FOOD Homecooked goodness at Gu Ma Jia

With the Lunar New Year just around the corner, what are your plans for reunion dinner? The Chinese New Year is a great time to come together as a family as everyone would be in a jolly mood. If you love homecooked food without labouring in the kitchen, check out Gu Ma Jia. You can also place an online order for home catering. Now isn’t that a neat idea?

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Gu Ma Jia has been dishing out home-cooked dishes cooked with less oil, less MSG using only the freshest ingredients that Cantonese cuisine is usually known for, since November 2009. The owner of this restaurant, Mdm Chan Mei Yan is the Gu Ma or aunt, that the restaurant is named after. She hails from Pulau Ubin, where she started experimenting with cooking from the tender age of 7 years old. Today, the head chef at Gu Ma Jia is Chef Yap Giok Loong, who hails from Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

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Let’s take a quick look at the wonderful new dishes served at Gu Ma Jia at 45 Tai Thong Crescent, Sennett Estate, where dishes are healthy, low/no MSG and wholesome.

  1. Gu Ma Signature Traditional Bean Curd Soup, $28

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Gu Ma shares with her diners this nutritious soup which she grew up with. This soup was cooked for six hours with salted fish head, Chinese ham, pork ribs, peanut and fresh bean curd to achieve the wonderful thick broth-like texture and taste.

Taste: One can pick out the taste of the aromatic dried cuttlefish used in this delicious soup. Thick broth-like soups make my day anytime.

  1. Assam fish head, $285 fish head curry 20141127_194058
    Taste: Love the juicy freshness of the fish. The fish is soft and flaky. I love sourish and spicy dishes, and this dish meets the mark, though a tad spicier than those served at most zi char shops. Those who can’t handle spicy dishes should check if the dish can customised according to your level of tolerance.
  1. Homemade Yam Ring with Kyoto Pork Ribs, $306 Yam ring Jin du pork rib 20141127_194202

The tasty Kyoto pork ribs complement the mild taste of traditional yam ring. The yam ring was crispy on the outside and remains soft and tender within.

Taste: Perhaps inspired by the traditional yam ring dish often served with celery, cubed chicken and cashew nuts, this combination is the first that I’ve tried. I love the smoky taste and soft tender texture of the pork ribs.



  1. XO Prawn Noodle, $36:9 XO prawn noodles 20141127_200439

This is a classic Cantonese dish. At Gu Ma Jia, only the freshest prawns are used. The special homemade superior XO sauce is the secret behind this dish.

Taste: Those who love Cantonese zi cha would love the smoky ‘wok hei’ taste that can be detected in this dish. What’s unique is the noodle was fried before it was added into the soup. The prawns are cooked just right, with shell of the prawns easily separated from the meat.



  1. Ubin La La Beehoon, $18:10 Lala bee hoon 20141127_200858

One of the new dishes on the menu, this dish is one of my favourites not commonly found on our island. Tasty rice vermicelli is served with fresh shellfish (La La).
Taste: The shellfish sweetens the soup. I love the homecooked goodness of this dish.

  1. Claypot Pork in Sesame Oil, from $15 – $30:11 Ma you (Sesame seed) pork claypot 20141127_201303

If you love their signature Claypot Chicken with Ginger and Sesame Oil dish, you would love this. It is cooked with premium Chinese wine, tender pork slices, ginger, black fungus and sesame oil

Taste: Love the taste of this dish. The proportion of sesame seed oil with the premium wine in just right. A great substitute of the claypot chicken with ginger and sesame oil dish if you do not eat poultry.


  1. Lotus Leaves Rice (CNY Dish):12 Glutinous Rice 20141127_201528

Also commonly known as Lo Mai Gai or steamed sticky rice with chicken in lotus leaf wrap, this classic dim sum dish is one of the dishes my family orders during our dim sum outing. We love the taste of the dish infused with the aroma of lotus leaf. Chicken meat, mushrooms and glutinous rice are the usual suspects wrapped with a huge lotus leaf and steamed until cooked.

Taste: Chef’s version of this tradition glutinous rice taste just right. The rice is neither soggy, nor dry and hard. One can feel the grains while biting into the dish.


  1. Drunken prawn (CNY Dish):13 drunken prawns 20141127_202323

Gu Ma Jia tweaked the wine recipe a little to give the dish a unique tangy (or “kum kum” (read in Cantonese) taste.

Taste: Call me a closet alcoholic, I simply love dishes cooked with rice wine. Most of the time, these drunken prawn dishes I have tried were at restaurants, and the taste of the wine would be rather evident. This dish at Gu Ma Jia however, tastes yummy tangy and the prawns are not overcooked, and thus easily shelled. It is simply lovely.


  1. Herbal Chicken  (CNY Dish):14 drunken chicken 20141127_202101

A favourite among the Chinese for its nourishing broth. Herbs are cooked with the chicken until fragrant.

Taste: The rich tangy taste of this soup is superb for nourishing the body. The chicken meat is cooked until the taste of the herbs is absorbed into the meat and the meat becomes so tender and easily separated from the bone. We could not resist having seconds.



Cap The Meal With Dessert

Most Chinese restaurants and eateries usually stick to the regular soft drinks, tea, juices for drinks and Longan Almond Jelly or mango pudding for desserts. So these two unique options below are definitely a plus for me. What about you?

  1. Sea Coral Jelly with Longan and Wolfberries, $5.50:14 Fat bowl of Sea Coral Jelly 20141127_210424

Sea coral jelly is said to be rich in collagen and is thus great for boosting youthful complexion.
Taste: This refreshing bowl of sea coral jelly is cooked with dried longan, wolfberries and white crunchy jelly, and served cold.

  1. Enzyme Jelly in tall glass:15 Enzyme drink close up and whole glass

A unique appetiser to try at Gu Ma Jia is this enzyme jelly served in a tall glass.

Taste: It tastes like dissolved salted prune, yet it has a certain sweetness towards the end. The drink is said to aid digestion.




Gu Ma Jia is located at 45 Tai Thong Crescent, Sennett Estate, Singapore 347866

Tel: 62852023.

Operating hours: (Daily) 11am to 3.30pm and from 5.30pm to 10.00pm

For reservations, call 6285 2023, or place your catering order at

Happy dining.

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