For the complete post with uploaded pictures, please view:http://thefoodnomads.wordpress.com/2011/07/27/beng-thin-ocbc-centre/
A restaurant of the times, Hokkien restaurant Beng Thin Hoon Kee is a grand old dame and a favourite amongst many Singaporeans. Located in OCBC towers, Beng Thin is without fail packed every weekend night with her loyal customers in search for good, hearty, old-fashioned Hokkien dishes. A favourite of our families, my cousins and I used to remember Beng Thin as “that suckling pig restaurant” in association with their signature dish which we would have without fail.
To begin the meal, we had a traditional Hokkien cold dish platter with Prawn Rolls, Fried Egg with Vegetables, Century Egg, Stuffed Beancurd Rolls, Chilled Jellyfish and a Prawn Salad. Compared to other restaurants, I felt the quality of Beng Thin’s cold dish is still on par with the better ones out there. I particularly enjoyed the prawn rolls (Ngoh Hiang) which were stuffed with juicy and tender minced pork and was crisp on the outside yet moist on the inside, going splendidly with the special sweet sauce.
Our favourite starter to order from Beng Thin and a dish we crave for time to time, the roasted suckling pig is their specialty dish and rightfully so. A whole well-sized pig, the roasted suckling pig skin was crisp and had just the tiniest juicy bit of fat underneath the skin. Tasty and fragrant, the roasted skin crackled with a burst of flavour from the thin layer of meat. Not too salty and well-roasted, their roasted suckling pig probably ranks amongst one of the top few in Singapore.
Relatively large oyster pieces in a sweet chilli sauce, it was a pity the omelette wasn’t too well-fried. Slightly too starchy for my liking, the omelette was more fried flour than egg and that unfortunately diminished what could otherwise be a pretty excellent dish.
Fresh and tender fish meat, the quality and freshness of the fish was key to making this simple dish taste perfect. With just a hint of salt and pepper for seasoning and some salted vegetables, this fish dish was light and brought out the full flavour of the sweet fish meat.
A small chicken stuffed with lotus seed and braised in a claypot together with long peas, this dish is yet another one of their specialities. Braised till the chicken meat is very succulent, the meat falls of the bone effortlessly and is incredibly tender. A mix of salty and sweet due to the rich, filling and sweet lotus seed stuffing, the dish was pretty competent.
Or-Ni or Sweet Yam is always a very guilty indulgence of mine at Chinese restaurants and Beng Thin’s version is one of my favourties! Though unhealthily topped with a generous serving of oil and garnished with gingko nuts, the yam paste is incredibly smooth with chunks of juicy pumpkin and fresh gingko nuts. The sweet paste complements the more savoury flavours of the pumpkin and gingko; unlike other lesser versions which overwhelms one’s tastebuds with an overdose of sugar.
One of the restaurants we grew up with, Beng Thin's hearty Hokkien cuisine has accompanied us for many years. The friendly wait staff and the bustling chatter of families enjoying a good meal make for a lively and cosy atmosphere. With consistently good quality, except for peak periods like Chinese New Year, I would recommend families looking for a good traditional Chinese dinner to consider Beng Thin. I know I am definitely coming back for more!