Keng Eng Kee is a cze char joint that I've been wanting to try for a while, but I was put off by the many reviews of slow, inefficient service, and shocking hour-long waits for food.
But I realised that the many reviews also suggested dining late on weekdays, so we had dinner there one late mid-week night. There wasn't much of a crowd so service was pretty fast and efficient, and the friendly servers even had time to chat with us.
The cze char here was really quite good and worth a repeat visit (but only on mid-week nights).
The restaurant's signature dish, Mingzhu Roll ($9), beancurd skin stuffed with ham, salted egg yolk, prawns and mushrooms would have been divine, if not for the millions of bits of coriander lacing the roll. I actually suggested to the manager that they should do a dish without coriander to cater to the diners who abhor the herb.
I liked the Stir-Fried Chicken with Ginger and Spring Onion ($8). The chicken pieces were succulent and juicy. Simple and delicious.
The Steamed Seabass Hongkong Style ($26) wasn't what we expected. The sauce wasn't the usual light soy marinade. The gravy was this delicate, soy and oyster sauce-infused gooey and viscious concoction. The fish was fresh, sweet and flaky, but the sauce was a little too bland.
We also liked the Spinach with Mushrooms ($8), bittersweet and soft spinach loaded with Chinese black mushrooms, champignons and straw mushrooms doused in a luscious oyster-sauce gravy.
The Salted Egg Crab ($32) was also quite yummy, decadent. This is slightly saltier than the versions offered at other establishments. They might have added some of the salted egg whites to the gravy. Somehow, I liked this, the saltiness of the gravy balanced out the sweetness of the crabmeat.
Keng Eng Kee Seafood
Blk 124 Bukit Merah Lane 1
Tel: 6272 1038 / 9748 7054
Open daily from 11.30am to 2pm for lunch and 5pm to 10.45pm for dinner