07 June 2015

Spring Court - cosy chinese restaurant for families

Spring Court - cosy chinese restaurant for families

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Spring Court Restaurant (永春園) is one of the oldest restaurants in Singapore, bringing with it a touch of tradition with its menu offerings and interior design. We felt like we were transported back to the past from those black and white photos up on their walls, which displayed variations of the olden Singapore. Food-wise, Spring Court serves up a mix of Hokkien and Cantonese cuisine and is definitely a fitting restaurant with flavors that can satisfy the older generations!

This was a restaurant that my family had chosen for Mothers’ Day dinner, and we had the ala carte dinner with 12 different dishes for the night.

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Cold Cut Platter (五福拼盤) - SGD58 for large, or SGD42 for small

We began the dinner with a classic chinese dinner starter - Cold Cut Platter (五福拼盤) . As the chinese name suggests, the platter comprises 5 different components, which were the cold jellyfish, ngoh hiang, salad prawn, shredded eggs with crab sticks and marinated mushrooms. The most unique component was the mushrooms, which was heavily marinated and had a very chewy texture. Quite addictive I must say! The others were rather common ingredients that were familiar and did not taste out of the ordinary.

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Traditional Xiamen Popiah (传统厦门薄饼) - SGD7.50 per roll

Most would know about the Traditional Xiamen Popiah (传统厦门薄饼) by Spring Court, the heirloom dish of the founder! On first glance, the price tag definitely caught our attention! At $7.50 per roll, this has got to be the most pricey popiah I’ve ever eaten.  As their specialty dish, Spring Court has dedicated a workstation on the ground floor to display the popiah making process for diners and passersby to appreciate. So this is what went into the popiah - black sauce, peanuts, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, prawns, chinese cabbage, turnips, parsley and eggs. The lady was very generous with the ingredients with no care for its aesthetics! I had preferred the non-spicy one as the chilli that they used was slightly too spicy, taking away the flavor of the popiah. I felt that the popiah tasted very homely with a mild sweetness from the turnips and prawns. It was enjoyable but for SGD7.50, it was just a tad too expensive for me!

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Peking Duck (片皮北京烤鸭) - SGD0.86 with minimum spending of SGD86

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Salt and pepper duck meat (椒盐鸭肉) - Additional SGD17

Celebrating its 86th Anniversary this year, they were offering their Peking Duck (片皮北京烤鸭) at SGD0.86 with a minimum spending of $86. What a steal! The skin is first removed to be wrapped with the cucumber/spring onion and a dark sweet sauce, while the remaining duck can be chopped up at an additional SGD12 or fried with salt and pepper (椒盐鸭肉) at SGD17. The skin was decent and could be crispier, but at this price it was well worth it! For the remainder of the duck, I wouldn’t recommend having it fried with salt and pepper as the meat was coated with a layer of batter and had lost its sweetness too. It was a pity that the remaining portion of the duck was far below expectations, after having a pretty decent experience with the Peking Duck.

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Braised Sea Cucumber with Dried Mushroom in Clay Pot (砂煲冬菇海鲜) - SGD55 for medium, or SGD32 for small

A usual must-order item at chinese restaurants for my family would be the Braised Sea Cucumber with Dried Mushroom in Clay Pot (砂煲冬菇海鲜). We love the sea cucumber due to its freshness! It was braised till slightly soft and tasted really good with the starchy sauce! The crunchy broccoli and chinese mushrooms were also great complements for this dish.

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Pan-fried Tiger Prawns with Oyster Sauce (干煎明虾碌) - SGD36

Next, it was the Pan-fried Tiger Prawns with Oyster Sauce (干煎明虾碌). Prawns pan fried to a lovely golden glazed shell with the body sliced into half, the strong flavors of the oyster sauce was nicely incorporated into the prawn meat and enhanced the taste of the prawn. The shells could be peeled off easily, an indication that it was fresh and well-cooked too!

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Lala Beehoon - SGD40 (clams) + SGD8 (beehoon)

This was a recommendation from the staff, which we eventually realized on our receipt that it is actually an order of Clams with the addition of beehoon! We were all so excited to dig in because it looked too yummy! The beehoon seemed like a layer of egg yolk had been coated all over it and enjoyed with fresh and big clam meat. I really enjoyed it as the beehoon accompanied with the thick savoury sauce made it very satisfying! This was cooked with some chilli padi, but rest assured that as long as you remove the chilli padi, it would not be spicy!

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Steamed Fragrant Rice in Lotus Leaf (荷叶香饭) - SGD 28

We also ordered the Steamed Fragrant Rice in Lotus Leaf (荷叶香饭). The rice wrapped in lotus leaf gave it an extra wave of fragrance, emitted when the “parcel” was cut opened. Simple ingredients such as chicken, mushroom and lupcheong can be found within the rice. It was a simple fare and I wished that there were more ingredients in it for such a huge portion!

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Stir Fried Spinach with Scallops (鲜带子扒菠菜) - SGD36

Our vegetables for the night was Stir Fried Spinach with Scallops (鲜带子扒菠菜). A light and simple vegetable dish for our dosage of healthy greens! Appreciate the crunchiness of the spinach without an overwhelming sandy taste.

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Chilli Crab in Clay Pot (砂煲辣椒蟹) - SGD65/kg

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Steamed Crab with egg whites (清蒸螃蟹) - SGD65/kg

For the crabs, we tried the Chilli Crab in Clay Pot (砂煲辣椒蟹) and the Steamed Crab with egg whites (清蒸螃蟹). We had requested for the chilli crab to be less spicy, and it came heavily laded with a sour-ish tomato sauce. It was a bit too tangy for our liking, and the sauce did not proved to be as shiok when we dipped the mantous in. I’ve taken a liking to steamed crabs as I grow older, as you are able to truly taste the sweetness of the crabs without having a strong flavored sauce to overpower it. The egg white was delicious but overall, I wouldn’t recommend the crabs at Spring Court when there are many other places that can do it a lot better.

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Sweet Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts (白果芋泥) - SGD22 for small

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Osmanthus Jelly Cake (桂花糕) - Complimentary for Mother’s Day

We ended our meal with some Sweet Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts (白果芋泥) and Osmanthus Jelly Cake (桂花糕). The yam paste was smooth and consistent without being overly sweet. Drizzle some coconut milk over it and it makes a very rich traditional dessert. For those who like a more refreshing finish to the meal, do consider their osmanthus jelly cake as it was slightly herbal-ish and filled with lots of wolfberry!

We were totally stuffed by the end of our meal, but were happy with the above average food served by Spring Court! On the flip side, I personally thought that their dining space on the 3rd level was a little too cramped and they only have a small lift to serve the whole restaurant. Nevertheless, service was great and that made our night a joyous one! Do make your reservations early due to its popularity for big family gatherings, and there are also rooms equipped with karaoke with a minimum spending of SGD600.

Find Spring Court at:

52-56 Upper Cross Street
Singapore 058348
(Opposite Chinatown Point Carpark)

Lunch | 11am - 3pm (Last Order: 2.30pm)
Dinner | 6pm - 10.30pm (Last Order: 10.00pm)

+65 6449 5030