Hua Yu Wee
Eating out again and not cooking, dear me I must fix that. A great night out with our friends Steve and Pia Rutherford, their girls and Arnaud and of course my gang Mary, Ollie, Amy and Jude. The Semi-Naked Chef is giving a big thumbs up for Hua Yu Wee restaurant down at 462 Upper East Coast Road. This place is massive, truly. The car-park is packed every night. People are overflowing from inside to out. The kitchen is packed with chefs and so many woks. It is really impressive.
The food is exceptional. This is on a top list of must visit again locations for the Semi-Naked Chef. It must be on yours too, as this is a belter. Hua Yu Wee. Don’t forget that name!!!
Let me start with some insight to this place. From a kitchen perspective that is.
I managed some sneak peak snaps in the kitchen. It’s incredible, you walk up to this and there are these continual ‘roars’ as they lift the woks to stir fry the food and the burners let out a huge noise as the heat and flame hits the air. Times that noise by 20 chefs and circa 40 woks and you can kind of get a sense of this place. It is busy. I don’t just mean cooking of a few covers at once, I mean 40-50 dishes all on the go at once. These guys know how to churn out good food fast – and kids fast food that is good is this, it is NOT the clown with the arches. This is the food you want to consume. Believe me. My kids do!!!
Next to the main kitchen is a wet kitchen. 2 staff here prepping the seafood. Again this is continual. This chap here is filleting and de-scaling a fish, but in 30 seconds he’ll be chopping up a live stone crab, then some crayfish etc. The speed this guy is going at with his chopper (ooer missus!!!) is so impressive. He would have a live crab out of the box and chopped to the exact requirements of the chef to then stir fry in the chili sauce in about a minute per crab. Incredible. Even the camera could not focus his knife it was moving so fast – all a blur!!!
We had booked and even then there was only room outside at Hua Yu Wee, so The Semi-Naked Chef recommends you book ahead if you fancy dinner here one evening – especially if a big group as we did with 10 Pax. But I have to say, I’d much rather sit outside anyway. Fans all over the place to keep you cool in the humid night air, but by sitting outside you feel more part of the experience. You can hear the kitchen, you get engaged with the servers who are all lovely ladies – donned in a replica of the Singapore Airlines Stewardess uniforms strangely enough. Make sure you ask for outside too.
So folks what did we eat? I bet you were wondering that right?
OMG. De-boned pork spare ribs in a tangy Chinese style sauce. Stop the bus. No in fact don’t stop the bus I don’t want to get off, I want to keep going. These bad boys were just amazing. So soft, perfectly cooked in fact and tasty beyond belief. WOW!
Ok I hear you – a 2nd meat dish in a renowned seafood joint. Don’t forget who’s writing this review, the one who doesn’t do cooked fish right. Ha Ha! But anyway, here is #2 dish – a stunner again. Sweet and sour pork nuggets. Just look at these. Crunchy little parcels of yummy pork with a tangy but sweet sauce. A belter.
OK OK you got me. #3 is also meat not fish. Here comes the beef with Spring onion and ginger. This is right up there with the best of this dish I have had. The beef melted in your mouth, the ginger was not overpowering as sometimes it can be, and the Spring onions just gave it a little ‘edge’ – and the gravy was simply to die for. A must try!
Perhaps not every day you would rave about rice. But this one deserves a beckon call. Bloody nice in fact. I don’t know how these guys achieve that smoky, almost BBQ flavour of egg fried rice but they did/do. Seafood rice in steroids. Jude went bananas for this – and actually so did yours truly minus the prawns of course. Spoon some of that rib gravy or the sweet and sour sauce over this and you have a Mr and Mrs match made in heaven.
If you know me well you are probably asking why the hell does The Semi-Naked Chef not like drunken prawns, he himself being natured in that respect. Well I don’t – end of story. But let me just say, these turned up on the table and within about 2 minutes were devoured. In fact there were shouts of joy when the table thought there were only two left and a third floated to the top. So yes the table voted with their mouths and they voted that these were killer. They were GONE in minutes.
The girls chose this dish. Steamed Grouper in Hong Kong style sauce. Now I did actually try a little piece of this and I will admit it was seriously good. So moist, melt-in-mouth and a really delicious sauce. So I did indeed actually enjoy this until something like chew 4 when the fish taste kicked in – bugger. Very nice though – and I can easily see why this was a plate of fish skeleton in about 5 minutes of it being served up. A cracking dish. Yum!
Now one I missed to photograph was the crayfish in black-bean sauce. Sorry about that guys. Now this dish was consumed so fast does that give me the excuse as to why no photo? No really? Come on…. This was a hands in affair. Black-bean sauce everywhere, all were covered, including me and I didn’t eat any ha ha. My dining colleagues all confirmed this was an amazing dish, clearly confirmed by an empty dish – well empty apart from crayfish shells.
And there you have it. Our experience of Hua Yu Wee. A restaurant I have not been to for over 8 years now – yes it was one of the very first I went to when commuting back and forth from Melbourne to Singapore. Who took me that very first time to a completely unknown place in a foreign country? Well that would be my mate Dani Rossetti.
So long ago now (8 years ago) I have to admit I had sort of forgotten about it until now. But I am so happy that I go re-introduced, and now we know it is a mere 3 bus-stops away we will indeed be back very soon.