Don’t we all just love the examples of longstanding traditional neighbourhood Chinese Restaurants? A few off hand I can think of off-hand are Chin Lee Restaurant at Bedok North, Hua Yu Wee at East Coast Road and lastly Lai Wah Restaurant at Bendemeer Road, all of which possessing it’s own unique and illustrious history, offering dishes that have been around for the past 30 years or more.
Lai Wah’s history is exceptionally rich in that it was the inventor of the Yam Basket, as well as the Yu Sheng (which we toss during the Chinese New Year) which has permeated into present society as so much more than just a dish, it now forms part of the Singapore culture.
While set lunches are available, I felt that ordering ala-carte here did not equate to much of a price differential from the set meals, and since this was my second visit, I had some idea of what to order this time round.
The Cereal Prawns ($20/5 pieces) was pretty decent. I liked how the large prawns remained crisp over time and that there was little observable excess oil from the frying.
As the founder of the dish, every visit to Lai Wah warrants an order of the Yam Basket with Cashew Nuts and Prawns($18). I was blown away by the Yam Basket on my previous visit and had determined that Lai Wah served the best Yam Basket out of all the Yam Baskets I had feasted on, but somehow today’s one didn’t strike the same chord.
For our daily vegetable fix, we ordered the Mushroom mixed with Vegetables($14) but if you are more of a carnivore like me, seriously just screw the veg and get another meat dish!
One of the main reasons why I suggested we eat at Lai Wah was because of the Crispy Squid with Salted Egg Yolk($14). The waitress screwed up my order and gave us a small instead of a large($18). Anyway, even if it’s just 3 people eating, trust me and just get a large!
Although it’s supposedly one of the signatures here, I felt that the Mandarin Stewed Chicken($22) was lacking somewhat. The meat was not tender enough and the gravy was too watery and not very flavourful.
Ordering desserts are quite unnecessary here as everyone got a free serving of Almond Jelly with Longans after the meal.
Though the food wasn’t bad, I was slightly disappointed given my heightened expectations from the previous visit. STILL, THE SALTED EGG CALAMARI IS A DEFINITE MUST ORDER!
LAI WAH RESTAURANT
BLK 44 BENDEMEER ROAD, #01-1436
TEL: +65 6294 9922