Joyden Treasures – A Taste of Nostalgia at Leisure Park Kallang
Every now and then, I will think of the various restaurant-style dishes that I have enjoyed in classic Cantonese and Teochew restaurants, like sang mein (noodles) and orh nee (yam paste), and reminiscence the simple feel-good factor that came along with them. Chinese restaurant meals don’t happen often – usually during celebrations or weddings.
Opened in October last year at Kallang Leisure Park, Joyden Treasures is the third eatery of Joyden Concepts, which also operates Joyden Seafood and Joyden Canton Kitchen, and is their largest outlet to date. The unusual Chinese character in its name, 匊 jū, means “carrying in both hands”, and I think it appropriately embodies the restaurant’s hope in serving time-honoured dishes and a selection of the owner’s family recipes wholeheartedly to its customers.
The owners have put their heart and soul into researching past culinary delicacies and cooking methods to bring together a comprehensive selection of seafood and meat dishes that might have been forgotten or were too complex to replicate.
We began with the Joyden Phoenix Beancurd Skin Prawn Roll ($16/$22/$30). A blend of chopped fresh red prawns, salted eggs, century eggs and cilantro is stuffed in between the delicate beancurd skin, and then deep-fried to a light and crispy texture on the exterior. Biting into the roll did remind me a little of hae chor, that usually comes as part of a starter platter with spring rolls, mayonnaise prawns and other items.
The half-Teochew in me considers steamed fish as one of the barometers of whether a restaurant is up to standard, and Joyden Treasures’ Steamed Original Steamed Red Grouper in Homemade Soy Bean Broth (market price) did not disappoint. An entire red grouper is steamed in a made-from-scratch soy bean milk broth with fresh ginger, chives, straw mushrooms and black fungus, and golden fried enoki mushrooms are sprinkled on top before the fish is served. I enjoyed the mildly sweet and savoury broth, and the light whiff of soy fragrances as I bit into the red grouper.
The way of eating the Crispy Fragrant Duck with Petite Lotus Buns ($58) felt oddly familiar (hello Peking duck?). An entire duck is first marinated and simmered in herbs and spices, and then quickly deep-fried before it is served. Just shred the meat and stuff into the homemade steamed lotus-shaped buns with pickled carrot and cucumber slices, drizzle with sour plum sauce and they are good to eat! The duck is fragrant when eaten on its own and its crispy skin left me wanting for more. But to me, the meat borders just so slightly on the dry side, and this tests the chef’s ability to control the heat in the final frying stage.
The Jumbo Prawns in Traditional Dark Sauce ($26/$36/$52) is a labour of love right out of the owner’s kitchen and family members had personally taste-tested this dish multiple times. The jumbo prawns were deep-fried and then infused in a fragrant sesame oil-based dark soy sauce, and I loved the sauce a lot – now pass me the bowl of steamed rice to go with it already!
The Traditional Salt Baked Crab (market price) is another labour-intensive dish. A mixture of different salts, each with its unique taste profile, are blended together, while a myriad of spices are wok-fried together before they are used to cover a whole Sri Lankan crab. The crab is then baked for about half an hour at a low temperature before it is chopped and served. This enhances the sweetness of the plump crab flesh, and I relished the very mild smokiness and saltiness that came along with it.
Ee-fu noodles is a must-have at key celebrations and weddings, and are usually served as the last second course of the meal. Joyden Treasures’ Lobster Noodles with Ginger and Spring Onion (market price) makes a perfect roundup to the main course and is Maureen’s favourite. The noodles are tossed in a flavourful made-from-scratch seafood broth with ginger and spring onion, and then topped with chunks of fresh lobster.
We wrapped up the meal with desserts and if you are a Teochew or a Cantonese, you will leave the restaurant feeling happy. Joyden Treasures’ dessert selections include the light and fluffy Brown Sugar Ma La Gao ($4.20), Crushed Peanut Ang Gu Kueh ($4.20) and Traditional Yam Puree with Pumpkin and Gingko ($16/$26/$36 or $6/bowl).
Often, I have been baffled by Teochew restaurants that serve their orh nee with coconut milk lathered on top, but thankfully Joyden Treasures did not commit this mistake and they followed the original style as closely as possible. The light homemade yam puree has a thick texture and is topped with chopped water chestnuts, steamed pumpkin slices and gingko nuts, and lightly drizzled with spring onion, lard oil and sugary syrup.
Joyden Treasures 欣藝匊
Address: 5 Stadium Walk, #02-42 Leisure Park Kallang, Singapore 397693
Phone: +65 6446 8488
Opening Hours: Mon - Fri: 11.30am - 3pm, 6pm - 10pm; Sat - Sun/PH: 10.30am - 3pm, 5.30pm - 10.30pm
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