Thursday, March 14, 2013

Swatow: Old hero returns? Or does he?

Sometimes, an old favourite which has closed comes back to live. Sometimes, its just the name, sometimes the old owners decide to restart the business. I am not sure is Swatow, now in Toa Payoh, is a revival of the original which was in Golden Shoe Carpark in Market Street. So we ventured a try...

Mixed results. The old Swatow was a temple of Teochew cuisine. Specializing in the traditional braised goose, steamed fish, Teochew Kana Kway Teow. A similar menu is offered in the new place. In an earlier visit, I did try them, and found the Teochew dishes to be competent, but nowhere as inspired as the Swatow of old. So I decided to try the pushcart tim sum this time round.
The char siew pau...the skin tender, light, but the filling fell short of the best. Still eminently edible, just not special.

Occupying the same place, and reputed to be owned by the same owners as the former Fortunate, the dining room is vast.
Quite tasty. Crisp skin, nice insides, served piping hot. Fortunate made its name serving value for money tim sum, big servings, in push carts.
The deep fried yam ball was de rigeur. Not the lightest, or fluffiest, but makes the cut.

But in recent years, the restaurant closed in favour of the mini Fortunates now in Food Republic Food Courts around the city.
Rather pedestrian, but very large hargao. The skin was thin, but broke on prodding with a chopstick.

To be fair, the tim sum was nothing special.

But reasonably tasty, large portions.

The only standout was the deep fried, crispy bean curd skin, stuffed with prawn paste. This was rather good. The bean curd skin was superbly light and crispy, and only slightly greasy. The prawn paste within was very good.

The Kway Teow Kana...fried Teochew Kway Teow with kale and preserved radish was rather good too. Slightly more greasy, but the kway teow packed into somewhat like a cake, was nice, tender, flavourful.
Rather similar to the deep fried beancurd, so the deep friedn prawn friters gets a thumbs up too....but its getting to be a greasy meal, with most of the good dishes being deep fried.
Ordinary, but edible in the sense that it taste ok.

Overall, rather decent eat. Reasonable prices, largish servings. Good tasting food, though none which break the must eat barrier.

Swatow Restaurant Pte Ltd
181 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh
6363 1717

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