[Updated] Pu Tien Restaurant at Kitchener Road has been awarded 1 Michelin Star in the Singapore Michelin Guide 2016.
“Auntie Lian, you remember me?” It was such a pleasant surprise to meet Auntie Leng again, serving customers as per normal in Putien’s new outlet at Ion Orchard.
To many, she may be just another waitress in a Chinese restaurant. To some, she is the face of Putien’s ‘Madam Leng Mooncakes’.
To me, she is that same sincere auntie with a 慈祥 (kindly) smile when we were served at a Heng Hwa coffeeshop along Kitchener Road more than a decade ago.
I remember that she would go around the different tables, helping to pour chrysanthemum tea, asking customers how the food was.
Auntie Leng looks the same. And she added, “总觉得你很面善.” (I find you very familiar.) I wanted to tell her, “Yah I know, I am much fatter now.” She is temporary deployed to Ion’s branch to help manage and train new servers.
I used to intern nearby, and have seen Putien expand from a little eatery to the well-known restaurant chain it is now.
Overheard next table: The queue at Paradise too long, don’t want to wait, so come to Putien. Okay…
The Heng Hwa Bee Hoon ($8.90), Lor Mee ($8.90), Mee Sua ($8.90), Stir-fried Yam ($11.90), Bamboo Herbal Prawn ($5.90), and Sweet & Sour Pork with Lychees ($12.50) are some of my must-orders since the good old days.
Once in a while, I would steer out of my typical orders and try something different.
The last I had was the Deep Fried Pig’s Trotters with Salt & Pepper ($5.90 per piece, minimum 2 pcs) which was unfortunately a regrettable choice – much too greasy and oily that I worry for my arteries. I knew it would be fatty, but not to that extent.
The Heng Hwa Bee Hoon is my favourite order. It is milled by hand in Putian (the coastal town), painstakingly dried under the sun by an old couple, which gives it a fluffy springy texture.
The bee hoon is usually cooked in pork bones and old hens stock with simple ingredients like peanuts and clams, garnished with strips of seaweed and crunchy peanut.
What you may not know is a dish unique to Ion’s Putien – Fried Heng Hwa Bee Hoon with Soy Milk 豆浆米粉, where the sun-dried beehoon is simmered together with eggs and fresh grinded soy milk.
What you get is a wetter-than-usual style, the taste of the soy milk being very subtle and lingering towards the end of every bite With that said, I will still order their normal version next time.
For friends in Taiwan, you may be seeing more Heng Hwa dishes soon, as Putien will be further expanding into Taiwan through a joint venture partnership with Wowprime Corporation.
Putien Ion Orchard
2 Orchard Turn, #04-12, ION Orchard, Singapore 238801 (Orchard MRT)
Tel: +65 6509 4296
Mon – Fri Lunch: 11:30am – 3pm (Last Order: 2:30pm), Dinner: 5:30pm – 10pm (Last Order: 9:30pm)
Sat, Sun & PH Lunch: 11:30am – 4:30pm (Last Order: 4pm), Dinner: 5:30pm – 10pm (Last Order: 9:30pm)
Other outlets at 127 Kitchener Road, Jurong Point #02-34 JP1, Marina square #02-205, NEX #02-18/19, Parkway Parade #02-13/13A, Raffles City #02-18, Resorts World Sentosa #01-203/204, Tampines Mall B1-27, VivoCity #02-131/132