Simple Fare

Sum’s Kitchen @ Sembawang

I tried to eat here (since the start of Phase 2), but either I was turned away (“not operating hours yet”) or they were not opened. Finally on third try (and swearing to God that I will not return if I don’t succeed), I get to sit down and have that familiar tastes of HK-style roasts.

Nostalgic melamine utensils

You can see that their utensils have seen better times. And the attempt to renew some of them is apparent from the different colour and imprints.

HK-style roast meats

Their main attraction is the Hong Kong-style roast meats – char siew and roast duck. Some may say what’s the big deal, their selection is so limited, and there’s no roast pork belly (燒腩) or rose wine chicken (玫瑰雞) .

Char siew

Let’s start with the char siew. It is well-marinated and grilled to perfection. The moisture is retained and taste is evenly spread. Most of the hawkers out there make a really poor version – either only colouring on the outside or they just taste like Lee Kum Kee on the outside – the flavour has not penetrated into the meat. This is the lean version. You can ask for the fatty version (肥叉) so don’t squeal when you see excessive charring and fats dripping all over.

Roast duck

And then there’s the duck. HK-style roast duck is their signature and many celebrities have come here to pay homage. Crispy duck skin that reminded me of roast goose in HK. But as we don’t import that bird anymore, this will do. So what’s the difference between HK-style and other styles? Peking duck has crispy skin and just a little meat, the duck used is big but not succulent. It is usually roasted in open ovens. HK-style or Cantonese roast duck is sold either whole or chopped up and usually serve with plum sauce. It is definitely roasted in closed ovens for a more juicy result.

梧桐四味烤鸭 signature Peking duck

Peking duck is not stuffed as it is appreciated for its original juices and flavours from smoking with hard wood without the need for extra ingredients. Cantonese ducks are stuffed with star anise, ginger, spring onion, and more than a dozen other Chinese herbs to have their flavours infused for tastier duck meat and bones.  

Chicken steamed with black wood fungus 雲耳蒸雞

Besides roast meats, Sum’s is also a tzechar restaurant. They have seasonal dishes like this chicken steamed with black fungus. Nice, homely, but not the big restaurant standard.

Romaine lettuce with dace fish 鯪魚油麥菜

We ordered a vegetable – Romaine lettuce with dace fish 鯪魚油麥菜 – that is seldom served elsewhere in Singapore but available at every dai pai tang (the HK-version of tzechar). Romaine lettuce with dace fish is so simple in terms of ingredients – garlic, lettuce and a can of dace fish. Black bean dace fish is a poor man’s source of protein and chefs in HK made a classic dish with this canned food. It’s the wok hei that is missing from our home version. And here, the wok hei is evident and yet the lettuce has not lost its crunch. Must order dish.

Do take note of their operating hours. They don’t open on Tuesdays, and they don’t open before 12pm (no even a minute earlier) because that’s the timing for their roasts to come out from the oven. They are closed by 2.30pm (and very often sold out before that), and then you have to wait for the dinner session which is between 5pm to 9.30pm. Call before hand to check if the roasts are available or you may be disappointed.

Sum’s Kitchen & Hong Kong Roasted Meat 香港深記飯店
5 Jln Legundi, Singapore 759269
Tel : 6757 2118

Date Visited : Sep 2020

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