When I drove past it one day, I saw an entire group of hot Taiwanese boys coming out of the restaurant and I thought to myself, GOLD MINE. But in reality, the restaurant is called Goldleaf.
Goldleaf New Taiwan Porridge Restaurant, Amoy Street
We were the first customers, being so early (6pm), and on a weekend in a CBD area, no one comes here. My sister said that the restaurant had a horrible stench. Having lived in New York, I assured her that Chinese restaurants are like that there too, it’s the smell of pork.
The service was very prompt, swift and polite. Tea was served even without me noticing – and I am an observant person. Very discreet service! 4.78/5 for service!
Sis: Do you think the staff is from Taiwan or China?
Me: China lah. Can’t you tell from their accent?
Sis: I don’t even understand what they are saying. How come you do? Then aren’t they betraying their country for working in a Taiwanese restaurant?
Me: You know the other day, I saw a China man wearing a New Urban Male singlet that says JAPAN. That is worse.
When ordering, I am a sucker. So whenever the China waitress said, “This is a local Taiwanese dish,” I ordered it. But first, the appetizer:
Braised peanut with tofu. It tasted like braised peanut with tofu. Not too salty that you can’t eat it on its own; but save it for later. The sauce goes very well with the porridge. The porridge is free-flow at $1.80. Each bowl comes with a piece of tapioca for flavoring. The water to rice ratio is about 1:1, and my sister thought it was too watery. But I like the teochew-styled porridge (the grains are not soft) because the water was rather flagrant.
When ordering, the waitress said, “Three-cup chicken ($12) is a Taiwanese speciality.” So I ordered it. Compare the spoon with the chicken, wow, the serving very “generous” hor. It was very tasty with garlic, basil, cloves, soy sauce and sesame oil. To a hungry person, the fragrance is like a tomcat smelling a pussy in heat, drives one wild. The sauce went very well on the congee but I can’t help but to think that I have eaten this somewhere at a tze char stall before.
My sister craved for eggs so we had Chye Poh Omelette ($5). She loved this so much she said it was the dish of the day but she said, “But our mother can cook it.” Sigh, see what kind of genes I share with her. But yes, this is an ordinary dish but it was cooked in a fluffy yet crispy manner. Not too oily too.
Kyoto Pork Ribs ($16). Taiwan, being near to and was once colonized by Japan, has Japan-influenced dishes. Before you even eat this, you may be repulsed by its smell of acridity, its sourness from vinegar. But as you know, strongly flavored dishes go well with porridge. And it was again very savory; as I am typing this, my salivary glands are working, thinking of it. But like the chicken, the pork wasn’t very very tender; they were just tender enough to be good, not excellent. And like the chicken, the serving was sad. There were also fries in this dish! Mcdonalds should really consider using this as a sauce for fries because they went so well together! But again, I questioned the difference between Kyoto Pork Ribs and Sweet-and-sour pork.
Stir-fried Swan vegetables (鸸菜, $8). This is a Taiwanese vegetable. You can get it fried with garlic or chili but we had it plain. The taste of this vegetable was very balanced: a slight hint of bitterness counteracted by the sweetness. It is also very crunchy, like an apple. When my sister was chewing, I could hear the crunch. The “sauce” you see in the photo isn’t oil but the juice from the vegetable. Very light, good to go with the heavily flavored dishes.
We over-ate, should have ordered 3 dishes. There are two sizes to each dish: Small or Medium. We took the small ones for everything.
All in all, I think the food is very good consistently but I cannot help to think that there is another very unique about each dish. I feel like I have eaten these dishes at a good tze char stall before. So to pay $50 (before OCBC credit card discount) was a shock to me. Plus we were there too early, no cute Taiwanese boys to pick up!
110 Amoy St
Tel: 6324 8310/ 6324 3268
Open daily: 11.30am – 2.30 pm (lunch)
6pm – 12.30 am (dinner/supper)
Thomson Plaza 01-112
301 Upper Thomson Rd
Tel: 6459 9180
Open daily: 10am – 10pm
Rating: 3.991/5 stars