San Shu Gong Private Dining is currently fully booked. All through May, June and July. Nuff said! Angels must have been smiling on me when I snagged a reservation recently. Sadly, my party of four couldn’t justify some signature pre-order items portioned for 8. But we managed to savor most of Third Grand Uncle’s classics including a special Roast Chicken which had us all licking our fingers!
We arrived a little early at the inconspicuous restaurant on the quieter side of Singapore’s red light district in Geylang. We looked on excitedly at diners from the first sitting wrapping up their meals with contented smiles, bidding goodbyes as they vacated their tables for us hungry ones waiting patiently out front by the side of the road.
San Shu Gong is the talk of the town right now. And its clearly evident as we sat down to a full house, in a cozy corner at the front of the seemingly small restaurant; only to learn later that behind the walls hid 3 private rooms accommodating up to 10 persons each.
Ordering was swift. With the help of our friendly server, we clinched all the house favorites and in a matter of 10 minutes, our first dish was served!
Deep Fried Ngoh Hiang Roll ~ These freshly fried meat rolls were filled with juicy pork and prawn mince seasoned meticulously with Chinese spices, rolled up in paper thin bean curd sheets, fried so crisp they crumbled effortlessly in the mouth. Every morsel bursts into sweet porky juiciness! A good starter choice to get the appetite going and an impressive one at that too! It is every Teochew Chef’s duty to make this right or don’t make it at all! San Shu Gong has nailed theirs as authentic as it can be.
Pan Fried Oyster Omelette ~ You can find Oyster Omelettes everywhere. From your corner hawker center and coffee shop, to Michelin-starred restaurants. Everyone has their own interpretation of one of the country’s favorite cult dishes! San Shu Gong’s Oyster Omelette is fried flat as a pancake to a beautiful golden hue. The omelette lets out a little asmr crunch as we cut into it. Fat little oysters popped out from within. I knew, without a doubt, we’re on to something spectacular. The egg omelette was lightly seasoned. The careful frying yielded a delightful crunch, while juicy oysters lent a briny flavor to the crispy egg/starch concoction. It doesn’t have much of the symbolic gluey texture mandatory in a regular Oyster omelette, but funnily, I didn’t miss it! I really enjoyed SSG’s version. And so did everyone else judging from its presence at every table!
Braised Pig’s Intestines ~ Watch our cholesterol? Not today, I’m afraid..! Not when you’ve got intestines so tenderly braised it melts in the mouth. No overpowering spices to mask any offensive funk common in this offal. The large intestines were cleaned so well, the aromatic marinade steeped throughout every crease. Pig’s intestines naturally aren’t everyone’s cuppa tea; but honestly, I’d wish for everyone to give it a try, especially when they’re this yummy.
Braised Goose Teochew Style ~ We luckily bagged a portion of this precious bird, the last one for the evening. And it seemed to taste better because of our good luck! The goose meat was super juicy. Very fragrant. The soft brown skin with its thin ply of fat melded with the delicate lean meat like a dream. Really glad we got to try it!
Deep Fried Sea Cucumber with Superior Abalone Sauce ~ The star dish of the evening must be the Fried Sea Cucumber served with a velvety abalone sauce. This dish has been mentioned in every social media platform, and I really wanted to see what all the hoopla was about! I’ve had my fair share of sea cucumber but deep fried was a first. And though I thought it strange at the beginning, I’m not sure I’d go back to any regular sea cucumber again!! What a delicious way to prepare this delicacy. Contrary to its name, sea cucumber is an animal (Echinoderm to be exact) and not a vegetable! It is generally bland and will absorb whatever flavor you throw at it like a sponge. By frying it in oil, it ingested a warm wok hei within its thick lining, then it further soaks up the rich abalone sauce that’s poured over it. Every bite thereafter was a combination of sweet savory gelatinous goodness; with the texture, the juices, and the rich smokey flavor coming together tastefully. A must order!
Wok Fried Prawn with Pepper & Spiced Salt ~ After the exquisite Sea cucumber, prawns seemed almost underwhelming! But I had to put prejudice aside and embrace these perfectly fried prawns. Big! Fresh! Firm! Crunchy! Absolutely no complaints! Quick-fried with a combination of spiced salt and pepper, and finished with a blanket of crispy garlic chips. Prawn lovers will rejoice at this without a doubt!
Roast Chicken ~ As advised, the special order Roast Chicken was an ideal portion for 4 of us. The chook was nicely seasoned with strong accents of Chinese wine, and roasted to a flawless finish. The skin is slightly crisp; while even the usually drier breast meat was moist and tender. As common as roast chicken is, this is evidently cooked with care and attention. Not a minute over the needed cooking time, I can’t stress more on how juicy the bird remained. I hate to get my hands dirty dining out but I went all in with this one! Finger licking good!
Wok Fried Cai Pu Kway Teow with XO Sauce to wrap up the meal. The wok hei is legit here! The Kway Teow is hot and smoky; charred at all the right places. Lots of kale stems to add crunch; preserved radish for a little bit of sweet and savory; and the XO sauce mixed in for a prawny umami bit of kick. You put a spoonful in your mouth and you could literally taste the fiery heat from the wok. It’s amazing how basic this looks yet how big a punch it packed!
San Shu Gong has definitely lived up to his popularity with an impressive lineup of both modern and traditional Teochew dishes. Roy & Fiona are one of the most hands on owners I’ve encountered. Managing, serving and entertaining without skipping a beat! And with the warmest laughter and chatter too. As Singapore moves on from the pandemic, with relaxed ruling on the number of people dining out together; I am aiming to gather a group big enough to experience the special advance order specialties San Shu Gong is famous for. Meanwhile, if you’re thinking about booking San Shu Gong for a special event in 4 weeks, know that you’re already late! Forget special event. The day you score a table at San Shu Gong will be a special day!
San Shu Gong Private Dining @ 135 Geylang Road Singapore 389226 Phone +65 6741 0344
Disclaimer- This is not a sponsored post!