Had the usual family dinner at Cheng Li Yuan tonight. Cheng Li Yuan is a relatively new kid on the block and showcases food from northern China, instead of the usual south food that we are accustomed to. Located along Tanjong Pagar Road, it is quite prominent if you happen to drive or walk along that road. However, when we got there at about 1930hrs, it was almost empty with the exception of 1 table. We were greeted by the friendly lady boss and shown to our seats. We had the Pork with Special Sauce & Popiah Skin, Fried Mao's Spicy Pork, Fish and Dried Scallop with Egg White, Xiao Long Bao and Red Bean Snow Bun for dessert.
The Pork with Special Sauce & Popiah Skin looked gross when it arrived. The pork strips looked like maggots fried in oyster sauce. However, the dish was pleasently good. The Popiah skin was of a thicker kind and warm when served. Together with the pork strips, it was delectable. The Fried Mao's Spicy Pork was a favourite with my dad. The pork was thinly sliced and pan fried, making it a litle crisp on the edges and chewy.
Fish and Dried Scallop with Egg White might sound a little weird to some, but I like it! It wasn't as good as Prima's(Review coming soon)version, but good enough. The egg whites were smooth and nicely beaten. But beware. Too much of it can make you woozy. Next comes the highly recommended Xiao Long Bao. At $5 for 8 pieces, I consider it a steal, considering the quality. The skin was thin yet strong enough to hold the fillings inside. Pop one into your mouth and the juices just explode. Still, I find Crystal Jade's Xiao Long Bao a wee bit better. But I'll choose this over Crystal Jade's one anyday due to the huge disparity in price.
The highlight of the night(to me at least) was the exquisitely done Red Bean Snow Bun. This is a pretty unique dish because the "bun" is made from egg white which is deep fried. It looks exactly like a bun, golden on the outside and white on the inside. The "bun" was warm, soft and fluffy, albeit a little too oily. It had red bean paste as filling and a sprinkling of sugar on the outside. Pure genius I must say. The bun itself was pretty tasteless, but the red bean paste and sugar provided the sweetness. The paste was smooth and not too sweet. Goodbye Red Bean Paste Pan Cakes. Hello Red Bean Snow Bun!
Total cost for the meal was $52 for 3 pax. Not the cheapest I've tried, but reasonable enough. Food quality is also pretty good. One thing they need to brush up on a little is their attentiveness. We had problems trying to catch the attention of the lady boss and her husband. But you can't blame them really. They are the only 2 wait staff manning the whole place. Try it out if you want something different from your usual fare.
Fried Mao's Spicy Pork
Xiao Long Bao
Check out the juice from the Xiao Long Bao
Mashed up Fish and Dried Scallop with Egg White
The maggot look alike sliced pork
The Popiah Skin
Popiah Skin with Sliced Pork
The Red Bean Snow Bun
Check out the smooth red bean paste within
The illegible bill
The calling card
Value for money:7/10
Address: 72 Tanjong Pagar Road. Coupon parking available.