good chinese food in hougang. my parents drove here on a sunday night for dinner, and I didn’t know what to expect since it was relatively deep in – and seemed largely to be a housing estate. didn’t have to worry though, it was good comforting teochew – one of many chinese clans in singapore – food, and reasonably-priced to boot.
there are days when my mum just doesn’t feel like cooking, and thankfully in singapore there is no hassle for getting good cooked food from outside. in london, my partner and I often had to resort to roast chicken from waitrose (not that it was great hardship – we probably went through more than 50 chickens and countless bottles of sriracha a year) when we didn’t feel like cooking. those chickens were really tasty – especially the barbecue flavoured ones – but it did get a little monotonous after a while. no such thing in singapore though, where you can have your pick of hawker centres, coffee shops, and cooked food stores to fulfil your needs for competently-cooked food.
peng restaurant is one of those neighbourhood restaurants that the older generation will remember for being a place where they held celebrations – young kids like me associate celebrations and parties with more moderly extravagant (and often western) restaurants. the establishment is simple, your orders taken by a long-time employee of the family – or even someone from the family itself, and the dishes served up quick and fast.
this dinner time, I particularly enjoyed the teochew steamed fish. if you’re not from singapore/malaysia, the steamed fish you come across in chinese restaurants is usually done cantonese-style, with a whole fish steamed with ginger, doused in soya sauce and topped with coriander. teochew steamed fish comes on a bed of tomatoes and preserved vegetables, served alongside the flavourful soup formed during the steaming.
we also had oyster omelette – not bad though not the greatest, a plate of morning glory that was a tad too oily to my tastes but undeniably tasty, really good pork spare ribs, and capped the meal off with orh nee, which is sweetened mashed yam served with mashed pumpkin, gingko nuts and coconut milk. I don’t eat this, but my family thought it was pretty alright.
in any case, this place is decent for food, and certainly convenient if you live around the area. it does get surprisingly crowded though, but that’s really how ambience is created in this sort of restaurant. if you’re looking for more restaurants in singapore like this, you might want to have a look at this blog here!