Monday, April 28, 2014

Golden Mile Thien Kee Steamboat Restaurant - The Hainanese Kitchen since 1952 (黄金瑞记) @ Golden Mile Tower [Beach Road, Singapore]

Golden Mile, comprising of both the tower and complex blocks, is well known for being indisputably the 'Little Thailand' of Singapore; in this ethnic enclave, you can find ample eateries serving authentic yet cheap Thai cuisine, discos belting out the latest hit in Thai language and even a good-sized supermarket offering many products imported from Thailand. 

Therefore, when my sister asked if i am aware of this famous Hainanese restaurant in Golden Mile Tower known as Thien Kee, i think she can see the huge question mark looming above my head. No, i wasn't aware even though i had mookata in the same building last July! 

In a nutshell, stepping into Thien Kee felt like i am in an air-conditioned coffee shop. Ambience was limited and it was sacrificed for practicality; there were so many tables and chairs! Furthermore, why the need to spend on ambience when you are already famous! 

Joyce did her research beforehand and knew exactly what to order; their Hainanese chicken is a must and so is the steamboat which appeared on almost table that was occupied. 

Steamboat
A look at the menu would give you a good summary of what was included in the steamboat and given that we were ordering many other foods, we decided to just go with the small steamboat at S$40.

This was served; note that there were two other plates of meat and vegetables (inclusive of a egg) which were not captured in the above photograph. 

To be totally honest, i thought it was too pricey to pay for such meagre amount of meat even though mom added that it must be the expensive fish maw and sea cucumbers that drive up the price. The freshness was no doubt there but i figured it might be worth the effort to have the steamboat in the comfort of my own house instead. p.s. my family members love the fishballs. 

Many reviewers enjoyed the soup in Thien Kee although i found it to be too bland for my liking. The broth improved markedly at the end with the help of the veg and meat; however, it wasn't good enough to warrant another visit for me.

Hainanese Chicken
This was so similar to what i had in Yet Con that i strongly suspected the owners were under the same master in the past (both restaurants also serve steamboat)! The chicken in Thien Kee didn't feature the disgusting raw bloodiness (thank god) even though the meat was just as dense and solid without the tenderness i personally preferred from competitors like Tian Tian. 

Hainanese Pork Chop
Yet again another signature dish.

That didn't impress me once again! It was fried to a crisp, a texture i seldom reject, but the sauce had that supreme tendency to cover the juiciness of the pork patty! It also didn't help that my mom's version of sweet and sour sauce had the same zesty taste. 

Pork Satay
These were delicious!! It was of a slightly sweeter rendition and held an ability that didn't require me to dip it into the peanut satay sauce. They were that good! Even though the pieces on each stick were larger than what i can get from the market, the price at eighty cents a stick was a tad hard to stomach.

By the way, forget about the ketupat. The satay went perfectly well with the fragrant chicken rice! I never knew such combi could work out such wonders! 

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Location
6001, Beach Road,
B1-20, Golden Mile Tower

Operating Hours
11am to 10pm. Closed on certain Chinese festivals like eve and 1st day of Chinese New Year, 15th day of Chinese New Year, Labour Day, Dragon Boat Festival and 15th day of Hungry Ghost Festival.

Price
Steamboat - S$40
Hainanese Chicken - S$10
Hainanese Pork Chop - S$11
Pork Satay - S$0.80 each stick
Chicken Rice - S$1 a bowl

Menu
As above. Please note that the dishes don't come with pricing and you may check with the waitress when you place your order. 

Additional Information
Weirdly, unlike most steamboat restaurants, you don't get the feeling you are hitting onto any wire or gas cylinders while you are digging into your hotpot. 

The reason was because the gas was piped directly from the ground! p.s. don't ask me what was the technology involved behind this as i seriously have no idea. 


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