Herbal black chicken double boiled tonic soup
My parents have just spent a week in Malaysia and arrived for their last leg of their holiday last night with the request for dinner as “something simple please – we’ve overeaten this trip!”. A bit of research and I found a restaurant near their hotel called Restaurant Ten.
Their site claims: “Our cuisine is modern Asian Chinese served on individual plating. Our desire is to serve every diner with nourishing and hearty wellness cuisine lightly infused with herbs or paired with aromatic condiments. The strong emphasis for balance and wellness is communicated within our restaurant name. “Ten” reveals the restaurant’s story concept of advocating ten core ingredients, which hold a permanent placement in the dining menu. The ten ingredients, otherwise known as the “Ten Nourishments”, are Sea Salt, Charcoal, Highland Tea, Wolfberry, Japanese Yamm Abalone, Sea Cucumber, Snow Pear, Blueberry and Pilose Antler.”
Crispy prawns on seaweed
Restaurant Ten’s menu was certainly different from the usual Chinese restaurant menu. Lots of braised dishes and herbal soups and also, sadly, lots of sharks fin (which was not one of the ten ingredients but still featured highly on the menu).
Braised pork belly served with steamed buns
Anyway, we ordered the herbal black chicken double boiled tonic soup to start, followed by braised pork, served with buns, crispy duck (which we also found out came served in buns) and crispy prawns on seaweed.
The soup was delicious – a delicate consommé flavoured with the chicken meat and herbs like ginseng. I could have had just that, with a bowl of rice for dinner, and was a lovely way to warm the stomach and start the meal.
The prawns came out nothing like I expected. They reminded me more of wasabi prawns I am seeing more and more on menus. Battered and deep fried and served on rectangles of nori seaweed, these were served with a sesame mayonnaise and a beetroot sauce – almost luminescently pink and incredibly tasty – hard to describe but think sweet beetroot-flavoured mayonnaise. The batter was light and crispy and not overly seasoned, the prawns fresh and not bicarbonate-of soda-crunchy.
The duck and pork were both also good but nothing spectacular and this post is loooong. I’m not sure the deep-fried dishes we ordered were the most “healthy” but I loved the fact the food was not the usual overly seasoned/oily/MSG laden food you get in Chinese restaurants, and I think the food tasted so much better for it.
7 Purvis Street #01-01
Tel: 6333 9901
Open daily: 12.00pm – 2.30pm, 6.00pm – 10.30pm
PS: More research told me that this was a reincarnation of the old Metropole Restaurant at Clarke Quay, which closed down early 2010 due to the expiration of their lease. I’d been there once and was charmed by the way that the food there drew its roots from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) – balancing yin and yang, to the point where on some nights there would be a TCM doctor in the restaurant who would recommend dishes based on his prognosis of your health.