Wontons

One of the most satisfying and simple comfort foods in Chinese cuisine is the wonton. A hot bowl of wonton soup is perfect when exhausted or ill. A serving of wontons sauced with a thick, reduced chicken stock is a delicious snack. A portion, tossed in a spicy homemade chilli-oil sauce, can be a fantastically exciting dish to serve friends. And when served with homemade noodles and charsiu (roast pork), they can become part of a bowl full of heaven.

Making wontons at home is something our mothers all did at some point in our childhoods, which also infuses them with that magical quality of nostalgia. For many, slurping down a bowl full of delicious wontons is nothing short of recapturing some of the best parts of their youth. (Keep reading)

Crispy roast chicken to die for

I really love the “new” National Museum of Singapore. I think what architect Mok Wei Wei has done with this space is simply fantastic. He took an aging institution, preserved and updated its best and most beautiful parts, and then added a vast, striking and modern extension, turning it into one of the country’s most iconic landmarks. Over the past year, I’ve visited the museum a lot, both for work and for fun. It really has become one of my favourite places in town.

But one thing I’ve always felt was just a little wrong was that the museum didn’t boast an Asian restaurant. In my opinion, a country’s national museum should have an F&B outlet that offers food from that country – or at least from its region. Until recently, none of the outlets in the museum catered to this need. One serves upscale European food. Another was originally going to offer a lunch menu inspired by regional colonial classics but the establishment’s owner ended up deciding that there was more money in serving booze and turned the place into a overly-hip bar. (I’m told this place will close this month, re-opening sometime early next year as a fusion bistro helmed by Chef Anderson Ho.) The museum’s only cafe serves one – yes, just one – local dish per day, and only because the museum’s director suggested rather strongly that they should offer some local food.

Fortunately, the museum has a new restaurant. And not just any restaurant. Chef Chan’s is the latest incarnation of one of Singapore’s most well-known and respected Chinese (Cantonese) restaurants. Chef Chan Chen Hei, one of Singapore’s most beloved chefs, first made his name at the Pan Pacific’s Hai Tien Lou. He then struck out on his own, opening the first Chef’s Chan in a Singapore Armed Forces Reservists Association clubhouse in the suburbs. The place was an instant hit and he soon moved the restaurant from the heartland to the heart of the city. The second Chef Chan’s occupied a huge space in Odeon Towers, a modern office building facing the Raffles Hotel.

The new Chef Chan’s, by comparison, is small. It has a tiny public seating area and just a few private rooms. Surprisingly, a large chunk of the restaurant’s space is being used not to seat customers but to show off some of the chef’s remarkable collection of Chinese antiques. Dining here feels like you are eating in the middle of a very luxe and very private gallery – which is not at all a bad thing given the restaurant’s location.

My wife S, my parents, and I checked out the restaurant this weekend. My father was a regular at Chef Chan’s previously and he advised us to order what he considers the chef’s very best items: crispy roasted farmer chicken; shark’s fin soup with crab meat and crab roe; and black pepper beef. In addition to these three specialties, we also had a Shanghainese tofu, which was really tasty but also pretty funky – it looked like chopped up pieces of sponge that had been soaked in an admittedly delicious sauce. The beef was excellent. I would have personally liked it a little less peppery, but I’m also a bit of a wimp when it comes to hot food. The soup was delicious. It was savoury and rich and filled with yummy, luxurious things. The overall winner, though, was the chicken. This was without question the best dish we tasted and may just be one of the very best roast chickens I have ever eaten in my whole life.

A lot of Chinese chefs serve crispy roast chicken. But few do it as well as Chan Chen Hei. In his hands, this simple dish is a work of art. The skin is paper thin, crisp and full of flavour. All the fat (which usually appears below the skin) has been magically rendered away. The meat is soft, tender, juicy and a joy to eat. Despite this being the last of our courses (and after the soup I felt pretty full), I made a complete pig of myself.

I’ll be honest. I personally haven’t eaten at Chef Chan’s previous places too often. So, I can’t really talk with any real authority about his other dishes. But my dad has and he reiterated more than a few times that I’d be best served sticking to the 3 dishes that he recommended. And given just how darned good that crispy roast chicken was, I think I may just do what he says (for once). Or at least, I’ll always order the chicken and maybe vary what vegetable S and I have on the side.

