Thursday, October 6, 2011

Singapore Kitchen, West Ryde

Cheesecake Boy started this blog in January and I eventually took over with the writing, and the photos are a share job at times.  However, at other times one of us becomes the designated photo taker of the meal.  Bringing me to the point that we have actually made it to our 100th post, so I guess time goes fast when you're having fun or I just love rambling non-stop, it's probably the latter.  Also, many thanks to all our readers and the lovely comments that have come through, as it really does encourage me to keep blogging.

Being the 100th post, I thought that it would be best to go back to how Cheesecake Boy and I started our food journey together, and that was by us having dinner dates in restaurants around our local area.  Singapore Kitchen was recommended to us by Robert Kennard when he was interviewing us for the local paper being the Northern District Times, and although I was very reluctant to do this, Robert made the experience seem like one long conversation, so the silly rambling me took over and Cheesecake Boy and I had a lot of fun talking over dumplings, and a story did come out of this.  

Anyway, a recommendation from another lover of food is never taken lightly, so that's how one night Cheesecake Boy and I ended up at Singapore Kitchen.  I was actually not expecting to be let in to dine, as they close usually at the early time of 8.30pm.  However, Cheesecake Boy still wanted to rock up at 8.15pm, much my dismay and I know my restaurateur family members would not be thinking of me in a good light right now.  Fortunately, our host Sam was more than obliging and very gracious about the matter, even though the sole cook being his wife through the kitchen doors did not sound too impressed.  Believe me, I wanted to leave you in peace and come back another night.

Our host Sam is a very proud restaurateur, and tells us that he guarantees that they offer the best Malaysian/Singaporean meals around the area, as well as being the best value for money.  Otherwise, he would happily refund our meal.   He names some very reputable Malaysian/Singaporean restaurants in not just the area, but Sydney as well that he thinks they do better than and it's not just a big call, but a huge one.  However, his enthusiasm was infectious, as is his love for the establishment.

As usual, Cheesecake Boy and I order some drinks.  I ordered the grass jelly drink, which I am told that they make the concoction themselves, even grass jelly bits.  I really enjoyed the refreshing qualities of this drink.  However, if you've never tried grass jelly, it's definitely an acquired taste, and as I child I really detested this drink.

Grass jelly (ching chow), $3

Cheesecake Boy went for the coconut juice.  It arrived as pictured and I don't know about you, but to me, I think the coconut juice is only slightly more than a half full glass.  However, it does taste nice and sweet to me.

Coconut juice, $3.50

If I see curry puffs on a Malaysian/Singaporean inspired menu, I am sure to order them.   As Malaysian/Singaporean curry puffs are definitely my favourite kind.  The filling was a potato and onion curry, and I find this a bit dry, as I tend to like mine slightly richer in flavour.  However, the pastry that they make themselves, was wonderfully buttery, flaky and simply melted in my mouth.

Curry puffs, $5

Now, Cheesecake Boy and I eat a lot of Asian food, but we really aren't familiar with Malaysian/Singaporean cuisine, so Sam our host made some recommendations, the first being the nasi chicken biryani.  We were told that this dish is very common and popular at Malaysian and Singaporean weddings.

The nasi chciken biryani had the same basmati rice as an Indian biryani, and  it was fragrantly spiced especially with their own grown saffron, as apparently Sam believes that that the saffron in the shops won't quite do the dish justice.  This dish also consisted of lovely moist chicken drumsticks that really bought out the richness of the rendang curry, and a side of achar that is a mixture of pickled vegetables and some peanuts.  The achar was a nice contrast against the rich spiciness of this dish.  I really enjoyed this dish, and I guess it helps that I love Indian food as well.

Nasi chicken biryani, $13.90

The second dish that was recommended was the hor fun with seafood.  This rice noodle dish came with prawns, squid, fish cakes, vegetables and egg that were smothered in a gravy sauce.  This is a dish that I have tried a few times, and while the version here is not bad, I prefer my gravy sauce to be slightly thicker.  However, for the price, you can't complain as the vegetables are nicely crisp and seafood was perfectly cooked.

