Malacca, Malaysia - Teochew dinner at the 80-year-old Teo Soon Loong Chan
For over 80 years, Teochew food connoisseurs (including Singapore's ex-President Ong Teng Cheong and ex-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong) have made a beeline to the dinghy, nondescript-looking little eatery, Teo Soon Loong Chan, for its extraordinarily tasty Teochew repasts, conjured up from a tiny kitchen upfront, using some of the freshest seafood produce caught the same day off the Straits of Malacca.
We finally got round to the restaurant last Saturday - booking a table is a must as the tiny dining room is not much bigger than one's living room.
Dishes we had:
- braised oyster noodles, which was the best-tasting noodle dish I'd had in a long while. We were advised to add a dash of piquant Chinese black vinegar to the noodles. It was very addictive.
- 'hae cho', Teochew minced pork-prawn dumplings wrapped in beancurd sheets and deep-fried. The version here was delicious - crisp exterior enfolding a tasty, meaty filling. Went well with the sweet Thai-style chilli sauce dip provided.
- Braised pork-ribs with bitter-gourd - my favourite dish for the evening. The braising sauce has that elusive flavour which transported me back to my childhood, when olden-day Nyonyas, matriarchs who're fiercely proud of their cooking prowess, conceptualise elaborate sauces using complex combinations of spices: nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, etc.
- Steamed Teochew-style fish: superbly fresh threadfin steamed with salted mustard, ginger and tomatoes. Very good.
- Teo Soon Loong Chan's very popular Teochew yam dessert ("orh nee") served wit boiled sweet potatoes and gingko nuts on the side. This was one of the best renditions I'd ever tasted.
Overall, a stellar meal. Dreaming of my next trip back to Malacca, so I can some eat here again.
Teo Soon Loong Chan
55, Jalan Hang Kasturi
Tel: +606-282 2353