For a taste of authentic Teochew cuisine, there is Swatow City at Bukit Batok, located within HomeTeamNS.
Note that it used to be located at SRC, but has moved to this location.
Although the group’s three restaurants are all named “Swatow”, there are differences in its offerings.
Swatow Seafood Restaurant at Toa Payoh goes for localised Teochew delicacies and dim sum in which flavours are more suited for the Singaporean palate; Swatow Gardens at Serangoon Garden with a Cantonese slant with Hong Kong chefs helming the kitchen; and Swatow City with an authentic take in which the Head Chef himself came from Swatow, China.
What I wish to highlight is that a range of quintessential Teochew dishes can be found here, including Teochew Cold Crab, Teochew Braised Duck Meat, Steamed Pomfret, Braised Eight Treasure Vegetable, Chilled Jellied Pork Trotters, Crispy Pork Liver Roll, and Teochew Chilled Sliced Braised Pig’s Head.
Here are 10 of the signature dishes you can find at Swatow City:
Teochew Cold Crab 潮州冻膏蟹 (seasonal price)
Teochew cuisine is traditionally known for its healthiness and freshness of its food, especially the seafood dishes.
This classic Teochew dish contained crabs full of ‘gao’, with natural sweetness of yellow-roe crabs without the ‘muddiness’.
Would recommend dipping the crab pieces into the specially-made vinegary sauce for an enhanced tasting.
Teochew Style Oyster Omelette 潮州蚝烙 ($15)
A version between crispy and soft, with a good proportion of eggs and so was not too starchy. While there was generous amount of oysters, I wished that the egg part could have been fluffier.
Teochew Braised Sliced Duck with Beancurd 潮州卤鸭片拼豆干 ($15)
There are many renditions of the Teochew Braised Duck, and all would claim theirs is the best.
I would say Swatow’s version retained the succulence and much of the natural taste of the meal, with use of relatively light flavouring and seasoning. I could imagine some would prefer the heavily ‘lor’ (braised) and saucy version.
Chilled Jellied Pork Knuckles 潮州猪脚冻 ($8)
The ‘Ter Ka Tang’ is not a common find in Singapore anymore, as it is extremely time-consuming to prepare and need long-hours of boiling to extract the pork collagen.
The Pork Aspic are like blocks of jelly which contains trotter meat within, cooling to the bite, with slight savoury, sweet and sour taste which helps whet one’s appetite at the start of the meal.
Teochew Chilled Sliced Braised Pig’s Head 潮州猪头冻 ($8)
While I possibly seen the Pork Trotter’s Jelly occasionally, this is confirmed never-seen-for-a-long-time.
Made of pork hock and parts of the cheek, these are cut into thin slices and dipped into a special chill sauce. I preferred the Jellied Trotters due to its pleasant wobbly texture.
Swatow Signature Chicken 汕头豆酱鸡 ($18 for half chicken)
Possibly one of my favourite dishes this meal. The Kampung Chicken cooked with fermented bean sauce was succulently tender, and I would recommend taking each slice with some strips of the ginger.
Fishmaw Soup with Seafood Stuffing 百花酿鱼鳔汤 ($6.80 per bowl)
Like what I had for Chinese New Year reunion dinner in the past, a comforting bowl of soup with fish maw stuffed with minced fish and meat.
Pagoda Braised Meat Rice with Lotus Paste 珍珠宝塔肉 ($28)
This is my first time having a dish like this – looking like Chinese lotus leaf rice, layered with slices of braised melt-in-mouth pork belly, with hidden ‘beneath’…lotus paste.
If you never had fragrant rice with sweet lotus paste (yes, what you would find in mooncakes) before, try it, and you may be pleasantly surprised at how this savoury-sweet combination actually works.
Swatow White Beehoon 潮州白米粉 ($16)
Thin white beehoon cooked in a flavourful seafood stock. I liked that it was a soupy version.
Sugar Coated Yam Cubes 反沙芋条 ($16)
Looking seemingly simple, but this dessert dish required loads of effort. Topped with icing sugar, upon a bite, you would realise that each cube would be covered with caramelized sugar and soft on the inside.
A sweet ending to the meal. If not, the must have Sweet Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts金瓜白果芋泥 ($4, $12, $24) will be a perfect finish to the Teochew culinary experience.
Not just Teochew delicacies, Swatow City also serves up Teochew style dim sum such as Steamed Crystal Bun ($4.50 for 3), Steamed Braised Meat Bun ($4.00 for 2) and Steamed Siew Mai ($4.50 for 3.)
These dishes form fond memories as part of my growing up years when we had birthday celebrations for my maternal grandparents ( gua-gong and gua-ma).
However, they are hardly seen now as Teochew restaurants are either disappearing, or not offering them anymore as some of these dishes are difficult and time-consuming to create.
If you are looking for a Teochew Restaurant right at Bukit Batok, you know where to head to.
2 Bukit Batok West Ave 7, #02-05 HomeTeamNS, Singapore 659003
Tel: +65 6278 8889
Lunch & Dim Sum: 11am – 3pm, Dinner: 6pm – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Dim Sum Breakfast: 9am – 11am (Sat, Sun)
Serangoon Gardens Country Club, Heliconia Wing, 22 Kensington Park Road, Singapore 557271
Tel: +65 6343 1717
Dim Sum Breakfast: 9:00am – 11:00am (Sat, Sun)
Lunch & Dim Sum: 11:00am – 3:00pm
Dinner: 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Swatow Seafood Restaurant
Toa Payoh Blk 181 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh #02-602, Singapore 310181
Tel: +65 6363 1717
Dim Sum Breakfast: 8:00am – 11:30am
Lunch & Dim Sum: 1130am – 3:00pm
High Tea: 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Dinner: 6:00pm – 10:30pm
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with Swatow City.