The Best of Nanri Island – Nanri Abalones
Yes another update for this week featuring Putien because they have a new seasonal menu for March featuring the Nanri Abalone! This abalone is bred on natural seaweed in this prominent maritime aquafarm region, Nanri Island. We ordered three out of the four presentation of this abalone.
A little unsure of why they plate the rice in a teddy bear shape – but nothing impressive about the rice. Abalone was braised with their in-house broth and was chewy to the bite without the toughness, enjoyable but not impressive compared to Ah Yat Abalone which I will also update later this week with their Abalone set.
Yellow Dendrobium Flowers is known to be highly nutritious. Some of its medicinal benefits are boosting immunity, improving eyesight as well as the functioning of the lungs, kidney and stomach. It’s also known to be anti-aging and good for the skin. The edible fungus – bamboo pith is rich in protein and fiber, also known to have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. However, this slightly sweet tasting healthy soup lacks much flavour (pretty bland to be honest) and the abalone is basically just tasteless. Well, the Chinese does believe that whatever is good for the body isn’t delicious, 良药苦口 is that saying if you know Mandarin 🙂
I am usually fond of having abalone warm though Putien does like to ice their abalone dishes. I liked this presentation of the Nanri Abalone the best out of the three we had. The abalone has a light seasoning and was still tender to bite through even after cooking and chilling. Best value in my opinion out of the three.
Before there were so many Pu Tien outlets all over Singapore, we were already regulars at this Heng Hwa restaurant along Kitchener Road. The food is still awesome and nothing can ever replace their signature drunken cockles. This is one dish I always go back for and I have been having it since it was just $7.90. (Inflation sigh)
The other starter that I really love is the Pork Belly with Garlic 蒜泥白肉 (SGD$8.90) – tender chilled pork belly with a sweet garlic sauce over cucumbers. Cockles is my shared “poison” with my Mom and the pork belly is my shared “poison” with my Dad. And it helps that both are really delicious!
This dish is so popular, on some days it’s sold out at early dinner time like 7pm. The collagen in this dish is overwhelming and it’s well-seasoned with salt and pepper in a 12-hour long cooking, just simply irresistible! It doesn’t have the “fattening” feel as most of it is just savoury collagen. Pu Tien only use 7-inch pig’s trotter from Australia to prepare for this dish.
Sometimes when the Chef have new ideas or dishes, they will get the customers to try them out. We have previously tasted some, mostly weird but this one today was really delicious and suited to our taste buds. The garnish of garlic and preserved turnips works well with seafood in generally and brings out the sweetness of the scallops. They really should put this on the menu.
The english name for this fish is Spanish Mackerel. And it’s very commonly known as “beh ga” (Hokkien) in Singapore. There are many ways to cook this fish – in porridge or with soup and often it’s also deep fried. It has a natural sweetness and not as fishy, so even the non-fish lovers will like this dish. I wouldn’t say this is my favourite fish dish from Putien as their Deep Fried Squirrel Fish and Pan Fried Yellow Croakers are equally delicious!
This variant of clams (la-la) is the thin shell “flower” type which has a sweet oceanic taste – my favourite type in soup as well as stir fry. The chilli sauce is sweet and slightly spicy, bringing out the taste of the fresh clams. A must-have for me.
First time trying this vegetable which is directly imported from Taiwan. It tastes like a hybrid between chives and bean sprouts – crunchy with that aromatic “green-ness”. The Sambal sauce with these vegetables is almost a replica of the Singaporeans’ favourite Sambal Kangkong. I like vegetables in general so this white water snowflake was delicious for me.
The Pu Tien Lor Mee is one of their signatures – silky noodles cooked in a thick seafood broth with clams, vegetables, prawns, pork belly and tau pok (fried beancurd). Save some appetite for this if you are a fan of thick gravy noodles which is like the white version of the Lor Mee you find in hawker centres outside.
I have been going to Pu Tien for years with my family and after every meal they serve us fruits or desserts complimentary. Like the one above – I am not a dessert person but I appreciate the gesture. Some of the staff at the Kitchener Road outlet who have worked there for a long time have also became customers of my parent’s business. It’s almost like a tradition to visit them monthly.
Do call ahead for reservations if you are visiting them for dinners or over the weekend. If you do visit in the season (Probably in April) when they import the fresh shellfish called “sheng” from China, do try the one baked in salt. Juicy succulent oceanic taste in a shell. Unforgettable. Will feature that when I have it again this year.
127 Kitchener Rd
(65) 6295 6358