Iconic Fortitude Valley restaurant King of Kings has closed. The enormously popular yum cha eatery, which first opened in 1988, appears to have closed earlier this month.
They served Malaysian-influenced Chinese seafood, just like Neptune in Sydney. This is quite rare in Australian, where most of the seafood restaurants were first opened by Hong Kong immigrants and therefore serve the Hong Kong-style seafood.
What’s the difference? The use of spices and keep the seafood’s original flavours. Malaysian-style tends to use a lot of spices like chilli, turmeric and nutmeg in their flavours. And they often like to add more robust flavours to their seafood, like dark soy-sauce tiger prawns and curry crab.
Szechuan hot and sour soup 四川酸辣汤
Single serve soup thickened with cornstarch and lots of ajinomoto. Next.
Hong Kong stle eggplant 避风塘茄子
My guest loved eggplant and insisted on ordering eggplant. One shall not argue with the CEO of the company, and so we ordered the Typhoon Shelter-style eggplant. Eggplant is deep fried with a coating of batter and then stir-fried with lots of garlic and other aromatics. The result is sensational, I can eat this eggplant. In fact I am beginning to enjoy it.
Special fried rice 特别炒饭
Nothing special, next.
Sea scallops with broccoli 西兰花炒带子
Two of the cheapest ingredients in Australia. No where else in the world can you get that many scallops, and fresh ones for that matter, and a mountain of broccoli, both ingredients can be found in abundance in Australia.
Morton bay bugs with black pepper and butter sauce 黑椒牛油琵琶虾
I thought the same for Morton Bay bugs, with is found just north of Brisbane, but it turned out to more expensive than lobsters. Due to overfishing and an increased demand for these crustaceans, we see the price to be quite high.
Steamed salted chicken 东江盐焗鸡
Surprising this was my favourite dish and it’s not seafood. This is a popular method of cooking chicken among the Hakka people in Canton province. It uses salt as the main condiment to intensify the chicken flavour and keeping the chicken tender.
This place has seen better days. The decor was tired when I visited, reminding me of a Chinese restaurant in the 80s. The service staff was very knowledgeable and accommodating. But in terms of the food, it was OK and adjusted for local Western tastebuds.
They announced that the closure is temporary./ Hopefully after the Covid-19 crisis, the restaurant can reopen. But also the standard can be improved too.
King of Kings Seafood 皇上皇
175 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley Queensland 4006, Australia
Date Visited : Oct 2014