Chaozhou Inn

Amid the teeming vibe of Parkway Parade at Marine Parade Road, replete with teenagers, uncles and aunties who stay in the nearby vicinity, lies the quiet, charming and dimly‑lit Chaozhou Inn, from the people who brought us Fish & Co. Specializing in Teochew‑inspired Chinese dishes, the restaurant also has Cantonese fare like dim sum, roast pork and char siew; so the menu is pretty diverse. We liked the place’s setting—if you’re here with a large group of family and friends, we recommend you sit at the bigger round tables; while the more plushy sofas located on an elevated level are great for an intimate tête‑à‑tête. But on to the menu: Hoping to get a taste of everything, we decided to order one of the sets. Set B for two comprised a platter of roast pork and char siew; two bowls of duck and salted vegetable soup; scallops stir‑fried with broccoli; steamed grouper Chaozhou style; and two yam pastes with gingko nuts and pumpkin. We especially liked the tasty and very salty (in a good way) duck soup—which was low on oil and fat (quite unlike the itik tim found at most Peranakan restaurants), which whetted our appetite. Our broccoli and scallops were also good; with just the right amount of garlic in it to give the dish that extra kick. The chili that came with the roast pork and char siew also gave an otherwise average dish that extra piquant relish. Our steamed grouper, however, could have fared way, way better. While the fish was fresh enough (although it was still quite fishy at parts), the balance among the usual condiments of tomatoes, salted vegetables and mushrooms was just not quite right and failed to impart the aroma it deserved. Our dessert of yam paste was also pretty standard, and could have been more generous with the paltry pumpkin in it. Considering that there are so many notable Chinese restaurants in the East Coast area, diners are more than spoilt for choice; so it remains to be seen if Chaozhou Inn has what it takes to make it stay.