Chef Chan’s
National Museum of Singapore
01-06, 93 Stamford Road
Singapore
Tel: +65 6333 0073

Not your usual egg rolls

When I was in high school, my favourite night of the week was Thursday. It had nothing to do with the shows on television that night (although I have to admit I was a fan of both the critically-acclaimed Cheers and the much-maligned Young Riders). Nor was it because the following day was Friday, which of course meant the start of the weekend — and (by the time I was a senior) also meant an incredibly relaxing day, having arranged my schedule so I had no more than a couple of hours of actual class time. There was no regular extra-curricular activity that got me revved up. Nor was there any other kind of after-school special that got my juices flowing. The reason why Thursday night was my favourite was because Thursday was duck night.

Every Thursday, almost without fail, my sainted mother would go to Chinatown and bring home a delicious, Cantonese roasted duck. It was and still is one of my favourite foods, the kind of thing I could not only eat weekly without ever getting bored of it but actually look forward to tasting week after week. Of course, man cannot live on duck alone. To eat along with the duck, mom would whip up one of a number of equally delectable dishes. Of these, there were three or four that she would make most often, their return appearances usually based on the volume and number of “yums”, “mmmmmmmms” and “wows” she heard at our table. Of these dishes, my own personal favourite was a simple dish whose origins I’ve never discovered.

Come to think of it, my mother never even gave this dish, a steamed roll of fish paste and egg, drizzled with a thick, sticky, savory and slightly sweet sauce, a name. Or at least, if it had one, I never knew what it was. Over the years, whenever I’ve asked my mother where she learned how to make this, she’d simply wave me off, saying it was something she picked up and liked making because she knew we (our whole family) liked it and, just as importantly, it was really easy to make.

I’ve always liked that this dish had strong yet clean flavours. Since it was steamed, it was also relatively healthy and acted as a good counterfoil to the much oilier duck that we were devouring alongside it.

Over the years, I’ve mentioned this dish to my darling wife S dozens of times but until this week had never made it for her. To do it properly, I served it with half a Cantonese roasted duck. It was Thursday night all over again.

Steamed fish and egg rolls

3 eggs
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon mirin
1/2 teaspoon salt
400g fish paste
1 red chilli
4-5 spring onions
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon dark, thick, sweet soy sauce
2 teaspoons corn starch/flour

Deseed and finely chop the red chilli. Wash and clean the spring onions. Then finely chop them, discarding about 1/3 of the green tips. Stir the spring onions and chilli into the fish paste.

Beat the eggs and add 1 teaspoon mirin and the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Heat a large non-stick pan and fry half of the egg mixture, making a large, round, flat and thin omelet. Slide the omelet out onto a plate or tray. Then use the remaining half of the egg mixture to fry another thin omelet.

Taste your fish paste. Depending on how savoury it is (ideally, try and buy paste that isn’t too salty), spread a slightly thicker or thinner layer on the two omelets. Roll each one carefully into a long and compact tube. Transfer these to a steamer and steam for 12-15 minutes.

While the rolls are steaming, make your sauce. Boil the chicken stock and 1 tablespoon of mirin, reducing it by about one-third. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of the stock into a bowl and mix the cornstarch into it. When dissolved, pour this mixture back into the stock. Then add the 1 teaspoon of the dark, sweet and thick soy. Stir and simmer for a bit to thicken the sauce. You want the sauce to be thick. Season to taste with more mirin or soy.

When the rolls are ready, transfer them to a cutting board and cut them into thick slices. Plate these and drizzle the sauce over them.

Do you moo shoo?

For a good chunk of my life, I’ve harbored a secret. It’s something my wife is pretty disgusted by, something that few friends here in Singapore sympathize with or even understand. But I know there are others out there like me, others that share my hidden shame. Some are even more passionate about it than I am. Those people indulge this vice regularly while for me, it was always an occasional tryst… something that always satisfied me yet also made me feel just a tad ashamed of myself.

But enough is enough. If there is one thing I’ve learned in my life is that there’s absolutely no point pretending to be something that you’re not. And so, I’ve decided to simply come clean and say to the world a few simple but pretty shocking words.

I actually like American-Chinese food.

Well, not all of it mind you. I’ll never understand or appreciate what Americans call “Singapore Noodles” and I find beef and broccoli pretty bland and boring. But I do enjoy my fair share of a cuisine that my darling food-writer wife, who grew up in Singapore, refuses to acknowledge as real Chinese food. I like and have eaten over the years a substantial amount of General Tso’s chicken, cold sesame noodles, eggplant in hot garlic sauce, lemon chicken, sesame chicken, kung pao chicken, and shrimp lo mein. (Note that I’m saying “like”, not “love”. While I do enjoy and even occasionally crave these MSG-rich dishes, I would never go so far as to actually say that I love them.)

