Thursday, April 10, 2014

Comfort food: Cze Char by Kok Sen ...best of the traditional Cantonese eateries?

More comfort food, as I am still withdrawing from the overload of very good European food...today, the quintessential Singaporean table, with Cze Char, also variously spelled Zi Char, Tzu Chao...etc.

Kok Sen, the subject of today's review is an old stalward of the craft of the ferocious fire, and the wok. Food is typically Cantonese styled, and indeed very good...one of the best in the trade.

We begin with the less good...so to speak...yee mee with fish slices

Slightly less successful than the other dishes which I will introduce in a moment...but throughly enjoyable still. The yee mee is a bit bland. The fish was nice and fresh, and the gravy also a bit on the mild side. But this slight disappointment was completely overwhelmed by the black bean beef hor fun, which was next:

Redemption indeed. Bursting with flavours, deep dark...very tasty. The wok hei was powerful, charring parts of the hor fun and the vegetables, but yet the beef remained tender...juicy and very very nice.

The yong taufu was also superb

The gravy was rich, and very tasty, the yong taufu itself was home made, fresh, and very flavourful...superb with just plain steamed rice.

The standard cze char dishes are also done nicely, the hae cho

Nice and non greasy, great flavours. Crispy outside due to the deep frying and crispy bits of water chestnuts within which are fresh and almost raw. The prawn paste stuffing was perfectly cooked, and the flavour of the prawn was evident and very nice. Proof that the cook has great control over his fire.

As was the har cheong kai

Beautifully fried, the seasoning was nice too. Though in the case of the HCK, not the best I have eaten.

We also tried the sambal fish, which was also superb

The fresh fish slices deep fried till crispy outside but still very nice and juicy within, coated with a wonderful aromatic, piquant sambal sauce.

And the obligatory vegetables, spinach in a soup of 3 kinds of egg

Quite standard as was the sambal kangkong we ordered.

Overall, an excellent place for great tasting meal. The place is rather crowded during lunch time, but this kind of restaurant is not for lounging around to enjoy the ambience. But purely for the great tasting food. Service was swift, efficient, and polite, but not pampering. Highly recommended.

Kok Sen Restaurant
30B Keong Saik Road
62232005
Daily: 11:30 - 22:30

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