Formerly known as West Coast Seafood, the 10 year-old Joyden Seafood Restaurant has modernized with a new, clean look, and revamped its menu, aiming to entice corporate clients and younger customers. There are four private rooms (minimum spending $450), which can seat 70 guests. Dim sum is available daily from 11.30am-2.30pm.
At the tasting, Will and I were served 7 dishes, and we each picked our 3 favorites, 2 of our dishes coincided. We both liked steamed lobster with glutinous treasure rice (market price, currently $128/kg lobster). “Never have I eaten such a luxurious glutinous rice,” Will said. The rice was fried with hae bee, shallots, lap cheong, and scallions. Lobster was placed on top of the rice, then steamed, so the rice absorbed the juices that trickled down. The rice was pungent with garlic–I loved it!–and the sweet lobster’s texture was beautifully chewy.
The other dish that we both picked was the creamy crab (market price, currently $59/kg). The Sri Lankan crab was steamed in pumpkin puree, milk, and curry leaves. The awesome sauce seeped into every crevice so the fresh crab retained its sweetness while tinged with the sauce, with a lingering aftertaste of black pepper. The sauce reminded me of a salted egg sauce I had at Bantam. Definitely get lots of fried mantou to dip in it. I’ve eaten many crabs this year, and this must be one of the best.
My third choice was deep-fried Soon Hock in superior soy sauce with scallions (market price, currently $88/kg). I’d have preferred a steamed version, since all the seafood at Joyden are live. But this deep-fried version was very good: soy sauce lightly coated the fish, but the skin remained so crispy I could hear the crunch in my head and taste the sweetness of the moist, soft fish.
Will’s third choice, imperial oyster sauce chicken ($28), was stuffed with chives and garlic cloves, roasted to crisp the skin, and then braised for three hours in superior oyster sauce. The sauce went extremely well with white rice. 10 bowls of rice, 谢谢!
Will said, on top of his Best 3 Dishes, he wanted a “Special Mention” category: lemongrass pork ribs in crispy yam ring ($25/$38). Instead of the usual celery and chicken in ring, the pork ribs was sauteed with lemongrass, ginger flower, chilli, Chinese wine and molasses. But what Will liked was the yam, not oily at all, although I thought it was a tad dry.
My “Special Mention,” crab vermicelli (market price, currently $59/kg): crab is braised with bee hoon, ginger, and spring onions. Simple, but when you add belachan to the bee hoon, boom! magic happens!
Tip for drivers: Turn into West Coast Walk and drive right to the end of the road.
12 West Coast Walk, #01-11 West Coast Recreation Centre, Singapore 127157
T: 6779 5355
Rating: 3.813/5 (based on decor and food alone)
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.
ps: Thanks Veron for the invite.