Do you remember vividly what you ate two days ago? I can't either. But I do remember what I had two weeks ago. Best seafood meal for 2009 (and maybe even this century!). Ah this is the stuff to live for...
We had an impromptu foodies dinner at Ming Kee Live Seafood. Nic+XLB, Keropokman+ sister+Momo, Aromacookery+hubby, and 陈先生 who made reservations, and by power of mighty surname alone managed to get us the "royalty" table! Even some "Datuk" next to us had to settle for a lesser table! Well at least we know everyone is treated equal there.
OK, onto the food! Fried eel skin with a warm and savoury soy-based dip - a must-have appetiser! This was so crinkaliciously addictive! Light as air, with little sign of grease. Yes, food is best when shared with friends, but sometimes you just want the whole basket to yourself!
Flower clams ("hua la-la"?) doused with fragrantly and perfectly fried minced garlic - these folks really know how to control their fire and not burn the garlic. I also love that soy-based sauce that this place does so well. This is simply too good! They have various clams, mussels, etc that they can also do this way.
Steamed Soon Hock or Marble Goby. You can tell this is really fresh and there is no muddy taste at all. So tender, so sweet. You'll want to finish every sliver available!
Bamboo Clams with buttery garlic. These were S$10 each, but that's a steal because of the freshness and the way they are so expertly done. The texture is soft yet crunchy. Don't worry - the garlic may look overwhelming but they taste divine. Their spicy bite is somehow neutralised by the hot butter, and fragrant soy-based sauce.
This is what we came for - the signature Crab Beehoon! Everyone at the table loved this. The vermicelli is well-braised and flavourful, but also very soft (good for people who like it that way). Still, I was slightly underwhelmed but could not immediately identify why, until it suddenly hit me - these noodles are coated with crab roe! Wait, isn't that a plus point? Well, yes if you like crab roe. Not my favourite thing. Guess this means I finally give Sin Huat a miss too, since his are also done the same way.
But I can tell you the huge crabs were tasty beyond description. Their natural sweetness came through so well! I must come back for the chili crab and butter crab.
We were all very glad we did not have to wrestle these crabs while they were alive. Look at those man-sized pincers!
Their homemade tofu is silky soft with robust soybean flavour, but on the whole the dish was rather bland. The chefs here are not heavy-handed with sauces and flavouring, but that's a good thing.
Guinness pork ribs - this dish enjoyed a duet with smoked duck (see background). Pretty good. I'd like to say it was a nice change from the seafood but no, I can happily keep eating more seafood. It's just so good!
Smoked duck that tasted like expensive ham - this is an amazing feat! I never knew duck could become this texture or taste!
Four season beans in sambal. By the time this arrived, we were very full. But I still enjoyed this. The sambal has kick!
No matter how full we are, there's always room for dessert. Two, in fact! Firstly, coconut jelly - light, refreshing, gently sweet with real pieces of young coconut flesh.
Yam paste (ornee) with gingko nuts and sweet potato. The yam's texture was very smooth and soft. The whole thing is not overly sweet.
So ended our phenomenally delicious dinner. Service was discreet and brisk - they kept changing dirty plates and anticipated our needs just by observation. No corkage charges and yet they provided good wine glasses. Bill was about S$488 for 9 persons (or S$54 each). Slightly more than what we usually spend on a meal, but we did have a feast!
Ming Kee can be quite easy to miss, as it's a small frontage hidden by its own awnings over the al fresco area.
Check out Aromacookery's, and Keropokman's coverage of the dinner here - part 1 and part 2.
MING KEE LIVE SEAFOOD
556 Macpherson Road
Lunch: 12noon - 2pm
Dinner: 5pm - 11pm
(Reservations highly advised!)