Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Famous Kitchen 名食小厨 @ 54 Sembawang Road

Was invited to try the food at The Famous Kitchen at Hong Heng Mansion. 54 Sembawang Road. The nearest MRT station seemed to be Springleaf but that is akan datang.

carpark to Hong Heng mansion

The restaurant is spacious and air-conditioned, with private rooms for functions. There is an alfresco area as well for wine drinkers or to chillax.

drink-all-you-can? (better not drive after)

Inside of the restaurant, you'll find a wall adorned with photos. Lots of photos. See if you're able to spot anyone familiar.


Was there to try The Famous Kitchen's signature dishes, plus a dish that's typically eaten during Lunar New Year festivities; Pen Cai (盆菜). Interesting story about the said origin of pen cai, which one could search from wiki.

snacking on peanuts and anchovies before the feast

Never had pen cai before so it was a rather luxurious experience. It is a feast in itself. Ingredients include daikon, white cabbage, fishmaw, mushrooms, broccoli, roasted duck, abalone, dried scallops, dried oysters, sea cucumber and prawns.

Famous "Pen Cai"  名食大盆菜 @ $428+
treasures from the bowl

One can see the generosity in the size of the premium ingredients. Huge scallops and big chunks of fish maw. Abalone was cooked right and has a still tender texture.

Also worth mentioning from the pen cai would be the white cabbage and roasted duck. The vegetable had absorbed well all the flavourful sauce and its natural sweetness was alluring.

Pen Cai requires three days advance booking and available on non-festive days as well.

Next up, get ready with a bowl of rice. 酸菜蒸鱼 or sour vegetable steamed fish was served atop of a small portable stove. Delectable sauce and works best with rice. Drizzle a bit of black vinegar to give it a different kick.

sour vegetable steamed grouper

Kampung chicken (free-range chicken) that's tender? Nice. Slight hints of cooking wine or hua diao in the sauce.

Crystal Chicken 水晶鸡 @ $36+

Next up, something light and soupy; Lobster bee hoon. Paired the bee hoon with the piquant strong chili. End result was quite wow. Then, have some broth to sooth the fire burning on the tongue. Nice.

lobster bee hoon
power chili

Have you tried salt baked crab before? I have not, so it was pretty interesting to eat one at The Famous Kitchen.

salt baked flower crab
The salt coated shell was very lickable. It was like those seasoning packs for junk food; once you start, you just can't stop! Overall, it has a likeable smokey smell and taste. Something different from the usual pepper and chilis.

Even the usual black pepper crab, tasted different at Famous Kitchen. First, a warning. Its black pepper sourced from an origin that cannot be named (secret), is very strong. Combined with other sauces and seasoning, the end result was a fiery concoction of peppercorn goodness that has umami with a slow burn.

black pepper crab

Famous Kitchen also has its version of KL black hokkien mee that tasted pretty good. For fans of crispy pork lard, this place doesn't stinge on it. Crunchy yums.

It would've been perfect if the noodles was braised a bit longer and the sauce slightly less sweet. And, not forgetting the must-have fried sambal belacan chili.

KL Hokkien Fat Noodles

For desserts, we tried the mango pudding and fruit jelly.

mango pudding

The jelly was 'lighter' as it was refreshingly sour and sweet. Mango pudding was dense and thus felt 'heavier'.

After dinner, one could chill outside at the Wine Mansion. Black pepper crab and wine? Sounds good.

more bottles

Special thanks to Jeffrey and Jenny for being such generous hosts, and HGW team for the invite.

The Famous Kitchen 名食小厨

Address: #01-01, Hong Heng Mansion, 54 Sembawang Road
Opening Hours:
Mon - Sun: 11:30 - 14:30, 17:30 - 23:30
Phone: +65 62571843


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