厨神私房菜 The Chinese Kitchen is a new Chinese restaurant in the Lavender-Jelan Besar enclave known for its hip indie cafes. The Chinese Kitchen at Cavan Road is helmed by award-winning chef Austen Ong, a past president of the Society of Chinese Cuisine Chefs (Singapore). According to their the restaurant’s material, Chef Austen Ong. was dubbed 厨神 by the culinary industry because of his many achievement which “include Gold medalist of Asian Cuisine in the 8th FHA International Salon Culinaire, Most Creative award at The 4th World Championship of Chinese Cuisine and Champion of Taipei’s World Culinary Contest in both 2005 and 2007“. At The Chinese Kitchen, chef Ong offers home cook style Chinese dishes given a contemporary touch. The food is of good quality and the prices are reasonable.
The Chinese Kitchen at Cavan Road is situated amidst a row of ageing shop houses and industrial workshops. The location is one of the grittier parts of Singapore. The restaurant’s colourful signage and glass panel frames announce that it is different from its neighbours. The interior looks more like a hip cafe than a Chinese restaurant. It has distressed walls, exposed pipes and exposed vintage bulbs for the rustic industrial look.
Menu of The Chinese Kitchen
The menu of The Chinese Kitchen is not extensive but there is sufficient variety – from small sharing plates to clay pot and deep-fried dishes. There are also special items that are not listed on the menu.
Below are photos of pages of The Chinese Kitchen menu.
Currently, they have special lunch promotion menus.
Lunch at The Chinese Kitchen 厨神私房菜
We visited The Chinese Kitchen 厨神私房菜 for lunch and ordered their Signature dish of Red Garoupa in Old Fifty Collagen Broth ($38). We also had the Wok Fried Fish Maw ($22) and Charcoal Grilled Garlic Spring Chicken ($14). Rice was $1, Chinese tea $1.20 and coconut water $2.50. GST would be added but there was no service charge and no other hidden extras.
The food was served after a very short wait. The Red Garoupa in Old Fifty Collagen Broth came in a big pot. It could easily be shared by 4 or more. It was prepared in the cooking style of the 1950s was full of ingredients, including fish skins, vegetables and of course lots of collagen. We could tell that it was cooked for a long time. The broth was rich and dense. It was flavourful, soothing and very enjoyable. It was like mom’s warm comforting soup, only better.
The Wok Fried Fish Maw was mildly spicy, taking its flavours from the chilli, bean sauce and other ingredients it was cooked with. It was cooked just right. The texture was slightly chewy – not too hard and not mushy. It was an unusual dish which was worth a try.
The spring chicken was generously drizzled with minced garlic. The char-grilled boneless chicken was tender and flavourful. It was a delightful and satisfying dish.
We thought the food we tried at The Chinese Kitchen 厨神私房菜 demonstrated the skill and creativity of the chef. The food was distinctly Chinese – not fancy fusion concoctions yet not quite the usual common traditional Chinese dishes. The quality of the food was good and we enjoyed our lunch. We would return to try other dishes of the chef.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
厨神私房菜 The Chinese Kitchen
20 Cavan Road
Tel: +65 6612 6024
Closed on Wednesday
Nearby MRT Station: Lavender
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog