Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Diamond Kitchen at Science Park - Comfort Food That is Honest and Superb

Chinese cuisine can be frustrating for me at times. The lack of invention being my pet peeve, and when some restaurants tries, it comes off as being gimmicky and losing the plot.

That is why, I like it when establishments like CDHK just sticks to its guns and traditions and focus on doing the basic things and nailing it every time.

It is a blessing to me then that Diamond Kitchen is another gem that has decided to forgo fancy decors and fusion ideas to just concentrate on cooking the best out of every dish.

The menu on paper may sound straightforward, but what comes out of the kitchen is also the type of cooking that I enjoy the most. Unpretentious, honest and superbly executed.

Recently, Diamond Kitchen has expanded to a second outlet at Science Park and I was on hand to savour some of their new dishes which are only exclusive to the new place.

Garlic Steamed Bamboo Clams

This is a common dish in most zhe char and restaurant eateries all over the island. But rarely has I seen it been executed so faultlessly. The garlic in particular, was not only punchy and sweet, it had that gorgeous garlicky fragrance that punctuated the dish with the utmost authority.

The clams themselves were steamed to a succulent and tender perfection and drizzled with a well selected soya sauce to bring the necessary savoury harmony to the dish. Beautifully balanced and textured, it is probably my favourite version of this dish now.

Hong Kong Steamed Giant Garoupa

This is a rare fish to find here in Singapore, though I have tasted this in an excellent porridge variant in Johor. Steamed in a Hong Kong style with a delectable soya sauce, the main draw here is not the meat, but the gelatinous skin which is said to possess beauty enhancing qualities.

As a whole, the dish was typical of what all good HK steamed fish should look and taste like, but be mindful that the flesh of this special fish is less flaky and flavourful than the usual seabass or snapper.

Superior Claypot Giant Garoupa

It was this second version of the giant garoupa that utterly mesmerised me. It also exemplifies the excellent cooking displayed by the kitchen team. A nice hint of wok hei permeated each piece of the tail section of the fish, and coated with a tasty and sticky sauce that brought out the sweetness of the fish.

The jelly like skin was again the main draw and biting into the somewhat chewy nature of the skin brought out oodles of joy from my palate, and coupled with a well chosen bed of leeks, there was a great play of balance and textures in the dish. Delightful and enjoyable.

Lobster Porridge

The lobster porridge came with some expectations that were not fully met. The chicken stock was undoubtedly savoury, but lacked that ocean sweetness you would expect from a lobster infusion to counter the saltiness. Otherwise, this comforting bowl of porridge would come in very handy on those cold and rainy nights.

Gan Xiang Crab

A nice alternative to the usual black peppery crabs, the gan xiang mentioned in the title is a combination of the kitchen's special blend of spices that is both aromatic and powerful to the core.

That extra injection of spices elevated the typical peppery crustaceans to elicit a more refreshing tone and coupled with the use of gigantic Sri Lankan crabs, this is a dish to please the crab lovers out there.

Lemongrass Jelly

I liked how they ended this new menu with a more refreshing dessert than the usual mango sago or pudding. The combination of cold, sweet, and lemongrassy notes was the perfect to wash down the richness of the crabs and wash away all that spiciness to boot.

Diamond Kitchen is ideal for that family gathering with its more down to earth settings and decoration. At the same time, this place would be equally suited to bring that overseas friend to try out some local flavours that has been enlightened with some great cooking too.

Straightforward cooking excellence cannot get any better than this. Sometimes, sticking to the classics can be so rewarding. Not everything needs to be reinvented.

Diamond Kitchen
87 Science Park Drive

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