Tucked away in the basement of Chinatown Point, casual eatery Lou Yau offers authentic Malaysian dishes and comfort food. I’ve always passed this joint on my daily commute to work, but never got round to sampling its offerings, given the many distractions abounding next door from my office.
With multiple outlets dotting Singapore, including one at Changi Airport, Lou Yau makes itself accessible to the masses, both in terms of location and its dishes. Named after the Cantonese phrase for “old friend”, Lou Yau takes inspiration from the capitals of Malaysian cuisine – Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Ipoh, to name a few.
Lou Yau’s keen attention to detail comes to the fore with its Spring Water Hor Fun. Produced in Ipoh three times a week to maintain freshness and quality, the hor fun is made from rice that is ground and steamed with mineral rich water from Ipoh. The result is a bowl of springy, bouncy noodle strands with a smooth finish. I tried it myself and it really is comparable to ordinary hor fun!
A menu revamp at Lou Yau has introduced new Malaysian delicacies into the bellies of Singaporean diners. Among these newcomers is the Big Bowl Curry Mee ($7.50). Be prepared to lose any white clothing to curry stains, as this unapologetically messy bowl packs quite the treasure trove of goodies – kampong chicken, brinjal, long beans, roast pork, cockles, fried bean curd skin, tau pok, bean sprouts, and meat ball, all piled on top of bee hoon and yellow noodles.
This amalgamation of all the comforting elements of your favourite home-cooked meals, and then some, makes you want to tuck right in. Everything blends together perfectly, and the thick curry adds some punch and spice that leaves you craving more.
I’m sure we’re all familiar with the Chilli Pan Mee ($6.90), another staple of the Kuala Lumpur diet. Mixed together, the wheat flour noodle becomes coated with broken soft-boiled egg, minced pork, mushrooms, ikan bilisi, and chilli that takes no prisoners with its spice level. Way too spicy for me to down this in comfort, though I’m sure there are more daring palates that will be hankering after this mean dish!
The last newcomer to Lou Yau’s main menu is the Char Kway Teow with Prawn ($6.50). The Penang-style fried noodles yield delectable hints of wok hei, while generous portions of fresh prawns, cockles, and lap cheong complete this dish. While satisfying, I fell this did not stand out as much as the other two main dishes. Nevertheless, the char kway teow is a decent dish.
Other signatures that have stayed on Lou Yau’s menu include One Person Set Hor Fun Soup/ Dry/ Rice ($8.50). The kampong chicken is lean and delicious.
Pay tribute to your Hokkien roots with the Hokkien Har Mee ($6.90), served with pork and prawns.
Hungry for some snacks? Tuck into some mouthwatering fried goodies like Penang Lor Bak ($4) and Nyonya Otah ($2).
A Malaysian friend once told me that the mark of a true bowl of cendol is its colouring. Unlike most eateries that use artificial colouring for their cendol, Lou Yau colours theirs using natural pandan juice, so you know you’re getting the real deal. From now till 21 November 2019, enjoy a bowl of Penang Cendol at $1 with any mains ordered (U.P. $2.50)! While stocks last.
Address: Chinatown Point B1-50A
Nearest MRT: Chinatown NE4/ DT19
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm daily