CLOSED: Sin Lee Chinese Cuisine (新利园), Chinatown

This makes it into my top ten eating experiences. Everything was delicious! We ordered [pictured from left to right] ostrich with ginger and green onion; tofu with crab meat and roe; black pepper crocodile; and egg fried rice with scallops and prawns. Ostrich and crocodile meat, sister’s and a friend’s favorites respectively, were surprisingly soft and tender and chewy and melted in the mouth. Ostrich tastes like venison and so it matched very well with ginger and green onion; the crocodile tastes like zesty chicken and its aroma wasn’t at all overpowered by the black pepper sauce. The crab meat and roe sauce of the tofu was a little salty if you are merely drinking it on its own but if you drizzle it over rice, the taste was divine. The normally bland tofu had soaked in the sauce, giving the tofu a seafood flavor.

My favorite, however, is the fried rice with scallop and prawn. (My sister said that my dish is the cheapest!) But I think the dish is the most difficult to cook of all. Everyone can fry rice so to do the dish well requires a lot of kungfu. Each grain of rice must be separated from one another but not oily and each and every one of them must be covered with egg. The rice must be fried to an exact moment that a moment early, the rice will not be sweet and a moment too late, it will be smoky. It must also have wok-hei. This plate of fried rice fulfils my requirements! And more: the scallop is sweet and bouncy, the feeling–not taste–is very much like the moment of anticipation of closing in on a firm grape, waiting for its skin to break, its juice to spurt.

Although, as you can see, the plates are small, palm-sized (and each costing over $20!), the servings were compacted. Free flow of brewed herbal tea, my favorite, 夏枯草 (prunella) or winter melon tea. YUMMY.

The service was wonderful too. We were indecisive over ordering the dishes but the [China] waitress was patient. Full marks.

Sin Lee Chinese Cuisine
47 Neil Road
T: 6227 3237

Rating: 4.899/5 stars

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