The cze char scene in Singapore just gets better and better, and one of the best is Ming Kee Live Seafood. Our friend Lester and his wife Chane are two of our long-time favourite eating buddies, this dinner was on them and they gave us a really good treat. Starting with a basket of very more-ish deep fried fish skin. Then plump la-la clams in a garlicky soy sauce which husband was totally in love with. Also a whole river fish and some delicious coffee ribs.
The highlight though, was their crab beehoon. For me, this dish is all about the beehoon and in this aspect, Ming Kee exceeded my expectations. There wasn't much noodles but every strand was 100% clean, sweet, crab flavour. One of the crab was a female, its roe gave the noodles even more oomph. I definitely prefer this version to the one at Sin Huat, which had always striked me as a tad too sweet and occasionally blowzy with its heightened seafood umami-ness; nothing wrong with that, but I definitely prefer Ming Kee's minimalist rendition.
The following day was one of meeting with ex-colleagues and their families at a dim-sum lunch at Imperial Treasures Nan Bei, Takashimaya Shopping Centre. My friend really likes their special pork-belly char siew and I could see why. The meat, self-basting fatty melting deliciousness in itself, was coated in a gorgeous sweet-savoury glaze that turned it into meat bonbons, terribly addictive.
Knowing husband's fondness for fiery Sichuan cuisine, Andrew and a bunch of close makan friends organised a no-holds-barred dinner at Ba Yu Ren Jia restaurant near Bugis. It started off innocuously enough with an appetite-stimulating salad of liangpi (greenbean noodles), century eggs and shredded cucumbers dressed in sesame oil, vinegar and chilli oil.
Saliva chicken was snapped up quickly. Done right, it is supposed to be so delicious that the drooling reflex goes into overdrive, hence its name. The chicken itself was juicy and nicely muscular with a good ratio of springy skin, picking up lots of of the delicious yet mysterious sauce. A quick succession of dishes came out, all very tasty, and some rather spicy, but nothing I couldn't handle.
Until I ate a few strands of the vermicelli noodles from this platter of braised eel and my taste buds went into seizure. The noodles had absorbed all the heat from the little peppercorns, the dried peppers and the inflammatory chilli oil. This dish was way too hot to handle, and we had to resort to eating sugar to counter the spiciness. Till today I am not sure if this is the norm in Sichuan, or were the cooks trying to play a joke on us. But would I eat it again? Absolutely!
Ming Kee Live Seafood
556 Macpherson Road (Jn Macpherson Lane) T: 67474075
Imperial Treasure Nan Bei
5th floor, Takashimaya Shopping Centre
Ba Yu Ren Jia Restaurant
791 North Bridge Road T: 62979148