Chinese restaurants offering dishes about 500 calories? Sounds like a tough feat, especially when it seems that Chinese food is high in calories, oil and salt.

This is changing. Several Chinese restaurants are moving towards having a healthier and more nutritious menu, while maintaining the quality and taste.

This is part of the Health Promotion Board (HPB)’s Healthier Dining Programme which sees some 700 food outlets and stalls island wide serving about 500 calorie meals.

Dian Xiao Er is one of the Chinese restaurants participating in the programme. Many will know this 12-year old restaurant for its Herbal Roast Duck, succulent meat that is infused with herbs, with a thin crisp roasted skin and… oh… that sauce, a distinct tasty sauce that you can pour over your rice for that extra sweetish flavour.

These are some of the healthier dishes offered at Dian Xiao Er which are about 500 kcal or less.

Dian Xiao Er 01

Signature Herbal Roast Duck Meat Rice – 450 kcal
Their Signature Herbal Roast Duck Rice ($7.90) was at 450 kcal. 450 kcal only for duck rice? That is relatively low, since ordinarily a plate of Duck Rice with skin removed weighs in at 530kcal.

It turns out that during the cooking, the layer of fats under the skin has been ‘roasted away’, and the duck is seasoned with herbs and spices rather than salt. When you take a bite, you would realise that the duck meat is lean but still tender, and flavoursome because it has been marinated overnight.

Dian Xiao Er 02

Poached Beancurd with Assorted Vegetables – 220kcal
The Poached Beancurd with Assorted Vegetables ($10.90, 220 kcal) is going to be my new favourite dish from Dian Xiao Er. Poached Beancurd? Not exactly ‘tofu’, but ‘tau kee’ which is specially made by layering sheets of beancurd skin.

These blocks of ‘tau kee’ are something different from the usual. Apparently, Dian Xiao Er is the only restaurant in Singapore offering this dish fried with mushrooms, carrots, snow peas and lily bulb.

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Fish Maw Thick Soup with Seafood – 250 kcal
A generous bowl of Fish Maw Soup with Seafood ($16.90) stands at only 250 kcal. While the thickened soup is smooth, it is not too salty or oily – I think many parents would take a liking to this.

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Stir Fried Pea Pod Tips (Dou Miao) – 100 kcal for small portion
For something light and refreshing, I would recommend a simple dish of Dou Miao stir-fried with garlic, still tasty because the vegetables are fresh and crunchy, and well-cooked in stock.

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Lunch Time Healthy Set – Less than 1000 kcal for 2
If you come with a friend or colleague for lunch, try the Healthy Set for 2 pax ($29.90) which includes a Stir Fried Dou Miao and Claypot Sea Cucumber Shitake Mushroom & Tendon.

The entire set is filling with a substantial hot pot of soft sea cucumber and mushrooms on one side, and lightly-fried Dou Miao on the other, plus two bowls of rice – all less than 1000 calories.

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As a partner of the Healthier Dining Programme, Dian Xiao Er’s menu will feature healthier recommendations. Look out on its menu for the red-white pyramid logos, and the additional of information features on the menu such as calorie contribution label, logos for healthier choices and recommended calorie allowances.

As customers, we can also make requests for less oil and salt in the dishes.

What’s more, all its restaurants will also be switching to rice bran oil – said to be rich in anti-oxidants. While rice bran oil costs between 1.5 to 2 times more than the usual palm oil, the restaurant will NOT pass this cost to customers as part of its commitment to providing nutritious meals.

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If you order any of the healthier choice dishes at Dian Xiao Er, remember to ask for a loyalty card and get a stamp for each dish. You can stand a chance to win over $300,000 worth of prizes such as travel vouchers worth $8,888, luxury cruise for 2 valued at $5,000, 3D2N Spa Staycation for 2 worth $2,000 and shopping & travel vouchers. Eat healthy and win great prizes!

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Dian Xiao Er
Vivocity, #02-137/8 (Harbourfront MRT), Tel: +65 6376 9786
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 3.30pm, last order 3.00pm, 5.30pm – 10.00pm, last order 9.30pm (Mon – Fri); 11.30am – 10.00pm, last order 9.30pm (Weekends and PH)

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Other branches of Dian Xiao Er:
Bedok Mall #01-73/74
Changi Airport Terminal 3 #03-42/43 Reserve Online Now
Jurong Point 2 #03-26/27 Reserve Online Now
Lot One #B1-32/3 Reserve Online Now
Marina Square #02-203/204 Reserve Online Now
Serangoon NEX #02-09/10 Reserve Online Now
Tampines One #04-07/08 Reserve Online Now
Tiong Bahru Plaza #02-12 Reserve Online Now

*This post is brought to you by the Health Promotion Board’s Healthier Dining Programme. For more information on The Healthier Dining Programme, check out


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