Although the restaurant, Yi Qian Private Dining, is situated in an industrial estate (Thye Hong Centre), it is only 5 minutes away from Redhill MRT by foot. Having cut his teeth previously at Hong Kong’s famous Lei Garden restaurant, Chef Raymond, who has chalked up more than 18 years of culinary experience, now helms the kitchen at Yi Qian Private Dining – focusing on Cantonese and Teochew cuisine.
For appetizers, the bite-sized crispy prawn fritters ($9.80++) are savoury and crisp, perfect to wash down with beer.
The flavourful stir-fried shark fin with crabmeat, served with superior stock in teapot ($68++) is a two-part dish, where one is encouraged to take a bite of the shark’s fin, followed by a sip of the soup, which has been brewed for more than 6 hours using old chicken bones and ham. Pan-frying the shark’s fin provides textural contrast and allows the umami stock that is used to cook with the shark’s fin.
Another signature dish, pig’s stomach and chicken in pepper soup ($108++, pre-order 1 day in advance) is good for 4 – 6 persons. To prepare the soup, a whole kampung chicken is first wrapped in a pig’s stomach, and combined with white pepper and gingko nuts, before being boiled for 4 hours under high heat. There is no “porky smell” associated with the soup and the end result is one heartwarming bowl of soup. This unassuming pot of collagen goodness is the highlight of the meal.
The addition of crushed peanuts to the pan-fried Teochew crispy yam and prawn omelette ($24++) provides texture and nuttiness to the dish. It is, however, rather oily and pricey.
The sizzling kai lan in claypot ($22++) is stir-fried together with belachan and shrimps, with the kai lan still retaining its crunch and colour. The heady aroma of the savoury belachan combined with crunchy pork lard makes this simple dish go well with rice.
A humble dish, the wok hei fried kway teow with diced kai lan and preserved radish ($18++) is a must order here. This ranks one of the best in Singapore although it may be a bit too salty for some. Each strand of the chewy kway teow is imbued with wok hei and expertly tossed together with diced kai lan and chye poh.
For dessert, the sugar encrusted deep fried yam sticks ($20++) are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Not overly sweet and do not get stuck to teeth.
This is a good place to bring parents or business associates if they enjoy classic Cantonese/Teochew cuisine in a comfortable setting.
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This is an invited tasting. Written by Vanessa Khong. Vanessa is someone who enjoys checking out the local food scene. She believes the way to her heart is through her stomach.