Zi Char - Peng's Restaurant Catering Services

Zi Char - Peng's Restaurant Catering Services
30 Lorong 1 Realty Park

Oyster Omelette (SGD $12 / $18)

Consistently Good Teochew Cuisine

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 6
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 8
Value for Money: 9
Spent about SGD $29 per person.


Located near the Hougang Stadium and Hougang Polyclinic, hidden away among a quiet row of private housing, is the family-run Peng's Restaurant Catering Services. A traditional Chinese Teochew Zi Char restaurant, Peng's Restaurant Catering Services has been quietly operating here for over 3 decades. In fact, I last visited before 2007, even before I started my journey of blogging!

Ambience at Peng's Restaurant Catering Services remains largely the same from all those years back. The small, brightly lit place is clean and functional, though decor shows signs of aging. The limited outdoor seating is partially exposed to the elements, but idyllic and tranquil on cool days. Despite the limited indoor seating, tables are large and spacious, and the place is usually quiet, with not many diners.

Service at Peng's Restaurant Catering Services is good. The family-run business means you get friendly, casual service, with the Zi Char food quality being consistently good. The menu is clear with pictures and prices stated, though you'll have to ask staff for seasonal items. As expected, staff have good product knowledge, able to make astute recommendations. I also note they're quick to clear empty / dirty plates and tables, and proactive in topping up drinks.

Food at Peng's Restaurant Catering Services is traditional Chinese Teochew, focusing on Zi Char dishes. Loyalists of the cuisine will be pleased to find classic here, all of which are executed well, delicious and with the correct textures. Even the simple dishes are done competently. Portions are big, and meant for sharing, in fact, communal dining is highly encouraged. However, I also note people ordering takeaway. Prices are comparable to other restaurants, budget about SGD $29 per person for a meal here.


Peng's Restaurant Catering Services Facade







The standard Chinese Tea here is decent at best, rather weak and thin in body.


The Fish Maw With Crab Meat In Thick Soup (SGD $15 / $20 / $25) is thick and flavourful, with a generous amount of deshelled crab meat within the sweet savoury soup / broth. The fish maw is thinly sliced, and I notice there wasn't much. Overall decent dish, not the best I've eaten, but good enough to pass.

Fish Maw With Crab Meat In Thick Soup (SGD $15 / $20 / $25)

Fish Maw With Crab Meat In Thick Soup

When simple dishes are done well, you know you'll be getting a good meal. The Sauteed Milk Cabbage With Oyster Sauce (SGD $10 / $15 / $20) has fresh, crunchy nai bai / milk cabbage, in a savoury oyster braising sauce, with tender earthy shiitake mushrooms and carrots. Simple but satisfiying!

Sauteed Milk Cabbage With Oyster Sauce (SGD $10 / $15 / $20)

The Deep-Fried Liver Rolls (SGD $10 / $20) here are chunky, with a muted gamey mineral taste from the liver, but a stronger savoury sweet taste from the pork. Rather acceptable to most I think, I usually don't like pork liver, but I found this acceptable. Dunk it into the thick sweet sauce for more flavour!

Deep-Fried Liver Rolls (SGD $10 / $20)

A house signature, the Roast Duck In Plum Sauce (SGD $20 / $40) has roast duck with tender meat coming easily off the bone, topped with a slightly crisp, savoury salty skin that lends wonderful flavour. The base of sweet sour plum sauce contrasts nicely with the duck, and there is very little fat under the skin. So good!

Roast Duck In Plum Sauce (SGD $20 / $40)

Roast Duck In Plum Sauce

The Teochew Steamed Pomfret Fish (SGD $59) is excellent! Fresh, medium sized, tender pomfret fish, with meaty white flesh that comes clean off the bones. The soup / broth / gravy is sour sweet in taste, and has incredibly juicy tomatoes which have absorbed all the flavour of the sour plums. The only let-down was the unusually firm carrots. The highlight remains the pomfret fish, which is among the best Chinese Teochew versions I've had. Highly recommended!

Teochew Steamed Pomfret Fish (SGD $59)

Teochew Steamed Pomfret Fish

The Oyster Omelette (SGD $12 / $18) has a light, eggy, fluffy egg omelette, topped with medium sized, juicy, fresh oysters. Not too oily, the sweet savoury flavours here work together beautifully, I absolutely loved this dish. Highly recommended!

Oyster Omelette (SGD $12 / $18)

Loved the Yam Taro Paste Orh Nee With Pumpkin & Ginko Nuts (SGD $15 / $22 / $28), with its thick, almost gooey paste, that is sweet and floral in flavour. While I felt there was too much coconut milk, the pumpkin lends a fruity sweetness, and the tender ginko nuts lend a slight contrast to texture. An above average rendition in my opinion. Worth ordering!

Yam Taro Paste Orh Nee With Pumpkin & Ginko Nuts (SGD $15 / $22 / $28)

Yam Taro Paste Orh Nee With Pumpkin & Ginko Nuts

The Fried Chai Poh Kway Teow Pancake (SGD $12 / $24) is a unique dish. Strands of the kway teow noodles are coated in a potato starch batter, then fried till crisp, along with salty sour preserved radish. Crisp in texture, these were quite addictive, especially with the accompanying sauce. Good!

Fried Chai Poh Kway Teow Pancake (SGD $12 / $24)

Fried Chai Poh Kway Teow Pancake