Friday, November 5, 2010

Hua Yi Kitchen at International Building

Way back in 2001, before Ding Tai Fong became such a Singapore staple, I used to frequent a small yet cosy little outlet hidden in International Building near my former workplace.

It is found in the unlikeliest of places, and surrounded by the more popular Rice Table and Coca steamboat, and has only half a dozen of tables. Yet, maybe because of this, the place feels more right at home.

When I first discovered this gem, the only other places you could get Shanghainese cuisine then was the more established Old Beijing from the Tung Lok group.

It has been nearly half a decade since I last went, but just recently Pauline and I revisited the place and found the eatery just as it was, and little has changed. The decor still looked the same, and the menu still had pretty much the same items, which was fine as it was.

Minced Meat Noodles

My favorite item from Hua Yi had always been this delicious bowl of minced meat noodles, and I am glad to report that it is still as tasty as I had last remembered. It feels more homecooked than the versions at Ding Tai Fong and Old Beijing, and the simplicity of the dish cannot be overstated. The savory minced meat, sprinkled spring onions and al dente noodles bring together a comfort food that is hard to resist.

Cold Tofu with Century Egg

I first had this dish at Old Beijing, but here, the cold tofu is less scrambled and more generous, and the century egg with the spring onions perfectly complimented the creamy tofu texture. The soy and sesame seasoning gives it that savory lift and rounds off the flavors wonderfully, a must try!

Chive Pancakes

Unlike most places, the chive pancakes here are served in smaller individual pieces. Each piece had a nice crusty batter, and the fillings were again, more generously filled with fresh minced meat and chive goodness. The flavors and juices literally explodes in your mouth once you bite into it!

Black Sesame and Peanut Glutinous Balls

You can have a choice of either black sesame or peanut fillings with these glutinous balls. The skins here are very soft and not hard at all, and the fillings are just right. And they come in a slightly sweetened soup that tasted vaguely like barley water. It was nice dessert to end the meal on, and each bowl comes with 4 balls of which you can mix n match the fillings.

If you are ever in the vicinity, especially near Orchard Isetan and is looking for a place out of the conventional, I hasten you to check out this delightful little place for some good Shanghainese food and is perfect for a place to chat and unwind, especially after all that shopping!

Hua Yi Kitchen
360 Orchard Road #02-11
International Building


  1. Ouch. You've revealed this little gem. Their xlb is decent too.

  2. Yes you are so right :) ... they have many other very decent items, but we could only eat and shoot so much at one go!

    Thanks for droppin by :)