When we heard the impending closure of Sashlik, we felt a tinge of sadness for it will soon join the likes of other iconic restaurants like Mong Hing, Boon Lay Rajah among others who have shut their doors and along with that, the loss of their heritage dishes soon to be gone forever.
Fortunately not too far beyond our shores, there are still amazing heritage dishes to be found. For travellers who frequent the shopping haven of Bangkok, there’s a Chinese restaurant serving exceptional Teochew heritage dishes (at non-exorbitant prices) which easily were one of our favorite meals on our recent family vacation there.
Ping’s Teochew Seafood Restaurant bears the name of their Master Chef, Saetia Hung Ping, a Thai Teochew who uses his well-guarded traditional recipes to satiate the cravings of local Thai Chinese (and international tourists) looking for comfort food in a traditional Teochew meal.
We dined at Ping’s Teochew Seafood Restaurant situated at the Pathuwan Princess Hotel (connected to MBK Centre, a shopping paradise for Singaporeans). We started with the Shrimp Cake (150 THB) served with a tangy sauce. Crunchy, springy and appetizing. A hot favorite among families with young children.
Our first main course was Chef Ping’s signature Braised Fish Maw Soup in Clay-pot (300 THB). You know what they say about not judging a book by its cover? Well, don’t judge this unassuming dish for it is full of depth that just shouts ‘HOMEY!’. The flavours from the slow-cooked broth using Chef Ping’s secret recipe infused with the top grade fish maw left us craving for more. This signature dish is a must try! We’ve never quite tasted any fish maw dish in Singapore quite as yummy as this one.
Up next was the Oyster Omelett served in a Hot Plate (250 THB). This dish looked like the familiar ‘Or Luak’ from our hawker centers but that’s as far as the similarities end. The quality of the ingredients used by Chef Ping made this superior – the oil used is fresh so we could taste the subtle taste of the top grade plump oysters with each bite. Seriously lip-smacking shiok…now to find a hawker stall in Singapore which can match that!
The next dish is a new to us. Superior grade Fish Maw Stir-fried with fresh River Tiger Prawns. This is a far more colourful dish than its clay-pot ‘cousin’ but equally outstanding. It’s one thing to get fresh and premium ingredients and another to cook them in such as way that their flavours can be accentuated. The fresh flavours of the prawns and the fish maw complimented each other and together they make a wonderful dish…both in taste and texture!
The wife was looking forward to tasting this: Vermicelli with Braised Prawns (@240/g. 1,440 THB). The vermicelli, if cooked well, will soak up the gravy. If overcooked, it becomes lumpy and cloyingly uninspiring. Fortunately, at Ping’s, one stir to the bottom of the pot and the ‘goodness’ was all revealed. This is one seriously scrumptious dish – the flavours, the smooth texture, the juiciness of the prawns all smothered in the Chef’s signature broth. The prawns can also be substituted with lobster or crab according to your preference. Just let the Chef know!
The likelihood of getting the next dish in Singapore is extremely rare – Braised Goose Web with Noodles in Clay-pot (400 THB). Goose webs are not available in Singapore and as such, this dish takes us by surprise. Slurp up this dish up as you bite into the crunchy cartilage of the goose feet and smooth as silk mee pok. Traditional goodness at its best here!
Our host decided to pamper this Singaporean family with a decadent dish next. The Signature Braised Abalone and Crab-meat Rice (400 THB) in their traditional broth brought the experience home. The abalone was glazed with the flavourful broth, accompanied by fresh strips of succulent crab meat and then served with their fragrant Jasmine rice (this is Thailand!). Too good for words. The abalone can be substituted with prawns at 170THB.
No Teochew dinner can be complete without the quintessential Teochew dessert – yes, the Yam Paste or ‘ Or Nee’ with Ginko nuts (280 THB). The high grade Thai Yam carries a subtle texture and taste – when perfectly blended, it gave our taste-buds that little ‘surprise’ as we washed it down with the traditional syrup done just to the appropriate sweetness. This dish, sans the coconut cream, sealed the entire experience for us in the best way a fine dining restaurant knows how – subtle, surprising yet significantly special.
If you have young kids with you, you may want to try the Chilled Coconut Jelly (120 THB) served in a large coconut filled to the brim with their home made jelly with strips of fresh coconut within. Dana relished every bit of this dessert.
Food has always been linked to culture and values. Ping’s Thai Teochew Restaurant is an undiscovered gem. Who would have known that the heritage cuisines we are trying so hard to preserve here in Singapore can be found in Bangkok. If you, like us, love a hearty Teochew meal, put Ping’s as a part of your itinerary of ‘must-eat’ places when you next visit Bangkok!
PING’s THAI TEOCHEW SEAFOOD RESTAURANT