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Mar 7, 2013 08:26 AM

'Come-into' Chui Chow Restaurant, TST - A faltering 'Michelin' Star

With an impressive credential that includes a perfect batting average (15 thumbs-up vs 0 ok or thumbs-down) from Openrice and a Michelin star under its belt, my dinner tonight at this restaurant was met with huge expectation!!

Greeted by a super high ceiling reception area and artful decor of Chinese calligrapy and paintings, large aquarium with rare fishes and gorgeous Orchid plants, this restaurant offers us a grand feel which is uncommon for a non-hotel establishment.

Friendly servers and management staff looked after us and took our order. They were smiling and couteous to the end, even though we did not order anything super exotic or expensive dishes.

Our party of six ordered the following dishes:

- One plate of Chui Chow Soy marinated goose meat, wings and web as well as a stand alone plate of soya goose liver.
- Duo of fried Prawns and Crab balls.
- Stirred fried boneless chicken pieces with Sichuan pepper corns.
- Sweet and Sour fried pork-neck meat
- Stewed four vegetables treasure, comprising of Chinese mushrooms, baby sweet corn, Nappa cabbage and Chinese mustard green with Hunnan Chinese Ham.
- Two-face fried crispy noodles to be eaten with sugar and black Chinese vinegar.
- Complimentary dessert courtesy of the manager - ' Mung Bean Soup with Chewy Jello'. This was offered after he noticed I was taking photos of every dishes and menu! Ha!

Unfortunately, what I am going to post next is going to disappoint! Some of the hits simply cannot stand up to the overwhelming number of misses!

Some of the misses include:
- A slight overcooked and non-velvety marinated goose liver. This type of treatment and mistakes should not have happened to a Michelin star calibre restaurant and to such a delicate ingredient! At $180, this was an expensive failure.
- An unexpectedly huge goose meat platter that were presented 'rough with an edge' and quite salty. This especially applied to the tofu condiments at the bottom of the plate which was cut super-thick as well!
- A very ordinary, run of the mill Sweet and sour pork that used a pretty chewy and tough, though expensive, cut ouf meat.
- A similarly boring Duo of Prawns and Crab balls. Though non greasy and crispy/crunchy, the two supposedly different morsel types were non-distinguishable from each other and dull tasting.

The hits include:
- A nicely executed stirred fry chicken with lovely charred and smokey flavour from the 'wok-hay'. Together, they formed a great taste combo with the pepper seasoning.
- A delicate and delicious combination of melt in the mouth tender Nappa Cabbage and Mustard Greens, crunchy Sweet corn and chewy mushrooms, augmented by slices of salty but umami filled Chinese Ham. Together they form some interesting textural feel and taste sensation.
- The crispy noodles were non-greasy and well executed.
- Kudos to the nice and refreshing complimentary dessert as well!

All in all, in my book, though excel in other less essentail areas, this highly acclaimed restaurant only bat a meager slightly over 50% for its food!! Is this enough for it to retain its Michelin star? Only time will tell?!

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  1. too bad

    btw how did them come up with "Come Into" from "Golden Yan Island"? haha

    1. Sorry to hear about the $180 badly done liver! Ouch.

      I glanced at the openrice reviews. While 15 of them were positive, there were a few reviews where the tone was also of slight to moderate disappointment at some dishes, and the one reviewer who mentioned goose liver did not find it great, that should have been a warning sign.

      The Chinjiew sauce chicken looks great, better than what I had at Chan Kan Kee Wanchai.

      Hope you find a good goose liver plate soon, and be able to try some of the suggestions from that other thread, although most of them aren't part of the fine dining category or belong in "culinary wasteland" haha.

      1. Charles, I don't think this place has a star...

        3 Replies
        1. re: Peech

          Hello Master!! The 2013 guide did give it one! However, my decision was based on Openrice and my wife's foodie cousin's suggestion. Also, its the closest place to offer 'goose liver' from where I'm staying! Still, the liver was decent enough to munch on with a nice glass of German Auslese Riesling! Ha!!
          See You!!

          1. re: Charles Yu

            Charles I agree with Peech - I can't find it in the 2013 Michelin Guide - no star and no bib - unless its under another name. But I can only see Hung's as the 1 star Chiu Chow.....?


            1. re: PhilD

              Oops!! You are right!! Only a couple of forks!! Must be day dreaming when browsing thru guide!

        2. The manager was obviously a rookie. The key is to look out for cameras from the START of the meal, and throw in freebies and larger portions throughout ;)

          1 Reply
          1. re: Julian Teoh

            I started taking photos from the time I sat down. Table settings, Menu..etc. He made the offer of complimentary dessert whilst taking our order and after asking him of the restaurant's history. Also, that huge oversized Soya Meat platter might also be the result of that?
            BTW, he was already manager of the 'Star House' Chui Chow restaurant before management decided to relocate.