New Restaurant: The Chinese Library

New Restaurant: The Chinese Library

Aqua Restaurant Group splashes out with a trio of venues at Tai Kwun in Central. We sample the first of the three: regional Chinese cuisine at The Chinese Library

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Foodie  Foodie Your Guide to Good Taste  on 5 Oct '18


Working our way from East to West in the colonial splendour of the recent and long-awaited revamp of the Central Police Station – Tai Kwun – we begin the journey with an opulent regional Chinese fine-dining restaurant. The Chinese Library pays homage to founder David Yeo’s own extensive personal library of Chinese cookbooks that span from Cantonese and Chiu Chow to Sichuan and Shanghainese. What comes to the table here are a collection of his favourite dishes amongst them.

Stay tuned next week for our foray into Aqua’s British restaurant dubbed Statement, separated from The Chinese Library by the historic The Dispensary, now a cocktail bar in the centre.


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The Chinese Library


All three venues have an air of The Pawn or 1881 Heritage about them, with the now-rare gentility of colonial-style verandas, shuttered windows and strapping white columns. Inside, soothing jade green accents the rich fabrics, delicate lighting features and elegant carpeting that decorate the restaurant. With central tables down the middle, the best spots line the balconies on either side, especially those with views of the central plaza below. The service is flawless and subtle, as those who have dined at aqua or Hutong may have come to expect, and the food is beautifully executed.


Here’s a look at some of the dishes:


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Sichuan ma la fish bao ($78)


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Laksa xiao long bao ($88)


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“Jade Flower” in green Sichuan pepper ($78)


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Crispy Wuxi eel with 15-year-old aged vinegar ($118)


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Chrysanthemum “thousand cut” silken tofu in chicken broth ($108)


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BBQ pork loin glazed with New Zealand manuka honey ($228)


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Dragon Well tea-smoked crystal river shrimp ($180)


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1/F, East Wing, Headquarters Block, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, 2848 3088, book online


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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