Lai Huat Seafood is a local zi char which started in Tyrwhitt Road in 1990 had moved from to Horne Road. It seems that there is another one at Rangoon Rd which claimed to have opened since 1963 . How they are related is not the main question but the food.
It is no wonder that the walls are plastered with so many celebrity photos and newspaper report. the eatery is just next to the road and looking at the Sambal fish at every table, I know I am in for a good feast.
Die die Must Try is the Sambal Belanchan Pomfret ($28) if you are a spicy eater. Buried under a pile of Sambal belachan, the deep fried pomfret was super crispy or to put it clearer, Crunchy to the bones.
savoury dry fried hae bee (虾米) that is fried till fragrant, with the chilli oil soaked through the skin. When it was first served, I thought why so little Sambal? compared to the sole fish version ($20). But it was actually more than sufficient.It is so spicy and salty that it needs to go with rice , unlike Sambal stingray which can go without it.
black pepper crayfish ($18) stings your tongue but is not too fiery. The meat became slightly tough because this was deep fried rather than stir fry. Skip this if you want to reduce the risk of "heat" stroke (assuming that one has ordered the Sambal belachan fish) but one certainly won't regret having this as well.
Stir fry Kailan ($6) remained crunchy under the starchy gravy but could do with less salt. In fact, this applies to all the dishes we've had that day.golden beancurd ($8) is not the average deep fried Chinese tofu or silky Japanese tofu. Mixed with some thing that resembles squid-like paste, the tofu is like a dense cotton that has a umami taste on it's own. It's good without the Thai sweet and sour dip but I prefer to coat some on it to cut through the greasiness.
In short, although Lai Huat's menu items might be limited, at least each is of decent quality that explains why people from all race, flocked there every now and then to satisfy their sambal crave. The boss lady, Lao ban niang, who we thought was just in charge of taking drink orders, was actually a very friendly auntie and wished us gong xi fa cai before we left. Might be just a simple gesture but it was sure a sincere one that customers would remember.
Lai Huat Seafood Restaurant
72 Horne Road
open 5pm to 12midnight daily, except every alternate Tuesday