Friday, July 06, 2018

Wan Nian Stone Pot Fish (萬年石鍋鱼) @ 52, Smith Street in Chinatown [Singapore]

A true foodie would make it his/her vision to try all the darn food in Singapore and i honestly feel i fall short of the criterion to be a foodie as i couldn't help but make a beeline to Kazan Japanese Cuisine in the hawker centre whenever i am at the Smith Street area! 

However, the past two visits were anomalies from my usual behavior; both times, i was dining at this air-conditioned eatery known simply as Stone Pot Fish in English.

It's a restaurant i had walked past every year when i covered the annual Chinese New Year decorations in Chinatown and i have always assumed it's catered for the tourists with exorbitant pricing. Assumption is never good as you might really miss out on the good stuff; just like i did.

Came recommended by my elder sister, we were there the first time for Mother's Day and then a month later to celebrate Father's Day! All the pictures shown in this post were taken on the second visit. 

As the name suggests, the restaurant's signature dish is the Stone Pot Fish! While the cooking mode can be inferred, the fish in question can be either live fish or frozen fish depending on your budget, 

Liquid fuel to cook and warm the fish in the pot of broth. Speaking of broth, there were 6 different styles; original (chef recommended), sour vegetables (chef recommended), spicy, perfume (chef recommended), sour soup and BBQ. Perfume might sound weird but in terms of spiciness, it's actually listed as the spiciest! 

Our group consisted of the young, the middle-aged and the elderly and i guess that left us with little choice but to go with the original. For the fish, my sister ordered live tiger grouper! Let's now start with the dishes we had that evening; all eleven of them.

Cold Trio Salad - for something that's cold, i thought it could have been colder and a lot more refreshing. Anyway, the trio refers to seaweed, beancurd skin and rice vermicelli. 

Salted Pepper Mushroom - peppery with a touch of salt, i thought this was rather similar to those found in Taiwanese-themed snack stall and boy were the mushrooms addictive! 

Ribs with Diced Yam - this was interesting and counted as one of my favourite dishes! The diced yam was almost like the famous fried yam from Putien; albeit less sweet although the deal breaker was the little pieces of deep fried ribs that remained unforgettable for having that fragrant tinge of sweetness! 

Eggplant with Garlic Sauce - appetising and a tad spicy, this was pretty good even though i would have enjoyed fried egg plants better. Nevertheless, the sauce goes well with plain white rice. 

Supreme Ribs - i have high regard for ribs as there were many amazing versions in Singapore. This one were not bad actually (juicy and tender) although marination hardly made a deep impression. 

Sichuan Fried Chicken - popularly known as 辣子鸡 (la-zi-ji), i associated this as a better version of popcorn chicken that was aromatic with an explosion of spices. To be honest, if this were to be available in cinemas, i would gladly buy a tub and slowly indulge over the course of a movie! 

Homestyle Tofu - again, i never had much expectation for tofu which was more the standard dish to order whenever Jovyn joins us. To be fair, this actually contained quite a bit of chicken. 

Putian Bee Hoon - the heng hwa cuisine style of bee hoon was too bland and dry for my liking although the two aforementioned flavour and texture were the exact reasons why some people love it so much! This could have been better if the peanuts were fresh and crunchy.

Mutton BBQ Skewers - a standard for many Northern Chinese restaurant, we couldn't resist ordering the BBQ skewers when a full page on the menu listed twelve different types; for example, mutton, beef, pork, chicken, gizzards, hearts, wings, squid, sausage, bun and mushrooms.

The mutton skewers we got came in set of 6 skewers for only S$8.00 and they didn't disappoint for being incredibly tender without a strong gamey mutton taste! In fact, you might not even have realized it's mutton until you reach the end of the skewer.

Soften Hearts - The name would have caught your attention as it did to us and we ordered one serving just to understand what it really was! 

Texture was like the fried version of glutinous rice balls with an almost liquefied red bean filling! As the filling is also known as the heart, i guess it was as its name suggests; soften heart! Yummy! 

Stone Pot Fish (Live Tiger Grouper) - main star which originated from Changsha; the capital of Hunan province in China! There was a story behind this dish even though i think you can choose not to believe it. It was said that Emperor Qianlong was delighted when he had the stone pot fish and bestowed a name for the dish; "golden fortune fish".

Coming back, the soup had a nutritious, herbal taste to it and i guess it's worth it to have live fish as the meat tasted so fresh! Of course, while i was drinking the soup, my mind was wondering if this would be very pricey since i never like to order fish when i am outside and don't know what's the market rate.

Anyway, eat first and decide later. For soup lovers, you can always top up the soup and i think our family topped up no less than 3 times! 

Burp! I have already decided; next time we visit, i am going to extra extra servings of Ribs with Diced Yam and Sichuan Fried Chicken! 

Family photo and a photo of a satisfied Jovyn. 


52, Smith Street,
Singapore 058959

As above.

For Reservation
Call 6423-9252

Facebook Page
Cold Trio Salad - S$6.00
Salted Pepper Mushroom - S$8.00
Ribs with Diced Yam - S$16.00
Eggplant with Garlic Sauce - S$8.00
Supreme Ribs - S$16.00
Sichuan Fried Chicken - S$12.00
Homestyle Tofu - S$10.00
Putian Bee Hoon - S$14.00
Mutton BBQ Skewers - S$8.00
Soften Hearts - S$10.00
Stone Pot Fish (Live Tiger Grouper) - S$88.00
(Subject to GST and Service Charge)

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