[SG] Joyden Canton Kitchen | embracing the Cantonese fare with delectable dishes!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Not too long ago, we had a memorable experience at Joyden Seafood Restaurant (formerly West Coast Seafood) located within West Coast Recreation Centre. Since then, Joyden has brought on a new dining establishment located at HillV2, the new shopping mall around Upper Bukit Timah area. It strives to embrace the philosophy of Cantonese cooking by using only the freshest seasonal produce carried out with skilful culinary techniques.

I admire their persistence of numerous visits to various parts of Guangdong to garner inspiration and better understand the essence of Cantonese cuisine over the six months. Being a Cantonese, I'm really particular about the cuisine of my own origin. Let's get my taste bud to do the talking!

Chicken with Fresh Huai Shan and Wolfberry in Old Coconut Soup 椰子淮杞炖鲜鸡 | S$12.80/++

It's true that Cantonese can't live without soup as we consume it in almost every dinner meal, particularly for ladies, there is a saying that goes "女人唔補好易老"! The slow-cooked soup '老火湯' is very nourishing as the essence from ingredients were extracted through laborious hours of low heat cooking. For this soup, fresh huai shan, wolfberry, chicken and other herbs were steamed in an old coconut for three hours. There's almost nothing to criticise about this light but carried a natural sweetness soup, perfect!

Crispy Homemade Shrimp & Pork Roll | S$8.50++

Signature Soy Sauce Chicken 香滑酱油鸡 | S$12/18/32/++

A signature of Joyden, this soy sauce chicken is served in quarter, half or whole portions. The poached chicken had a silky smooth skin and tender flesh, it's perfect to consume it with its secret blend of superior light sauce and herbs, as well as rosewater that was well infused in the meat.

Signature Traditional Hakka Salt Poached Farm Chicken 滑嫩沙酱盐水鸡 | S$17/++

A Teochew-inspired Cantonese dish, it was served at room temperature where the kampong chicken was rested in a salt and herbal stock to fully absorb the flavours. The flavourful chicken was accompanied by Joyden's secret-recipe ginger sauce which gave a subtle ginger taste. Similar to the soy sauce chicken, it had a velvety smooth skin though the meat was slightly stiff due to kampong chicken being generally leaner.

Fish Maw and Prawns with Glass Noodles in Homemade XO Sauce 银丝XO鱼鳔珍虾煲 | S$18.80/++

Cantonese cuisine pays great attention to 'wok hei' and this bowl of claypot goodness was a hot favourite among the foodies. Homemade premium XO sauce of dried scallops and jin hua ham '金华火腿' was used to impart a strong punch of fragrance and salinity to the dish. While enjoying the fresh fish maw, prawns and glass noodles which absorbed the addictive sauce, you wouldn't realise how many scoops of rice you have actually eaten!

Signature Sliced Grouper Fillet with Pine Mushroom and Black Fungus in Rice Wine Broth 米酒松菇斑片煲 | S$17.80/++

A very heart-warming dish to order especially on a rainy day, the fish soup carried a powerful rice wine scent balanced with nutritious ingredients stewed within the claypot which was enough to warm you up already!

Braised Pork Ribs in Aged Mandarin Peel Sauce 陈皮蜜汁酱排骨 | S$16.80/++

Another delicacy to go with rice, as Cantonese tends to have a heavier palate '重口味', this was easily the hot favourite at the table. Different cooking techniques were used to elevate the premium quality ingredients in order to achieve the flavoursome and aromatic fall-off-the-bone flesh, and the glossy coating of the ribs. A twist on the typical coffee or champagne marinate, the prime pork ribs was first braised then blended in a special aged mandarin peel sauce, before being grilled to give a touch of caramelised crispness.

Braised Homemade Beancurd Coin with Poached Shanghai Baby Cabbage 豆腐饼焖娃娃菜 | S$14.90/++

Five fried homemade patties of beancurd, seafood and vegetables stacked atop the young baby cabbage which was steamed in a viscous broth that made from boiling pork bones for several hours. I liked that this dish needed little seasoning to it as the cabbage carried a natural sweetness while ladies can rejoice at the collagen-rich pork bone broth! The only drawback was that the broth lacked depth in its flavours. 

Signature Traditional Rice Vermicelli with Poached Egg White, Crabmeat and Scallop 月光赛螃蟹米粉 | S$15.80/++

A dish that looked extremely innocent which turned out to be surprisingly good! Before it's served to us, the server would mix the wok-fried rice vermicelli with poached egg, crabmeat, fresh and dried scallop, vinegar and pepper. The vermicelli quickly soaked up the delectable gravy with every mouthful full of crabmeat, scallop and harmoniously brought together by the 'wok hei'!

Homemade Hawthorne and Apple Drink 自制山楂苹果水 | S$4/++

One of my favourite snacks is the Hawthorn flakes and many would know that Hawthorn can help to ease digestion. With blended red apple to add natural sweetness and nutrients, this beverage was cooling and refreshing, which cleansed our palates after some bold flavoured mains!

And there's always a need to finish our meal with desserts!

Red Bean Soup with Glutinous Rice Dumplings | S$4.50++

Homemade Herbal Guilin Jelly | S$4.50++

Mango Pudding | S$4.50++

Sago and Pomelo in Mango Juice| S$4.50++ & Beancurd Skin with Barley and Gingko Nut Sweet Soup | S$4.50++

Similar to what we tried at Joyden Seafood, the mangoes were too sour for our liking. Beancurd Skin with Barley and Gingko Nut Sweet Soup is a better choice of all.

With the savoury mains being the limelight, their desserts however would require some improvements to make it as palatable for the discerning taste buds of Singaporeans!

A casual cosy dining ambience suitable to accommodate small and big families, expect some healthy, comfort and quality food at affordable prices as the dishes are unlike the usual stir-fried and oily Cantonese fare. With more than 60 dishes offered in the menu, despite the healthier choices, there are also dishes with bold flavours which are good to pair with rice and inconspicuous dishes that are surprisingly good!

Overall Verdict: 8.0/10 

Joyden Canton Kitchen
4 Hillview Rise
Hill V2

P.S. Special thanks to Rachel for the invite and the team for being great hosts!
P.P.S. Photos were taken with Nikon D750, with much thanks to Nikon Singapore! 

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