i had wanted to try keng eng kee (KEK) the last time the few of us were doing a hawker & zi char tour but had never gotten to it.
was watching a teochew classical tunes (operatic) concert at singapore concert hall at 7.30pm by ngee ann cultural centre, singapore teochew federation & nan hua opera (南华儒剧社) – program here, so decided to have early dinner at KEK on 9.6.2014.
i must say i really enjoyed the teochew opera singing. used to listen to them a lot when very young, so even though had not listen to some for decades, the songs were still familiar. 🙂
the singing was good & the ones by 孙小华 (芦林会) & 陈纬恬 (刘明珠) was outstanding, extremely emotive, moving & captivating. 陈纬恬, singaporean, is just 11 years old. she performed 小蝴蝶 in (莫愁女) in shantou, china when she was 5! this young girl is set to be a super star.
we were there at 5pm on a monday. the indoor aircon seating was fully booked, & 1/2 of the outdoor seating at the coffeeshop was also reserved with the names on the tables.
famous dishes at KEK includes claypot liver, moonlight nor fun, mingzhu rolls (明珠卷) & salted egg crab etc.
#1 i do like liver but am not particularly fond of claypot liver which is like a liver overkill. we ordered it anyhow & it turned out to be really good! the liver was not overcooked, had great wine flavours & very sweet & just the right texture. an excellent dish! 🙂
#2 we were deciding between black beans bitter gourd with sliced snakehead (生鱼) or a song fish head(松鱼头). the server recommended the fish head nonya style. it was very good, the sauce was the same as the very nice fish head at forture seafood but dryer & less curry. i would think that angkoli (red snapper) which forture used would go better than 松鱼 for this dish.
#3 cuttle fish kang kong was competent & tasty, the sweet sauce though was kind of overpowering.
#4 the 明珠卷 mingzhu roll (6 pieces) was good too. however we did not really need this dish. the other 4 dishes were already too big for 3pax, so we tapao (take out) remaining 3 pieces.
#5 the moonlight dry nor fun was a good dish. it was a strange concoction combining char kuay teow with hor fun(河粉), and came with chinese sausage & also prawns & squid with thick hor fun. it was not really my favourite. i would prefer the usual hor fun or san lor hor fun (生捞河粉) to this.
there was no service or get. the bill came up to S$60 for 5 dishes for 3pax. the food would easily have served 4pax. i would rate KEK on par with kok sen & much better than two chefs. i would expect the song fish head(松鱼头) at 香港街珍记 (Hong Kong Street Chun Kee) to be better but then the menu range at the latter is small.
this definitely a eating place that i will come back again! 🙂