Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Canton Wok, Joo Chiat, Singapore

Chef Ang Song Kang, the man behind Canton Wok was recently accorded membership in the Chinese Cuisine category of the prestigious Les Amis D’ Escoffier Society.

La dee da, doesn't mean anything unless he churns out tasty food.
Fortunately, he does.

Canton Wok has found home in a refurbished detached house (bungalow) at 382 Joo Chiat Rd after previous locations at Tiong Bahru and then Upper Serangoon (where I started to take his stuff seriously).

A great starter dish to whet the appetite is the deep fried aubergine (eggplant/brinjal) with pork floss. This is a nice dish to create some aubergine converts because it tastes delicate, crisp and light with no resemblence to most sticky and slimy aubergine dishes.

Pork chops with Portuguese sauce. This is a rendition of the popular Hong Kong baked pork chops and rice with Portugese sauce. He uses tender pork fillets here, tasting very similar to tonkatsu, the fragrant creamy sauce complements the pork perfectly with its slight hint of spices and sweetness.

Home-style beancurd braised in a thick brown sauce with dried scallops and mushroom bits. The beancurd is so smooth it practically glides down your throat. The sauce is ideal to stir into your rice as well.

Another signature dish here is the bacon-prawns served with mayonnaise. I prefer this alot more than that wasabi prawn dish that is being spawned everywhere simply because of one reason - crispy streaky bacon. The saltiness of the bacon is countered by the tangy and sweet mayonnaise so it actually tastes quite balanced.

The obligatory "guilt-relief" vegetable dish of Chinese spinach tasted so good, it was almost guilty in itself. Cooked in a light broth with three kinds of eggs (salted, century and normal), this dish managed to hold its own weight against the rest of the tasty meat dishes.

I reckon a sign of a good chef is the ability to make tasty food out of simple, normal ingredients. This dish of black pepper lotus root is an example of such culinary mastery. A great meat substitute for the vegan.

Canton Wok is one of my favourite food joints for Chinese food not only because it serves kickass stuff but it's also unpretentious and consistent. Oh, on a final note, they do not charge for corkage here so bring along a nice wine (like the Xanadu 2003 Featherwhite we had) to enhance your overall dining experience.


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