Mak Hong Kee at Keong Saik is a Cantonese restaurant by the Michelin-starred Hong Kong chef, Mak Kip Fu who has worked at Conrad Macao’s Dynasty 8, Lung King Heen 龍景軒, and Fook Lam Moon 福臨門. Considering his distinguished background, the food at Mak Hong Kee is priced extremely reasonably, perhaps slightly cheaper than the food at Crystal Jade.
We began with the soup of the day ($6), a carrot and white radish soup. This soup focuses on the integrity of the ingredients without any hint of salt and I think it doesn’t have MSG. It’s pleasantly sweet with just an underlying hint of the sweetness of pork. It’s not like heavy-handed soups Singaporeans are used to; this one is light but the simplicity of the soup is what is great about it.
The roasted combination comes with a choice of 2 ($20) or 3 ($30) meats from char siew BBQ pork, sio yuk pork belly, roasted duck, or soy sauce chicken. I usually like char siew to have a layer of fat running through the middle and although this one doesn’t have it, it is fat enough, and is very but pleasantly sweet. You can taste honey. I’d like it to have some char, but it has a smokiness, which is nice too.
The pork belly is also good. Although I wish it could be fatter, the biscuit-like rind provides a crunch to the meat which is not at all greasy. The roasted duck is too lean for us and the skin isn’t crispy enough, but it has a good livery taste, which pairs well with the plum sauce.
They have a section devoted to claypots. The brinjal with minced pork ($16) is different from what Singaporeans are used to. The eggplant is not cooked thoroughly soft; it is cooked so that the core is still slightly crunchy and the sauce is only moderately salty. (Singaporeans prefer this dish to be quite salty with black fermented beans to go with rice.) I suppose you can call this dish “balanced.” While I like it, my partner who is a creature of habit doesn’t. But it does have a very high quality salted fish, which is super umami and we couldn’t get enough of it.
I don’t like that they use canned pineapples for the sweet and sour pork ($16) but this is an outstanding version. It is so vinegary that before you eat it, you suffocate slightly from its sour fumes. It has an equal proportion of crispiness and meat, so it isn’t meaty. There is a fair amount of vegetables–which is rare–and they serve to break the monotony of the pork.
I read from other reviews that they wouldn’t recommend it. But we quite like it. The food is agreeable and super affordable. Including drinks, two of us paid $74 but we were stuffed and had to pack some food to take home. At home, my parents finished them immediately.
Mak Hong Kee HK Kitchen 麥康記
2 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089110
Tel: +65 6909 0414
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3:00pm, 6:00pm – 10:30pm (Sun – Fri), Closed Sat
You may be interested in…
–Full of Luck Club, Holland Village: Excellent Progressive and Chic Cantonese Food
–Chengdu Restaurant, Amoy St: Drama Plating for Authentic Sichuan Food
–Tsui Wah 翠華, Clarke Quay: Jumbo Seafood Brings to Singapore a Hong Kong Cha Chaan Teng Established in 1967
–Mr Sheng Jian 生煎先生, Liang Seah Street: Decent Shanghainese Pan-fried Bao
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.