Chopsuey Cafe is a restaurant under the P.S. group. It’s menu consists of somewhat Americanized Chinese cuisine. The word originates from Chinese Cantonese and means odds and ends. It’s basically the anglicised form of a Chinese dish and is frequently found in the U.S.. In Holland we also have a version which is Tjaptjoi, it’s basically a vegetable stir-fry. Although I’m usually very against the bastardisation – as I call it – of Asian food, the menu seemed very interesting and my friend’s mum mentioned how she had tried it and said it was pretty good. I trusted her opinion as she’s Asian and also usually prefers traditional Asian food. We started the evening off with some Asian inspired cocktails. I went for the Chopsuey Mai Thai – chili-infused white rum, 9-spiced rum, pineapple, mandarin and lemongrass served in a whole coconut. When it came it looked pretty impressive. The pretty flower and little umbrella took me right to the beach. My friend decided to have Lily’s Lychee Martini – vodka, lychee liquer, lime juice & lychees. Sadly enough I don’t have a picture of it.
In true Asian style we decided to order a variety of dishes to share. That way we could try more things. The first dish to come was the Summer Rice Paper Roll Salad. A different take on the traditional Vietnamese rice roll, it was a nice fresh vegetarian dish. The vegetables were nice and crunchy and we felt extremely healthy eating this. The delicious sauce that came with it, perfectly complemented the dish.
The dishes we ordered were mainly based on recommendations by the staff there. One popular dish are the Crispy Duck POW! Pockets. The buns were filled with shredded duck confit & pulled roasted duck and served with a warmed sweet bean sauce. This dish was pretty impressive and very tasty. I have total understanding as to why it’s so popular. The slice of duck meat was nice and tender and the crispy duck on top was very good.
Having eaten here before, my friend’s mum had had this ‘great crab dish’ as she described it. She wasn’t to sure what the exact dish was anymore, but she knew it had crab. Scanning the menu, she deduced that it must have been the Fresh Crab Omelette. To be honest crab omelette doesn’t sound too appealing or special, but when it came I was pleasantly surprised. Inside the omelette there were large chunks of fresh succulent crab meat. They certainly weren’t stingy with the amount of crab that was in there and together with the wonderful broth that went with it, it was a nice light dish.
Another main that we ordered were the Numbing Pork Ribs. These are slow braised pork ribs, wok-fried with their house chili sauce, coated with crushed Szechuan peppercorns and topped with Green Mango salad. Usually not such a meat eater, I wouldn’t have ordered this myself. But I definitely would have regretted it had I not tried it. These are the best ribs I’ve ever eaten, the meat was so tender and just fell off the bone. The coating of crushed Szechuan peppercorns added a nice texture and the house chili sauce was also pretty good. I’m just so impressed by how tender the meat was. Can’t get over it. I was disappointed by their ‘green mango salad’ though, as I couldn’t really detect any green mango in there. Luckily the ribs made up for this. Definitely the star of the show.
We decided to try the Sticky Crunchy Baby Squid, as it was said to be pretty good. It was definitely crunchy and sticky, and although it was good, it was slightly disappointing how the crispiness of the squid kind of made the fact that it was squid undetectable. To be honest, it probably could have been anything.
We also tried the Steamed ‘Lasagna’ of Snapper & Tofu. We weren’t sure what to expect, but were slightly disappointed when it arrived. It didn’t resemble a lasagna in any way whatsoever. It actually just looked like this cold tofu dish that we often order. The ‘lasagna’ was topped with black bean paste, which was a little too salty for my taste. Also, the snapper was slightly overcooked and I found that there was far too much tofu compared to fish. Overall it tasted alright, however it’s not something I would order again and it definitely is not deserving of the ‘lasagna’ tag.
The P.S. group is famous for its desserts and people usually just head over to have their cakes and other desserts. In the same space as Chopsuey there was P.S.’s other venture, P.S. Cafe Petit, which was serving ice cream. Their ice cream flavours seemed pretty interesting and we decided to get some as part of our dessert. My friend went for the Apple Crumble, whilst I went for the Tiramisu. The Tiramisu ice cream, really was Tiramisu. Filled with giant chunks of actual Tiramisu, I was extremely satisfied.
For desserts we decided to order the Banana Pudding, which was a steamed golden banana pudding with fresh coconut & palm sugar, served with vanilla bean ice cream and – what I believe – was a vanilla creme anglaise. I was slightly hesitant to order this, because I love banana, but I was afraid the coconut would be too prominent in the dish. Sadly enough, my angst came true, as I found that there was too much shredded coconut in there. It would’ve tasted so much better being more banana-ey.
The other dessert we ordered was the Upside Down Toffee Banana & Walnut Cake also served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The chewy caramelised walnut top and the nice moist banana cake, made this a far better choice than the pudding. Walnuts always pair well with bananas and lucky for the monkey in me, this cake had a very nice banana taste. I attacked this dessert and definitely would have it again the next time I visit Chopsuey. Overall the food was pretty good and it was nice to eat some anglicised Asian food that didn’t taste horrible. It is possible to have nice fusion food, it’s just that other places still need to figure this out properly. I think the Asian restaurants in Holland could learn a lesson or two from them. Happy to see my best friend again after half a year and with a full tummy, I headed home to dive into bed as I had to get up early the next morning for work.
Restaurant: Chopsuey Cafe at Martin Road (there’s another one at Dempsey Hill)
Address: No.38 Martin Road, 239072, Singapore