SINGAPORE - It is time to have classic Hong Kong cha chaan teng (tea house) fare in Singapore, as the popular Tsui Wah brand opens its first South-east Asian outlet in Clarke Quay on Friday (June 15) at 1pm.
The contemporary restaurant - which seats more than 140 diners and occupies more than 4,000 sq ft, including outdoor seating - was unveiled at a media preview on Thursday.
Tsui Wah's menu here offers signature items such as milk tea ($3.50 for hot, $4 for cold) in its iconic porcelain cup, crispy bun with condensed milk ($4) and pork chop bun ($7.50).
Other highlights include borscht with thick toast ($5.50), braised abalone rice with diced chicken and kale ($14), king prawns in XO sauce with tossed noodles ($11) and lamb chop curry with steamed rice ($29).
Set meals for lunch, tea and dinner will also be available, as well as a selection of alcoholic beverages such as Tiger Beer and Guinness stout.
Six chefs and operation staff from Tsui Wah in Hong Kong are in Singapore to train the local crew. Some of the Hong Kong chefs will also be stationed here to ensure that standards of quality and freshness are met.
The Tsui Wah outlet in Singapore is a franchise by Vista F&B Services, a joint venture between Tsui Wah Holdings and Jumbo Group.
On how the partnership came about, Mr Peter Pang, chief executive of Tsui Wah Holdings, tells The Straits Times that the Jumbo Group was not the only player to approach them to expand the business. He says: "Jumbo is an ideal partner to work with because of their experience and credentials as a leading food and beverage group in Singapore and across Asia.
"Singaporeans are familiar with Hong Kong, as well as its cha chaan teng culture, and share a similar passion for high-quality food, even in casual dining settings. It was therefore a natural choice to start our foray into South-east Asia through Singapore."
Mr Ang Kiam Meng, chief executive of the Jumbo Group, says Tsui Wah's chairman, Mr Lee Yuen Hong, has been his friend for many years.
"Talks have been ongoing for some time between both Jumbo and Tsui Wah to finalise plans to bring the Tsui Wah brand into South-east Asia, starting with Singapore," says Mr Ang, who adds that the Clarke Quay location was chosen for its mix of local and tourist patrons.
The Tsui Wah chain has more than 60 outlets in Hong Kong, Macau and China. The brand was founded in 1967 in the Hong Kong neighbourhood of Mong Kok.
Brands under the Jumbo Group include Jumbo Seafood restaurants, Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh and Chui Huay Lim Teochew Cuisine.
Tsui Wah opens at 01-03 Clarke Quay, 3A River Valley Road, on June 15 from 1pm to 11pm. It opens from 11am to 11pm daily from June 16. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/TsuiwahSingapore