Friday 1 April 2016

Spring Court – Three Generation of Restaurateur

Spring Court (Wing Choon Yuen)

Spring Court is the oldest Chinese Restaurant in Singapore. This iconic restaurant opened in 1929, has seen many Grand occasions, tribulations, World war and Economic crisis, however it remains open until today. In 2011, a movie Great World was released and it captures Spring Court (known as Wing Choon Yuen at that time) memorable years in Great World. In itself, Spring Court ('SC') is truly part of Singapore history.

Spring Court - The Menu

Currently, SC has made its home in Upper Cross Street, opposite Chinatown Point. It is not difficult to miss, as the blue colour facade and gigantic banners are just eye catching. It occupy four-storey heritage shop house, it has plenty of space for everyone though getting a seat over the weekend can be a challenge.

The Memories of Wing Choon Yuen

Spring Court Traditional Popiah ($7.50) is a must try here. You might go HUH!! $7.50, but this is not your ordinary popiah. The 'lioa' (fillings) here is in a class of its own. Prawns, fried fish, dried prawns and eggs. The popiah skin is moist and light, made it a good appetizer here.

Spring Court Traditional Popiah

Spring Court Traditional Popiah - The Fillings

Lamb Brisket in claypot ($24 small, $48 large). We ordered the small one and we are glad we did. Though the lamb brisket is tender with almost melt in your mouth texture, it is a little bland for my liking. I like my lamb brisket with more favour if it is served on a small stove to continuous boiling.

Lamb Brisket in claypot 

Yam Ring with Prawns ($32), one of the signature dish of SC. A thin layer of crispy coating surrounded the basket, provided a good protection for the smooth velvety yam. The crunchy stir fry vegetables that filled the basket, provided a good companion to the fried yam.

Yam Ring with Prawns

Roasted Chicken with Mince Prawn ($22 small, $38 large). If there is ever a dish had too much prawn, this will be it. The generous servings of mince prawn in this dish, made the flavour of the chicken diluted. The mince prawn was springy and tasty and the chicken is juicy and succulent.

Roasted Chicken with Mince Prawn

Roasted Chicken with Mince Prawn - Check out the fillings

Lala Bee Hoon. Off the menu item and this dish only available when there is a supply of good lala. It has a good wok hei, accompanied with robust seafood broth. The bee hoon is crunchy, not mushy at all after staying in the bowl over a period of time. Watch out for the spicy chilli cake when you slurp the broth.

Lala Bee Hoon

Chinese Cabbage with dried scallops ($28 small, $42 large). Unfortunately they run out of the cabbage and they suggest to replace the vegetables with Nai Bai. The result is not as expected, the nai bai is over cooked, mushy and did not manage to absorb the solid gravy from the dried scallops. Must be better with the Chinese Cabbage. I suggest you order a bowl of rice to polish gravy and dried scallops.

Nai Bai with dried scallops

Finally, Roasted Suckling Pig ($98 for Half, $198 for Whole). At the start of our meal, we saw a whole sucking pig delivered to our neighbouring table. It was so irresistible, we decided to order half. A beautiful crispy skin with crunchy sound in every bite. The meat is also succulent, we also clean up the meat of the suckling pig. If you want me to be picky, some part of the pig was a bit burnt. However, the smokey aroma does contributed to the nostalgic feelings of traditional roast meat.

Roasted Sucling Pig - Half

Dessert was Or Nee, served in individual portion. It was thick and smooth, however it missing the aroma of spring onion oil. For the sweetener, they used clear sugar syrup.

Or Nee

As it was my belated birthday celebration, of course a birthday cake is a must. The plate that it served is just beautiful. Art on a plate.

The Usual Birthday Plating (Cake not included)

We find the atmosphere really feels like traditional Chinese restaurant. The lightings are yellow and very dim. While the chocolate colour table cloth did not help with brightening up the room. The service is good, considering they are under staffed. Imagine this, 6 medium size tables (between 6 to 8 pax each), with only 1 captain and 1 service staff. My hats off to them.

Overall, We finally ticked Spring Court off our list, the oldest Chinese Restaurant in Singapore. While the food can not be describe as superb, it is the nostalgic feeling that you get when dining here. If you want to make you elders happy, bring them for a meal here. You will see they smile from ear to ear, just like lots of the diners we saw during that evening. Cheers!!

Food: 8/10
Value: 7/10
Service: 6.5/10
Ambiance: 7/10
Budget per Person: $51 - $80

Spring Court
52 - 56 Upper Cross Street
Singapore 058348

T: +65 64495030
Lunch: 11.00 – 14.30 (LO 14.00)
Dinner: 18.00 – 22.30 (LO 22.00)

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