When our dear friend Kenny was in Singapore for work recently, we were having a headache where to bring him for dinner — until someone suggested Cafe De Hong Kong at Balestier.
It’s always good to have a friend in town as it provides us with the perfect excuse to pig-out. It’s also a not-so-regular dinner outing for a group of lazy food bloggers.
Cafe De Hong Kong’s Nan Yu Roasted Crispy Chicken ($17 half chicken, pre-order required) is very different from the usual ones. For one, it wasn’t exceptionally crispy, nor was it extremely tender. But it stood out with the use of fermented bean curd to marinate the chicken, giving it a very different twist. While I didn’t like this dish, the rest of the folks enjoyed it tremendously.
The Pumpkin Paste & Salted Egg Golden Prawns ($22) was excellent. Each of us had a huge prawn that was coated with the rich salted egg yolk sauce. It was succulent, meaty and there was a subtle spiciness hidden within the robust sauce.
I felt that the Braised Lamb Brisket ($20) had a strong gamey taste, but the rest thought that it was acceptable and they went on to finish the whole pot!
The only vegetable that we ordered for dinner was the Braised Long Beans ($10) and it was much better than I expected.
The Fragrant Fish Roe Fried Rice ($10) was listed as one of Cafe De Hong Kong’s signature dishes and I was wondering what’s the big fuss about it. I mean, fried rice is just fried rice, how good can it be?
The porportion of grain – fish roe was evenly matched, and every mouthful of the fried rice was accompanied by the flavorful and crunchy red roe. This is definitely worth a try!
Dear God, or whoever in charge of wishes, I know I haven’t been very faithful when it comes to praying, and it isn’t nice for me to come to you only when I need something. But please, let the Sweet & Sour Pork ($10) be good.
There was a strong vinegar smell lingering in the air when the waitress brought the plate to our table, the appearance of the Sweet & Sour pork looked promising. Everyone stared at me to see my reaction as I was the one who insisted on ordering this dish. I took a piece with the chopsticks and placed it carefully into my mouth.
The first impression was not too bad, but after taking a few more bites, I concluded that it wasn’t what I was looking for. According to the others, they found the Sweet & Sour Pork too sweet, which wasn’t an issue with me. But it wasn’t crispy nor crunchy enough. Sometimes, I can’t help but wonder if I am seeking something that does not exist.
I almost fainted when the two French Toast came to our table. It was huge, and sinful! For a second, I was wondering if I should eat it. But I finally succumbed to temptation under peer-pressure. It was very good – definitely one of the best French Toast in Singapore!
Cafe De Hong Kong is somewhat like an upmarket zi-char stall in a Chinese restaurant setting. The restaurant was almost full when we were there on a weekday night, so you can guess how popular they are. While I am not totally convinced with all the raves that they are getting, Cafe De Hong Kong is probably an option to consider for dinner if you are in the Balestier area.
Cafe De Hong Kong
586 Balestier Road #01-01 Eastpac Building Singapore
Tel: +65 6255 3865