Purveyors of Teochew cuisine are known for prioritising clean and natural flavours. Dishes are lightly seasoned and cooked in ways that bring forth the freshness of each ingredient. That said, chefs still make use of the full spectrum of Chinese cooking techniques to prepare their food. These range from steaming and poaching to braising, stir-frying and deep-frying, resulting in varied dishes. Here’s where you can find some of the best authentic Teochew restaurants in Singapore.
While many Teochew restaurants in Singapore offer a contemporary take on the classics, Ah Orh Seafood Restaurant keeps things traditional. The restaurant’s roots date back to 1919, when it was a pushcart along the former Ellenborough Market. It’s also one of the oldest Teochew restaurants in Singapore and has been managed by three generations. Today, it continues to offer traditional fare using decades-old recipes at its HDB location. There are no contemporary dishes here like salted egg pork ribs; only dishes rooted in heritage. The food is cooked by the late founder’s grandsons, while his granddaughter manages the front of house. Favourites include Teochew kway teow (rice noodles), oyster omelette, imperial ribs and Teochew cold prawns.
Chin Lee Restaurant is practically an institution for Singaporeans. The humble, fuss-free eatery has been around since 1973 and has a loyal following; it’s currently helmed by chef Eric Chua who inherited the business from his father. Expect big juicy oysters in the oyster omelette and satisfying crackling skin in the crispy pig trotters. Other favourites include the tender coffee pork ribs and the plump and crispy homemade Teochew prawn ball paired with a perfect sweet sauce. Make sure you try the house speciality, the Teochew yam paste and pumpkin served with ginkgo nut (orh nee) – a rich and smooth concoction that makes a fine ending to the meal.
Located in the historic Chui Huay Lim Club that’s been around for more than 175 years, Chui Huay Lim is managed by the Jumbo Group and offers more than 150 Teochew-style dishes. The ambience is clean and elegant, and the dishes are simple but delicious. Besides the quintessential braised duck, cold crab and steamed pomfret, you might want to try the crispy fried sea cucumber and shiitake mushroom; the comforting Teochew seafood fried mee sua (wheat vermicelli noodles) and the Teochew “puning” fermented bean chicken – a dish of plump, free-range chicken with a side of pickled vegetables. For a varied sampling of its highlights, get the Teochew classic platter, which features a variety of meat.
Situated in a quaint colonial bungalow in Seletar Aerospace Park, Di Wei is a storied restaurant headed by chef Khoo Tai Guan, a man who came from humble beginnings. He worked his way up, starting as a kitchen helper in his younger days before progressing on to hold the title of assistant chef. The affable chef has been whipping up authentic Teochew dishes for more than 50 years. Stars on Di Wei’s menu include braised crab bee hoon, pork ribs yam ring and Teochew fried rice noodles with preserved radish. Finish with a sweet plate of sugar yam strips – an addictive dessert of deep-fried yam that’s coated with sugar.
East Ocean has dished out classic Teochew cuisine since 1992, with the aim of preserving Teochew heritage through quality recipes and fresh ingredients. Favourites here include the steamed pomfret and double-boiled fish maw soup with bamboo fungus, alongside fusion offerings such as the pan-fried wagyu beef and goose liver. East Ocean prides itself on upgrading its menu regularly, and you’ll often find something new to try. This Teochew restaurant in Singapore also dabbles in delicious dim sum, with a unique menu that’s also updated often. While adults can enjoy classic dim sum bites like siew mai (steamed dumplings) and baked BBQ pork buns, children will love the cute animal-shaped dim sum with equally adorable names like Ninja Sotong, Dolphin Prince and more.
If you’re looking for Teochew restaurants in Singapore that offer an elevated take on the cuisine, look no further than the one-Michelin-starred Imperial Treasure. While the restaurant takes a fine-dining approach to Teochew cuisine, traditional fare still takes centre stage. Its Ion Orchard premise boasts a bright and airy dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows. Standouts include the double-boiled sea whelk soup with superior fish maw, sautéed Iberico pork belly done Teochew style, oyster omelette, fried hor fun with diced kailan (with a heady dose of wok hei) and mashed taro with ginkgo and pumpkin.
Since its opening in 2014, Lee Kwang Kee has developed a devoted following, thanks to its extensive selection of Teochew classics. For an introduction to Teochew-style braised dishes, opt for the combination 4-in-1 platter, which features shrimp jujubes, frozen pig’s feet and more. Other must-try dishes include the oyster omelette, Teochew-style cold crab and deep-fried garoupa. The speciality here is the Jing Tai Lan Fish Head Steamboat – a visually impressive dish served in an intricately painted and enamelled copper steamboat, brimming with tender fish slices, enoki mushrooms and vegetables. Good news for night owls: the Toa Payoh outlet is open 24/7 while the Bukit Batok outlet opens till 4am daily.
The original Liang Kee Restaurant was started in 1974 at the former Ellenborough Market by the late Ng Bak Liang, a Teochew immigrant from China. Today, it’s located in a nondescript spot along MacPherson Road where it serves up a mix of traditional and contemporary dishes in a cosy, family-friendly setting. Signatures include pomfret cooked two ways, Teochew braised cabbage with dried scallop; and Teochew braised duck with beancurd, while more modern fare includes the salted egg chicken and Mami pork ribs.
Swatow Seafood restaurant has been a stalwart in the industry ever since it was established in 2010. Its outlets at Toa Payoh, Serangoon Gardens Country Club and Home Team NS Bukit Batok have a casual atmosphere and serve similar fare – healthy, fresh food with only the lightest of seasonings to bring out the natural flavours inherent in the raw ingredients. Stop by for some delicate, freshly-made Teochew dim sum or indulge in signature items such as the Teochew cold crab, a dish that is first steamed and then served cold with a generous portion of crab roe; and the tender Teochew braised sliced duck with beancurd – a staple in most Teochew eateries. Other highlights include the crispy oyster omelette and the chilled jellied pork knuckles.
This Teochew restaurant in Singapore only opened its doors in 2018 but is already a hit with patrons who flock here for its authentic Teochew fish soup. The fish soup itself comprises a sweet broth that is complemented by generous slices of batang (Spanish mackerel) fish, while the Teochew mixed soup is chockfull of ingredients such as shrimp, squid, minced pork and more. Other highlights at The Teochew Kitchenette include assorted braised pork belly, fried prawn rolls and sesame chicken.
Huat Kee started as a humble street stall before progressing to a zi char outlet; moving to a couple of locations before settling in Amoy Street; and, finally, its current location at RELC Building along Orange Grove Road. The family-run restaurant stays true to its roots and features classics prepared using authentic Teochew cooking methods. Crowd-pleasing favourites here include the oyster omelette, steamed pomfret and sliced braised duck.
Also part of the Jumbo Group, Zui Yu Xuan Teochew Cuisine sits within a two-storey heritage building at Far East Square, treating diners to a sumptuous menu of traditional Teochew fare. You can expect signature dishes such as deep-fried liver rolls, wok-fried kway teow (rice noodles) with diced kailan and preserved radish, a delicious oyster omelette made ‘gooey style’, pig trotter terrines, and live mud crabs that are wok-baked with fermented beans and garlic.