I don't even care for much Chinese food in Singapore, why would I bother about it overseas? As a result, I don't know which are the good Chinese restaurants in other cities and it doesn't bother me.
At the work lunch, we were brought out to a Chinese restaurant- The Grand Duck King. I groaned inwardly because that was the last thing I wanted to eat in Jakarta. I had a really bad craving for chillies and spices.
However, it was refreshing because this was a proper halal Chinese restaurant. There are so many lovely halal restaurant options in Indonesia and Malaysia compared to Singapore. Furthermore, in spite of the restaurant's Hong Kong origins, the flavor of the food has become spicier due to its geographical location. The spices lend a good bite to the predominantly Cantonese cuisine. Best of all, soups served in the restaurant are creatively brewed rather than relying on pork bones and pork as the base for soup stock.
I was very happy when I realized that there was no chicken on the lunch menu our hosts picked out. There was duck because this restaurant is famous for its duck. I'm no expert. But as far as roast duck goes, this one is pretty tender and tasty. I rather enjoyed lunch. My colleagues and I ooh-ed and ahh-ed over every dish. We weren't just being polite. Food was truly good. Our hosts must think Singaporeans as very sua ku when it comes to dining out. :p
We had a fairly decent freshwater fish from Sarawak. I mean, it was as good as newly dead freshwater fish could taste. Unfortunately, we had it steamed. Freshwater fish do not taste good when done in Teochew style or just soya sauce. They taste better pan-fried. This is where I learnt about ikan empurau and its scales which could be deep fried (like prawn heads which are fried at Japanese restaurants) and eaten like crispy snacks.