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Nov 9, 2008 07:09 AM

SinLee Chinese Cuisine, Singapore

3 Chowhounds met up at SinLee Chinese Cuisine restaurant this evening. It was one of visiting CH girobike’s stated favorite restaurants in Singapore, so CH FourSeasons recommended that we meet there for dinner. It was a great choice – all the seafood items were up-to-the-minute fresh – they were all alive & swimming a few minutes earlier in the blue tanks which formed the backdrop of the restaurant’s ground-floor dining room. FourSeasons did the ordering, and I must say that every dish was simply exquisite:

- Live bamboo clams, which are 8-inch oblong-shaped crustaceans, finely sliced, then steamed. Served on their shells, the delicate clam-meat was topped with chopped garlic & julienned ginger/shallots, and drizzled with sizzling hot oil & very fine Chinese soy-sauce. It was the most divine-tasting shellfish dish you’d ever taste anywhere in Singapore;

- Alaskan king crab, sautéed Shanghainese-style with salted duck-egg yolks. A very rich dish, which can be a bit cloying towards the end;

- Red garoupa fish, this was absolutely fresh & was steamed Cantonese-style: topped with julienned green shallots & fine ginger strips, and resting on a pool of delicious sweet-salty soy sauce;

- Braised green boxthorne leaves with century-eggs & salted ducks-eggs; and

- Seafood & mushrooms fried rice served in a clear consommé.

I guess SinLee does it best when it comes to Chinese-style seafood dishes. You do have to pay for its premium quality ingredients – the Alaskan king crab was US$200 for just half a crab! One interesting thing to note - the Duxton Hill/Neil Road area where SinLee is located seems to be undergoing a "de-gentrification" process, with bars/nightclubs popping up everywhere.

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    Sinlee Chinese Cuisine
    47 Neil Rd, Singapore, Singapore 08, SG

    1. Hi klyeoh:

      It is a pleasure to meet you and girobike; I had a great time as well, maybe we should organize more Chow dinners in Singapore.

      Yes, agree with you that the Alaskan king crab, though just half the crab, is perhaps too much for just the three of us. Perhaps five persons would be the right size to order such a dish.

      If you like shark fin soup, then don't miss Sin Lee's braised shark fin on your next trip there. I think it is about S$50 per pot, and I rate it among the best in Singapore. And the seafood hor fun, that I ordered to go on that evening, is always delicious and at S$4 per plate, perhaps the cheapest comfort food in Sin Lee.

      7 Replies
      1. re: FourSeasons

        Thanks so much for your recs, FourSeasons.

        BTW, Ya Kwang Dai Pai Dong (in Geylang)'s crab bee hoon, studded with large chunks of orange-ish crab roe, can also qualify as comfort food, and at S$35 for a medium-sized Sri Lankan crab which is enough for 4 persons, is really more "affordable" than Sinlee's Alaskan king crab. I dined at Ya Kwang 2 weeks ago. The other bee hoon noodle dish offered by Ya Kwang, cooked with clams, was earthy & delicious - like a sort of Chinese linguine con le vongole in bianco.

        Another must-not-miss dish at Ya Kwang is the Penang-style fried koay teow (recommended by visiting CH Peech). Essentially flat rice noodles, stir-fried in lard over high heat with prawns, eggs, Chinese sausages, beansprouts & chives, then sprinkled with chilli flakes, it exudes a wonderful "wok-hei" aroma & is dangerously addictive.

        1. re: klyeoh

          I am quite familiar with Ya Kwang; I have been there a few times. My only problem with Ya Kwang, beside looking for a parking space in Geylang, is that its signature dishes seem to be bee hoon, tang hoon or kway teoh. I only want to order one noodle dish on each visit, and will be overwhelmed by all the above dishes if presented at the same time. So I feel Ya Kwang is still a one dish stall; its complementary dishes are still not as good as its noodle dish. That is an area that I feel Jason, the boss, has to improve to be a good Tse Char place.

          1. re: FourSeasons

            ya kwang is closed for good.. the owner left for australia

            1. re: Lucil

              Lucil is right, I just read it on the blog ieat-ishoot-ipost, the loudest cheerleader for Ya Kwan, that Jason sold his business on Nov 1 and venture down under!!! I will definitely miss his Crab Tang Hoon. Wonder if he sold the recipe to the new owner as well?

              1. re: FourSeasons

                How sad! Just as I "discovered" the place. Anyway, I'm not sure if Jason was cooking the night I dined there, as almost all the cooks & wait-staff seemed to be Mainland-Chinese.

                1. re: FourSeasons

                  Someone needs to take one for the team and try it again. It might need to go on my list! :-)

          2. re: FourSeasons

            Hi Guys, finally managed to clear some time and check the boards. It was great meeting up and I would love to meet up again.

            By the looks of things, I will be back either before Christmas or early January...

          3. hi guys...

            we're Los Angeles CH's who've been following your posts for about a month now. we'll be in Singapore the nights of Nov. 25 & 26 and Dec. 4th. used to live in Sing in off Tanglin. if you have a get-together, let us know. we're in!

            2 Replies
            1. re: revets2

              Do you have any restaurant in mind, or any type of cuisine? Dec 4th is more convenient for me. Since this is an off-topic subject, (according to the guidelines provided by Chowhound, ) please post your email address for us to contact.

              1. re: FourSeasons

                anything very Sing! SIN LEE, SIN HUAT, YA KWANG, haute cuisine or any place we can bring our own wine. bottle shop recommendations in Sing would be great too as we hear there is a shortage on Bali. you can reach me at look forward to meeting everyone.