd know that meat such as chicken, pork, and seafood including prawns, fish and crabs, as well as beancurd and vegetables are offered in a variety of cooking methods. Lai Huat Signatures is no different.
I would recommend the Fish Maw Soup ($18/$35/$48) which brimmed generously with dried scallop and crabmeat swimming in a broth of delightful flavors and consistency, and also the Roasted Chicken Two Ways ($30).
The crispy way was a well-loved classic with tender, tasty meat enveloped in thin crisp skin, while the other salad-style way tingled the tastebuds with its invigorating Thai-inspired dressing. Either way, it was lovely.
To enjoy crab and carbs on one plate, Crab Beehoon ($58 per kg) would be the dish to order. The rice vermicelli was braised to soft, slurplicious goodness, but could do with more crustacean flavor in the broth. Perhaps it was masked by the heavy dosage of beansprouts.
Crab itself was exceedingly enjoyable; fresh, plump, succulent, abounding with roe! I had a happy time dissecting the well-cooked goodness and polishing off every bit of its meat. In fact, I'm the one who finished most of the food that evening, my dining companion joked that any potential suitors will be scared off by how I eat and how much I can eat. Really?
Haha okay, maybe Lai Huat Signatures is not the kind of place to be at for a first date, but definitely suitable for families and friends looking to gather over delectable food :)
Lai Huat Signatures
Address: 23 China Street, Singapore 049565
Contact: +65 6636 3828
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 11am-11pm
Prices stated are subject to 10% service charge and 7% GST.