The Asian Kitchen, Vivocity

I can totally understand why Vivocity remains one of the most frequented malls in Singapore. The mega mall houses dozens of F&B options! I'd only ever been to the above ground restaurants, but I've recently discovered the basement level eateries.

The Asian Kitchen, a casual Chinese eatery, conveniently located in the second basement, draws the hordes of MRT-based foot traffic during peak hours with the comforting taste of Chinese homecooking. We like that the food here is hearty and well-priced, while the brisk, if sometimes frazzled, service helps with a quick, low-fuss meal.

The Chicken Chop Fried Rice ($10.50) may not be ultra refined, but is thick with the familiar taste of home and laced with a fine eggy scramble. But, the star of the dish was the fried chicken cutlet, with a golden and crisp breaded coat, and succulent and tasty meat.

The Pork Chop Fried Rice ($11.90), with a tender, well-marinated pork cutlet, was pretty good as well. Not sure why it's more expensive than its chicken rendition though.

The Eggy Bowl Rice ($6.50) appears a disgusting mess, but oh was the mince-laced gravy glorious. Maybe not as awesomesauce as the one at Shin Yeh but still glorious. This was more strongly reminiscent of the flavours seasoning glutinous rice dumplings.

The Claypot Mayonnaise Shrimp Fried Rice ($14.50) was decent, if not memorable. I liked the subtle spice element in the mayo sauce.

The Prawn Wanton La Mian ($9.20) wasn't too bad either, I liked the springy bite of the hand-pulled noodles and wantons were silky and plentiful.

The Taiwanese-styled Dan Dan Mian ($8.20) may not look much, but its mildly spicy sesame paste-peanut butter based broth was quite the unusual kick. Nice but not my thing.

The Zhajiang Mian ($8.20), slathered in a thick, mildly spicy, minced meat gravy was tempered by the crisp julienned cucumbers and fresh tofu.

The Curry Fried Noodles ($11) served in a sizzling plate, was really just a curry-powdered version of homestyled fried noodles. Apparently, this tastes just like 'Singaporean Fried Noodles' in Asian restaurants in Hong Kong or Indonesia.

The Hot & Sour Soup ($7.20) was choc-a-bloc with mushrooms, black fungus, tofu, egg drop and bamboo shoots, and packed a robust piquant punch. That said, the soup base could have had a little more depth.

The Stir-Fried Season Beans with Prawns ($8.30) was decent, crunchy, generously littered with garlic, and burnished with the barest hint of wok hei.

The garlicky Stir-Fried Dou Miao ($10.80) was enlivened by lashings of fried garlic mince. Fantastic in that homecooked way, but the ensuing garlic breath was a total date-night killer.

The Xiao Long Bao (complimentary if paying with DBS credit card) wasn't too bad either, considering it was free. I wouldn't say it rendered the reigning Din Tai Fung second-rate, but this was a worthwhile qualifier. Skin was thicker than DTF's but not by much, while filling was dense and dripping with a juicy stock that was rich in depth. 

I hated the Spring Roll Sticks ($4.90), stuffed with string cheese and spring onions. Suffice to say, this wasn't finished.

The Asian Kitchen
1 Harbourfront Walk
Vivocity B2-29
Tel: 6376 9623
Open daily from 11am to 10pm

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