Kim Choo’s Kitchen is named after Madam Lee Kim Choo, the founder of the Restaurant and the outlet selling dumplings, kuehs and the likes. You don’t say. But what you might not know is, it has been around since post WWII. From a small tent to a zinc house, to where it is now, I must say, it must have been a hell of a journey. Located right opposite I12 Katong (Mall), they not only house a Restaurant, but also a small outlet selling onde-onde, dumplings, otak, and an array of nonya kuehs. Having said that, the Restaurant serves Peranakan cuisines.
Contrary to popular belief, some of the waitpersons actually speak pretty good English (as if it’s their first language). The ambience was pretty ‘Peranakan’ to me, with their floral uniform and whole design of the restaurant. The menu was neatly arranged in ‘Seafood’, ‘Soup’, ‘Meat’, ‘Fish’, etc., and complemented with photos of the dishes too.
HeePeow Soup (Medium) ($16) :: If you are as into the hot and fiery pepper as I am, their soups would highly satisfy you. And as unhealthy as MSG is, I am quite a sucker for it. I have a feeling the course is filled very fully with those two ingredients. Though I must say, the Hee Peow (more commonly known as Fish Maw) was a little harder than the usual ones I’ve had.
Seafood Tofu (Small) ($13) :: Cooked in the claypot style, the dish is full of crabmeat, tofu and prawns. I must say, I’ve had better ones in hawker centres, ones that are more flavorful and thicker gravy. It was as if the ingredients were cooked independently, somehow they just don’t go together well.
Stir-Fried Kailan (Medium) ($14) :: It’s always a bitch when the picture differs unacceptably much from the actual dish. And this was one of those cases. The picture showed the kailan being ones that are in stalks, but it turned out to be the other kind of (small) kailan. My dining partner was utterly disappointed, and I can’t blame her for that. I’ve never liked this rendition of kailan, and this didn’t help, unfortunately.
Babi Pongteh (Medium) ($15) :: Like its fellow dishes, it was forgettable, very disappointingly. The nonya-style pork belly was very ordinary. Just some dish.
Sambal Sotong (Medium) ($15) :: Sotong is probably one of my favorite seafood. And sambal is one of my favorite style of preparing a course. But the sambal wasn’t spicy hot enough for me. Yet another average course.
Dumplings ($2.50 – $3.50) :: I’d suggest that they focus more on their kuehs and dumplings. It was what made them famous, and still is. Although it’s not the best dumpling I’ve had, it was alright. I’ve tried their onde-onde, and it was good. If given a choice, I’d say, skip the restaurant, buy the nonya kuehs and sit in to savor on the delights. Do note that the price increases with the date nearing Dragon Boat Festival.
All of us felt let down by the restaurant, I am just hoping that it’s because we ordered the wrong dishes. I adore their service, although they can be too absorbed sometimes and miss the diners’ attention needed.
—> Note #1: All prices stated are nett.
—> Note #2: Achar ($2) an Wet Tissues ($0.20 each) are automatically given upon seated. If you would like, you can ask for it to be taken away.
—> Note #3: Iced water will be charged at $0.30 per glass, refillable.
Address (In Context): 109 East Coast Road
Telephone: 6741 2125