Yao Yao Sauerkraut Fish: Famed pickled fish brand opens first Singapore outlet

By Phyllis Leong August 8, 2023
Yao Yao Sauerkraut Fish: Famed pickled fish brand opens first Singapore outlet
Photo: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

The latest concept to pop up in the VivoCity shopping mall is Yao Yao Sauerkraut Fish, one of China’s famed pickled fish brands. It’s best known for its signature suan cai yu (sour vegetable fish).

Hailing from Shenzhen, the restaurant has been a crowd favourite since its inception in 2016. It now boasts more than 60 outlets in China.

Yao Yao’s VivoCity store marks its first overseas outpost in Singapore, which is also its flagship outlet.

Yao Yao Sauerkraut Fish
Diners are greeted by Yao Yao’s cute bear-fish mascot. Photo: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

Decked in wooden trimmings and gorgeous Tiffany-blue hues, the establishment is easily spotted from afar. You’ll also be greeted at the door by a statue of Yao Yao Sauerkraut Fish’s adorable mascot: A quirky animal that’s a bear-and-fish-hybrid. 

We visited the restaurant during lunch hour, and it was crowded with diners eager to taste its tantalising dishes. We’d recommend coming down earlier to snag a table and skip the queue.

Yao Yao Sauerkraut Fish
Sichuan spicy poached chicken. Photo: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

First on our list of appetisers to try is the Sichuan spicy poached chicken (S$12). It sees tender slices of boneless chicken drumstick poached in an aromatic, fiery broth. 

You may want to have a drink on standby. Made from Sichuan peppercorns, dried red chilli peppers and a plethora of fragrant spices, this spicy dressing is not for the faint of heart.

Yao Yao Sauerkraut Fish
Sour and spicy organic white fungus. Photo: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

The sour and spicy organic white fungus (S$9) is another dish that we enjoyed. It’s presented in a bowl chockfull of generous chunks of liao (ingredients): Yunnan white fungus and onions drizzled with piquant chilli oil. 

This appetiser is sure to get your tummies rumbling for the main course, with its addictive crunch and flavour in every bite.

Yao Yao Sauerkraut Fish
The signature Yao Yao Sauerkraut Fish. Photos: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

The signature Yao Yao Sauerkraut Fish (S$48 for two persons, S$68 for three to four persons, S$88 for five to six persons) is the star of the show at the restaurant. 

Tender slices of California white seabass are prepared with suan cai (sauerkraut) that has been fermented for 24 days. The succulent fish is then cooked in a peppery, herbaceous broth that’s simmered for eight hours, alongside rich spices specially imported from Sichuan. 

The result is a tongue-numbing delicacy that’s incredibly savoury and satisfying. Feel free to throw in additional ingredients, such as enoki mushrooms, luncheon meat and tofu (from S$3), to jazz up the dish. 

Yao Yao Sauerkraut Fish
The Sichuan poached fish. Photo: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

Get the best of both worlds with the Yao Yao Super Combination (from S$53), where you can mix and match the signature fish dish with another soup of your choice. Choose between two flavours: Tomato fish and Sichuan poached fish (also referred to as shui zhu yu). 

The latter is our favourite. It features a medley of aromatic spices and juicy fish slices cooked in a spicy, flavoursome broth. If you’re a spice lover, this red-hot dish is one you cannot miss.

Alternatively, for an East-meets-West creation, opt for the Hong Kong-style Typhoon Shelter shrimp with fries to go with the sauerkraut fish. The prawns are crisp, juicy and fragrant, while the fries are a crunchy and delightful addition to the mix.

Yao Yao Sauerkraut Fish
We’d come back for the Yao Yao Peking duck. Photo: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

The Yao Yao Peking duck (S$45 for half, S$90 for whole) won our hearts at first bite. Served with a plethora of dips, such as a housemade sesame-mustard sauce and traditional Peking duck dressing, the dish spotlights mouthwatering slices of duck meat with a crispy skin. 

The meat is melt-in-your-mouth tender, and each mouthful promises a myriad of flavours. The dish is also accompanied by paper-thin crepe rolls that you can use as a wrap, as well as slices of honeydew and scallions.

Yao Yao Sauerkraut Fish
The Rainbow Cold Jelly. Photo: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

The last item to savour at Yao Yao Sauerkraut Fish in Singapore is the Rainbow Cold Jelly (S$8). It’s a colourful dish with shades of red, orange and yellow, making it a perfect shot for the ’gram. 

The picturesque dessert is a homemade oolong jelly that’s adorned with ingredients including the likes of raisins, red bean, hawthorn and barley. It’s not cloying sweet and is a wonderful refresher on a hot day. 

If you prefer other sweets on the menu, there’s also the chilled layered coconut pudding (S$9) and red bean cold jelly (S$3).

This was a hosted tasting.

For the latest on the food scene, check out the opening of Back to Eden cafe or our guides on the best spots for laksa and eateries at Paya Lebar.

Book a ride to Yao Yao Sauerkraut Fish to try its famous suan cai yu.

Yao Yao Sauerkraut Fish

VivoCity, 02-145/146, 1 Harbourfront Walk
Nearest MRT station: HarbourFront
Open: Monday to Friday (11.30am to 2.30pm, 5pm to 9.30pm), Saturday and Sunday (11.30am to 3.30pm, 5pm to 9.30pm)

VivoCity, 02-145/146, 1 Harbourfront Walk
Nearest MRT station: HarbourFront
Open: Monday to Friday (11.30am to 2.30pm, 5pm to 9.30pm), Saturday and Sunday (11.30am to 3.30pm, 5pm to 9.30pm)

Picture for WP

Phyllis Leong


The resident sweet tooth with a severe addiction to desserts.

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