Who is Ah Hoi? Well, he’s fictional. He signifies a jolly, happy chef who cooks good food to people. And from now to end of August, Ah Hoi’s Kitchen presents a la carte Chinese buffet of 47 items at a reasonable price of $38+ (adult) or $19 (below 12 years old). The great thing about a la carte buffet is that the food is cooked freshly upon ordering. But you must have at least 4 persons to enjoy the buffet.
The award-winning Chef Lam Loon Tuck runs the kitchen and some of his specialties, such as the Sri Lankan Chili Crab, are on the buffet menu. The crabs, one serving only, had a fantastic sauce and very awesome deep-fried buns.
Because there are 47 items on the buffet, we couldn’t eat all of them, so we’re only listing the highlights. For appetizers, The spicy ikan bilis salad (pictured above) was unique. The ikan bilis and onion were stir-fried in a sweet and spicy chili, and they sat on slices of potato. The braised fish maw with crabmeat soup (one bowl per customer) was loaded with ingredients but there was just something missing. Sharks’ fin, maybe?
For meat, the honey glazed chicken is another specialty of Chef Lam. The chicken was cooked so that it was crispy outside, with a smoky tinge, and the ginger was very palatable and sweet. The steamed fish fillet in teochew style did not fare as well to us as we prefer it in an entire fish, instead of dory fillet. But tastewise, it was pitch perfect. There are other standard cze-char fare, such as fish curry, sambal squid, sweet & sour pork, and sliced beef in back pepper sauce.
For fibre, the braised bean curd with crab meat sauce had deep-fried tofu which skin had this delicious lardy flavor. The braised jade abalone with spinach (one serving only) was a must-eat but Chiobu thought the veg was a tad salty so you may want to order rice with it.
For carbs, well, there are a few options but people don’t usually order carbs dishes in buffets. Instead of ordering from the buffet menu, we got the specialty, black pepper fried kway tiao with seafood ($15) from their standard menu. The kway tiao was fantastic, it had that elusive wok hei.
For a sweet ending, there are 7 desserts, including gui ling gao, mango sago, etc, on the buffet menu.
The excellent service was the icing on the delicious food. Overall, we had a wonderful time and all the food was above average.
Rating: 3.314/5 stars
ps: Thanks, Wai Ling, for the invite.
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.