I enjoy stalking the Instagram accounts of local foodies. It is horrible for my willpower and diet but a great feast for my eyes.
A few weeks back, I was being bombarded daily by posts about Joyden Canton Kitchen with captions that were akin to fangirling.
So when I was invited to eat there, my expectations were way up.
The eatery is a new concept from Joyden Seafood at the West Coast Recreation Centre. It offers comfort food from the Guangdong province in China.
If you are lazy like me and not one to travel much to find food, you must be prepared for this trip. It is in the middle of nowhere.
From Bukit Batok MRT station, it is a 30-minute bus ride to get there.
If the restaurant's mission is to spread comfort, it is working. The flavours are familiar but not boring. The ingredients are fresh and prices, reasonable. It is the sort of food to be shared with loved ones.
My mum is Cantonese, so I'm biased. Nothing will beat her cooking, but Joyden Canton Kitchen comes quite close.
SIMPLE AND GOOD (above)
My favourite dish here is, ironically, the signature traditional Hakka salt-poached farm chicken ($17). Hakka and Teochew food falls under the umbrella of Cantonese food regionally. The dish is simple: A whole kampung chicken steeped in a salt and herbal stock. The killer is the ginger sauce. Pour that over white rice and you might forget about the chicken.
The signature traditional rice vermicelli with poached egg white, crabmeat and scallop ($15.80) looks and smells amazing.
It is as creamy as it looks, and that bite of vinegar keeps it interesting.
A safe dish to order is the signature braised homemade beancurd coin with poached Shanghai baby cabbage ($14.80).
You can predict what this dish will taste like just by looking at it.
What does not work for me are the braised pork ribs in aged mandarin peel sauce ($16.80).
I found the dish too sweet and jarring when compared to the simpler taste of the other dishes.
I am stealing the idea of the crispy golden lotus root chips ($8.80) for Chinese New Year.
The chips are tasty and addictive. The restaurant manager insists they must be eaten immediately.
Joyden Canton Kitchen
4 Hillview Rise #02-21 HillV2
11.30am to 9.30pm
This article was first published on Jan 7, 2015.
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