Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Keng Eng Kee Seafood (KEK) 瓊榮記海鮮 - Affordable Tze Char @ Alexandra Village [Singapore]

The area surrounding IKEA Alexandra is blessed with two hawker centres with extremely popular stalls and that's not even counting the many restaurants in the vicinity!

One such restaurant was Keng Eng Kee, a long standing name among residents given it has been at the same location for over twenty years.

Known by its acronym now, KEK was chosen simply because we wanted tze char fare for its variety and have read and heard quite a few good reviews on it. It did help to note that the pricing would not burn a hole in our pocket!

Main bulk of the seating was in this kopitiam although for those afraid of the humidity Singapore is famed for, you may have a limited choice of air-conditioned seating in a shop space just right opposite. 

Prawn Rolls (虾枣)
This is one of the specialties and i had to give it a try for a comparison with my mom's very own hay chor which was irresistible; my personal record was no less than twenty of them in one seating! 

Verdict - very juicy, meat-filled and might be a tad too peppery for some of you. Paired with the sweet sauce, it was a match made in heaven with both the spiciness and sweetness exciting your taste buds at the same time! Initially, i thought these were better than mom's but on second thought, mom's hay chor had a higher prawn ratio which resulted in a more addictive flavour. 

San Lao Hor Fun (三捞河粉)
Like some foreigners, i am equally puzzled with the origins of some local dishes. San Lao Hor Fun was one example. Were the words 三捞 referring to the cooking style or there were three types of ingredients that had to be 捞 (fished) from the sea / river? 

Anyway, this wasn't as wet as the normal horfun but the taste was superbly good. The aroma of wok hei was intense at first bite and the flavour wasn't swimming in soy sauce, which was mainly the case for the darker-coloured horfun. 

Salted Egg Sotong (咸蛋苏东)
I am a huge fan of salted egg sotong and since my friend had never tried it before, we decided to order one despite it commanding the highest price among the dishes we had that day.

It was a great disappointment and i felt apologetic to have even suggested the dish in the first place - they were way too salty and lacked the sweet sensation that could have balanced out the saltiness and made them really delicious. The saving grace was that they were not overcooked and the texture still turned out pretty good. 

Coffee Pork Ribs (咖啡排骨)
Appearance wise, i guess we would not doubt the glistening pork ribs looked really inviting. Pity it was too sweet for my liking (funny how this was too sweet and the salted egg sotong was too salty) and the meat didn't impress us with its toughness. 

Three-Egg Spinach (三蛋苋菜)
I am seldom thrilled by this dish as more often than not, i would not be guaranteed with a taste that could fuse all three types of eggs (namely normal egg, salted egg and century egg). 

The one in KEK was one of the few which has successfully managed to do that although it would be great to have them with a bowl of plain rice (our fault as all of us opted for no rice; aiyah, scared of gaining weight mah)!  

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Would i be back? Definitely as i didn't try a few of their other specialties! 

Location
Block 124, Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-136
[Near Alexandra Village Hawker Centre]

Map
As above

Opening Hours (Daily)
12noon - 2.30pm
5pm -10pm

Reservation
+65-6272-1038

Website
http://www.kek.com.sg/

Menu
Click here.

Price
Prawn Rolls - S$12
San Lao Hor Fun - S$8
Salted Egg Sotong - S$18
Coffee Pork Ribs - S$10
Three-Egg Spinach - S$15
[No GST, No Service Charge]

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