Another dish that I enjoy is moo shoo pork, served with pancakes of course. The first time I told this to S, she actually burst out laughing. Not only had she never eaten the dish, she didn’t think that anyone with any taste would ever voluntarily seek it out. I think for quite a while she was pretty freaked out that she had actually married someone who would. Fortunately (for me), she got over it. That didn’t stop her, however, from making fun of my moo shoo madness for the longest time.

A couple years ago, S picked up a book by American-Chinese food-writer Grace Young called The Breath of a Wok. As I’ve written before, we have a ludicrous number of cookbooks. And while we try our best to look through and use as many of our books as possible, there are a few that S might look at but that I’ll forget about and vice-versa. Young’s The Breath of a Wok is one such work. While S has poured over several of the recipes in it, I only opened it for the first time last week. Imagine my surprise and excitement when I flipped the book open and found a recipe for “Virginia Yee’s Moo Shoo Pork with Mandarin Pancakes”. If you can do that, now try and imagine S’s groans of sheer fright and horror when I announced that I was whipping up a batch for dinner!

To her credit, she was a complete trooper. After several hours of pleading, she agreed to help out, taking on the difficult task of making the dough for the pancakes. And at the end of our meal, I was pleased as punch that she actually admitted that she enjoyed her very first moo shoo pork platter. Of course, I should say that Young’s recipe yields a substantially healthier and more flavourful version than anything I’ve ever had before.

Moo Shoo Pork
Adapted from Grace Young’s The Breath of a Wok
Serves 4

1/3 cup cloud ears
5 dried shiitake mushrooms
45g dried cellophane noodles
230g pork butt/shoulder
3.5 teaspoons soy sauce
1.5 tablespoon Hoisin sauce
2.5 teaspoons Shao Hsing rice wine
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoons sugar
pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 slices ginger
2 scallions, diced
1.5 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 cup cup canned shredded bamboo shoots
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Soak the cloud ears in cold water for 30 minutes or until soft. Drain, trim away the hard parts and cut the rest into shreds. Set aside. In a separate bowl, soak the shiitake mushrooms in 1/2 cup of cold water for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the soaking liquid. Squeeze the mushrooms dry, discard the stems and cut the caps into fine shreds. Set aside. In another bowl, submerge the cellophane noodles in cold water and soak for 15 minutes. Drain and cut into 3 inch pieces.

Cut the pork into small “matchstick” pieces. Put the pork into a bowl and add 1 teaspoon of the soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of the Shao Hsing, 1 teaspoon of the cornstarch, 1/2 tablespoon of the Hoisin, 1/4 teaspoon of the sugar, and a pinch of pepper. Stir to combine. In a small bowl, combine the salt, and the remaining 2.5 teaspoons of soy sauce, 2 teaspoons Shao Hsing, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 1 tablespoon Hoisin, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and the reserved mushroom liquid. Set aside.

Heat a well-seasoned flat-bottomed wok or large fry pan over high heat. Swirl in the vegetable oil, add the ginger and cook it for 10 seconds. Then remove the ginger and throw it away. Add the scallions and shiitake mushrooms and stir-fry for 1 minute. Push the scallion mixture to the side and add the pork, spreading it evenly. Cook for 20 seconds undisturbed. Then stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.

Add the cloud ears, cabbage and bamboo shoots. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes or until cabbage is tender. Add the cellophane noodles and stir-fry just to combine. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the pork until the sauce has thickened and the noodles are cooked through, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in the sesame oil.

These are to be eaten with Mandarin pancakes. The Breath of a Wok has a fantastic recipe for making exceptional pancakes. For the recipe, please buy the book.

China House, Bangkok

Ever since my friend B described the specially designed contraption that the recently renovated China House restaurant at The Oriental, Bangkok, had commissioned just to roast and dry their lacquered (Peking) ducks and geese, I’ve been a little obsessed about visiting it. The perfect excuse presented itself last week when I spent a day in Bangkok meeting with Dr S and his wife V. As I was literally spending just one day in the city, circumstances demanded that we meet for lunch rather than dinner. I proposed that we have a light lunch at The China House. The double story restaurant is quite a sight to behold. Its exterior is clad with slabs of stacked slate and a long, protruding section lined with large windows invites you to peek into the kitchen (unfortunately, I was ill-placed to catch sight of the fantastical, fowl-twirling invention I had been told about). The street-level entrance takes you into a small space which has a ceiling lined with over a hundred red lanterns, making it a stunning introduction to a breathtakingly dramatic restaurant.

