We went out on a double date with dear friends S&J, and of course, eating was part of the equation. S&J thought we might like some comfort food that we wouldn’t be able to get in London i.e zi char, how intuitive!
We headed to Lee Heng Restaurant in Commonwealth on S&J’s recommendation, and oh gosh it was a fab, fab decision.
First up, we ordered you mai cai (a type of Chinese lettuce) stir-fried in garlic. It was really delicious. I love the you mai cai (fried with dace fish) at Soup Restaurant, and have been on the lookout for another version but not many places stock up on this vegetable (maybe I wasn’t aware of it…). This dish really did it for me, I love the slight sweetness of you mai cai, the texture is very palatable and slightly crunchy, unlike cruciferous veggies which don’t sit very well with me. The garlic sauce was seriously addictive. If all veggies are cooked like that and taste this good, I would actually make an effort to adopt a healthier diet.
We ordered a plate of San Lou Hor Fun to share, even though we had rice to go with the other dishes (see how piggy we are?). I much preferred the version at Hong Kong Street. Lee Heng’s version was a little bland for me.
The hotplate tofu was very good, very flavoursome much like what other zi char stalls have to offer, perfect with dollops of rice!
I think one of the real clinchers for me was the marmite chicken. Sticky, sweet, savoury, a little smokey, the delectable pieces of chicken were fried to crispy+tender perfection. The portion was a little small, I would have loved more of it, so I could wash everything down with rice (nope not liquids, methinks liquids including soups, drinks etc are a waste of space)!!
The cereal prawns here were huge and fairly delicious too, although they could have done with a little less sugar. I won’t say no to such generous heaps of cereal, but I do prefer the version at Tan Chin Lee, which serves up prawns doused in fried strands of egg AND cereal.
The signature pork ribs at Lee Heng were nothing short of magical. I reckon they were braised slowly and surely to an aromatic perfection, this was one of the most tender pork dishes I’ve ever had. I thought it was dong bo rou, but it wasn’t! The fried mantous were perfect with the sweet, tangy and savoury sauce, they really thwarted my plans for a low(er) carbo diet.
We finished off the meal with eggplant and minced meat claypot, which was served piping hot with tender pieces of eggplant in a very tasty sauce. This was also similar to other zi char stall offerings, nothing special but equally good.
I would return to Lee Heng for more zi char goodness. It’s rather quiet (we were there on a Thursday evening) and so it was very conducive for a night of great conversations with friends. The food was overall very good, even though there was barely anything that was more than extraordinary, and at such affordable prices (S$75 for all the dishes above), I think this is one of the better zi char stalls around. Looking forward to visiting it again, in shorts and slippers!! S&J, I hope you two are up for a feast again!
Lee Heng Restaurant is located at:
Blk 118, Commonwealth Crescent, #01-29, Singapore 140118