Tong Shui Café – Shanghai Eclectic Pink
Shocking pink and lime green walls – if ‘clash’ is the word, then clashed it shall be. With interiors said to be inspired by the Shanghai-French experience, Tong Shui is all out to make that difference.
Raymond Khoo, Managing Director of Tong Shui says, “Whilst the recipes are all something that you can fix in your own kitchen, few would dream up the fun concoctions that we have”.
With hanging red lanterns, a Chinese signboard, mahogany furniture and shockingly contrasting wall colours, the design screams “Shanghai Tang”, but without the chi chi customers or heavy price on the menu.
Without accessible public transport, customers at this Zion Road branch are generally the cinema-goers at Great World, clubbers at Zouk, and executives who drove down to River Valley. Opened till 6am daily, this is definitely a place to be people-watch (or to be watched), and to watch Hong Kong movies reruns.
With ‘fun’ as their main focus, the selection may surprise many with mish-mash combinations you could never imagine: Thick Toast with Melted cheese over Beef Bolognaise sauce, Yu Char Kueh with black pepper sauce, French Toast topped with Baked Beans and Luncheon Meat, Toast with D24 Durian Puree, and Fried Rice with Wolfberries… Some sounding extremely ‘wrong’, now that’s a test of creativity and taste.
The two best seller drinks are the HK Milk Tea, and 8-Treasures Tea. When I wrote in to enquire, they explained that there are actually more than 8 ingredients in the tea. This tea is normally served in 5-star restaurants in China, but they want customers to get that experience as well. Served in a long tumbler, the tea was rather diluted and bland, and I figured it was more of a gimmick.
Chef Chiong had a special recommendation, and I felt game enough to try their Ma Lak Shanghai Chix Chop Noodles ($7.88) even though it sounded ‘suspicious’. Thank goodness it wasn’t overly spicy-fiery, and felt the chef did manage to adapt this dish to local taste.
I am rather fond of their “Yum Cha Delights” – such as the Paper Wrapped Chicken and Crispy Mango Prawn Roll. The sweet taste of the fruit complimented well with the fresh texture of the prawns. It’s also garnished with some dou miao that added some light crunch to the snack. Remember to eat your dim sums with their chilli sauce, perfectly created with fermented beans. So sedap I could eat it on its own.
Tong Shui Cafe, 54 Zion Road S(247779) Tel:+65 67376946 (Closed)
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