When I first posted on Facebook about my dinner at Lai Wah Restaurant, I'd expected my friends to react to the post since this restaurant has been around since 1963. But I was pleasantly surprised that so many of them had personal stories to tell.
A few said that they or someone they knew stayed close to the restaurant. Another shared that this was his late grandmother's favourite restaurant where she'd celebrate her birthday. Yet another mentioned that he had his dinner here as his father's factory was nearby.
The recommendation of what food I should try came quick and furious - did you try the venison meat? How about the yam basket?
There were so many things we had wanted to order, just not enough space in our stomachs. So for my family of four, we ordered just four dishes - Venison fried with spring onions and ginger, garlic-fried kalan, seafood vegetable soup and their mandarin stewed chicken.
Well, the venison was indeed succulent and thinly sliced so that it's easy to chew. But the best dish was served last, and that's the mandarin stewed chicken. The stewed chicken was tender and that brought out a question from my daughter," Did they boil the chicken for long time?" I'm quite sure they did and the chicken tasted great. The chicken meat literally teared off the bones and the stew matched well with our bowl of rice.
But what is most important is that this is a heritage restaurant. One that generations have dined at. The restaurant kept to much of their 1960s origins as possible - Wooden signboard with carved gold wordings, old styled chairs and tables, and music from Teresa Teng played in the background. It was just so delightful that one can sit there and gawk at the incoming crowd. But of course, many a times you can't just walk in. You need to make a reservation in order to get a table. Yes, they are that popular. So if you have not tried their food, what are you waiting for?