“Oldest existing Chinese Restaurant in Singapore”
Ok by old, I don’t mean the physical restaurant itself, but its brand name. Spring court first opened in Great world (1929), and have moved to Chinatown (1978), East Coast (1991) and finally back to Chinatown, Upper Cross St (2005).
The restaurant is on to their 3rd generation of family management, and look poised to continue their strong restaurant history.
A Singapore Chinese style mix of Hokkien and Cantonese cuisine, Spring Court is a massive 650 seater, 4 story restaurant building. The 4th floor even has private karaoke rooms that you can book to entertain guests.
Even though Spring Court has a long history, you don’t read about them much in new media, which I found surprising. While researching for my Best Dim Sums in Singapore History Guide, a fellow food lover fervently insisted that Spring Court restaurant was an amazing dim sum restaurant, and the place to go. Go I did, and it was indeed up to her high praise.
The interior of Spring Court is clean and up to date, while the furniture still uses classic Chinese style chairs and tables for that play on nostalgia and tradition.
Spring Court Popiah 詠春园薄饼 ($6.80). This is a HUGE popiah and a tad spicy. Very big on flavour though with distinctive prawns,radish and vegetables wrapped evenly within.
Dumpling with Spicy Sauce 红油抄手 ($4.80). Soaked in vinegar and spicy chili oil, the fiery hotness is extremely intense and makes my ears tingle from the chili. Good wanton skin and crunchy prawn within. The chili oil looks tame, but when you dunk the wanton skin in more vinegar chili for a bite, you will feel the true fiery wrath of this dish.
Steamed Bambo Fungus Roll 百花竹笙卷($4.80). The bambo fungus always has me confused with fish maw, but has a bit more bite to it. Adds more mouth texture to the prawn and meat filling within.
Steamed Vegetable Dumpling 蒜香苋菜石榴果($3.80) . A very bouncy, QQ dumpling skin that compliments the fragrant spinach and garlic filling within.
Panda Custard Bun 翡翠流沙包 ($3.80). Spring Court’s Liu Sha Bao has pandan-flavored skin, and the pandan is more pronounced than other versions I’ve tried. Thick, flowy custard. The skin tends to get dry and tough very fast in this aircon room though, so do eat it fast.
Pan-fried Pumpkin Dumpling 经典南瓜球 ($3.80). A crispy exterior with moist, mushroom meat filling within. The pumpkin dough is not overly starchy and adds to the fragrance of the meat.
BBQ Pork Buns 蚝皇叉烧包 ($3.80). Soft and fluffy skin, char siew filling is sweet and tender.
Roasted Pork 脆皮烧肉 ($12). At Spring Court, this classic dish has its skin separated from the leaner pork meat so customers can pick the parts they like. The fried skin is very crispy while the meat is tender. However I found it a bit TOO crispy, which distracts you from the small amount of meat left attached to the skin.
The homemade sauce provided tastes akin to hoisin, but has this strawberry aftertaste for some reason. I’m not going crazy, and that’s what my dining partner felt too.
From left: Sweet Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts 白果芋泥 ($5) , Steamed Hashima with Red Date 红莲炖雪蛤 ($7.80). For the yam paste I found the vegetable oil a bit too heavy, which made the dish very ‘jelat’ with a thick aftertaste.
The hashima was pretty decent with red date and longan flavours; a lot of places have too little taste in their hashima soup. But the coconut very tough and you can’t really dig into the flesh, not much fragrance from the coconut either. Probably the coconut selected happened to be older and already had tough flesh, and not due to over cooking.
Utilizing a long history of experience, Spring Court delivers excellent dishes that has served generations of Singaporeans.
Thanks to Mr. Mike Ho and Mdm Soon Puay Keow for hosting me at Spring Court restaurant. It was truly a delight.
Expected Damage: $20-$35/pax