Cheers to the starters at kitschy old-school restaurant Yum Sing!
I have such a soft spot for campy places that I was a puddle when I stepped into Yum Sing!, a new resident in Clarke Quay.
The kitsch decor hits you first. Flashing neon signs, old-school decorations and the music - instantly recognisable Cantonese, Mandarin and English tunes.
The menu is full-on comfort, comprising what many Singaporeans love and crave.
There is all-year-round yusheng, so you can toss for luck whenever you think you need it.
The cocktails and drinks are also a nod to local flavours.
Try the Kaya Toast Set ($18) for a fun experience, and make sure you get a bite of the rum-infused kaya on toast.
The Mega Milo Dinosaur ($8) is a hit with many, but I found it too weak to be impactful.
The local factor is a draw, but the pricing is quite the pull too. Although the portions are modest, they are not too small and for the prices you pay, worth it.
Generally, I found the starters and small dishes better than the mains, which works fine in this setting because you will be singing and drinking, and a heavy dish may not be what you want.
Having said that, the Laksa ($10) from the mains menu is delicious.
I am biased because Yum Sing! serves its version with cockles, an addition that is increasingly rare, and it is a touch that I appreciate.
It is a small bowl, but the lemak gravy is rich and filling.
Another good main is the Bak Kut Teh ($10).
Though if you are not a fan of the peppery version, this will be lost on you.
I do wish the other mains had more personality.
The "Moonlight" Dried Beef Hor Fun ($10) looks appetising but tastes bland.
The wok hei smokiness is missing, and it feels like it was merely reheated on an induction stove.
I am not a big fan of salted egg sauce, but the Salted Egg Fish Skin ($8) is good here.
There is a balance of sweet and salty, and the sauce is poured warm over the fish skin. The mix of textures and flavours is alluring.
That same sauce is used on the Salted Egg Prawn ($12) and again, it works.
The prawns are juicy and chunky, and a small portion is enough.
I like the Prawn Paste Chicken ($10) too, although the umami of the paste could have been stronger.
Still, the chicken is well fried and under the crispy exterior is juicy meat.
The Calamari Fritters ($12) also work because of the duality of crisp and juicy.
The "secret" savoury batter gives it a tiny tingle of spice too, which perks up the dish.
So cheers to the starters - stick to them and you should have a jolly time.