Stepped into Xing Hua at Suntec City Mall without much expectations considering we weren’t very hungry and it just wasn’t what we were craving for — just needed to settle for dinner around the area before it turns late and all the shops start to close, and they were one of the few places that did not have a queue when we went past it. Being more of a Chinese restaurant that specialises in Heng Hua cuisine, expect a menu that is almost akin to Heng Hua-meets-tzechar restaurant here — there are quite a number of dishes served which are typically found in similar establishments serving up Heng Hua fare, but also quite a large selection of dishes that one also would be able to find in typical tzechar stalls in coffeeshops as well. They do also carry a small selection of dim sum as well; guess that would work for those looking for something small to share around the table.

We really weren’t carrying a high expectation for the food here but was pretty glad how the whole dinner turned out with the items we ordered. The Xing Hua Bee Hoon was actually pretty well-executed; here, the stock that it was cooked in was completely reduced and absorbed into the bee hoon — there’s a slight hint of savouriness from the stock in the rice vermicelli, while the rice vermicelli was springy and soft. While it comes with the standard elements such as prawns, clams, sliced beancurd, sliced pork etc., we were actually pretty intrigued by how they have included baby scallops with this one; also found their variant coming with a generous portion of greens — provided for a slightly more wholesome feel with the freshness of the seafood that made it a little different from similar dishes we had in other establishments. Another dish we were pretty impressed with was the Putian Stir Fried Yam; yet another must-order dish for us at any Heng Hua establishment — while the yam here is thickly cut thus requiring more effort to chew through, we like how they got the contrast of the sweetness of the glistening syrup against the earthy yam just right, which we found to be pretty addictive on its own.

As one who is of a Heng Hua descent (who isn’t quite acquainted with the foods and culture of the dialect group since it was quite lost in the previous generation in my case), it is pretty heartening to see the popularisation of Heng Hua cuisine over the past couple of years. Whilst it is still pretty much a niche that is more difficult to find when compared to restaurants featuring Teochew/Hokkien/Cantonese/Sichuan cuisine, it is much easier to find an establishment serving pretty much well-executed Heng Hua cuisine these days as compared to in the past. Xing Hua, whilst being more of a commercial establishment, is one that serves up pretty good Heng Hua fare; one that I would certainly not mind having again whilst in an area with an outlet around — would probably also try out some of the other dishes that they have to offer which are typically available elsewhere to see where they stand in terms of the more tzechar-esque items that they serve up!