Personally, Liang Kee is one of the better old school Teochew restaurants that I have tried in Singapore so far. All the ingredients were fresh and the tasty dishes were well executed in the old way.
I feel the quality of the dishes at Liang Kee was consistent because the boss Chef Ng Siang Lin and this younger brother personally cook in the kitchen. From my observation, at the more famous Teochew restaurants there are usually crushing crowds and the boss is often out mingling with VIP regulars, leaving the cooking to a platoon of employees. The result is often similar to what I call the "banquet syndrome" - one good signature dish at the front and one near the end (usually the dessert), and the dishes in between are often average fillers.
The food quality at Liang Kee was consistently good though I liked some dishes more than others.
Meaty and bouncy flesh but the very slight natural flavour of the crayfish was overpowered by the sambal. The sambal was mostly salty/ savoury with very mild spiciness.
Not my preferred way of cooking crayfish.
The mixed platter of traditional Teochew braised meats and toufu.
The herbal braising sauce was mildly flavoured, light bodied and tea coloured. The braising tenderised the belly pork and duck, and the sauce highlighted the meat's natural flavours. The good knife work 刀工 accentuated the flavours and presented the meat's best textures too.
I like Liang Kee's braised dishes.
Classic Teochew Pork Trotter Jelly (ter kar tan or Pork Aspic) 猪脚冻.
Love the tender diced fat and lean meat held together with gelatin melted and chilled into a jelly. Lovely mix of tender textures and layers of savouriness.
A fine example of the finesse of Teochew traditional dishes.
The dish that stole
The steamed crab meat was firm, meaty, juicy, sweet and very slightly briny like the taste of the sea.
The roe and creamy parts were rich, savoury and sweet.
But, the ultimate coup de grace was the second soft shell under the hard outside shell of the moulting crab. The soft shell had the dense texture of cooked salted egg white but tasted just slightly savoury with natural sweet notes.
Leather Jacket Fish (Ti Kia) with Bean Sauce. The Leather Jacket fish's firm white meat doesn't have much flavour and relied on the savoury bean sauce for taste. This dish is a Liang Kee house specialty and quite popular, probably because it is a Teochew comfort dish.
Chai Poh Kway Teow. Very well executed with good wok hei, just the right amount of oil and nice layers of savouriness from the cai poh and soy based sauce. The greens and bean sprouts were juicy and crunchy.
We rounded up our lunch with orh nee 潮式芋泥 which is almost a cliché of Teochew desserts.
I like Liang Kee's version which is house made with grainy yam paste, gingko nut and sweet potato. The orh nee felt suitably rich though the lady boss confirmed that no lard was used.
Liang Kee is one Teochew restaurant in Singapore that I look forward to going back to.
If you are looking for a simple, accessible (just steps from Boon Keng MRT), family friendly restaurant with good food minus all the frills, give Liang Kee a try.
Restaurant name: Liang Kee Teochew Restaurant 亮记餐馆
Address: Blk 34, Whampoa West, #01-27 Singapore
Hours: 11.30am to 2pm, 6pm to 10pm (Open daily)
Tel: (+65) 62977789
Date visited: 27 Sep 2014
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