Until recently, the owners of Haocaitou had been serving up their Malaysian and Singaporean cuisine from a popular joint near Suzhou Industrial Park train station. Having moved into a new spot just north of Baitang Arboretum, their signatures like chili crab, nasi lemak and Hainanese chicken rice, plus more unusual dishes based on Nyonya cuisine, remain as popular as ever.
The picture menu with English makes things easy to order and there’s plenty to choose from, including different specials each day. Their classic laksa (RMB42) – rice noodles with shrimp, tofu puffs, egg and chicken served in a spicy coconut curry broth – has the pungent aroma of any good laska and is pleasantly spicy without being too overwhelming. A trio of curry puffs (RMB18), packed full of chicken, potato and egg, are hearty and substantial.
The chicken satay skewers (RMB38 for three) are nicely cooked on a charcoal grill. The satay sauce with nice little chunks of peanut is a great accompaniment to the meat, as are the cucumber and raw onions on the side.
The unflashy restaurant was busy on a Friday during lunchtime but not overly so. You can still take advantage of the nice outdoor seating area before winter arrives in full force, and warm yourselves up with a tasty and reasonably priced Southeast Asian feast.
All photos courtesy of Tess Humphreys/That's