Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Food Review: Imperial Treasure Teochew Cuisine, Takashimaya, Singapore

Pin It

During our Christmas holiday in Singapore recently, my BIL and his wife treated us to a delicious meal at Imperial Treasure which specialises in Teochew cuisine.

Located on the 2nd floor of Takashimaya on Orchard Road, the restaurant serves fine Teochew and Cantonese dishes in a cozy and modern ambience.  I later found out from a friend that they also serve very good dim sum.

I love Teochew cuisine for its delicate flavours.  Teochew cuisine involves a lot of poaching, steaming and braising of food.  It is widely regarded as more healthy ; its use of flavouring and oil much less heavy handed than other Chinese cuisines, and depends much on the quality and freshness of the ingredients to give it taste and flavour.  

I read in Wikipedia that authentic Teochew restaurants will serve its customers some strong oolong tea (Tieguanyin) in little teacups before and after the meal to cleanse the palate.  Here is it...
I love the pickled mustard appetizer, it was a delightful combination of sweet, sour, slightly salty and flavoured with sesame oil.  I made a mental note to learn to make this. 

Pickled mustard and spicy dried shimp paste - yums! 
I could happily eat rice with just these two appetizers.

My BIL ordered four dishes - Braised Tofu, Stir Fry Hong Kong Kailan with Garlic, twin serving of Char Siu and Siew Yoke and Steamed Soon Hock Fish.  Maybe we were hungry, but every dish was delicious.  

Braised Tofu with Hokto Mushrooms - the centre of the tofu
is coated in a thin layer of egg and seaweed - very unique

Crunchy Hong Kong kailan with lots of garlic

I especially enjoyed the siew yoke and steamed soon hock.  Noticed that the char siu was disproportionately more than the few tiny chunks of siew yoke - aarghhh. 

Why was there so much less siew yoke than char siew??  The latter was nice too, it had a different backnote to our Malaysian char siu - i can't quite put my finger on it...

Steamed Soon Hock

The medium sized steamed soon hock was lovely - the meat was very fresh, sweet, and tender.  Simply steamed with superior soysauce, sesame oil and lots of cilantro, it was absolutely delicious with steam rice.  Coincidentally, it was also my first time eating a soon hock fish.  It is considered an expensive fish in Malaysia.  I asked my BIL how much was the fish dish, he said it was S$72. 

The only thing I found a little strange was the steam rice.  The texture was so sticky, i felt like i was eating glutinous rice.  Maybe we are used to brown rice at home and had totally forgotten how starchy white rice could be.  They are probably using some good quality thai jasmine rice, but it was extremely sticky nevertheless. 

We finished the meal with some chinese herbal jelly (kuai leng kou).  The colour of the jelly was dark brown instead of black as is usually found in Malaysia, and has a slightly bitter liquorice aftertaste.  Hubby remarked that it's probably of better quality than what we get back home ;p  They also served it with honey instead of sugar syrup.

Total damage : just under S$190.  For four adults and two young kids, it was not a cheap meal.  But you get what you pay for.  Food that is fresh and very well prepared.  Good service and ambience.  For that, I'd say it was well worth the money.  

After-dinner entertainment: Christmas lights on Orchard Road.
Best way to see the lights - in  a public bus.  The roads surrounding Orchard area were pretty traffic choked at this time of the year, so the bus will be meandering slowly - perfect for appreciating all those beautiful decorations! 



  1. The tofu looks gooooooood! Yum.

    I find SG food quite pricey also, so usually we just go for fine dining since the prices are similar to KL.

  2. Hi Esther! If I remember correctly Soon Hock fish is quite oily? Hah! Hah! The char siew/siew yok dish reminded me of what I tapau yesterday evening. I requested for 1 strip of siew yok and 1 strip of char siew and the char siew outnumber the siew yoke by quite a lot. Hmm...Jasmine rice should not be sticky, maybe it was a small kitchen disaster :)

  3. Hi Esther, everything look so inviting and delicious. Nice click! I like the herbal jelly, very refreshing.

    Have a nice week ahead,regards.

  4. Hi Esther, Christmas is always a good time to visit Singapore. The soon hock looks fresh and good. Pretty expensive fish.

  5. Everything looks amazing Esther! I'm ready to hop on a plane!


Feel free to leave your comments here. If you are not a blogger, just select profile and choose "Name/URL", fill in your name and leave the URL blank. Thanks and hope you enjoy the postings here, or better still, get to try some new recipes from here. Cheers!