SPICEGASM.COM My travel tales and food hunting

November 27, 2010

The infamous Sin Huat restaurant

Filed under: Bars & Resto,Food,Singapore — Alex @ 1:56 pm


I have to admit that I never heard about this restaurant named Sin Huat before. While I was in Thailand, a Singaporean friend of mine sent me a link to a You Tube video. The video was a segment of the famous Anthony Bourdain show featuring him on his “makan” expedition in Singapore and Sin Huat restaurant was featured in that segment. One of his guest was See Toh, the Singapore “makan” guru who also has his own TV show called Makansutra.

I decided to search the net after watching the video to get more information about this restaurant. To my amazement, Sin Huat is a restaurant that is famous and yet infamous according to some reviews I read. To begin with, the owner of the restaurant is given the nick name Food Nazi. There are claims that he is really arrogant and likes to dictate what you should eat or order. If he doesn’t like the way you order or behave, he will not sell anything to you. His pricing for the food is really incredibly expensive. For a no air condition kopitiam kind of settings, the price of the food can go as high as eating in a 5 star gourmet restaurant. The worst part is, you need to wait for an hour or so just to get your food. This is not due to the fact that the restaurant is packed with customers, but is more of short of staff. The owner is kind of like a one man show but occasionally helped by the wife.

Despite all that, many people still claim that Sin Huat restaurant serve the best Crab Bee Hoon and other Chinese kopitiam dishes. Anthony Bourdain and See Toh clearly think so too. So I have to admit with all the tales, bad or good it made me really curious to eat in this restaurant. Of course after seeing Anthony Bourdain and See Toh praising the food in the You Tube video made me even more determine to try it.

What deter me from doing it is that I would probably end up being harassed by the food Nazi himself, pay exorbitant price for good food that is similar elsewhere and wait for hours just to eat his dishes. So I began to think really hard should I do it or not. After deducing all the pros and cons, I decided not to go after all. I think I would feel moronic just to do it and I don’t think I will regret for not trying it ( this is just me and I don’t mean anyone who ate there is a moron ). I heard his Gong Gong is selling for $25 a kilo. That’s like few times more expensive than other places. Customers of Sin Huat claims that his price is reasonable because he has the best chili dip for those boiled seafood.

Few days past and I’ve totally forgotten about Sin Huat restaurant and it’s funky tales. But on one typical evening, I received a phone call from a friend ( the same dude that gave me the You Tube video ), and he told me not to eat anything as he will “tapow” ( a Cantonese word for take out ) two dishes for me from Sin Huat eating house. I then asked him what’s the occasion and he just told me nothing. I didn’t press further but I still find it odd. Why would someone buy me dishes that would cost 4-5 times more expensive than other restaurant. Since he was insistent, I just accepted his offer. I would like to imagine that he loves reading my blog so much and he wanted me to write about this restaurant. Lol.

One hour later, he asked me to go down from my apartment and passed me two heavy boxes of food from Sin Huat. He then told me to enjoy and just drove off. I went upstairs feeling really excited as I get to try the infamous Sin Huat dishes tonight. I told myself to be really open minded about it and not to associate all the negativity about the restaurant with the food.

First thing I did was to take out the camera and snap some pictures. Placed the food on some plates and after picture taking is feasting time.


The crab bee hoon in the white box. A lot of crab roe and still didn’t get the aroma that normally turned me into a hungry ghost like other favorite food of mine. Placed it on a plate and started eating. Tasted pretty good but I will give my verdict at the end of the post. We will move on to the next dish.


Another dish that my friend got me was this garlic prawn dish. The prawns were really fresh and really big in size. This is just like 1/3 of what was in the box. Another thing about the Food Nazi that he does not care about portioning. There’s no way to tell him is for one person or for 5. His portioning is always big according to my friend.

Maybe this picture you can see clearly the size of the prawn. Just looked at the length compared to the chop stick.

The two dishes that was given to me by my friend I would say is good for 4 people. While tasting the crab bee hoon and garlic prawn, I was already making mental note about this blog post.

My final verdict I have to say that the crab bee hoon is good. But I don’t think is good enough for the owner of Sin Huat to charge those exorbitant prices, being treated bad ( didn’t experience myself but read from forums ) and the long wait. Is definitely something you can give it a miss and you will not miss anything. If the price of the food is the same as other restaurant, I would go eat there once in a while.

As for the garlic prawn, the taste is over powered by garlic. Just too much garlic and can’t taste other ingredients. A Thai pepper dish with garlic prawns will beat this dish anytime of the day.

I sometimes wonder if the owner of the restaurant is doing some sort of business tactics to get people to go to his restaurant out of curiosity. Maybe he is just an eccentric person but I don’t think his food is that good to give him the rights to act like a genius chef.

So for those of you who are reading this blog post, it is not my intention to discourage any of you who would like to go give it a try. My blog has never intended to sound like a food critic as everybody has their own taste and preferences. I have to admit that I was really happy to have tasted the food from Sin Huat. Most likely the reason being that I got to taste it for free. I wonder how I would react if I were to pay for the food myself. This is a question that I know definitely will never be answered.

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