Chiu Chow cuisine is known for its steamed, poached and braised seafood and meat dishes. It’s less heavy-handed than other regional Chinese cuisines in terms of its use of sauces and oils, with a focus on elevating fresh, high-quality ingredients.
Chateh’s mission is to evolve traditional Chiu Chow dishes to delight the new generation of local diners. Traditional, homestyle plates are occasionally served tapas style with a contemporary presentation. The kitchen, headed by Chef Hui Mei, reflects the importance of southern China’s rich food culture and how the regional cuisine has been shaped over the past century.
We were welcomed with the Chiu Chow assorted soy platter ($118 for small or $168 for large), one of the most recognisable and famous Chiu Chow dishes, consisting of tender goose, boiled egg, soft and slightly chewy squid and silky tofu. The marinade was light, mellow and aromatic.
Rolling out next was the deep-fried sea prawn wrapped with crispy noodles ($68/piece; minimum 2 orders). . A sweet sauce was served on the side to drizzle over the prawns.
Leaning to more traditional dishes, we had a small serving of the pork tripe with salt-pickled cabbage and white peppercorn soup ($68/person) and the stir-fried beef and Chinese kale in satay sauce ($98 for small or $128 for regular). The soup was the winner – complex in flavour, with the peppercorn giving a kick to the delicate, clear broth.
Finally, our absolute favourite dish of the evening was the Chiu Chow fried crab with glutinous rice ($498). We knew we were in for a messy experience as soon as we saw the glorious plate! The crab was dressed in a light, salty glaze, and the rice was steamed with soy sauce. The sticky texture of the rice balanced the sweet crab and savoury dressing – simply irresistible.
Dessert remains traditional at Chateh, and we finished the night with a bowl of sweetened mashed taro with gingko ($42/person). Translated directly from Chinese, my friend explained that this dish is known as “potato mud” because of its smooth and thick texture. This simple dessert was sweet and comforting, and it’s a must-try if you’ve never had Chiu Chow food before.
The prices at Chateh are reasonable, and the restaurant has done well in elevating the homestyle dishes to modernised sharing plates. Chateh continues to reflect the long-standing roots of Chiu Chow cuisine, experimenting with fresh ingredients to create delicate textures with each bite. We had a set menu, with the dishes chosen for us, but we were also hoping to try other classic Chiu Chow dishes such as congee and oyster omelette. Guess there’s always a next time!
Shop 405, 4/F, FoodLoft, Mira Place One, 132 Nathan Road, TST, 2157 9949
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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