Sum’s Kitchen & Hong Kong Roasted Meat at Sembawang

Sum’s Kitchen & Hong Kong Roasted Meat 香港深記飯店

Address: 3 Jalan Legundi

Opening hours: Daily 12.00pm to 2.30pm,  5.00pm to 9.30pm Closed on Tuesday

Contact number: 6757 2118

Introduction

Sum’s Kitchen (深) is an air-conditioned Cze Char eatery at Sembawang area just opposite the famous Sembawang White Bee Hoon. They are rather well known among the heartlanders in Sembawang and many agree that they serve one of the best roast duck in Singapore. My friend had to call in a couple of days in advance to reserve the duck because they will only roast a handful of ducks, in additional to the order on their reservation list.

Sum’s Kitchen Menu: Click to enlarge

Roast Duck ($12.00 for half duck)

The roast duck is Sum’s Kitchen signature dish. At $20.00 for half a duck in an aircon environment, it’s pretty reasonable. I wouldn’t say the meat is succulent but it’s juicy for a roast duck. The stack of meat is soaked in it’s savoury spice-infused stuffing juice and adds on a delightful fragrance to the duck.

The duck is meaty and greasy in a good way and has almost zero fowl taste. Although the skin is crispy, it is not to the extend of crackling. If there is one thing to improve, it’s probably the skin.

Char Siew (S$12.00)

People who like the unhealthy version of Char Siew will like this. It is very charred, or overly charred to some people. It’s succulent, with a good mix of fatty and lean part and not overly sweet.

Fried Lettuce with Beancurd Paste ($12.00)

This is one dish that I like very much apart from the duck. It’s actually quite a simple dish where they stir fry lettuce in fermented bean curd paste (腐乳). The paste taste of a blend of soybeans, sesame oil and a bit of vinegar and rice wine. The lettuce is cooked till mid soft and while lettuce don’t have a distinctive taste to begin with, the taste is pretty much focus on the texture of lettuce and the beancurd paste. Love the home cooked taste of this dish.

Chinese Spinach with Three Eggs ($15.00)

i will order this vegetable whenever it’s on the menu. I had tried many versions of this dish and Sam’s Kitchen’s version is lighter in taste. The Chinese Spinach is cooked to the appropriate softness and comparing to some, theirs has a lighter garlic taste. I personally prefer a soup that is more rich and robust so i will just rate this as an “okay”.

Deep Fried Bean Curd Skin in Salt ($12.00)

This is a rather interesting dish whereby layers of thin beancurd skin is rolled up, battered, deep fried and toss in a mix of crispy chilli, salt and pepper. The exterior is cripsy while the center is softer, and retaining the sweet beancurd taste.

Spring onion ginger mix

Apart from the main dishes, Sam’s Kitchen also offer a bottle of condiment that consist of a mixture of spring onion and ginger. It goes exceptionally well with the white rice and i can finish the bowl of rice with this condiment alone.

Conclusion

The dishes that i had here are mostly above average and my personal favourites are the duck, lettuce and fried bean curd skin. Price wise, it is slightly more pricey than a typical coffee shop Cze Char but for the more comfortable dining environment and better food, the price difference is not that significant. My friend highly recommend their deep fried HK squid with salt and pepper but since many of us don’t appreciate squid, we didn’t order it.

Overall I enjoyed my dining experience here, comparing to the very popular Bee Hoon eatery that is just situated opposite Sum’s Kitchen. Sum’s Kitchen don’t exactly offers the most exciting kind of food that makes people go “wow”, but i kinda like the homely taste. And if you want to try their roast duck, remember to call in advance to reserve to avoid disappointment.

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Char Restaurant – The Chinese Roast with a Twist

Char Restaurant

Address (Google Map): 393 Guillemard Road Singapore 399790

Opening hours: Thu to Sun 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6pm to 10pm, Closed on Mon

Introduction

I first know about Char Restaurant from a post from Mitsueki.wordpress.com. Char is a restaurant selling Chinese food and i was quite excited about it because there is just too many new western restaurants recently and we need to bring back some refreshing eastern flavours.

The restaurant is situated in the middle of Dakota Station, Paya Lebar Station and Aljunied Station. If you are travelling by public transport, the easiest mean is to take a bus. Or you can be like me, to walk from Dakota MRT and it’s actually not that far.

This restaurant offers Cze Char style dishes with their three signature roast dishes – their Char Siew, Roast Pork Belly (Sio Bak) and Roasted Duck at $20.50 (+10% service charge, no GST).

Char’s Dinner Menu: Click to Enlarge

Roasted Char Siew

This Pork Belly Char Siew is quite different from those that we find in Hawker Centre or even Chinese Restaurant. The thick spice-infused caramelised coating makes the Char Siew slightly crispy on the outside and the pork belly cut completes the dish with a melt-in-your-mouth texture.

The fragrance of the five spice powder is evidently stronger than the traditional Char Siew and the texture of their fatty Char Siew is one of it’s kind in Singapore. Comparing to a typical Hawker Char Siew, this is much more tender but the thick caramelised coating makes it much sweeter. It’s more like a grilled Kong Ba and is the must-order.

Roast Pork Belly

I was only half convinced that the Roasted Pork Belly is Char’s signature dish until I tried it. The best part of a Sio Bak (Roast Pork Belly) is always about the roasted skin and Char Restaurant’s version is fantastic.

The crusty crackling skin is not tough on the jaw and crumbles easily. The bottom part of the pork belly is less salted and charred comparing to a typical Hawker Centre version. Char is quite generous with it’s portion for it’s price.

Roast Duck

Char’s Roast Duck is also one of the three signature roasts. Among the stack of duck, there are only 3-4 pieces of meaty slice while the rest are the rib parts with millimetres of meat. The skin is actually quite well roasted, well flavoured and crispy and it’s served in it’s stuffing gravy. I would have enjoyed this dish more if the parts served are more meaty.  Overall this duck is actually quite well done but if i only has two votes, i will cast it on the Char Siew and Roasted Pork Belly.

Egg Fried Rice ($5+)

I absolutely love this fried rice. The photo is actually not doing justice to it’s taste. This fried rice is like a combination of Ding Tai Feng’s Egg Fried Rice with Japanese Garlic Fried Rice. If you love Garlic Fried Rice, you will like this. Each grain of rice is well-separated and it’s packed with fragrance of fresh garlic.

The price is also very reasonable for it’s portion and considering that it’s a restaurant. The only complain is they use a little too much oil to prepare this dish as a thin layer of oil remains on the plate after finishing this dish.

Spicy French Beans

I generally like french bean for it’s crunchy texture that goes very well with the fried dried shrimp. Char offers a spicy version which the spiciness has nothing to do with chilli but with a kind of Szechuan pepper (花椒) and unfortunately, I dread the taste of these peppers so this dish is a thumbs down for me.

Conclusion 

I was rather impressed by Char Restaurant’s Char Siew and Roasted Pork Belly. Although there are roast meat stalls all over Singapore, to find one that matches Char is not going to be an easy task. Is the price a little too expensive? Actually the price is about the same as a famous roast meat stall along upper paya lebar for three kinds of meat (Char Siew, Roast Pork Belly, Roast Goose), or it’s even slightly cheaper.

Their Char Siew and Roast Meat are said to be the end product of incorporating western cooking style into Chinese dish and just the preparation of Char Siew takes two days to complete which involves multiple cooking processes to get the melt-in-your-mouth texture. If you are looking for an interesting place to experience a new style of Chinese food, Char may be just the place for you.