Left? Right? R U sure there's Seafood Paradise here?
The family had one of our 'bloated dinner' sessions this evening, at a little seafood place out in the suburbs on the fringes of Hougang. Amidst rows of industrial buildings, warehouses and factories within the Defu industrial estate, The Seafood Paradise Restaurant does seem like an 'oasis' in a 'food-scarce' desert and trust food-crazed Singaporeans to sniff out good food even in such surroundings, by the volume of cars flooding the carpark from 6.00 p.m. onwards. Paradise, in this case, is less than 10 minutes drive away from our home!
One of the restaurant's star performers is the above crab in vermicelli soup. Unlike the milky crab beehoon soup at Mellben Seafood Restaurant, this Sri Lankan crab is cooked with glass noodles (tung fen) in a clear stock that is deliciously sweet a la Chinese-soup (i.e. not sugary sweet but sweet in the way we Cantonese would term a well-cooked and flavored soup as sweet) and redolent with fragrant Chinese cooking wine. By the time we finished this dish, there was very little soup stock left on the plate!
Our vegetable dish 'tiwanchai' was fried with spicy sambal and cuttlefish. There was no ground whatsoever for our initial fears of rubbery leather, as the slivers of cuttlefish were tender and provided just the right texture combination to the crisp crunchiness of the 'tiwanchai' vegetables.
This is the restaurant's homemade beancurd in mini-wok, which is basically a round 2-inch thick tofu deep-fried such that it has a golden brown outer skin and soft quivering tofu inside. The whole tofu (topped with some pork floss) is then placed in a mini-wok that is filled with a seafood gravy which contained bits of prawns and sea cucumbers. I love quivering tofus in all manner and styles, so this with its tasty gravy qualifies as one of my favourite tofu dishes.
This final dish of fried fish-head in black beans sauce with bittergourd was a big hit with the entire family. The fish-head had been chopped into big pieces and deep-fried. Both meaty and crispy, any heaviness in the fried fish pieces was lifted by the slightly bitter and salty combination of black beans and bittergourd.All in all, the family was generally pleased with this 'off the well-trodden' track discovery and at less than S$20 per person, our first sojourn at the Seafood Paradise had definitely passed the 'bloated stage' test, in fact hubby demonstrated quite admirably that it had successfully passed the 'burping stage' test as well.
The Seafood Paradise Restaurant
91 Defu Lane 10
Swee Hin Building