Last Updated: June 29, 2017
New Ubin Seafood’s new location at Hillview Ave still retains its unassuming and rustic feel of a seafood restaurant on an island getaway.
First opened in 1986 on Pulau Ubin before eventually moving to mainland, this zi char restaurant continues to stay true to its origins.
Though rather hard to locate, the new Hillview location boasts a private, casual and cosy dining place that has something for every occasion.
The restaurant offers both air-conditioned and open-air seating, with private rooms available for big and small gatherings.
Recently awarded the Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2017, New Ubin Seafood prides itself in serving up plates of local zi char dishes with a twist — from Hokkien Mee to Marbled Beef, all loaded with tons of home-cooked flavours.
You’ll also find some pretty unorthodox representations of Italian, French and Indian cuisines on the menu, which are definitely worth a try.
We started our hearty meal with a plate of the Hokkien Mee Special ($14/$26) that was done perfectly. I loved how it was cooked in a thick and rich seafood broth, complemented by sinfully-good chunks of pork lard.
The fresh tiger prawns and whole baby squid were a nice touch, something you don’t usually see elsewhere.
The Hong Kong Kailan – two ways special ($13/$20) came with a side of deep-fried seaweed and anchovies that added texture to the dish. Topped with a garlic paste, the kailan was wok-fried to crunchy perfection and each bite was extremely fragrant.
Garlic Baked Sri Lankan Crab (Various Prices) is New Ubin Seafood’s signature dish. Served with a generous portion of whole garlic that’s been baked till soft, this garlic-fried crab was pretty decent.
The meat could have perhaps done with a bit more flavour, but we won’t say no to the 500g Crab Promotion, where you get two Slipper Lobsters for free with every two crabs ordered.
Introducing the new kid on the block, the Black Squid Ink Curry ($16/$24), which was one of the highlights of our meal. With a hint of asam, this modest looking bowl of curry had an unexpectedly unique taste.
Part of New Ubin’s South Indian fusion dishes, this was the perfect blend of authentic Indian flavours and the homely zi char taste that we all know and love. The squid was chewy and so addictive — ideal with a steaming bowl of white rice.
Inspired by a home-cooked tradition to serve marbled US beef in cubes on a wooden chopping board, The US Black Angus Rib Eye Beef ($14/100gms) was definitely the star of our meal. Beef steaks served here are directly imported from the US, range from 500g – 700g, and are perfectly marbled.
This dish is all the proof you need that you can get quality beef at a zi char restaurant.
The chewy and fatty cubes of beef were not too salty and had a distinct charred flavour. The dish comes served with potato wedges, house-smoked sea salt flakes and caramelised onions that were as good as the beef.
Fried with the juice and charred fatty ends from the beef, the Heart Attack Fried Rice is served alongside the chopped beef. Cooked “claypot rice” style, the rice was smoked to perfection with a hint of charcoal taste in every bite.
I thoroughly enjoyed the charred flavour, which was a different take to the usual fried rice that’s served in other zi char places.
I wasn’t expecting anything special from a brinjal dish, but this plate of Brinjal Delight ($13/$20) surprised me. The brinjal was deep-fried and tossed in a Thai-inspired sweet and sour sauce that had hints of lemongrass and spiciness to it.
It was a great palate cleanser to have alongside the others, ensuring that my meal wasn’t too jelak.
We ended our meal with the Barramundi Fish Cooked With Sambal-Pentai & Chinchalok (approx $45). This was truly the culmination of the slew of innovative and flavourful seafood dishes that we had at New Ubin Seafood.
I was blown away by how well the spicy-sour sambal paste complemented the fried crispy pentai fish. If you’re not a big fan of spicy dishes, you can also choose to have it cooked in a charcoal steamboat or Hong Kong style.
A portion of the old-fashioned Kaya-Butter Baguette ($5), scoops of Coconut Ice-Cream ($2/scoop) and Banana Caramelised With Gula Melaka ($5) were served for dessert.
Suffering from a slight food coma by this point, we would have preferred something lighter on the palate. This is why you should come as a big group, so you can order the desserts to share, and end your meal on a sweet note. The caramelised banana dish was our favourite of the two!
Beer definitely goes best with zi char in Singapore to beat the heat and humidity. Forget the usual options of Tiger or Heineken and get yourself a bottle of local premium craft beer, including the lager from the Crossroads Brewing Company Singapore.
Serving up interesting twists to local zi char dishes, New Ubin Seafood continues to create dishes with bold and exotic flavours. It is a place for any kind of gathering – from family dinners to huge corporate-style get-togethers.
The restaurant is bustling on weekday nights and weekends but you can also swing by during weekday lunch hours for convenient and cheap lunch options. Plus, in celebration of NS50, all NSF and NS Men enjoy 15% off the total lunch bill from now till 29 Dec 2017. Just remember to bring along your NS ID!
To avoid crowds and long waiting times on weekends, remember to call in advance to make a reservation. Or just order and get your food delivered island wide between 11am – 10pm daily.
Expected damage: $25 – $30/ pax
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