We sat at our table in Tan Yu (探鱼), waiting patiently for our grilled “Limbo Fish” to arrive. A while later, it arrived steaming and in all its chili glory. Yes I love spicy food, but I wasn’t sure if my stomach was going to survive this one. I decided to bite the bullet and put a (small) piece of fish in my mouth.
Tan Yu (探鱼) – Grilled Fish Restaurant from China
Tan Yu (探鱼) is a new restaurant at 313@Somerset that specializes in a variety of grilled fish dishes. The restaurant originated from Shenzhen and has over 170 outlets in China. The 313 branch is its first branch in Singapore.
Tan Yu is currently extremely popular in Singapore. We were given a queue number upon arrival and had to wait for about one hour before entering the restaurant. After finally sitting down and placing our orders, we had to wait for another 20 minutes before the food was served. Luckily we were not very hungry. Perhaps if we had ordered earlier while queuing, the food would have been served faster.
Service and Ambience
Me thinking: “wow that’s a lot of chili!”
The restaurant was spacious with good ventilation, and we didn’t walk away smelling like grilled fish. Service was decent but not the best. Most of the staff were quite polite, but upon sitting down we realized that there were no spoons on our table. We asked one staff for assistance and he simply plonked a pair of spoons in my bowl without a word. This was a slight turn-off but it was the only unpleasant incident we encountered during our meal.
Tan Yu Menu (Click to enlarge)
How to Order
Tan Yu’s menu was slightly confusing at first but soon we understood. First, we had to choose the fish type. We chose Limbo Fish ($39.90) as it is touted by the restaurant to be the “Juiciest, Most Tender and Flavourful”. Next, we had to choose our preferred flavour. There are 12 types of flavours, with the popular ones being Green Pepper, Soy Sauce and Mixed Chillies. However, we decided to go with the Spicy Sauce because it was supposed to be slightly less spicy than the other spicy sauces. For side dishes, we ordered the Golden Combination ($10.90) which consists of Golden Mushrooms, Potato, Lotus Root, and Crab Sticks. These are cooked together with the grilled fish.
Limbo Fish with Spicy Sauce ($39.90)
After a long wait, our Limbo Fish with Spicy Sauce ($39.90) finally arrived! Our jaws dropped when we first saw the grilled fish- it was covered from head to tail (literally) with red chili flakes. It was not even possible to spot the fish beneath the chili. I wondered if we had made the wrong choice ordering the “Spicy Sauce” flavour. Nonetheless, I scraped away the chili flakes, and dug up a piece of fish meat to put into my mouth.
Luckily, the limbo fish was not nearly as spicy as it looked. And it was indeed quite tender and juicy. However, I felt that it would taste better if it had a stronger flavour. The Spicy Sauce was the highlight for me, with a “mala” flavour distinctive of Szechuan cuisine that was very tasty and satisfying. The side ingredients were decent – you can’t really go wrong with crab sticks and mala spicy sauce. And I also happily discovered that potato slices went perfectly with mala sauce.
On the whole, it was a decent meal but to be honest my expectations were higher due to the relatively high price we paid (final bill was slightly over $60). That said, I would still recommend anyone who enjoys spicy food to give Tan Yu (探鱼) a try, because it was pretty satisfying and we have never seen such a concept in Singapore before.
Tan Yu (探鱼)
Address: 313@Somerset B3-30/31/32, Singapore 238895
Phone Number: +65 6509 8887
Opening Hours: Daily 11.15am to 10pm