Monday, May 6, 2019

Goldhill Hakka Restaurant (1997) : decades old Hakka Yong Tau Foo

This is a humble Hakka restaurant located along Changi Road for 22 years. Steven Lee, the owner, started helping his father at about 8 years old on a trishaw in Katong. He eventually moved into the shop and named it Goldhill, which means Jin Shan (金山), this is none other than his Chinese name. He has been making Yong Tau Foo for more than 40 years and Wen Long, his son, has started helping out but not too sure whether is he in the process of taking over the business.

Their signature is Hakka style Yong Tau Foo that consists of a limited selection of just 7 items. These 7 items are Tau Hu, Square Tau Pok, Triangular Tau Pok, Fishball, Tau Gi, Better Gourd and Chilli that are stuffed with fish paste. There is the selection small portion at $6 (10 pieces), the medium portion is available at $8 (15 pieces) and the large portion at $12 (20 pieces). There are also Yam Abacus Seeds ($4, $6 and $8), Steamed Lala Venus Clams ($12/$24), Vegetables with Oyster Sauce ($6/$12) and Steamed Fish at market value. There are only a total of 6 items on their menu.

I was there on a Public Holiday, the restaurant was almost full and there were still customers kept coming in, most of these customers are regulars and they came as a family. Wen Long was at the counter and he signaled to me when I was wondering how should I order so I walked towards the counter. I said, "This is my first visit." He pointed to the menu and said, "This is what we have. We do not serve rice and noodle." I replied, "There are two of us." He said, "You can order the individual set of Yong Tau Foo or a medium set to share." I ordered the medium portion of Yong Tau Foo and a small serving of Yam Abacus Seeds. He recommended to try the Steamed Lala but I did not order. 

The Yam Abacus Seeds is also one of the must order items, it is the Hakka version of Yam Cake. It is still made using the traditional laborious method and more yam than rice flour is added for a firmer yet softer texture. It is served with a concoction of dried shrimp, shredded cuttlefish, and minced salted fish then garnished with chopped spring onion, which is different from the others.

Those pieces of handmade Yong Tau Foo were stuffed with fish paste, the fish paste is freshly made using fish, a little flour and other ingredients based on the recipe passed down by his father. My dining companion said, "Every piece is so fresh but it is a bit plain if you do not eat it with the sweet sauce and chilli." 

It was steamed then served with just a drizzle of sesame oil and garnished with coriander, served together with the sweet sauce and chilli for dipping. The texture of the fish paste was quite firm. The soup that served along was lightly flavored with a slight hint of ikan belis. 

Payment is made at the counter after done eating. Wen Long saw me taking pictures of the menu. He said, "Like our FB page, the menu is there."

299A Changi Road SINGAPORE 419777
Operating Hours: 11.00 am to 9.00 pm (Closed on Mondays)

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