Zi Char - Soup Restaurant

April 19, 2016 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Zi Char - Soup Restaurant
25 Smith Street

290 Orchard Road
#B1-07 Paragon

1 Jurong West Central 2
#02-33 Jurong Point

2 Tampines Central 5
#B1-12 Century Square

23 Serangoon Central
#02-15 NEX

65 Airport Boulevard
#036-086 Changi Airport Terminal 2

3155 Commonwealth Avenue West
#03-62 The Clementi Mall

3 Temasek Boulevard
#B1-122 Suntec City

450 Toa Payoh Lorong 6
#01-10 Toa Payoh Hersing Centre

90 Hougang Avenue 10
#02-21 Hougang Mall

101 Thomson Road
#B1-10 United Square

2 Jurong East Street 21
#01-101B IMM

1 HarbourFront Walk
#02-141 VivoCity

328 North Bridge Road
#01-10 Raffles Hotel Arcade


Shark's Cartilage Collagen Soup (SGD $12.90)

Average Mid-Range Chinese Restaurant

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 7
Ambience & Setting: 7
Food & Beverage: 6
Service: 7
Value for Money: 8
Spent about SGD $22 per person.


Founded in 1991, Soup Restaurant is a heritage Chinese restaurant that offers a mix of Singaporean Zi Char, Cantonese cuisine, and Hainanese cuisine. With their extensive menu, homely service, and reasonable prices, Soup Restaurant makes for a decent Chinese restaurant you can comfortably being guests to, while being assured that the experience will be good.

Ambience at Soup Restaurant is modern Oriental, like stepping into a luxurious Chinese home. Solid, dark rosewood furniture is spaced neatly in the brightly lit, clean, and inviting dining area, while Chinese style lantern shaped lights hang overhead. Elegant Oriental vases and artwork in beautiful colours lend a touch of sophistication, making the place very inviting. However, this is true only for their bigger outlets, the smaller neighbourhood outlets are more cramped with poorer ambience.

Service at Soup Restaurant is homely and friendly. The elderly servers remind me of doting grandmothers, making sure you're comfortable and well-fed. On a particular occasion, there was this auntie that just kept going around with a pot of tea, topping up glasses, and she was really enthusiastic about it! Orders take awhile to fulfill though, about 15 - 20 minutes, even during non-peak periods. I also note that staff are quick to clear empty / dirty tables and plates.

Food at Soup Restaurant is a mix of various Chinese cuisine, ranging from heritage Singaporean Zi Char dishes to classic Chinese favourites. Generally, I find food at the bigger outlets to be well-executed and delicious, but the consistency at the neighrbourhood outlets is hit-and-miss. You're much better off eating at the bigger outlets. Portions are designed for communal dining, and at least 2 - 3 people is recommended. Prices are affordable and reasonable, budget about SGD $22 per person for a meal here.


Soup Restaurant Exterior

Soup Restaurant Interior

Private Seating

The Tea Pu Er (SGD $1.50) is good as expected, but I find it rather unusual being served in a modern cup. The Braised Peanuts (SGD $2) have a savoury salty taste, and are tender, a decent appetizer!

Tea Pu Er (SGD $1.50)

Braised Peanuts (SGD $2)

The signature dish on the menu, you'll see every table has an order of Samsui Ginger Chicken (SGD $17.90). The clean tasting, fresh, sweet poached chicken is tender and moist, with a fatty skin that is easily removed. Pair it with a liberal garnish of crushed ginger, wrap it in a crunchy lettuce along with cucumber slices, and enjoy! Highly recommended!

Samsui Ginger Chicken (SGD $17.90)

The Sweet & Sour Pork With Pineapple (SGD $12.90) is good, with meaty, moist chunks of pork, marinated in a sweet sour gravy. The onions, and bell peppers / capsicums lend crunch for texture, while the pineapple lends a juicy, fruity sweet taste. Despite its looks, its stir-fried well, and isn't hard or dry. Worth ordering!

