When you head to a Zi Char restaurant in Singapore, the Cantonese dish of Sweet and Sour Pork aka “Go Lo Yok 咕嚕肉 is always one of the most frequently ordered.
So I went around many Chinese restaurants and Zi Char places particularly known for this dish and picked out the most note-worthy ones.
There are more Chinese restaurants listed here, only because those I had in the Zhi Char stalls were good, but didn’t have a strong differentiating factor. Let me know if there are any more which are out of this world.
Four Seasons Hotel Singapore, 190 Orchard Blvd, Singapore 248646
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10:30pm (Mon – Sun)
I had quite a number of Sweet and Sour Pork dishes before, but 1-Michelin Star Jiang-Nan Chun’s rendition has a edge over the rest.
Chef Tim Lam’s Sweet and Sour Pork with Pineapple ($28) uses succulent Iberico pork cubes, fried with a tangy sauce, and topped with homemade candied ginger for a hint of spice.
When you take a bite of the bite, you would note that there is this extra thin crispy layer on the outside, enveloping juicy meat within.
The crust elevates the entire dish, and makes each piece so precious to savour slowly.
East Bistro 东小馆
1 Maju Ave, #02-01, myVillage @ Serangoon Gardens, Singapore 556679
Tel: +65 6634 2998
Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm, 5pm – 10pm
It looks like Sweet and Sour Pork on Ice is slowly becoming a thing in Singapore, but East Bistro has actually introduced their version ($18, $27, $36) a number of years back.
After frying in high heat, the pork pieces are quickly placed on a bed of ice which results in a thin, candied layer around each surface of the pork. (Don’t wait too long or the meat may turn soggy.)
If you eat it soon enough, the outside may be slightly cold, but the inside remains warm. The sugared-layer gives the soft tender pork a light crunch on the exterior.
Sik Bao Sin (Desmond’s Creation)
592 Geylang Road, Singapore 389531 (Between Lor 34 & 36)
Tel: +65 6744 3757
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:45am – 2:30pm, Dinner 5:45pm – 9:30pm (Tue – Sun), Closed Mon
You would notice Sik Bao Sin (Desmond’s Creation) at Geylang is very different from other zi char (cooked food) places.
There are only 13 items on the menu, dishes are either wok-fried or steamed. All menu items (except 1, find out below which one) are originally from Sik Wai Sin – which should be a familiar one to zhi char lovers. Plus, no prices on the menu.
Try the classic Sweet and Sour Pork, one of the crowd-favourite. Take note that it only comes in one side, and probably good for 4 diners to share.
This version uses lean pork pieces, so those who prefer more fat in their meat may find this TOO lean to their liking. But I enjoyed the different take, as well as the light batter and tangy-sweet sauce.
127 Kitchener Road, Singapore 208514
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 5:30pm – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Rooted to its namesake city of Putian (a Fujian coastal suburb), PUTIEN’s menu reflects the city’s heritage – fresh, light, and invigorating. One of its must-order dishes is definitely the Sweet & Sour Pork with Lychees.
You know how you always get sweet and sour pork which is more flour and fat than meat elsewhere?
PUTIEN’s Sweet & Sour Pork with Lychees offer pieces which are deep-fried to golden brown and succulently tender, finished with the sweet taste of lychee.
The lychees add a fruity-sweetness to the sauce, while the pork is usually soft
Jade Palace Restaurant
Forum The Shopping Mall, 583 Orchard Road #B1-13 Singapore 238884
Tel: +65 6732 6628
Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm, 6pm – 11pm (Mon – Sun)
Jade Palace Seafood Restaurant established since 1998 specialises in Cantonese cuisine, and seems to be a popular venue among Chinese businessmen for corporate treats.
It took me a long while to decide to order this Sweet & Sour Pork dish due to its price – $36 for a small portion, $54 for the medium.
While this is a more expensive plate of meat, I must say that you could taste the quality of the meat and the skills of the chef. The meat was tender with a thin layer of crispiness, evenly coated with appetising sauce with pineapple-fruitiness.
Even though each piece seemed rather large and chunky, the bite was succulently-soft.
Social Place Singapore
Forum The Shopping Mall, #01-22, 583 Orchard Road, Singapore 238884
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 6pm – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Founded in Hong Kong, Social Place is a retro-chic contemporary tea house imbued with nostalgic touches from olden Hong Kong days, which serves an innovative spread of Chinese fares and Dim Sum offerings.
The Sweet & Sour Pork on Ice ($24.80) was an eye-catching dish served with fuming dry ice smoke.
I think it was a relatively decent plate of sweet and sour pork with each piece of fried pork pieces lavishly coated with tangy dressing, and yet I could still taste some slight crispiness embedded within.
However, the sending time may affect the heat of the dish, and diners may feel like it is a cold fish of Gu Lou Yok.
25 Mackenzie Road Singapore 228681
Tel: +65 6238 6263
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2pm, 5:45pm – 10pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Chef Ang Song Kang, better known as Chef Kang, shot into further fame and limelight when he was awarded one star in the Singapore Michelin Guide.
It is almost a one-man show in the kitchen, with Chef Ang cooking up every dish that is served, with his apprentice behind busy with ingredient preparation such as chopping of the vegetables.
The Sweet & Sour Pork may be a much overlooked dish to order due to its ‘simplicity’, but it is anything about that.
Cooked during kurobuta pork (said to be the ‘wagyu’ of pork), this dish has a richer taste and soft fatty meat that may just melt in your pork. It is not as crispy as the usual, and sauce has a heavier, sweet take.
Paradise Dynasty – Paya Lebar Quarter
10 Paya Lebar, Paya Lebar Quarter Mall #03-08, Singapore 409057
Tel: +65 6971 6575
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm Last Order 9:30pm (Mon – Fri), 10:30am – 10:00pm Last Order 9:30pm (Sat, Sun & PH)
Paradise Dynasty’s Crispy Sweet and Sour Pork 菠萝咕噜肉($13.50) contains deep-fried pork pieces, stir-fried with chunks of red and green bell peppers, carrots, onions, and sliced pineapples.
Together they are slathered in sweet and sour, well-balanced mix of sugar and rice vinegar.
1080 Lower Delta Rd, Singapore 169311
Tel: +65 8300 2200
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 3pm, 5pm – 10:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Hidden in a coffeeshop within industrial area near Bukit Merah (near Chuan Kee Seafood), Chef Foong serves up a fairly interesting spread in its Zi Char menu.
You may come expecting average Zi Char fare, but some of its dishes are of Chinese restaurant quality. Most dishes are priced about $10, served in a good portion.
Instead of pineapples, the Sweet and Sour Pork is served with mango (I wished there were more) which provides a different sweetness. While I would say that the crispiness is nothing to shout about, the presentation and overall flavours is a notch about the rest.
Jewel Changi Airport, 78 Airport Boulevard, #03-201, Singapore 819666
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Perhaps you may not know that the home-grown Soup Restaurant has a slightly different “Samsui” concept at Jewel Changi Airport.
Located on the third floor, dinners get a stunning view of the 40-metre Rain Vortex surrounded by the lush Forest Valley.
This is a modern Chinese restaurant concept, showcasing new renditions of heirloom Cantonese dishes that have stood the test of time.
Get the pretty-looking Sweet & Sour Pork, decorated with edible flowers sourced from local farmers.
Other Related Entries
12 Best Zi Char In Singapore
10 Best Beef Horfun In Singapore
12 Must-Try Hokkien Mee In Singapore
10 Must-Try Char Kway Teow Singapore
9 Tantalising Dim Sum Restaurants In Singapore