Food Review: Steam Sia at 5 Hindoo Rd, Singapore 209107

I was invited by the folks from Steam Sia to head down for a meal the other day.

Which was such a coincidence, because my friends had been talking about visiting the place for a while, and even saw a Groupon for it (but we missed it).

So of course I had to go over and find out what the name "STEAM SIA" really means.

It is definitely a very memorable and catchy name for a restaurant. The original or colloquial meaning of "Steam Sia", for the benefit of non-Singaporeans, is that of being sexually stimulated. 

For example, you might say, wow I saw a really hot girl walk past the other day. Steam sia!!

The restaurant's located in the heart of Little India. It was a late Saturday afternoon when we arrived. The place has a nostalgic and open-air concept to it, with old school coffeeshop tables. There's no air conditioning but it was very breezy.

Just at the entrance you would see an interesting kachang putih corner where you can make your own, or take some of the toys and play with your friends. They still had the Xmas decor up, but they should be removed soon.

I really like some of the old vintage displays they have. Like that electric clock (used to have 1) and typewriter!

Moving on to the food! Here's the menu for your perusal. On this page they have the Asian dishes.

Here are the mains, which is mainly Western to cater to the tourists around the area, but they also are comfort food for us, on some level.

We had the Nonya Chicken Curry ($12.90 for 1, $20.90 for 2) which came on a wooden board with tin and porcelain plate/bowl. This is their famous dish. I must say, perhaps I had my expectations set too high, but I felt like the curry was not warm (perhaps my fault, need to take photos!) nor spicy enough! Perhaps I have been spoiled by the curry my mum cooks, which is perfect.

It is a very comfort food type of dish that your grandma or mum would make though and there's a generous helping of ingredients in the curry, which is thick with coconut milk. I would think it is slightly pricey to pay $12.90 for a portion though.

Here's a look at the cutlery used. I love the blue rimmed tin plates. They will not break, and is light and easy to clean. How very practical.

The next would be the absolute hit and favorite among all the dishes. The Classic Tom Yum Spaghetti with Seafood ($16.90) was such a surprising combination and done so well, it was hard to resist! If there is one dish you want to have here, have this.

The tom yam sauce was piquant yet creamy to the right degree, filled with little spice notes and does not seem to come out of a package. Drench that on al dente spaghetti pasta and add a few fresh prawns and voila! you have yourself a unique fusion dish.

Next, a odd little plate of stuffed potatoes, with a seafood filling that tasted strongly of mussels. It's called the Seafood Stuffed 'Sailing Boat' ($8.90). It had a rather strange flavour even though it theoretically sounds like a good idea.

After the odd dish, we tried something more normal. The signature grilled salmon ($18.90) was the next best dish that day. The salmon was fresh, though slightly overcooked. The salsa was wonderful though in tantalizing your tastebuds and whetting them for the fish.

We also tried the Steam Sia Net Catch platter ($18.90) which had prawns, sotong and mussels, sauteed in coconut white sauce. On the menu it says served with 1/2 a baguette, but since we are tasting the portions are a bit different. This I actually quite liked, but my dining companion's opinions are that the coconut white sauce is a bit too thick and 'gelak' for their liking. Which I can see why. Order this only if you are a huge seafood and coconut fan.

After all that seafood, it's time to draw in the fishing line, and look to the pastures for some meat.
We had the Ribeye Wild Mushroom ($22.90) that's topped with red wine sauce. In a lot of 'Western' places, the vegetables are more for the colour and garnishing than for taste. It is the same here.

The ribeye itself was however quite pleasant. Pink on the inside and not that chewy or tough. So if you are in the restaurant and didn't feel like having seafood, this might be a good option.

Lastly, the dessert! It's their Waffle with Ice-cream (with choice of chocolate/vanilla Movenpick ice cream) at $16.90. The waffle looked rather different from the one in the menu (flatter). Unfortunately on that day, the waffle was a bit burnt so I did not enjoy it much. The ice cream was really good though.

And here I am with my dining companions that day! We all had a lovely time catching up and chatting. The restaurant has a really great atmosphere for that.

Oh and if you have read all the way till here, you must be wondering - so why is the place called Steam Sia? 

From Sue Ann, the friendly assistant marketing manager, we found out that the founding partners of the place originally wanted to do steamed dishes. Then they realized most of their dishes has prawns (sia in mandarin) in them. At the same time, "steam sia" also can refer to the feeling of something that is "shiok" or, feels good. With all that combination came the name Steam Sia.


Great place to just have a casual meal and chit chat amidst the very eclectic area of Little India. Food's on the slightly pricey side, but still not exorbitant.
Steam Sia
5 Hindoo Road, Singapore 209107
Mon-Sun 10am to 1am
+65 63966585

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