With 25 years of experience, Chef Kevin Lau serves cze char seafood at a comfortable setting and affordable prices.
Huccalily and I sampled 9 dishes and picked our three favorites. The superior stock clam beehoon ($12/$18/$24) had a visuous irresistible stock, imbued with sweetness of lala and wolfberries, that I drank it as broth. Gan xiang (干香) of gan xiang crab ($55 per kg) literally means dry aroma; it’s a special sauce made by dry-frying hae bee hiam (spicy prawn shrimps), curry powder, lemongrass, and dried chilli. As a result, the Sri Lankan crabs had a nice smoky sweetness, with a lingering mild spice – unique and delicious, and, I think, better, more fragrant and less choking than black pepper crab.
But our “favoritest” that night was champagne pork ribs ($12/$18/$24). Marinated in champagne overnight to tenderize the ribs, there were layers of flavors, evolving from the fragrance of champagne, to a sweetness of pork, and back to a sweet champagne.
Besides agreeing on our favorite dishes, we also agreed that cereal chicken ($12/$18/$24, above) and pumpkin homemade beancurd ($12/$18/$24) were ok, but the yam paste (orh nee, $12/$24) was disappointing. The only unsatisfactory dish we had, the orh nee wasn’t shiok and had a weird hae bee taste. But we disagreed on the following three dishes.
I found the visually stunning sauna prawns ($24/$36/$48) too mild but Huccalily liked it because it was refreshing and fresh. The live tiger prawns are laid on hot stones in bamboo basket. Herbal stock, with Chinese wine, wolfberries and dang gui, is poured over it for it to steam for a few minutes.
Huccalily thought the salted egg sotong ($12/$18/$24, above) wasn’t salted-eggy enough, but I was fine with it. She wanted the gan xiang fried rice ($8/$12/$16) to be saltier, but this had sentimental value for me. I used to eat Indian fried rice at an Indian stall in my JC everyday: Diamond’s fried rice was similar to the Indian fried rice, slightly dry and had an Indian curry aroma, which I relished.
If you live in Woodlands, traveling here is a hassle. But if you live in the East, and want to bring your family out, Diamond Kitchen has dishes that range from average to excellent. A safe bet.
Thanks, Veron, Carlyn and Chenyze for the hospitality.
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.