Prior to my recent visit for my mum’s birthday, I last visited Ban Heng in my childhood when my grandpa was still around. It has changed a lot since then, with the renovations and powerful Carrier (“The Carrier Man Can”) airconditioning. Most of Ban Heng’s menu consists of sets with a la carte dishes, but it’s comparatively cheaper to order the set menu. Ban Heng’s specialty is their Teochew Cold Crab (priced per gram), and we called to enquire if pre-ordering was necessary.
This is the point where I account our unpleasant experience with one of their waiters. We were informed that pre-ordering wasn’t necessary because their cold crab was available throughout dinner (we were there on a Thursday night at 7 pm). Upon arrival, their waiter mildly rebuked us for not pre-ordering, citing reasons like the dish’s preparation time (2 hours). Logically speaking, a restaurant’s specialty should be available at all times unless otherwise (explicitly) specified. The irony was that this very waiter who rebuked us, was the one who took our reservation – yet he was insistent that he advised us contrary to our phone conversation. In any case, we shelved the matter after the manager tried to smooth things over (my mum was very disappointed to say the least) and settled for some of their set menus.
With prices ranging from $19.80-$39.80 per person for 7 courses, it was very affordable. We picked 2 variations: the Superior Shark’s Fin Set Menu ($33.80/person, min. 2 persons) and the Mini Buddha Jumps Over the Wall Set Menu ($39.80/person, min. 2 persons).
The Superior Shark’s Fin Set Menu had the following: Prawn Salad with Mango, Braised Superior Shark’s Fin, Smoked Sliced Goose Meat, Steamed Cod Fish with Minced Garlic & Black Bean, Fried Vegetables with Garlic, Fried Noodles and Dessert.
The Mini Buddha Jumps Over the Wall Set Menu had the following: Prawn Salad with Mango, Mini Buddha Jump Over the Wall, Steamed Cod Fish with Diced ‘Chye Poh’ (dried preserved radish) & Garlic, Smoked Sliced Goose Meat, Fried Vegetables with Garlic, Fried Noodles and Dessert.
2 dishes differentiate the 2 sets (those in italics) and the 2 cod fish dishes are pictured here. I preferred the Steamed Cod Fish with Diced ‘Chye Poh’ (dried preserved radish) & Garlic [****] which had a spicy tinge to because of the chillis and peppers. It wasn’t too oily too, because the cod itself is steamed beforehand. The Superior Shark’s Fin [***] and Buddha Jumps Over the Wall [***.] are both delicacies in their own right, especially with expensive ingredients like sea cucumber, shark’s fin, abalone, and fish maw among others. The former was done Teochew-style, with vegetables, while the latter had a broth infused with herbs.
On the left, we’ve got the Smoked Sliced Goose Meat [****] wrapped in a thin, delicate flour skin with cucumber and plum sauce. Very much like the Peking Duck in terms of taste (with the exception of leek and smoked meat instead of roasted meat).
Other than the abovementioned dishes, the Prawn Salad with Mango, Fried Noodles, and Fried Vegetables with Garlic were commonplace – albeit with too much mayonnaise for the salad.
Dessert was a little more fascinating thankfully, for we ordered their Deep Fried Ice-Cream [****]. I loved the crisp combination of hot dough fritter and cold vanilla ice-cream. It was either this, or Yam Paste for dessert.
Our dinner was fairly good on the whole, but I expect a lot more in terms of service. Hopefully, my next attempt to try their signature Teochew Cold Crab will not be another disappointment.
/ no service charge, prices stated above are subject to GST
Taste – 6.5/10
Price – $$ to $$$
Service – 4/10
Ambience – 7/10
Accessibility – 7/10
[$]-cheap like peanuts: ($10 & below/person)
[$$]-average Jane ($15-$25/person)
[$$$]-you might wanna tke tht card out..($30-$60/person)
[$$$$]-extremely exorbitant ($70 & above/person)
[* to *****] – rating(s) for individual dishes
Tel: +65 6291 0407
Blk 22 Boon Keng Road, #01-21
11.30am to 3.00pm & 6.00pm to 10.00pm Daily
Dress code: Casual
Nearest MRT: Boon Keng (NEL)
Buses: 31, 133, 147, 985, 66, 23, 65, 64, 13…