‘Lou Yau’ is Cantonese for ‘old friend’, and the ambience and food at this casual joint is exactly what one would expect of an old friend, casual, comforting and unassuming.
Owned and managed by Select Group, Lou Yau specializes in recreating authentic Malaysian dishes and prides itself to be a one-stop destination for food from different Malaysian states.
Last week, the seven year-old fast-casual restaurant chain launched a range of new and must-try dishes, that also include local favourites that us Singaporeans look out for, whenever we visit Malaysia.
What I truly appreciate about the dishes here is their attention to detail, even though it is a casual dining restaurant with wallet-friendly dishes. Even the most unassuming of ingredients like the hor fun is specially sourced from Ipoh and made with mineral-rich underground spring water.
Lou Yau’s hor fun is produced in Ipoh imported three times a week to maintain optimal freshness and quality. Rice is ground and steamed with mineral-rich underground spring water in Ipoh to make this special hor fun. This spring water hor fun is used in many of Lou Yau’s dishes to create, as closely as possible, the same taste found in Malaysia.
During the tasting session last week, I got to try both their best sellers as well as some of the new dishes they have introduced.
The popular One Person Set (Hor Fun Soup version, $8.50) is great for people looking for a lighter meal. While the clear broth was a little too light on the palette for me, it does allow one to appreciate the silky texture of the hor fun.
The accompanying kampung chicken’s meat is leaner than the usual chicken that is commondly served with Hainanese Chicken Rice. It was tender, moist and full of flavour. Lou Yau’s homemade chilli sauce and ginger spring onion dip also gave the dish a complexity of flavour and added texture.
Those of you who like spice, will surely love the Big Bowl Curry Mee ($7.50). The dish had tonnes of ingredients piled on top of the bee hoon and yellow noodles. The toppings included kampong chicken, brinjal, long beans, roast pork, cockles, fried bean curd skin, tau pok, bean sprouts and a meatball. By the time the chef was done pouring the curry sauce, the bowl got so full that the curry overflowed and a saucer had to be placed under the bowl to collect the spill-over.
My favourite dish of the day had to be the Chilli Pan Mee ($6.90). A staple dish in Kuala Lumpur, the star ingredient of the noodle dish is Lou Yau’s homemade sweet savoury chilli sauce. Although by the time we got to this dish, it had been sitting out for at least 15 minutes, the noodles still had a bouncy chewy texture to it.
The light green tendrils of cendol in The Penang Cendol ($2.50) are naturally coloured using pandan juice and has a delicate pandan flavour to it. The sticky syrup made from gula Melaka cubes imported directly from Malacca was not too sweet, but still imparted a nice flavour to the dessert.
The Three Layer Tea ($3.50) is set to be a crowd pleaser. A popular drink in Sarawak, where it is typically known as “The C-Peng Special”, the Three Layer Tea is made up of three layers consisting of palm sugar, evaporated milk and black tea.
The new Kedondong Juice with Sour Plum ($3.90) is a sourish sweet drink that pairs well with spicy dishes like the Big Bowl Curry Mee and Otah. The kedondong fruit is a rich source of Vitamin C and other antioxidants but has a slightly unripe taste to it. The addition of salty-sweet preserved plum turns the drink into something that would be most refreshing on a hot and balmy day.
Lou Yau also has two promotions* lined-up for the launch of its new menu, applicable at all outlets (except the outlet at Changi Airport Terminal):
Enjoy $2 off any of the mains when you pay with OCBC Pay Anyone from now until 31 December 2019.
Penang Cendol at only $1 from now until 21 November 2019 (with purchase of any mains, while stocks last)
*Terms and conditions apply
Lou Yau is located at Chinatown Point, #B1-52A Bedok Mall #B2-28, Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 4 Level 2M Departure Transit, International Food Hall, IMM #01-K09, Junction 8 #B1-23, Oasis Terraces #01-12, Sun Plaza #01-27A, Sembawang Drive.
Opening Hours: 11am-10pm (Changi Aiport T4 outlet: 6am to 1am)