Thursday, March 15, 2007

Ka-Soh Restaurant

C says:

Ka-Soh, the sister restaurant of Swee Kee Fish Head Restaurant at Amoy Street (not to be confused with the legendary and now defunct Swee Kee chicken rice), has certainly had bad luck with its locales. It’s moved so many times that I don’t think people realise where they are anymore. Brief history:

- used to be at Lock Road, in Gillman Village. Near HandleBar.
- moved to Dover Road, where the ex-Warren Golf Club used to be.
- moved again to Queensway, to the Queens Townclub
- currently at the Singapore Medical Alumni Centre at Outram

The restaurant started out in the 1960s as a roadside stall, owned by a Mr Tang Swee Kee. After business picked up, he engaged the help of two ladies – an elderly lady and her daughter-in-law. The elder woman always called the younger one “ka-soh” (daughter in law), and eventually the name caught on amongst the customers, hence giving the restaurant its name.

A and I were actually planning on going to Queensway at some point, and didn’t even know they moved until my sister-in-law, who works at adjacent SGH, told me about it. After she and my brother gave it a test run at lunch one day, they approved the food and suggested bringing the rest of the family there for dinner. A couldn’t join us because he had to work, so his review is limited to the House Special Pork Chop that I ordered to go for him.

Ka-Soh has a few signature dishes, like the fish head/sliced fish bee hoon soup, and the prawn paste chicken (har cheong gai). Naturally we ordered those, and had a couple of vegetable, tofu and egg dishes as well.

The sliced fish bee hoon soup was as good as I remember, if not better. The soup was really sweet and milky, and you could tell that it wasn’t just from evaporated milk, but rather from hours of cooking. They were extremely generous with the fish, almost to the point where I’d rather have more noodles and soup than fish! Not sure if this is because they’re still trying to get customers to return to their new location, and whether they’ll start reducing the amounts once they’ve reeled us in… The fish was really fresh and sliced thinly, compared to the more loutish chunks that they serve at the XO Fish Noodle place.

The great thing about this place is that they give you lots of chilli padi, which is a must-have in my book when eating any fish bee hoon soup. And… the icing on the cake is the dish of lard that you can ask for. Non-lard fans should probably turn away, but for those who enjoy it, here’s heaven in a saucer:

Just a few tiny cubes are enough (yes, I know I’m not getting any younger) to bring the dish to a whole new level. The oil adds a bit of richness to the soup, and every so often you get an unexpected crunch. Mmmm…

The other dishes were really good too, except maybe the sambal kangkong which was lacking in sambal and hence a little bland and flat. Everything else was delicious; even my 4 year old nephew D loudly proclaimed that the food was “GORGEOUS!” Heh.

I had a couple of bites of A’s pork chop when I got home as well, and it was again even better than when we last had it – the meat was sufficiently fat so it was tender and juicy. I really hope they’re not moving again any time in the near future.

A says:

Pork chop still tops. Fatty bits are so sinful that if I were having it at the restaurant instead of takeaway, I think it would be better to soak them in the fish soup first.

Also, I would recommend eating there. They’re obviously not used to packing food cause the sauce I had was spilt in transit.

Ka-Soh Restaurant
Alumni Medical Centre
2 College Road
Tel: 6473-6686

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