Sunday, September 26, 2010


            Despite the countless places to eat in Singapore, we still do crack our head as to where to head for dinner.   Mum and sis were at my place and we decide to go for dinner.  I didnt want anything elaborate so I suggested the popular Fenshan 85 hawker centre and although it is always packed at nite,  it's only a mere 5 min drive away from my place but before we could reach the hawker centre, sis eye caught hold of some bright lanterns under a block of HDB flat and without warning, she made a quick u-turn and we ended up at this restaurant instead.  The place is brightly litted with big Red Lanterns and tonight the restaurant is crowded with diners overspilling to the open air seatings too.

Well, despite the close proximity, we have never thought of coming to dine here.  My first question after having seated was what's the big occassion with so many diners tonight and the response I got was it's every weekend crowd.  Hmmm.. have I been missing something good close by?

Chin Lee Restaurant is a Teochew Restaurant owned by a typical Teochew man.  It has its humble beginnings since about 25years ago and originally it started out as a coffee shop, and about 5 years ago business grew and it expanded to a restaurant serving good teochew fares including orr nee....

The waiters were busy bringing big serving of dishes, some looked interesting and I was enthralled to find such a place.  Ambience was nice, just like a city Chinese restaurant and on the wall three meritious medal awards hanged prominently signifying good food is just an order away.....

We ordered four simple but delicious dishes:

Dish 1  -  Conpoy + Fish Maw Soup small portion enough for 4 paxs $18.00
Mum thought it was sharkfin soup.  It was enough for more than 4 bowls and soup was thick with conpoy and bite size fish maw.  Certainly value for money. 

Bedok North Road

Dish 2 - Stuffed Chicken with Chestnut, half chicken at $15.00
The dish was recommended by the waitress.  The chicken is very tender as the meat tears off easily when picked up by the chopstick.   Plenty of ingredients goes into it, soft chestnuts, sweet pea, mushrooms etc and the whole braised dish goes very well with rice.

Dish 3 - Teochew Braised Vegetable $12.00
This is my favourite dish which mum always cooked during CNY but surprisingly the vegetable used is mustard leaf instead of cabbage and it was braised to tenderness with a slight bitter tinge to it due the the vegetable used.  It was superb and I enjoyed it very much.  You can call it comfort food as it is simple yet you can finish a bowl of rice just with this.

Dish 4 - Teochew Kway Teow $6.00
Have you heard of teochew kway teow as a dish, I asked mum.  This is unusual and as she doesnt take rice at all at nite, I ordered this for her.  This dish is very unusual as it is not only stir fried dry but flattened as well.   You get soup kway teow, char kway teow or cze char "sup kam" kway teow but frankly this is the first time we get to enjoy teochew kway teow at a teochew restaurant.  The wok hei taste adds flavour to the dish which to me is otherwise quite flat as there is only shredded vegetable to it.  All enjoyed this dish except that I find it too dry for my liking.  It should be dry but moist to the bite but overall still a thumbs up for this unique dish.

My only grouse, I ordered a glass of Coke and still they insist they charge the tea and towel which I declined for myself only. They explained standard package for diner is $1.50 each for tea and towel but why should I be charge for something that I dont need? 

Overall, very reasonable pricing with total bill at $64.00 for four diners.  Besides the restaurant boast of good interior decor with modern touch to a traditional Chinese restaurant and it's likened to dining in a good class chinese restaurant in town with good food and service with the exception it is situated in the heartland of HDB blocks with Fengshan Hawker Centre just opposite it and the diners, mostly heartlanders and many Teochews amongst them.
Chin Lee Restaurant  
Blk 115 #01-285
Singapore 460116

Business Hours:
Mon-Fri lunch 11.30-2.30pm dinner 6pm-10.30pm
Sat, Sun & PH Lunch 11.30-2.30am dinner 5.30pm-10.30pm

A RESTAURANT with humble beginnings...

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