Looking for scrumptious and healthy home cooked food? Gu Ma Jia is the place to visit. Opened in 2009, Gu Ma Jia (姑妈家) has built a reputation for whipping up palatable, hearty dishes which are full of warmth. This casual Chinese restaurant has even won an award at the Singapore Food Festival 2010!
The friendly and bubbly owner is affectionately known as Gu Ma (aunt in Mandarin), as she is the eldest among her siblings. Her family and friends love her cooking and persuaded her to open a restaurant to share her appetizing home-cooked goodness. The family-run restaurant is adamant on serving serve fresh food; they visit the wet-market daily to select seafood and ingredients. Dishes have a special touch thanks to Gu Ma’s personal recipes!
We started off with Bitter gourd Seafood Soup ($12/$20). I’m not a fan of bitter gourd soup because it’s, well, bitter. But Gu Ma’s rendition is appealing because aroma of the fresh seafood significantly diminished the bitter flavor.
Assam Fish Head ($28) is a must try! This is till date, the freshest fish head curry I tried. Most places tend to cook curry dishes using older fish because the strong spices can mask fishy smell. Gu Ma’s Assam gravy is light on the tongue, which highlights the freshness of the fish. She shared that her fish heads are picked daily to guarantee freshness. The spicy, tangy and sour gravy was addictive, how I wish I could have more!
Gu Ma’s culinary team grinds white pepper from Sawarak to produce their own white pepper sauce. In this White Pepper Crab (seasonal price) dish, Sri Lankan crabs are cooked to perfection. The meat separates from the shell readily, so easy to eat! The sweet crab meat and savory sauce was a match made in heaven.
Salted Egg Yolk Crab (seasonal price) is finger-licking good. Lick the creamy salted egg yolk off the shell and dig into the sweet, firm and juicy meat inside.
We were quite excited when this flaming hotplate was served; rose wine was sprayed onto the aluminum foil and lit up. Ah…so this is the popular Kyoto Pork Ribs ($20), drench in sweet tangy sauce. Gu Ma’s pork ribs are served in aluminum foil to retain the juiciness and natural flavor of the meat. The moist and tender meat is well-marinated; I could even taste the flavor right in the middle of each piece.
Ling Zhi Mushroom Bean Curd ($12/24) was healthy, yet enticing. The home-made tofu blocks had a crispy skin, plus a soft and silky texture.
Treasure Vegetables ($12/$18/$24) consists of 8 different vegetables and ingredients: lotus, black fungus, carrot, celery, vegetarian abalone, lingzhi mushroom, cashew nuts and snap peas. Loved the unique taste and crunchy texture!
Prawns with Superior Sauce ($20/$30/$38) was another delight! Who can resist fresh, succulent prawns in tasty superior sauce?
Kang Kong with Garlic ($9/$14/$18) was done just right; we enjoyed the crunch with each bite.
The final dish in our feast was stirred fried Beef with Bean Sauce Bitter Gourd ($16/$24/$30). Soft and tender beef slices were well-marinated while the bean sauce went well with both the beef and the bitter gourd. Bitter gourd is full of nutritious benefits, rich in vitamins, minerals and folic acid. But because of the taste, it’s not an easy vegetable to like. Gu Ma cooks with younger gourds, which are less bitter, plus the bean sauce masks the bitter flavor 🙂
We rounded off the meal with sweet beverages and a wholesome dessert. MIL had Ice Lychee Tea ($3) while I chose warm Home-made Barley ($2) as I was having a sore throat. The barley drinks here is prepared fresh daily. Usually a 30 minute simmer is the standard, but Gu Ma simmers her barley for 2 hours. Longer simmering times gives a more viscous liquid which contains soothing properties and vitamins.
Auntie’s Dessert ($3.50/serving) is packed ingredients with health benefits. Gingko aids memory and concentration, lotus seeds detoxify, white fungus strengths the immune system while wolf berries improve eyesight. I love that the dessert is not too sweet, in line with Gu Ma’s pride of serving healthy food.
By the way, Gu Ma Jia’s second floor has a seating capacity of 70 pax and is equipped with an over-head projector, which is ideal for family celebrations, company networking or team-building events. Gu Ma Jia also provides catering services with a wide variety of dishes at affordable prices.
Many thanks to Gu Ma and Agnes for the invite 🙂