Sweet & Sour Pork With Pineapple (SGD $12.90)

Loved the Fried French Beans With Minced Pork (SGD $10.90), with the French beans having a soft, tender texture, without being limp. The minced pork and garlic lend a savoury salty, meaty flavour, complementing the freshness of the vegetables. Makes you want to eat more white rice. Good!

Fried French Beans With Minced Pork (SGD $10.90)

She loves the Claypot Salmon (SGD $16.90), with its medium-large, fresh fillets of salmon fish, coated in a savoury spicy gravy, braised in a claypot till it takes on a tender texture. Served along with onions, bell peppers / capsicum, and peppercorn, this is a modern comfort dish, combining the best of East and West!

Claypot Salmon (SGD $16.90)

The Steamed Siew Mai (SGD $3.90) was terrible, being the version you get in the frozen section of the supermarket. Bland and tasteless, this is a hopeless lost cause. Skip this.

Steamed Siew Mai (SGD $3.90)

The Spicy Wings (SGD $4.50) are incorrectly named, it's not spicy at all! It's an entry standard fried chicken drumlet / winglet, like the frozen, pre-packed versions you get in supermarkets. Totally not worth ordering.

Spicy Wings (SGD $4.50)

While I like the Tofu Prawns (SGD $17.90) for its soft, wobbly tofu cubes and fresh, meaty sweet deshelled prawns / shrimp, I didn't quite like the thick gravy. It was tasty to be sure, eggy and sweet spicy, very similar to a chili crab gravy, but the problem was that it's overly sweet and cloying, a sign of too much tomato ketchup. Decent dish still.

Tofu Prawns (SGD $17.90)

The oddly named Country Bumpkin Fried Bean Sprouts (SGD $8.90) features a variety of fresh, crunchy vegetables, including bean sprouts, bell peppers / capsicum, and carrots, stir-fried together with egg and thin cellophane noodles / glass noodles. The skill of the chef is evident, the dish is savoury salty, with a good smoky flavour from wok hei / breath of the wok. Highly recommended!

Country Bumpkin Fried Bean Sprouts (SGD $8.90)

The double boiled Shark's Cartilage Collagen Soup (SGD $12.90) is a classic Cantonese soup / broth, hearty and comforting. The rich, savoury sweet soup / broth is made from chicken stock, sea cucumber, and shark's bone, resulting in a creamy, collagen rich, warming dish. There is a generous slice of tender sea cucumber, soft fish maw, and crunchy Chinese cabbage / bok choy within. Said to aid in developing radiant skin and healthy joints!

Shark's Cartilage Collagen Soup (SGD $12.90)

The Earthen Bowl Steamed Red Rice With Hand-Chopped Minced Pork (SGD $8.90) arrives with warm, healthy red rice, packed with nutrients, and garnished with kai-lan / Chinese kale / Chinese broccoli. The star is the savoury salty, hand chopped minced pork and water chestnut patty, which is tender, moist, and utterly delicious. Drizzle a little of the thick, dark soy sauce over, then mix well before eating. Good!

Earthen Bowl Steamed Red Rice With Hand-Chopped Minced Pork (SGD $8.90)


Reserve a table now @ Soup Restaurant - Paragon

Reserve a table now @ Soup Restaurant - Century Square

Reserve a table now @ Soup Restaurant - VivoCity

Reserve a table now @ Soup Restaurant - Changi Airport Terminal 2

Reserve a table now @ Soup Restaurant - The Clementi Mall

Reserve a table now @ Soup Restaurant - Hougang Mall

Reserve a table now @ Soup Restaurant - IMM

Reserve a table now @ Soup Restaurant - Jurong Point

Reserve a table now @ Soup Restaurant - NEX

Reserve a table now @ Soup Restaurant - Toa Payoh Hersing Centre

Reserve a table now @ Soup Restaurant - United Square

Reserve a table now @ Soup Restaurant - Suntec City

Reserve a table now @ Soup Restaurant - Raffles Hotel Arcade


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