Tucked away in the east sits an old-school Taiwanese restaurant serving traditional Taiwanese favourites. Goldleaf Restaurant was founded in 1971 and has opened its doors in my favourite neighbourhood, one where I have always called home, Katong.
To celebrate the restaurant's 47th anniversary, Goldleaf has unveiled brand-new dishes as well as brought back some of its classics. Famed as the first restaurant to offer Taiwanese porridge in Singapore, I had very high expectations for Goldleaf.
First up was the Ah Ma's Tri-Platter ($10.80), this trio consisting of bean curd sticks and peanuts soaked in bean marinade served along with fried minced meat with olives immediately evoked nostalgia. The combination of all three items when eaten with a pipping hot bowl of porridge was enough to satisfy me.
The Fresh Cockles ($11.80) is a unique dish that has been the restaurant's top dish for over the last 47 years. From the moment the dish arrived at our table, there was an overpowering seafood smell. However, personally I did enjoy this dish. You can taste the freshness of the cockles with every bite.
The Goldleaf Double Beancurd Platter ($10.80) is a cold appetiser made from silky smooth japanese bean curd topped with the chef's prepared soy sauce, century egg, bonito flakes and pro-floss. I liked how this dish is cold yet savoury. It even goes well with just a bowl of plain porridge.
Next up was the Seafood Beancurd ($9.80) made with squid paste, abalone sauce and fresh prawns. Personally, I found the tofu a tad too dense for my liking. However, the homemade chilli sauce does complement the tofu very well, helping to cut the tofu's dense texture.
Spicy food lovers, rejoice! The Kaohsiung Chilli Chicken ($15.80) was one of the spiciest dishes I have ever eaten in my entire life. Prior to first bite, I was expecting this dish to resemble Kung Pao Chicken. Even with the porridge, I found this dish was way too spicy for my liking. But the chicken pieces were very tender which made me consider taking a second bite.
Available only in limited quantities every day is Goldleaf's Steamed Pork Patty with Salted Fish ($12.80). With a recipe passed down generations, this dish did not disappoint. For those of you who aren't fans of salted fish, this dish is also available with salted egg. This was hands down my favourite dish here, as it was not too salty and had a very "homely" taste.
No meal is balanced without a side of greens. the Tainan Olive Taiwanese Lettuce ($13.80) is a refreshing old favourite topped with goji berries to give the dish a sweet note. I throughly enjoyed this simple dish to the point I found myself picking the goji berries and throwing it into my porridge.
I am pretty sure most people will be familiar with Meicai Kourou ($18.80). The Braised Pork Belly with Preserved Vegetables is a classic favourite among Goldleaf's regular patrons. But as a frequent eater of Pork Belly, I found the meat too tough for my liking.
Throughout my life, I have eaten many variations of this dish. Goldleaf's Omelette with Chye Poh ($10.80) is one of the best versions of Chye Poh omelette I have tasted. It is yet another traditional favourite that is not to be missed while enjoying a good ole' bowl of porridge.
The Deep-fried White Pomfret with Black Bean sauce (seasonal price) was gone the moment it was placed on the table. It is a classic dish that many may find gobbling down, however do be careful as there are tiny bones.
Lastly, the popular Taiwanese dish -- Oyster Vermicelli ($8.80) (or mee sua as how we Singaporeans would say) -- was served. Upon opening the pot, I noticed the big juicy oysters present in the vermicelli, which gave the gravy a nice umami flavour.
A meal is not complete without dessert, am i right? We had the Miaoli Black and White Muah Chee ($3.80). For those who are not familiar, Miaoli County is known in Taiwan for its "muah chee". The texture of the muah chee was chewy and soft, and just perfect for me. Do not underestimate how filling these small balls are!
From 2nd July onwards, Goldleaf will be launching its first-ever a la carte buffet meaning you can enjoy bottomless servings of the following dishes: Ah Ma's Tri-platter, Meicai Kourou, Kaohsiung Chilli Chicken, Chye Poh Omelette, Steamed Pork Patty with Salted Fish, Tainan Olive Taiwanese Lettuce, Double Beancurd Platter and Seafood Beancurd. The buffet is reasonably priced at $19.80 for adults and $12.80 for kids for lunch; and $25.80 for adults and $18.80 for kids for dinner.
Knowing that Goldleaf does not use any MSG in its dishes and only relies on traditional homemade methods to bring the flavour out of their dishes, I am confident I will be bringing my family back here for a feast soon.
86 East Coast Rd,
#01-02 Katong Square,
Tel: +65 6344 1735
*Do note there is free parking available from 12pm to 2pm at Indigo and Holiday Inn on weekdays