Mooi Chin used to be frequented by many judges and prominent lawyers because of its proximity to the courts when it was located in the more centralised Funan Centre. That was during its heydays in the 60s and 70s. Since moving to its current location along Victoria Street, this old-school Hainanese establishment has somewhat become a shadow of its former self. I've never seen more than 2 or 3 tables occupied at the restaurant whenever I eat there.
The food generally alright and rather authentic, but a little pricey for the quality and portion. The decor of the restaurant is decidedly dated, but the ambience is fairly peaceful and quiet. You pretty much get the restaurant to yourself when you dine there.
Our favourite dish here is the Fried Fish Maw with Seafood ($16). The fish maw, abalone, squid and prawns are always fresh and the oyster sauce gravy is absolutely slurpilicious. I could eat this alone with a bowl of steaming hot white rice.
The other dish I usually like to order when I eat at cze char places is the Beancurd with Crab Meat ($16). However, today's version was a letdown due to the use of frozen crabmeat. I've said this before, shellfish should never be frozen. Even if the shellfish is flash-frozen immediately after it's caught, there will invariably be a distinctively fishy smell and taste.
Mooi Chin Place
390 Victoria Street
Village Hotel (formerly known as Golden Landmark Hotel)
Tel: 6392 1600
Open daily from 11am to 10.30pm