Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pu Tien Restaurant (莆田菜馆) - Heng Hwa Cuisine @ NEX Mall

Heng Hwa (兴化) cuisine used to be relatively unknown in Singapore; an unbelievable fact since i personally have local friends and colleagues who belong to this sub-branch of the Hokkien Chinese ethnic group.

Some of whom i have known for ages! 

Putien is one Singapore restaurant that specializes in the unique cuisine, which can also be referred as Pu Tien (or Putian), and judging from the nine outlets it now has over a span of just twelve years, the food must be pretty good.

This visit was my second although my memory was fuzzy on it given that my last meal at Pu Tien (Vivocity) was over five years ago! Nonetheless, i can vaguely recall eating and loving some fried yam.

Plum and Cherry Tomato Juice with Aloe Vera
梅汁芦荟圣女果
This is one drink i would not mind drinking everyday! I could barely taste the tardiness of cherry tomatoes which were likely covered by the sourness of plum. It was a refreshing drink that was not too sour and came with small delightful bites of aloe vera!

Sweet and Sour Pork with Lychee
莆田荔枝肉
I was anticipating something on a comparable level with the watermelon chicken or honeydew prawns from Yijia. Unfortunately, it was not to be.

The pork would not have made much difference minus the lychee. On a positive note, the meat was tender and succulent enough for us to give it a second bite, follow by a third bite and so on till the plate was empty!

Fried Heng Hwa Bee Hoon
兴化米粉
People who prefer food with a stronger taste should give this traditional dish a miss. The first time i took a bite (more than five years ago); i disliked it as it was simply not savoury enough.

However, simplicity is the key to the dry looking noodles (made from old rice) and locals who have never been exposed to heng hwa cuisine would be able to tell that this is not the same type of bee hoon they have been accustomed to.

The flavours actually came from the accompanying ingredients that comprised of peanuts, clams, prawns etc. I would not say this is the tastiest bee hoon around yet i might tag this as the healthiest type of bee hoon in Singapore given the lack of sauce and excessive oil.

Stir-Fried Yam
酥炒芋头
This was the one item i could recall from my last visit in Pu Tien.

Sadly, there was a mismatch in taste from then and now. The sugary coating was just as marvelous but the problem was the inside; the yam was too dry, resulting in a hardness that we found hard to swallow!

Eventually, i had to ask for pack-away as we had so much leftovers and the funny thing was this - the fried yam tasted much better once i got to my sister's place! The coating was almost caramelized-like and the insides were just so soft and nice to eat!

Putien Style Century Eggs
糖醋皮蛋
Caucasians who are still not game enough to try century eggs should give this a try! Even i (myself a century egg lover) was impressed with the unconventional way this was prepared.

Basically, the century eggs were deep fried and then stir-fried with a concoction of sauce similar to the one used in sweet and sour pork. This was one unique way of cooking century eggs but most importantly, they tasted so, so yummy!


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Location
23, Serangoon Central,
#02-18, NEX Mall

Price
Plum and Cherry Tomato Juice with Aloe Vera  - S$4.90
Sweet and Sour Pork with Lychee - S$11.90
Fried Heng Hwa Bee Hoon - S$7.90
Stir-Fried Yam - S$10.90
Putien Style Century Eggs - S$5.90
[Subject to GST and Service Charge]

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