Guan Gourmet House is an oasis of good value amidst a desert of overpriced, expat-centric bars and restaurants. With UE Square and Clarke Quay on one side, Mohamed Sultan Road on the other, and the condominiums of River Valley everywhere else, it stands tall as one of the few affordable eating options in the area. Facing the busy-yet-desolate River Valley Road, GGH is not a particularly pleasant place to sit and have a meal. But it’s great for when the post-boozing munchies strike, as they are so prone to do.
Offering a huge number of Hong Kong-style dishes, GGH also has a small and dedicated selection of 3-4 vegetarian noodle options. Not fantastic, but better than most. I was particularly impressed when the server asked if egg could be included in the order; a small detail that reveals a big willingness to understand the dietary preferences of the customer. Good.
Guan Gourmet House
225 River Valley Road
Open 10:30-00:30 daily
The sensible colour palette got me thinking that this would be a solid performer in the taste stakes. Indeed, the first bite had a nice sourness from the lime juice drizzled on top, but that was about as exciting as it got. Most of the vegetables – bean sprouts, baby corn, Chinese cabbage, shredded carrot – had a pleasant crunch to them, but the flavours were muted. Likewise, the kway teow noodles were soft and springy, but lacklustre in terms of taste. Omitting the meat seemed to translate into omitting the need for a flavour substitute – soy sauce, lime, wok hei, anything. Somewhat fittingly, the meal was brought to an abrupt close with the discovery of a short – and unseasoned – grey hair. Nice.
Guan Gourmet House is a place you’re probably more likely to visit out of necessity than choice. The portions are substantial and well-priced for the location. Perfect for soaking up alcohol, but not much to enjoy when sober.