Located within Changi Village Hotel, Chou Bei isn't an easy find to begin with. Upon pacing up the steps to the open-concept restaurant, it occurred to me that this restaurant was probably family-owned, judging from the camaraderie the staff shared.
After placing our orders, the cold sake was served first to us, with pretty sake glasses to boot.
Our sashimi platter came with salmon, tuna, swordfish (my favourite!) and other white fish. The sashimi slices were fresh, although I've tasted sweeter cuts at other restaurants.
We chose a hotpot for variety, and we were pleased with the service staff, who were meticulous in setting up the portable stove and helping us with the cooking. The hotpot set ($35) came with assorted vegetables, prawns, sashimi slices, udon and a savoury soup base.
The udon was done just right, and the carrots and shitake mushrooms were carved beautifully. The sashimi that came with the hotpot wasn't fresh, so we dumped it into the hotpot to cook.
The restaurant was decorated modestly, and had a sushi bar for those who wish to watch the chef working. It's a good place for a weekend retreat to wind down with a loved one or with business partners, given the ambience and minimal disturbance from diners and service staff. I observed that the service staff were also observant when serving customers; they would always serve the ladies before serving the men, and did not pester us to foot the bill, even though we sat there to dine and chat for 2 hours.
Changi Village Hotel
Tel.: +65 6542 6881
Operating hours: 12pm to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 10.30pm daily