By Kelvin Tan, Editor for Men’s Health Singapore
Thinking of checking out Tsui Wah that’s just opened at Clarke Quay? First things first, for the uninitiated, “cha chaan teng” refers to a teahouse serving Cantonese and Western-influenced dishes at affordable prices. Basically fuss-free fast food. Six chefs and operation staff have been flown in from Hong Kong to train the local crew, so we were pretty psyched for a taste of the real deal. Of course, we can’t deny this isn’t the healthiest of cuisines- there’s plenty of carbs on the menu- so here’s a rundown of what’s worth the cheat meal.. and what you shouldn’t waste macros on.
Wait-what’s the queue time like?
It’s got a seating area of about 140, and opens from 11am to 11pm daily. There was a pretty long queue the first week it opened which seemed to never move, but that seems to have petered out- we finally managed to get in with a wait of about 20-25 minutes, even with a line of 20 outside during a weekday lunchtime.
Tart borscht and thick fluffy toast on the side- MEH
The stew is cooked using diced up tomato, cabbage, onion, carrot, celery and beef chunks. Sounds healthy- and it is, though taste-wise it was good, but not amazing. We’ve had better borschts. If you’re only having this, it’s perfectly good and healthy grub, even considering the buttered up toast. But who’s gonna queue that long just to have one borscht?
King prawns in XO Sauce- SHIOK!
Actually, surprisingly good. This isn’t exactly a dish that’s hard to find, but they’ve done it pretty well, with the noodle texture one of the best we’ve had. And the king prawns dusted with shrimp roe was so very, very fresh.
Kagoshima-style pork cartilage in fish soup with noodles- WORTH IT!
The meat is stewed for at least four hours to achieve a melt-in-your-mouth tenderness and the thick full-bodied broth is packed with flavour.
Lamb chop curry with steamed rice- OK ONLY LAH
This is one of the pricier dishes at $29 bucks. is it worth it? Granted, the lamb chop is pretty tasty. But there are other options to get it, without the rice or price tag. The curry was abit too sweet for our liking.
Crispy bun drizzled with condensed milk- OH GOSH YES
Yes, yes, yes. Everything about this is unhealthy- it’s carbs toasted with butter and drizzled with condensed milk. But it’s really yummy- just endure the urge to order more than one serving!
Milk Tea- NAH
So, this is served in their iconic blue porcelain cups that look quite instagram-friendly, and brewed using premium Ceylon tea leaves and served with condensed milk instead of sugar. It’s not the worst milk tea we’ve had, but seemed to lack a certain wow to justify the sugar level. We found the one in Hong Kong tastier- wonder if they’re using Holland’s Black & White evaporated milk here?
Almond Milk With Egg White- SHIOK!
The snowy white whipped and steamed concoction comes piping hot and the first sip is like being enveloped in a warm hug. No, we’re not being dramatic. It’s the kind of drink we’ll daydream about on rainy days.
Beef brisket and tendon in satay sauce- EXCELLENT!
Everything about this dish was awesome. The sauce is flavorful, the brisket and tendon tender. Just skip rice with this and it’s good to go.
Mixed Grill- WAIT, ORDER SOMETHING ELSE INSTEAD..
So, the mixed grill is as manly a meal as it gets- there’s slices of pork chop, chicken and lamb, together with a red wine sauce that’s delish, and a baked potato, at $29 bucks. But here’s the thing, of the three slabs of meat, we enjoyed the chicken chop the best.. and it’s also the healthiest meat! So why not order their chicken chop with scallops, which is only $17 dollars?
So that’s what we’ve tried on the menu so far.. but make sure you check back in as we’ll keep updating this page as we run through the rest of the menu to see which meals are worth the cheat, and which aren’t!
Address: 3A River Valley Road, Clarke Quay, #01-03, Singapore 179020.