those visiting the motherland for the first time often ask me for advice. fortunately, the best places to eat in singapore are the ones which have been around for years (the wave of new food has been generally trumped up but mediocre). even so, i routinely consult my agents on the ground for Hot Tips about the latest and greatest.
minzhi: must your 4 friends go for chinese fine dining? can't they go to chin lee and have great teochew food?it is important to always have the right priorities.
vt: i suggested liang kee also. chin lee's better? never been.
mz: when are these people coming?
vt: they are in town already.
mz: what?! then what are these people feeding on NOW? this is terrible! they could be eating all the wrong things this very moment!!!!
and, public service announcement: qun zhong, once purveyor of excellent guotie and xiaolongbao, is no more. an establishment styling itself jing hua xiao chi (confusingly the name once on the qun zhong storefront) has reopened in the same space and serving approximately the same menu. it is a new management and a new kitchen, however, and reportedly vastly inferior. so the cookie crumbles.