As I stepped further into The China House’s cool, dark interior, the first thing that caught my eye was its sexy Tea Apothecary which sits in a double volume space at the heart of the restaurant. Large canisters of Mariage Freres tea line the wall facing the entrance; it was a bit of a spiritual encounter for me. This is the first (and currently the only) place in Bangkok which serves 35 Mariage Freres teas (including two blends specially created for the hotel, the Oriental blend and the China House blend). I could be wrong, but it is also possibly the only place within a two-hour flight from Singapore which serves such a considerable selection of MF teas. I was determined to have tea in this alluring, intimate salon.

We were led further into the restaurant which has an Art Deco-inspired interior harking back to 1930s Shanghai. I love the private booths for two or four cocooned in red silk curtains. The cuisine here is modern Chinese in presentation but classical Chinese in flavour. Shanghai-based Singaporean chef Jereme Leung serves as its consultant. Since there were only three of us, we ordered a selection of dimsum and a Peking duck (a house specialty). What I enjoyed most about the dimsum were its clean, natural flavours and translucent, delicate skins. I could taste the subtly sweet meat juices in the shrimp and pork siu mai flavoured with salted duck eggs which had just enough fat to make it tender. And I relished the textures of the fine, hand cut fillings as we tucked into shrimp dumplings (har gau) and freshly made charsiew rice rolls (cheong fun) with coriander. We had avoided the “Bygone and Thai cuisine-inspired” dimsum selections because we really wanted to keep lunch simple and reasonably healthy, but I predicted that CH would order the slow braised pork belly served with butterfly shaped soft buns at the dinner he was planning to have there later in the week. The glutinous rice siew mai filled with minced pork and holy basil also sounded promising.

Sharing a whole Peking duck between three people is, in my opinion, a real treat. One gets just enough crisp, paper-thin duck skin to feel just a tad over indulged. Chef Kong suggested that we have some of the duck meat served finely minced in elegant little lettuce cups (sang choy bao). Although this is a fairly common dish, his version was deliciously refined. We ended our meal with more duck served shredded with eefu noodles (sublime comfort food in my books) before proceeding to the Tea Apothecary. I am quickly entering The China House onto my list of must-visits in Bangkok.

The China House
48 Oriental Avenue
Bangkok
Tel: 66 (2) 659 9000 Ext. 7650-1

Photos courtesy of The Oriental Bangkok 

Yun Fu

I’ve previously written about both Hutong and Shui Hu Ju. Owned by the Aqua restaurant group, these are two of my all-time favourite places to stuff my face in Hong Kong. While the two restaurants serve similar menus — super-delicious, rustic Northern Chinese fare — each has its own unique feel. Hutong, located high atop the One Peking Road building in Kowloon is James Bond sexy. It’s the kind of place to go on a hot date when you want to show off the sexy young thing joining you for dinner. Shui Hu Ju, located on Peel Street in Hong Kong’s SoHo area, is tiny, dark and very intimate. It’s a place for recluses and secret meals.

I was thrilled to discover that the Aqua group has recently opened a new Chinese restaurant in Central. I was also amused to find out, after talking to several friends and a few hoteliers, that no one seemed to know about it. Yun Fu is located in the basement of a building on Wyndham Street. The building faces The Centrium (where the popular Dragon-i bar and restaurant is located) and is just west of the very stylish LKF Hotel. Yet despite it’s very central location and having been opened since December, when I mentioned that I was going to have or had lunch at Yun Fu, everyone I knew went, “Huh? What restaurant? I’ve never heard of that place.” Even the General Manager of the LKF and the hotel’s concierges didn’t know about it, shocking considering it’s just a few doors away.

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Entering Yun Fu is fun. You walk down a steep staircase. Then you enter a round, stone-walled room with a small circular bar. On the far side of the room there’s a long hallway, which you have to walk through to access the private rooms and main dining room. The whole experience feels like you’ve entered some illegal, subterranean, private club. The hallway is flanked with arched, old Chinese wood and glass doors. The glass is a deep red. Through them you can spy the restaurant’s kitchens, which is surreal considering that you’ll find cuts of meat hanging from menacing looking meat hooks and chefs prepping food. The hallway opens into a dimly lit dining room dominated by a large buddha draped in saffron silk.

