Kok Sen Restaurant

Is good food worth queuing for? I would think so! Kok Sen Restaurant has probably become a possible favourite zi char restaurant for me! Keong Saik Road was a known red-light district in the early days but it has transformed into a bustling street of great cafes and restaurants as well. Kok Sen was recommended by my classmate so the few of us decided on this place for dinner.

According to Daniel’s Food Diary, they were listed in the Singapore Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2016 and 2017! He also mentioned that queues and waiting times were getting longer too. But yes, if it is so highly recommended, I must try it too!

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Queues start on the outside of the restaurant, towards the right. Staff will ask the standard question of “How many people are there in your group?”. Be prepared to share a table with other diners and I believe they are doing that so as to reduce the waiting time.

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Packed even on a Tuesday night!

We had the Braised Ribs with Bittergourd in Black Bean Sauce which was amazing. The meat was tender from the long braising, and the harshness of the bittergourd was mellowed because of the rich but flavourful sauce.

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A must-have would be their Claypot Yong Tau Foo. You’ll be able to spot your friendly vegetables: Eggplant, beancurd, and chilli. Their filling is a mixture of fish and prawn paste, and it had a rustic charm to it because it was not pounded to a fine paste like other Yong Tau Foos. Oh one more thing, it’s served bubbling hot!

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And who can ever forget the usual Kangkong? I’m a fan of both the Sambal Kangkong and the normal (清炒) version that is fried with garlic. It was good, but there was a slight absence of the familiar wok hei you can taste whenever you order this dish.

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Finally the last dish: Kung Bao Frogs’ Legs! It is a spicy stir-fried Chinese dish that is normally made with chicken as many people know it by its Chinese name: 宫保鸡丁 (Gong Bao Chicken). Meat was tender, no doubt about it. The slightly charred dried chilli gave this dish a smokey aroma and a nice kick to it.

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Address:
30 Keong Saik Rd
Singapore 089137

Nearest MRT:
Outram Park MRT Station (EW16)

Opening Hours:
Mondays – Sundays: 12:00PM – 2:00PM, 5:00PM – 11:00PM

Chin Huat Live Seafood

It HAS been a while since I last had good seafood. The last time would be..scallops in Borough Market? Burger & Lobster in London? Chin Huat Live Seafood was our stop. Before you enter the restaurant, you will be greeted by glass aquariums with fresh seafood. Lobsters that were probably longer and thicker than my forearm, crabs so huge they could just engulf my face.IMG_4296

We did not just order these four dishes, as there were other appetizers and all, but these were, in my opinion, the main stars of that dinner. The lobster was cooked in their own Superior Broth. A common mistake would be to either undercook the lobster, making it absolutely uneatable, or overcook it, rendering it really tough but still eatable.  However, Chin Huat did it well as the meat was tender and seasoned well by the broth.

The next two dishes were chilli crab and one of the menu highlights: Golden Sauce Crab. The crab was cooked in their signature sambal-based gravy, with corn starch and egg to thicken the sauce. Pair the sauce with white rice, happy days.

What impressed me was the Golden Sauce Crab. Some of you might have heard of or tried it before but I have not really heard of cooking crabs in a pumpkin based sauce. The sauce is so creamy, with a hint of spice from chilli padi and fragrance from curry leaves. You MUST order their deep-fried mantou which sells for $1 a piece. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Dip it well into either sauces (chilli crab/golden sauce), and enjoy the burst of flavours.

Last dish was Chye Por Hor Fun, a dish so filled with wok hei, succulent prawns, covered in a blanket of fried egg.

(I found a recipe for pumpkin king prawns here! But I believe that recipe can be applied to crabs as well! Thanks to Chefandsommelier!)

Address:
Blk 105 Clementi St 12, #01-30,
Singapore 120105

Nearest MRT:
Clementi MRT Station (EW23)
Buses: 52, 154, 184
(Take to the bus-stop “Blk 109”, ID:12061)

Opening hours:
Mon-Sun:
11.30AM – 2.30PM
5.00PM – 10.30PM