Da Niu Teochew Seafood Restaurant has marinated crab and raw prawns in Outram
As someone of Teochew heritage, feasting on big, steaming servings of soon hock alongside aromatic slices of braised duck ranks among some of my fondest childhood memories—so you can imagine my excitement when I was tasked to review Da Niu Teochew Seafood Restaurant!
Nestled among hip and trendy cafes such as Kream & Kensho and Dolc Patisserie, Da Niu Teochew Seafood is owned and operated by chef Daniel “Da Niu” Teo. Having grown up in the Chaoshan region of China, the birthplace of Teochew cuisine, chef Daniel opened the restaurant in 2020.
Since then, the restaurant has offered authentic Teochew dishes made with high quality, fresh ingredients. Curious, we paid them a visit to try it for ourselves.
Food at Da Niu Teochew Seafood Restaurant
As we settled into our seats, chef Daniel came over and insisted that we try their Signature Marinated Roe Crab ($90+), as well as Marinated Raw Prawns (market price). To be honest, I was a little apprehensive about eating raw shellfish, but was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed them.
Served together, the raw crab and prawns were drenched in a copious amount of garlic chilli sauce.
I started with the crab. It was served with its shell cracked, which made it easier to peel. The raw flesh also pulled away from the shell more easily compared to when it’s cooked, which reduced some of the inconvenience that comes with eating crab.
As it was my first time having raw marinated crab, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
Biting into the crab meat, I was greeted with soft flesh and a light savoury flavour from the marinade. It reminded me a little of salmon sashimi, but with a finer, flakier texture, and a stronger-tasting sauce.
Similarly, the raw prawns were incredibly succulent, and had a velvety texture that was faintly reminiscent of Ika sashimi, which I enjoyed.
As they’d been peeled and butterflied, the prawns soaked up the flavours of the soy sauce better than the crab. The saltier, garlicky taste of the prawns made this my favourite dish of the meal.
While the marinade might be too salty for some, I found that pairing the raw shellfish with rice helped to balance out the strong flavours.
The next dish, Steamed Clams (market price), features Chinese razor clams, AKA Agemaki clams, steamed with pickled vegetables, garlic, chilli, and garnished with coriander.
I’ve had my fair share of steamed bamboo clams and lala, but I’d never tried Chinese razor clams before. Its distinct two feelers reminded me of snails, and they appeared a lot fleshier than their bamboo counterparts. I was curious to taste them.
They did not disappoint—briny, sweet, firm and juicy, the clams were a cross between lala and mussels, with no sandiness or fishiness whatsoever.
An obscure, fish-based alternative to the well-known oyster omelette, Da Niu Seafood’s Bombay Duck Omelette (TBD) was certainly unique and intriguing.
If you’ve never had Bombay duck, you can think of it as an eel-like fish. Here, it was cut into thick chunks, which provided a satisfying bite to the otherwise gooey, starchy egg.
The Bombay duck did have some small, edible but prickly bones that dampened my enjoyment of the dish a little, but my dining companion didn’t seem too bothered by them.
Last but not least, we tried the Steamed Yellow Croaker (market price). Steamed Teochew style, the fish was served with pickled vegetables, mushroom, tofu, and pork slices.
Typical of Teochew steamed fish, the sauce was imbued with a distinct blend of sour and savoury notes that brought out the sweetness of the fish. The fish was also fresh and well-steamed, with flaky flesh that fell off the bone easily.
Apart from seafood, Da Niu also serves a mean bowl of Beef Ball Soup ($15+). Made in-house with a meat-pounder specially imported from Chaoshan, Da Niu’s meatballs can only be described as firm and bouncy.
Paired with a simple yet fragrant clear soup, we can see why this dish is a fan favourite despite being somewhat of an outlier on the seafood-centric menu. In fact, it’s so popular that they recently opened a beef ball restaurant in Hougang that specialises in this very dish.
Ambience at Da Niu Teochew Seafood Restaurant
While Da Niu Teochew Seafood is located in a central location, it is a 10-minute walk from Outram MRT Station, so be prepared to sweat a little if you’re walking there.
The interior had a homely vibe, due in part to the closely-arranged seats and warm lighting. We visited the restaurant around opening time on a Thursday evening, so it was fairly empty at first. By 7pm, however, the space gradually filled with older patrons, many of whom chef Daniel was happy to chat with and offer menu recommendations to.
Admittedly, Da Niu Teochew Seafood is rather pricey, but we’re fans of their delicious offerings that are fresh, well-prepared, and hard to come by in Singapore. I personally wouldn’t mind returning on special occasions, and would recommend it to fans of Teochew cuisine or foodies looking to try something different.
Do note that the dishes in this review, apart from the Beef Ball soup, are subject to availability and seasonal prices. We recommend giving the restaurant a call before your visit to avoid disappointment!
Those who can’t get enough of seafood can read our guide to the best seafood restaurants in Singapore. Alternatively, take a short walk to Bu Bu Gao Sheng Pancake and try their $2 matcha or taro-filled min jiang kueh!
Address: 61 Kampong Bahru Road, Singapore 169368
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 11am to 2:30pm, 5:30pm to 9:30pm
Tel: 6677 6725
Da Niu Teochew Seafood is not a halal-certified eatery.
Photos taken by Ke-ian J Leong
This was a media tasting at Da Niu Teochew Seafood Restaurant.