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Dining Out 2 minutes 15 June 2018

Hong Kong’s Tsui Wah Restaurant Opens First Outlet In Singapore

The famed cha chaan teng chain offers an extensive range of Cantonese-style Western and Chinese dishes to go with its signature milk tea.

Hong Kong dining food news

The wave of Hong Kong eateries opening in Singapore gets its biggest push as one of Hong Kong’s largest cha chaan teng (teahouse) chains makes its debut in Singapore today.

Tsui Wah, which has more than 70 outlets in Hong Kong, Macau and China, has expanded to Southeast Asia with an outlet in Clarke Quay, a touristy entertainment district.

The cha chaan teng chain is famed for having an extensive range of Cantonese-style Western and Chinese food, served quickly in a casual setting. According to Mr Cheung Pui Yan, Tsui Wah’s director of kitchen operations, about 60 to 70% of the Hong Kong menu has been transplanted here.
Tsui Wah Singapore's Clarke Quay location gives it easy access to tourists. (Credit: Tsui Wah)
Tsui Wah Singapore's Clarke Quay location gives it easy access to tourists. (Credit: Tsui Wah)
Signature dishes include the lamb chop curry with steamed rice, which is served two pan-seared lamb chops perched on a bed of mashed potatoes that is drenched in a pool of mildly spicy and piquant curry. The curry is a concoction of more than 30 spices from a recipe that dates back to the 1960s.

Another popular dish is the Kagoshima-style braised pork cartilage instant noodles, the brainchild of a Japanese chef who worked at the chain. The tender-soft cartilage with chewy gelatinous bits is served with the Hong Kong classic dish of tossed instant noodles.

Other dishes include the fish paste puffs in fish soup noodles, beef brisket and tendon curry rice and pork chop bun.
Two of Tsui Wah's signature dishes: condensed milk toast and milk tea.
Two of Tsui Wah's signature dishes: condensed milk toast and milk tea.

Of course, there is the signature milk tea made with specially sourced Ceylon black tea leaves and condensed milk that is served in a pre-heated jolly-looking tea cup.

The restaurant says that each batch of frothy caramel-brown brew is kept for 30 minutes at most to retain its optimal taste and texture. A popular pairing with the milk tea is the crispy bun coated with condensed milk and butter. Prices range from $3.50 for a cup of milk tea to $29 for the lamb chop curry rice. 

While there are no exclusive dishes to the Singapore outlet for now, there are many Cantonese dishes to choose from such as sweet and sour prawns with pineapple and hawthorn, and braised abalone rice with diced chicken and kale. More dishes from the Hong Kong menu will be rotated here.

(from left) Mr Ang Kiam Meng, CEO of Jumbo Goup and Mr Peter Pang, CEO of Tusi Wah.
(from left) Mr Ang Kiam Meng, CEO of Jumbo Goup and Mr Peter Pang, CEO of Tusi Wah.
The outlet has an upmarket feel with green geometric partitioned private seating booths and chic wooden partitions. Staying true to cha chaan teng style, diners are advised to share tables when the restaurant is running close to full capacity.

Tsui Wah’s Singapore forary is a partnership between the group and Singapore restaurant company, Jumbo Group, which runs Jumbo Seafood and Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh. Both companies are publicly listed in their respective countries. Tsui Wah started in Mong Kok in 1967.


Speaking to the MICHELIN Guide Digital, Peter Pang, chief executive officer of Tsui Wah Group says that Singapore is a natural choice for its expansion plans due to the similar taste buds and lifestyles of diners in Hong Kong and Singapore. He says: “Singapore is a very modern city and diners here are able to accept new dining ideas and concepts easily.”

On how the quality of food will be kept consistent in the Singapore, Pang says that ingredients such as tea leaves and curry pastes will be imported from Hong Kong. A team of six chefs will be based here to train the local staff, while Cheung will be based here for two years.

Pang adds that the group will monitor the business to decide if the outlet will open 24 hours to cater to the clubbing crowd in the vicinity or to start another outlet in the future.

Mr Peter Pang, CEO of Tsui Wah Group speaks to MICHELIN Guide Digital.

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