We started with cold river prawns with green scallions which were beautifully presented in a covered basket. The dish was light, clean and refreshing. It was very subtly seasoned and would have been the perfect foil for a spicy dish. Our next course was duck wrapped in tofu pancake, a delicious roll of shredded duck, slivers of tofu and vegetables wrapped in a thin omelette that was then deep fried. The combination of flavors and contrast of textures was a delight. I would definitely order this dish again. The restaurant group’s signature crispy mutton followed after. I have to have this at least once every time I visit Hong Kong. It was served with a tart, vinegar dip that cut through the fatty mutton. Mandarin fish in salted egg yolk was next. Utterly sensual and delicious. To make S happy, we had some green vegetables to end the meal. I can’t honestly remember what kind of vegetable we ordered; they were good though.

Despite its semi-secret status, the restaurant was about two-thirds full. I would urge anyone living in Hong Kong or visiting soon to book a table as soon as possible. I’m sure once people realize where Yun Fu is and how good the food is, it will soon be packed day and night.

Yun Fu
Basement 43-55 Wyndham Street
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2116 8855

A festive dish for family

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One of the meals I look forward to preparing each year is the dinner our family shares on the eve of Chinese New Year. I remember the frenzied research and rounds of rehearsal dinners I went through before I prepared my first reunion dinner four years ago. I must confess that I was crazily ambitious and aspired to incorporate traditional Shanghainese, Hokkien and Teochew dishes into my menu in order to honour my family’s various heritages. Then there was the attempt to cram in every auspicious ingredient I could get my hands on. Eight treasure duck? Done it. Lohan chai (Buddha’s vegetarian feast) with 18 ingredients? Attempted that. Shanghainese lion’s head? Yes, I’ve tried out the whole mix-the-minced-pork-in-only-one-direction technique. Trust me, that’s not the secret to those airy meatballs. Jiaozi (a kind of dumpling which is served at this time of the year because it looks like ancient Chinese money)? Let me know if you ever want a recipe for nouvelle foie gras jiaozi in double-boiled chicken consommé perfumed with Jasmine tea leaves. After all, a girl naturally hopes to impress her in-laws, no?

I guess, with age and some experience, one learns restraint. I’ve whittled what were once seven-course extravaganzas down to four this year (and since the fabulous J made dessert, I only really made three courses). It’s my shortest menu yet. I chose to revisit Thomas Keller’s “Macaroni and Cheese” (Butter-poached lobster with creamy lobster broth and mascarpone-enriched orzo) from The French Laundry Cookbook because I adore the depth of flavour you get from his magnificent lobster broth; and lobster, in any language, continues to be associated with luxury and indulgence. To temper the richness of the mac ‘n’ cheese, I paired Yoshii Ryuichi’s yuzu miso lamb chops with dashi-braised organic Japanese carrots, daikon and mizuna. It’s a bit of a stretch, but I figured that the yuzu would stand in for tangerines which are incredibly popular at this time of year because “jú” (tangerine in Mandarin) sounds very similar to “jí” (meaning auspicious or lucky).

But neither of these dishes were particularly traditional nor Chinese. To retain some element of tradition, I returned to a very simple, light and healthy dish: savoury custard. Made with rich, homemade chicken stock and covered with a reduction made from the same stock, it is a delicately elegant, yet powerfully flavourful canvas against which one may choose to showcase anything from steamed prawns to freshly picked crabmeat. We are very fortunate that a very generous, close family friend gives us pre-prepared shark’s fin and abalone as a gift every Chinese New Year. (Yes, I know some of you are tut-tutting. I don’t actively seek to eat shark’s fin, but I feel that if a living being has had its life taken from it for my dinner, then I should jolly well honour it with a dish worthy of its sacrifice.) I steamed the thick, whole fins in chicken stock with coriander, spring onions, a few slivers of young ginger and a splash of Chinese cooking wine. The abalone was thinly sliced and gently heated through with more hot chicken stock. Both the shark’s fin and abalone were placed on the custard and garnished with blanched bean sprouts. This was served with Chinese vinegar and ground white pepper. However, by changing the kind of stock (a Japanese dashi instead of chicken, for example) and the items you choose to place in or on the custard (mushrooms, minced pork, salted duck egg yolk), you’ll be able to create a host of dishes based upon this master recipe. It’s the culinary equivalent of a crisp white shirt. I hope you’ll find it as handy as I do!

