One of the perks of self-distancing is discovering amazing seafood in Farrer Park. I have barely left my area since Singapore announced code orange. It is the sensible thing to do, to ‘flatten the curve’. But, I’m still doing my bit for the economy by supporting local F&B in my area.
I’m excited to announce my new favourite restaurant in Farrer Park, Lai Huat Seafood Restaurant. I have been there twice in the last fortnight. The food is so darn tasty (it’s recession-worthy), not to mention reasonably priced. Let me start with my number one dish, the noodles.
Now, I have been a part-time keto dieter for a year now. I only eat carbs when necessary. Here, it is absolutely necessary. The kuay teow (hor fun) is incredible. They serve it dry – the way it outta be, with chunky prawns and strips of tender pork. The ribbons of noodle are so thick and possess an ever-so-subtle smokey seasoning with just the right amount of soy for taste. I could eat a whole plate of these noodles on my own. It costs $4 / $6 / $10 for a small, medium or large serving.
Obviously, any respectable seafood restaurant knows how to prepare good prawns. The prawns at Lai Huat are fresh and cooked to order – normally in the shell, but you can ask for them to be peeled if you prefer. They can do prawns in sambal, butter, pepper, or black sauce, or in drunken or cereal-style. I recommend the pepper prawns.
Not only are they fat and succulent, but the pepper coating has the right combination of prickly heat and salty seasoning. You’ll find yourself sucking every last bit of the tail and shell for maximum flavour.
If you aren’t a fan of prawns, then the cuttlefish in satay sauce is another mouthwatering seafood starter. The satay sauce is made according to the Chinese recipe, rather than the Indonesian way. Therefore, there is not a strong peanut flavour but a good dose of chilli. I also detected a hint of tomato. Make sure you eat it with rice because it’s saucy.
Now, the signature dish at Lai Huat is their sambal (balachen) whole fish. You can choose between pomfret, sole or grouper. This is what the people queue up for. The fish is deep-fried whole and served with a dry, minced sambal that is quite spicy, you’ll need a few beers to quence your thirst. An average portion is also large enough to serve 3+ people.
If I’m honest, this is one of those Singaporean favourites that the locals love but the rest of the world just don’t get. It was a little too dry for my liking. I observed that the other customers were going nuts for the fish eggs inside the fish too. I ate it at the chef’s insistence but I would probably not order it again.
Lai Huat serve all the usual side dishes you would expect at a Chinese restaurant. There is kailan and mixed vegetables in oyster sauce. But, for something a little quicky, try the yam ring. I only discovered the wonders of yam upon moving to Singapore. There is something about the soft, mushy texture and delicate sweetness that just brings me to my knees. For $22, you can enjoy more yam than you would have ever thought possible, filled with stir-fried cashews, mushrooms and chicken, on a bed of crispy noodle. Weird and wonderful. Don’t knock it till you try it.
I’m so glad to discover delicious seafood in Farrer Park! Now I feel complete. Of course, there is so much more than this to discover on the menu at Lai Huat. If you live in the area, I highly recommend you check it out! Just bear in mind, it is an outdoor restaurant (hawker-style) with no air-conditioning. But, as it is located on a corner so there is a decent breeze. For more Farrer Park restaurants, check out my other blog here.
Lai Huat Seafood Restaurant
72 Horne Road