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Restaurant review: ChoPSuey Cafe at Dempsey in Singapore

 

ChoPSuey Café

Block 10 Dempsey Road, #01-23

9224 6611| chopsueycafe.com

“Origin – Jaahp-seui odds and ends, from jaahp assorted + seui pieces. In essence,‘chopsuey’ is the anglicised form of a Chinese dish” reads the menu at PS Café’s latest eatery. It’s an interesting concept, if a little curious for an Englishwoman living in Asia, where good Chinese fare means avoiding anything touristy or Westernised. Nevertheless, a new place in Dempsey is like a flame to this moth.

ChoPSuey Café clearly belongs to the PS Café family: it has a colonial black-and-white colour scheme, smart wicker chairs, beautiful floral arrangements and high ceiling fans. On the dinner menu is a mix of Chinese favourites with a twist and there is a dim sum brunch at weekends.

The service is charming and full of character; there are long delays, but we put this down to the place only having  been open a week. We get off to a cracking start: prawn toasties ($12) – king prawn paste crisped on artisanal whitemeal bread with black and white sesame – are a surprisingly delicious and good-looking version of that old prawn toast from Chinese takeaways in our student days in England. Next, the grilled pork and roasted coconut salad ($16) is a delight and packs a mean punch of sweet and sour flavours with both soft and crunchy textures.

 

The mains however, let the team down a little. The Chopsuey chopsuey ($16), a medley of organic vegetables and holy basil, was al dente but going on raw. Conversely, the sweet and sour chips ($14)were quite soggy from literally swimming in their sweet sauce. A favourite were the General Tso’s chicken drumlets ($21), fried in Mongolian sweet red vinegar sauce. The twice-cooked citrus and spiced beef short rib ($28) was a stunner to look at, though a little too sweet for our liking.

Desserts, which PS Café traditionally excels in, were indeed very good. The ginger pudding ($15), a steamed old ginger root pudding served warm with crème anglaise, offered a real chopsuey moment: that quintessential mix of English comfort food and exotic Asian flavours.

Must-try dishes: Prawn toasties; grilled pork and roasted coconut salad

Beate Baldry

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