Steamed fish used to be a staple favourite of my late Dad. As kids, we didn’t care much for it but now, I realise why Dad was such a stickler when it came to steamed fish dishes. Nothing measures up to the fine, silky smooth texture of an on-point steamed fish — the Steamed Pomfret with Deep-fried Ginger Shreds we relished at 文華輕小厨 Kitchen
Just the show-stopping presentation of the dish alone elicits much ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ from our dining party. By the time the sumptuous fish hits our palate, we are well and truly hooked. Generously garnished with finely shredded deep-fried ginger and soused in fragrant superior soya sauce, the exquisite fish easily ranks as one of the most memorable ones I have had. Take note this signature dish needs to be ordered ahead of your visit though.
Now occupying the space where Extra Super Tanker used to be, Kitchen Restaurant is run by the same owners so expect your fill of hearty and comforting Chinese food, tricked up with inimitable touches of the resident chef’s.
While the pragmatic and functional setting is unlikely to hog the social media limelight, bona fide food lovers comprising neighbourhood residents, the white collar and family crowd are unlikely to grouse about the air-cond premise and low-key, casual vibes.
For curtain-raiser, we can vouch for the delightful Era Rojak Sotong. A winsome take on regular fruit rojak, with the inclusion of crispy deep-fried squid rings. Some may dismiss it as an odd combination but the lush sweetish-savouriness of the rojak sauce works cohesively well with the fresh crunchiness of pineapple, young mango, jicama, cherry tomatoes and cucumber interspersed with that of tender squid.
A whiff of the appetising saucy aroma is enough to make you drool and anxious in getting to grips with the house speciality of Baked Freshwater Prawns with Ginger and Spring Onion. To fully appreciate and savour the creamy roe and sweet, succulent meat of the prized crustaceans, it’s best to get your hands dirty.
Braised dishes are another forte of the chef here. My friend tells me the braised yam and pork ribs in claypot remains noteworthy but the current contender of Braised Tofu with Meatballs, Fish Maw and Mushrooms also ticks all the right boxes.
I’m partial to the utterly sublime pork meatballs. Bigger than golf balls, they incorporate minced prawns and diced waterchestnuts for extra texture and well-rounded flavours. Braised together with smooth, soft cubes of fried beancurd, spongy fish maw pieces and tender mushrooms, the resultant pot of homely goodies is transformed into a surefire crowd-pleaser.
The super crispy skin and juicy meat of the Roast Duck with Superior Sauce (Jiong Wong Siew Ngap) proves equally memorable. Instead of serving the sauce separately as a dip, the chef serves the duck on top of it. Hence each piece is touched by dabs of the house sauce, enhancing its meaty appeal and inducing one to eat more. This is another house speciality that also needs to be pre-ordered in advance.
Birthday celebrants may want to savour the signature Fried La Mian with Mushrooms, Egg and Pork Lard Croutons. Fresh hand-pulled noodles and crunchy dices of chee yau char play a key role in amping up the dish’s appeal. Slick with an irresistible, flavourful sauce with hints of zingy hotness, the delicious, slippery smooth noodles taste even more delicious with shredded omelette, white shimeiji mushroom and scallion.