A relative newcomer to the local seafood dining scene scores with a delightful ambience and top-notch dishes.
Contributed By Jeremy Chua
|CN PHOTO: Michael Chan|
Having seafood at a Chinese restaurant is usually a rowdy affair, with the unofficial rule of thumb being that the noisier the establishment, the better the food. Sometimes, though, all a hassled urbanite needs is some peace and quiet—which is why Ocean Kingdom Seafood Restaurant is such a pleasant surprise.
Housed in an authentic Peranakan bungalow, the restaurant is a new extension (it opened earlier this year) of a decades-old fresh seafood distribution family business, so you can be assured that every morsel on your plate is ocean-fresh. With full-length wooden floor panels across a hexagonal interior, it exudes a certain homely feeling which we took to instantly, while we were there for dinner one evening.
First up was the Lobster With White Sauce (seasonal pricing), which saw the crustacean swimming in a cream-based sauce. The lobster was well-chosen and cooked; and the meaty portions were of perfect, springy consistency. The yummy sauce was not too heavy despite its cream base, and had just the right flavors, much like that of cereal prawns. Needless to say, we mopped it all up with the fried man tous.
Another shellfish was the star of the next dish, Crab Bee Hoon (S$4.50 per kg). A big, roe-laden Sri Lankan crab greeted us but it had to share the spotlight with the tasty bee hoon underneath it. The bee hoon is cooked in crab stock, ensuring full flavor in every strand. Another new dish recommended to us was the OK (Ocean Kingdom, what else?) Spicy Seafood Soup (S$25). Succinctly described by our photographer as “a comforting mix of laksa and tom yum”—without the fieriness. It came chockfull with mussels, fried fish slices, prawns and a flower crab, and as such, there was a natural sweetness to the soup, which went down superbly with some steaming white rice.
Even the relatively plebeian dish, the Coffee Pork Ribs (S$12), was excellent. I am not much of a coffee person, but the fragrance emanating from the pork ribs was a precursor to the gastronomical delight to come—sprinkled with almonds, the ribs were delightfully crusty; crisp on the edges, yet tender on the inside, with a kiss of wok hei rendering a subtle caramel taste reminiscent of popcorn. Now, wouldn’t I mind a bucket of this at the movies.
Cozy, unpretentious ambience, dishes with original, unique interpretations and fresh, fresh seafood—it’s all that’s needed for a meal to remember, really.
Ocean Kingdom Seafood
382 Joo Chiat Road
+65 6342 0382