Hung Kang is probably one of the best known Teochew restaurant names in Singapore. This traditional Teochew restaurant has been around for as long as I can remember. I recall its original premises was a shop further down the road but it has been at its current location for at least 15 years. [2020 Update: Sadly Hung Kang closed in April 2020, after being in business for 58 years – HK Facebook]
Hung Kang occupies two levels of this shophouse at North Canal Road. The ground floor is quite small with room for only a few tables. The main dining area is on the first level. It is quite a spacious area which can accommodate many large tables. The decor is plain utilitarian, strictly no-frills. It is a clean, bright and efficient restaurant. If you are looking for ambience, atmosphere and mood, look elsewhere.
In addition to its a la carte menu, it also has some fixed menus ranging from $228 for 6 pax to $688 for 10 pax. What was interesting to us was their “create your own set menu” option whereby at $39.80 per person you can get to select your own four or five course dinner. The price includes rice, porridge and tea.
We selected the double boiled superior shark’s fin with conpoy, a steamed pomfret, sliced duck meat and a silver fish and ‘chai poh’ omelette.
The shark’s fin did look like shark’s fin soup but we could hardly find any trace of Jaws in the soup. At this price, it’s best to lower expectations. Think of it as just a soup dish and it’s quite a pleasant, starchy chicken broth. The Chinese parsley added a nice Teochew-ness to it.
The silver fish and chai poh omelette was quite a substantial dish. The taste was good with fish and the preserved vegetable providing a good balance to each other. We had opted for porridge, so this made such a classic Teochew ‘muay’ combination.
The sliced duck was also served in a large portion. By then we realised that there was no way we could finish this and still leave some space for the pomfret. We asked for half of the portion to be doggy-bagged before we started on it. That turned out to be a wise move. Taste wise, the duck was slightly dry but the flavour of the meat with the soy sauce based gravy was perfect with the porridge. Especially when dipped in the quintessential Teochew garlic and vinegar dip – Yum!
The pomfret was the final dish, probably because the preparation time was longer. It was a medium-sized fish – and was more generous than we had expected. More than adequate for two diners. This was the best dish of the day. The meat of the fish was firm and pure white in colour. Very fresh and cooked just right. The tang oh and other vegetables imparted a very gentle and elegant taste to the broth and the fish.
It is usually quite hard to order dishes in a Chinese restaurant when there are only two of you. This $39.80 per head dinner at Hung Kang is a very good idea. The only unfortunate thing was that no dessert was included. You can’t have a complete Teochew dinner without oh nee right? We ordered one “mashed yam with ginkgo nuts and pumpkin” ($6) from the a la carte menu which brought our Teochew meal to a sweet end.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
Hung Kang Restaurant
28 North Canal Road
Poh Heng Building
(opposite Hong Lim Park)
Tel: +65 6533 5300
Daily 11.30am to 3pm; 6pm to 10.30pm
Nearby Stations : Clarke Quay, Chinatown