We braved the rain, or should I say the storm, to go for a family dinner at Tanyoto 谭鱼头 @ Liang Court. Sheets of rain just fell from the sky and we see no sign of it stopping any time soon. Luckily my sister drove us there as I could not imagine us taking public transport in this kind of weather.
It is pretty easy to find Tanyoto as it is just beside Tampopo. If you are coming from the nearest MRT (Clarke Quay), cross over to the Clarke Quay side, walk along the Singapore River towards Novotel Clarke Quay Hotel and you will see Tanyoto. I had thought that business would be affected by the weather but the restaurant was still fairly packed. As we had made a prior reservation, the table was already prepared for our arrival.
From the name Tanyoto, I thought that it was a Japanese restaurant but it turns out to be a Chinese restaurant that originated from Sichuan, China. My dad saw the program Buffet Buffet2 on Channel 8 and mentioned that there is a place with nice fish head and tomato soup for steamboat so we decided to try it out. This restaurant has more than 100 outlets in Sichuan and is very popular within the China’s F&B Industry. They grow their own produce (especially fishes) at their farm in Sichuan Province hence the freshness of the food is somewhat of a guarantee.
The restaurant occupies 2 levels and they have an old school lift that sends food and cutlery from one level to the other, something rarely seen in restaurants now.
Menu Cover – I like the way they used the colours to make the wordings look 3D. During dinner, only ala carte steamboat is served. Steamboat buffet is only available during lunch and supper.
Pie with Potherb 野菜煎饼 ($6) – We ordered this to munch while waiting for my sister to park the car. It is like pan-fried Chinese Pancake with some herb. It is a little crispy yet you can still chew on the batter.
For the steamboat, we ordered the signature soup base – Piquant and Tomato Flavouring Soup谭鱼头红番鸳鸯锅 (Big – $16). The piquant soup is a strong tasting, spicy and numbing soup that is akin to Ma La Soup. Those who are afraid of the spiciness from the piquant soup can opt for the healthy tomato soup which is smooth, refreshing and fragrant without being overly thick. The design of the table is great as the pot of soup moves with it when you turn the lazy susan. This ensures that everyone can reach the soup that they want. 🙂
Secret Recipe Fish Lips 秘制鱼唇 ( 四片- $30 for 4 pieces) – This is what the old folks came for! Tanyoto’s Specialty! These fishes are grown in Tanyoto’s own farm and is well loved by all their customers! I am someone who is extremely scared of fishy smell and to my surprise, the fish lips does not smell fishy at all and I was still able to go so close to get a picture! LOL.. To enjoy the fish lips to the fullest, get a timer from the service staff and cook it in the steamboat for about 6min. That is the best timing to ensure that the fish lips is not over or under cooked. My parents loved it. As I am someone who do not like those soft and gelatin-y parts of fishes, I did not try it. But what I saw was the bones separating without effort from those edible parts. WOW.
Four Treasure Balls手打四宝丸 (Large – $16) – These are really hand-made as can be seen from their shape. The white ones are cuttlefish balls, the pink ones are pork balls. I do not know what the other two is though. Probably some fish or meat balls. After throwing them to cook in the soup, you will not be able to tell what is what when fishing them out as they all look the same but you can definitely tell that the texture is very different from those machine made ones.
Prawn Paste 鲜虾肉线 ($16) – Uniquely served in a pipping bag style.
You have to squueze the prawn paste into the soup you desire. It looks like mini twisties when cooked. 😉 We had some difficulty squeezing the prawn paste out as there were some crunchy bits in the paste that was too big for the opening. LOL..
Fresh Prawn 鲜虾($15) – We had 8 prawns on that plate. Very succulent and sweet.
Bull Frog 牛蛙($15) – I do not know how many bull frogs is on the plate but they are really really good. It is very meaty and you can taste the sweetness of the meat after cooking and it comes off the bone easily too! Definitely recommended.
Sea Cucumber 海参(Large -$$16) – This is one dish that is very good for the joints! My parents loved it. Cook it for as long as you can for it to soak up the goodness of the soup. I did not get to try any but I have no complaints as this is one dish that I am still learning to eat 😛
Angus Beef 安格斯手切肥牛($18) – There were 8 slices of beef on the plate. I think this is the first time that my parents are eating it and they like it so much that we ordered another plate so that everyone can get to taste it.
Our 2nd plate of beef that has more fats which melted in the soup.
Tender Dumplings with Shrimp 鲜虾云吞 ($10) – Not too sure if this is freshly made but I found it a tad expensive to pay more than $1 for each dumpling. The skin was a little thick at the top (more obvious in the 2nd plate that we ordered) and you have to cook it for a while to make sure that it is thoroughly cooked.
Konnyaku 芋丝($6) – One of my favourite whenever I go for steamboat. No matter how long you cook it, it will remain chewy but will soak up the flavour of the soup. I like the texture and is my alternative to eating rice 😛
Sweet Potato Vermicelli 四川苕粉($6) – Another alternative to rice. Remembered I first ate this noodle in Zhuhai and liked it so much. It is chewy and very very smooth. The more you cook it, the more silky it is. 😉
Pork Liver 猪肝($5) – No comments because I did not touch this at all but my parents and sister kinda like it.
Vegetable Platter 蔬菜蓝(Large – $12) – Must have to balance out the meal. 🙂 Lovely presentation but portion not a lot though for that pricing.
QingChuan Black Fungus青川木耳 ($6) – Crunchy and nice. Seems like it is grown in their farm too.
Mushroom Platter (Large – $12) – We added this on as we felt there was not enough vegetables.
There is a section in the restaurant where you can make your own dipping sauce to go with the steamboat.
The restaurant even put up a recipe to teach you how to make 3 different types of dipping sauce. I did not read this till after my meal as I thought it was an advertisement for their food. Do note that every customer will be charged $2 for this dipping sauce whether you take it or not – something we learnt only after paying the bill.
Array of ingredients to make the sauce.
My self concocted dipping sauce with spring onions, chinese parsley, fried garlic, sesame oil, preserved vegetables, chilli paste, soya sauce and sesame sauce. Although I only added a little soya sauce, it was still a little too salty. 😛
Mango Pomelo Dessert 杨枝甘露($5) – Ordered this dessert under the influence of my younger sister. It was a disappointment as it was served in a tiny bowl, not a mini pot as shown in their menu. Also, the mango bits tasted very raw and earthy and the mango puree was quite watery. I finished it in about 5 spoonfuls. Not recommended.
I was very surprised that I did not smell of the steamboat after leaving the restaurant. How that was achieved, I do not know. The freshness of the food is definitely guaranteed but for the amount of food and price we paid for the ala carte steamboat dinner (SGD290.05 for 7 pax after a 10% discount from OCBC credit card) , it is definitely a hotpot cuisine in an up-scale environment. I would think that the buffet would be better value for money. The service staff could have helped enhanced the experience by explaining some of the stuff to us like the dipping sauce, cooking of the fish head etc and not through our own research or experience or finding about it only much later. We were servicing ourselves most of the time and you have to try a couple of times before you can get the attention of the service staff, some of whom may not understand a single word of Chinese.
177 River Valley Road,
Liang Court #01-25/25A
Tel: 6836 6839
Lunch Buffet: 11.30am – 3pm (Adult: $25.80++, Child: $16.80++)
Supper Buffet: 9pm – 2am (Adult: $30.80++, Child: $22.80++)
Photos taken with SE C905