Tang: Spicy Sichuan Steamboat With TCM Benefits

An exclusive steamboat dining experience with personalised service

By Nicole-Marie Ng; Images: Courtesy of Tang

Amidst trendy cafes serving legions of brunch fanatics lies a small, unassuming restaurant. As a frequent purveyor of Keong Saik, even I have never noticed Tang. Its nondescript exterior blends into the old school Chinese theme the rest of the street has going on, but, the interior is modern, swanky and mysteriously welcoming.

If you’ve seen old reviews of the restaurant, you’ll know that the current restaurant is a far cry from what it was previously when it was located slightly down the road. The bare cement walls have been replaced with classic black and the atmosphere of the restaurant just feels more luxe.

Tang’s owner, Zoe Zhang, felt that none of the high-end steamboat restaurants in Singapore quite satisfied her palette like the ones back in China so she sought to make her own. Combining recipes passed down from her mother with quality ingredients, I’d say that the new Tang is a real winner.

Close Up Shot (1)

Order the combination pot to have your choice of two kinds of soup in one for $21.

 

A mouth-watering experience

The soups form the backbone of the dining experience at Tang. Instead of keeping the broth simple and letting the ingredients add in flavour as the meal progresses, Tang’s soups are tasty from the start.

The best selling soup is the House Special ($19), a light, cloudy broth prepared by boiling hens, pork and fish bones together with medicinal herbs for over 8 hours. The result is a sweet soup based with a lot of depth that is thankfully not salty at all.

The ever popular Authentic Sichuan Spices ($21), is made with over 40 different spices and herbs selected by Chef Zuobing for their taste but also for the medical benefits. Chef Zoubing spent more than five years studying the spicy Sichuan soup recipe, consulting traditional Chinese doctors to ensure that all herbs and spices are in the perfect proportion for good digestion.

Compared to other places, the Sichuan soup at Tang was not as spicy or numbing, making it a good place for beginners to have a taste of this love it or hate it soup. I also found that the soup was easier on my stomach, allowing me to drink more without feeling uneasy.

The best dish to have the Sichuan soup with is the Spicy Beef ($19). The thick, marinated slices of beef hump were extremely tender without being too fatty.

The chilli sauce used at Tang Hotpot is worth a mention too. A secret blend of , chilli, garlic, black bean sauce and other ingredients, I found myself happily dipping all my steamboat ingredients in this magical sauce.

Spanish Iberico Pork

The meats and fish at Tang are thinly sliced to ensure that they absorb the flavours of the soup and cook quickly.

Fresh daily from the market

Every morning, Chef Zoubing will head down to the nearby Chinatown wet market to pick out the best ingredients.

This freshness is highlighted when you order the Translucent Sliced Fish ($22). The fish is sliced so thinly that one 0.5cm width of fish skin holds together two slices of meat, a mark of the Chef’s impressive knife skills. Both the meat and the fish at Tang are sliced thinly to allow for the maximum absorption of flavours from the soup. You can also just dip the ingredient into the soup to have it cooked almost immediately.

Restaurant (3)

The elegant black walls and posh decor add to the luxe ambience at Tang.

Kings and Queens of the table

The small restaurant seats a total of 38 guests and was packed even on a Wednesday night so reservations are highly recommended. Since everything is purchased fresh daily, there’s also a limited quantity of each menu item so you’re advised to order in advance.

Once you arrive, you’ll be treated like royalty from the start to the end of your meal. One attentive member of the Tang family is assigned to every table, serving and assisting guests in cooking the steamboat ingredients, ensuring that nothing is ever overcooked.

 

Tang Restaurant Bar. 25 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089132. Tel: 6222 7708.

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