Restaurant HOME 家 @ Rail Mall: A Heartwarming Taste of Home

I wanted to say that Restaurant HOME 家 would be perfect for Chinese New Year reunion dinners... but then again, why do we have to wait for only important occasions for an excuse to have a satisfying meal together? The best part of life is an aggregate of the most precious moments with our loved ones, especially those involving great food and the longgg conversations after finishing! Helmed by established Chef Tan Yong Hua, Restaurant HOME captures the essence of heartwarming dishes very well and had me feeling so blessed:

As I entered, I found Restaurant HOME 家 to be spacious with comfortable distances between each table. There are also different sizes to accommodate both large and small groups. Instead of fancy interior design and furniture, the interior design's direction remains very down-to-earth, with semblance to a semi-traditional Chinese Singaporean home. The restaurant is also equipped with a washroom at the back.

I love to look at restaurants' walls of fame (which Restaurant HOME had at least two)! I had to look twice when I saw Hillary Clinton at the bottom row (third from left) standing together with Chef Tan Yong Hua - it felt so amazing to be able to enjoy the same dishes that this inspiring woman has tried. Amongst politicians, there are also many Mediacorp artistes as well.

Despite the multiple accolades Chef Tan Yong Hua has acquired, he is extremely humble, kind, forthcoming in sharing his culinary tricks with us and even gamely posing for photos. Oh, I'm a fan already.

There's something about blue porcelain patterns that remind me of family dinners. I can't be the only one thinking that, right? This attention to these details to ensuring an experience of family dinners is giving you no room to not feel all fuzzy inside.

Indulging dining experiences at Chinese restaurants is best done with Peking Ducks. At Restaurant HOME 家, you can delight in Chef Tan's signature Barbecued Peking Duck with Lychee Wood 炭燒荔枝木北京烤鴨 ($68 - whole duck, $38 - half duck) which begins with crispy skin sliced from duck breast to be eaten with a hint of sugar in traditional Peking-style. In good ol' do-it-yourself Peking Duck traditions, we wrapped a slice of juicy, rich duck meat, classic julienned cucumbers with thick and mildly sweet plum hoisin sauce around thin Mandarin pancakes. Every wrap is very delicious and all savoured in sweet satisfaction. If you can't get enough of it, you can always opt for a second serving in which the same roast duck to be served in (1) soup, (2) wok-fried duck with ginger and onion or (3) deep-fried duck with dried chili, roasted minced garlic and capsicum pepper fine salt.

A top-up of $10 is all it takes for this extra goodness. And so we went with the second serving: Deep-fried Duck 桥底避风塘鸭件 stir-fried with dried chili, roasted minced garlic, and capsicum pepper fine salt! Beautiful name and an immensely crispy bite to match, with little bursts of spiciness that would entice those who can't get enough of the roast duck... though I would say that nothing beats the original ;)

Not the most photogenic dish but all that concentration went into making the Baked Marble Goby in Claypot with Chef Tan in-house Recipe 炭烧焗鼎锅笋壳 ($9/100gm) taste good. Bathed with an aromatic, light, rendolent sauce of lemongrass, Shaoxin wine, ginger, parsley, coupled with the tender yet textured fish... it's one of the better ones I've tasted in a long while. 

One of the more memorable dishes with its seemingly simple yet lovely consistency of the Homemade Egg Beancurd with Shrimp Paste, Crabmeat and Roe in Pi Pa Style 珊瑚琵琶豆腐 ($18). There are many layers to the dish, the more recognizable flavours are shrimp, prawn, water chestnut, mushrooms... it was beautiful. The beancurds were none of those store-bought generic ones, they are made with premium soybeans with a slightly rough texture. If you need a recommendation, this is it.

The most photogenic dish but not exactly the easiest to eat.. some wrestling needed here with the Stewed Golden Noodles with Lobster and Spring Onions wrapped in O Ba Leaves 乌巴叶姜葱虾焖黄面 ($12.50/100gm)... but staying glam while eating is the least of your concerns if you're close enough to have such a fantastic dinner together. Served with a plate of egg noodles tossed with soya sauce, I would say that for the little meat I managed to wrung out from the lobster shells, they are very fresh and juicy, highly complementary with the seafood savoury sauce.