Hor fun with seafood, $11.90

Our last savoury was a vegetable dish of fried okra with chilli and belachan.  The okra belachan was my favourite dish of the night.  When I usually eat okra, it can be on the slimey side, but not in this instance.  There was just enough give when you bit into these, and the okra really was beautifully cooked.  I usually find that at some places that they can be a bit heavy handed with belachan or shrimp paste, but they balanced the balachan and chilli just right here, so that you could still appreciate the flavour of the okra coming through. 

Okra belachan, $10.90

Now, I took a huge gamble with dessert, especially since I made a beeline for the durian puffs and I had never tried durian before.  I've smelt durian, but never actually consume the fruit before, and what better way to try something that you're a bit apprehensive about, then in a glorified sweeten dessert version, just to ease you in.  The choux puffs were the spongy soft version.  Now, our verdicts on the actual creamy and thick durian custard was divided.  Cheesecake Boy was definitely not won over, but I actually did not mind it, and I know you have probably heard this a hundred times, but there really is nothing you can seem to compare the taste of durian to.  All, I can say is that it has a really deep and intense taste, and I know that does not help.  Durian the so called king of fruit really is one of a kind, and not as unpleasant as I was anticipating it to be.

Durian puffs, $6.50

Singapore Kitchen is the perfect local feed, where the meals are hearty and good value for money and the host just loves to nourish his customers with their food.  It really was a lovely and refreshing dining experience, where the owners are genuinely so proud of what they put on the table.  We'll be back, especially to try their specialties that you have to order twenty four hours in advance, being the Singapore chilli crab and the teochew braised duck. 

Dining away, Dumpling Girl.

Singapore Kitchen
Shop 1
991 Victoria Road
West Ryde NSW 2114
Ph: (02) 9807 3088

Singapore Kitchen on Urbanspoon


Jen said...

Congratulations on your 100th post!
I love discovering local haunts like this for when I feel lazy and don't want to travel far.

joey@forkingaroundsydney said...

100th post, congrats! I've been to Singa Kitchen once and I don't remember it being any good. It certainly looks better than two years ago though.

Anonymous said...

You MUST try the Laksa here. I absoloutely LOVE laksa's and have tried MANY MANY in Sydney. One of the best laksa's you can have is here at the Singapore Kitchen!

Dumpling Girl said...

Hey Jen, thank you :) It's definitely great we found a good local now, so I don't feel so lazy and walk down instead of home deliveries.

Hello Joey, thanks! Glad I went recently as oppose to a couple of years back then.

Hi Anonymous, will definitely try the laksa when I get my next craving hits. Thanks for recommending it.

Dolly said...

Okra belachan <3

durian puffs interesting.. i havent eaten durian in a while i love the durian cakes u get from cabra!!

Julie said...

durian puffs omg >_<.

I cant believe how early they close 8:30, but fair enough :)

sugarpuffi said...

omg happy 100th post!! may there be many more to come :D

rockahenry said...

If you ever drive past the big garbage tip out near eastern creek and roll down your windows you'll definitely have something you can compare durian too.

it does taste good though :P

Dumpling Girl said...

Hello Julie, I've never seen durian puffs, so I guess it's good to try something different.

Hi sugarpuffi, thank you so much, that's really kind of you :)

Hey rockahenry, lol I'll make sure to steer clear of that area. I can't decide if I like the taste or not yet.

Von said...

Happy 100th post!!! tehehe....I've been blogging for more than 2 years, and I'm only ALMOST there :S When I saw the photo of the inside of the restaurant, it reminded me of a restaurant I went to when i was really little- hmmm, wonder if it's the same one? :D The curry puffs look so perfectly shaped! haha....
I had durian once, a couple of years ago- I actually like the smell of durian but I don't like the taste (though I guess I don't hate it...). probably would have preferred to try it in a nice dessert like this! ;)

Dumpling Girl said...

Hello von, thank you :D. Lol, I guess I like to ramble on too much.

I am the opposite, the smell has made me not try anything durian related up until now, but the taste I'm still not sure about it, I didn't mind it, but will need to try more durian before I can make up my mine I guess.

Mel said...

Happy 100th! We used to live just up the road from this place but never went...not sure why though.

Dumpling Girl said...

Thanks MissPiggy, if this place was not pointed out to us, I still think I wouldn't have noticed this place.