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Chinese-style chicken stock
(Makes a little less than 4 litres)

2 kampung (free range) chickens
5 stalks spring onions
5 stalks coriander
3-4 slices young ginger
5-6 medium dried scallops
3-4 slices Chinese ham
Chinese cooking wine to taste

Skin the chickens and chop each one into six pieces. Discard the skin. Slice the spring onions and coriander into 5-centimetre lengths. Place all the ingredients in a large stock pot. Cover with 4 litres of water and bring to a boil over a small fire. Simmer for 2 to 3 hours or until the stock tastes flavourful to you. Strain and discard the solids.

Steamed custard
(Makes 6 small, shallow portions)

400 milliltres Chinese-style chicken stock
3 eggs
Light soy sauce to taste

Beat eggs with a pair of chopsticks taking care not to create too many bubbles. Combine with chicken stock and season with soy sauce. Strain through a fine sieve. I often strain it again as I pour it into individual dishes.

Divide equally between six shallow soup plates. Steam for 25 to 30 minutes. This really varies depending on how you steam them. I like placing them in my Miele steam oven set at 90 degree Celsius. When they are done, the custards should still be a little wobbly.

Chinese-style chicken stock reduction
I usually take the remaining stock and boil it until it reduces to a level of concentration that I find tasty and well-suited for the particular dish it is intended for. So I can’t really indicate how much reduction you will end up with. I like it best when it starts to develop a silky, almost gelatinous texture and deep, savoury flavour. You may wish to season it or add a little more Chinese cooking wine to taste.

To assemble, gently pour some reduction onto the surface of the custard (start from the side of the dish rather than the middle so that you don’t create tears on the surface of the custard) and garnish with ingredients of your choice.

Ming Kee Live Seafood

It’s been a long time since S and I have gone out with friends and pigged out, mostly because she’s still trying to finish her long-overdue doctoral thesis. As I’ve written previously, we’re currently trying to stay in most nights. However, there are some friends that you just don’t say “no” to. Ever. N & M are two such people. So when they called and told us they were organizing a group to check out a seafood restaurant they’ve recently become enamored with, we immediately agreed to join them. And given the quality of the food we had, I’m very happy we did.

Ming Kee Live Seafood is tucked among a busy row of restaurants and eateries on Macpherson Road. It’s next to a famous fried intestines shop and a few doors down from Swa Garden, Ignatius Chan’s favorite Teochew restaurant. We had a splendid meal, made even better through the edition of some amazing wines supplied by N, including some JJ Prum Rieslings and a 1996 Flor de Pingus. We began our feast with a perfectly roasted suckling pig. This was followed by the most beautifully tender mussels cooked in a lovely, umami, soy sauce based sauce. After this, we had equally delicious steamed scallops covered in young garlic. We then had some fried mee sua that was good but not great. The next course, steamed crayfish, on the other hand, were excellent.

Our feast continued with a pair of fried soon hock. These were stunning. The fish was crispy yet tender. And the sauce was yummy and savory. Soon after the fish came out, we were served some homemade tofu with mushrooms and broccoli. The tofu was exceptionally well-made. We also had some kangkong fried with sambal, which was not bad. A dish that I didn’t expect to enjoy but which was quite tasty was deep-fried frogs’ legs. Our second-to-last dish of the night was some super-yummy fried hor fun. If I hadn’t already felt more stuffed than a Thanksgiving turkey, I could have eaten several helpings of this simple but gorgeous noodle dish.

The piece de resistence of the night, which was clearly S’s favorite dish, was crab bee hoon. S especially appreciated that the noodles were coated evenly with the crabs’ roe. The crabs were cooked well and were full of meat. The whole dish was very tasty and we were assured that it was all MSG-free.

Ming Kee Live Seafood is a great place if you feel like gorging yourself on course after course of delicious, well-made food. Personally, my favourites were the mussels, the scallops, the soon hock, the tofu and the fried hor fun. As said, S was a big fan of the crab bee hoon, which some friends declared as being even better than Danny’s (of Sin Huat fame). While I don’t want to cast judgement, I will say that it was excellent.

Ming Kee Live Seafood
556 Macpherson Road
Singapore
Tel: 6747 4075