Then we come to my absolutely favourite dish - the Old Cucumber Soup 老黄瓜汤 ($20) which I must emphasize heavily, boiled to perfection with sweet dates, candied dates (or jujubes, if you will), goji seeds, soft old cucumber and of course chunky meat to simmer with the soup for extra flavour. It's something if I go from disliking it to loving it, I guess. The pork was a bit tough to bite though. 

Tasting portion
The classic plating of Homemade Ramen with 8 Head Quality Amidori Abalone 8头网鲍拉面 ($26) involved springy ramen noodles and slippery with abalone sauce, with a luxurious portion of abalone which had a pleasing bite that I couldn't get enough of.

Tasting portion
Tasting portion
I would mention both the Barbecued Duck with Lychee Wood and Crispy Roast Pork 干捞荔枝木烤鸭黄面 | 干捞烧腩仔鸭黄面 ($24) together, similarly styled and served with homemade noodles. The homemade noodles are reminiscent of wonton noodles in both taste and texture; the chilli on the other hand had fine touches of shrimp and a rather delayed but quite intense spicy aftertaste. Between the crispy roast pork and duck, I would have to go for the roast pork - but perhaps only because the original Barbecued Peking Duck with Lychee Wood has set the bars too high. The roast pork packed enjoyable fatty meat yet not being imposing, with a perfectly crispy skin that's painstakingly done with multiple steps in the kitchen.

Allow me to rave about this a little, only because most Chinese restaurants neglect desserts quite a bit... but not here! This Chilled Rosella Flower Jelly with Diced Mango 洛神冻 ($6) is a refreshing, jelly-smooth sweet-sour treat that would be a charming end to a wonderful meal.

But if you are a dessert-chomping monster like me, then you'll probably need another one... and for that I'll recommend the Chilled Japanese Pumpkin Puree with Black Glutinous Rice served in Pumpkin 金盅南瓜紫米露 ($10) which was exuberantly presented with a special Japanese pumpkin. The pumpkin puree tasted almost nothing like the regular pumpkin to be honest, the texture was more similar to coconut and curiously divine when paired together with the sticky black glutinous rice which was smooth and not grainy at all.

And of course, I had to get a picture with the MVP of the night - Chef Tan Yong Hua who came up with all the spectacular dishes for the night. If you would like to get a taste of his Signature Peking Duck with Lychee Wood, catch him at the Ultimate Hawker Fest 2014 on 22 November 2014. I enjoyed myself tremendously with such great food at Restaurant HOME 家 @ Rail Mall, and I'm sure you will too! 
[ This is an invited food tasting. ]

Enjoy a hearty lunch with your loved ones today at Restaurant HOME 家 to enjoy the culinary creations of celebrity chef Tan Yong Hua at $60++ (min. 4 pax). Promotion is valid until 31st December 2014. The menu goes like this:

Barbecued Duck with Lychee Wood
Double-boiled Shark's Fin, Chicken with Japanese Jyounsai and Wolfberries
Braise Flower Mushroom with 8 Head Quality Abalone in Abalone Sauce
Fried Rice with Prawn and Barbecued Pork Loin in Yangzhou Style
Chilled Rosella Flower Jelly with Diced Mango

Restaurant HOME 家
The Rail Mall
444 Upper Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 678066

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Restaurant HOME 家 @ Rail Mall full menu:


a travel and food blogger with a constant longing to be somewhere to makes her feel alive ☆ life's an adventure


  1. This makes me hungry , i missed the pecking duck i used to eat in a restaurant in Dubai

    1. I love peking ducks!!! especially the wraps. The ones in Dubai must be pretty good too /drools

  2. I like the railway mall, only parking is quite a problem usually! The food at this outlet looks pretty yummy though... Maybe time to brave the traffic again ;)

    Ling Tan


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