Mon - Sun: 11:30 - 14:30
Mon - Sun: 17:30 - 23:30
The Famous Kitchen, located at Sembawang exemplifies all that is great about Singapore cuisine. The inventiveness, the quality, the attention to detail, the sheer variety and interesting combination of taste, flavours and influences that come together to create a memorable dining experience.
An experience that just keep you wanting more and more and harbouring fond memories of the conversations that were fed by the enjoyment of fine food.
Our signature dishes include Chili crab, Black Pepper Crab, Salted Baked Flower Crab, Braised Duck or Chicken, Crystal Chicken, Steam Grouper Fish, Lobster or Crab Mee hoon, Fish head or Tom Yam Steam Boat, KL Hokkien fat Noodle and etc.
Kudos to the kind folks of HGW & The Famous Kitchen for inviting me to the table.
For full review <click here>
Pen Cai 盆菜 (Cantonese call it Poon-Choi) – the name is minimalist, but in truth; is a very laborious & elaborate dish, given its wealth of ingredients, different methods of preparation, requiring 3 full days to put together in a tub. Hence, the physical appearance alone is the epitome of the auspicious connotation it bears. In this rendition, you will find braised duck, Chinese shiitake mushrooms, sundried scallops, sundried oysters, abalone, fresh prawns, fish maw, Chinese fa-cai 发财, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, daikon radish, taro cubes etc.
(Pictured is the large order designed for 10pax, but likely to feed a hungry football team)
* Only available with 3 working days advanced order
Signature Crystal Chicken – first and foremost, free range chicken is quite a rare find these days, not to mention the size is good for 8~10pax. A light herbal fragrance that underlies the sauce drizzled, with the meat juicy tender. The meat comes off the bones whole, and most important, not flaking. I’d recommend to try the in-house chili blend for dips, served with this dish.
Lobster on Rice Vermicelli – this is not a common find, and if found, they are few and far between. I wasn’t quite sure how I was to tackle this dish, but as the saying goes “the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time”. The lobster is already cut to manageable portion, so it’s not a feat to consume with merely chopsticks. The lobster meat is cooked nicely that it comes of the crust effortless, light bounce to the bite, crumbles to lesser chunks, all with a natural sweet after taste. As for the vermicelli, it’s not too wet nor dry. Nice texture to the bite – not mushy nor crunchy. And the bisque soaked portion at the base is sheer goodness.
Salt Baked Flower Crab – these trophies are not small. If measured elbow to elbow, each is almost the length of a 10 inch mobile tablet. The chef dissects them evenly so each shall have an equal portion. I shall not divulge the arduous secrets to how this trophy comes about, but I know you’ll be coming back for more.
* Flower crab inventory is finest on Mondays and Fridays. Be advised to pre-order if you’re dining any day in between
KL Style Dark Fried Thick Noodles – this is also sometimes known as KL Hokkien Noodles. In my opinion, this has just set the benchmark on my charts, for this dish found locally. The springy tenderness of the thick noodles likened to that of Silver Needle Noodles (better known as Mee-tai-mak or 老鼠粉). The dark wicked sauce looks intimidating, but is packed with mild sweetness and a light salted after taste, and the Wok-hei is omnipresent.
Apart from the Pen Cai & desserts, I’d say that beer goes well with the list of highlights mentioned.
I anticipate that the patronage will be overwhelming over the CNY period, so, plan and make reservations early to avoid disappointing your gastronomic call.
Place is not yet accessible via MRT, thus it felt somewhat secluded for people who relies on public transportation. Restaurant is spacious has tanks for live seafood. It also has a wine bar called the Wine Mansion where currently, it is having a drinks (wine, beer) buffet for $35 limited to 4 hours.
The owners, a pair of siblings; Jeffrey and Jenny, are pretty hospitable. This is evident from the many photos taken with guests that adorns the restaurant's wall.
If you think Pen Cai (盆菜) is only available during Lunar New Year, then at this place you can have Pen Cai on any other days as well. And of course, you probably have very deep pockets too. Just need to pre-order 3 days in advance.
The Pen Cai is indeed a luxury with the premium ingredients of abalone, dried scallops, dried oysters and fish maw. A nice treasure pot to share with the family. A feast on its own as it contained meat, seafood and vegetables.
Besides the usual teochew steam fish or HK styled steam fish, here we tried the sour vegetable steam fish. Hmm, not really sour but a likeable sauce that's not overwhelming. I liked it with the black vinegar too. Tried it with grouper and the flesh was smooth and firm.
The Crystal Chicken uses the kampung chicken and yet, meat is tender. A very light dish that taste a bit like salt marinated chicken (Cantonese cold dish) but served warm with a bit of chinese wine taste.
Crab bee hoon is common, so how about Lobster bee hoon? The lobster bee hoon is lighter on the palate and the best part, is really the bee hoon and the broth. For more kick, I had it with the powerful chili that's piquant with wonderful kick.
For crabs, we tried the salt baked flower crabs and black pepper crab. For stronger taste, go for the black pepper crabs but only if you're able to withstand the heat from the peppercorn. Shioks. The salt baked crab has a nice smokey aroma that's a tad like BBQ but minus the oil.
For normal everyday eating, try the KL Fat Noodles Hokkien Mee. Price starts from $8+. Lots of crispy pork lard. Yums. Next visit, I'd request for a slightly longer time of probably 10 seconds more to braise the noodles.
For more pictures, you may wish to click here.
The Famous Kitchen, located at Sembawang near nee soon army camp, has been a Chinese mainstay for the last seven years.
At a recent tasting, I managed to try some of their specialties. Given that it is the lunar new year season, we started with the "Pen Cai", consisting of abalone, fresh prawn, broccoli, mushroom, fish maw, yam cooked in a rich superior broth.
Another popular item at the restaurant is the kampong chicken, which is pretty large for a kampong chicken, does not have the usual fat and is done so that the meat is really tender.
The restaurant has a strong Teochew influence in its cooking, and the Red Garoupa done in a salty vegetable sauce is just an example of that. Fish are imported in "live" so it is really fresh.
Another indulgent treat would be the Lobster Mee Sua. The Asian lobster is chopped up into bite size pieces that are easy to eat and the mee sua comes with an addictive broth to match.
Crab lovers must try the flower crab. These Indonesian flower crab are really large and is baked with a pleasant wok hei.
Finally, the Malaysian Hokkien Mee is also a must try here. Lots of lard adds to the strong tasting dish which is probably one of the most authentic that I have found in Singapore.
There you have it, lots of good Chinese food to indulge at The Famous Kitchen.