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Tuesday, 6 January 2015

[Media Invite] Dinner at Miki Snacks @ Katong Shopping Centre

865 Mountbatten Road #B1-127 / 128 Katong Shopping Centre, Singapore 437844
Tel: 6440 4913 / 6440 1318

This is an invited tasting attended by representatives of Hungrygowhere as well as some familiar faces Alvin (epicuriouscan), ChubbyBotakKoala, etc. There were 8 of us and we polished off 16 very tasty dishes at the hidden gem of a restaurant, Miki Snacks.

To share a little on Miki Snacks, it is a family restaurant that has been around for about 30 years, serving a myriad of Chinese, local zichar and seafood dishes. It offers both indoor, air-conditioned dining as well as alfresco dining options, including an eat-and-smoke section as well.

The founder, Mr. Chew, also runs a geomancy cum exorcism business. His shop, "Ghostbusters" is located just a few units away from the restaurant. Currently, his daughter, Irene is helping to run the family business, and she was our lovely host for the food tasting session as well.

One of their signature dishes is the "Claypot Chicken Rice"  but we did not get to try this as one of the chefs was down. Lime juice and beer were served while we waited for our food. Note that all the dish sizes and pricing as shown hereinbelow are all based on the "Medium" portions.

They started us off with Miki Prawn Paste Chicken (SGD$14.00 ) or better known by its Cantonese version as "Har Cheong Kai". The skin wasn't as crispy as way I would have preferred, but the flavor more than made up for it, with its resplendence of luscious prawn-paste infusion as well as succulent flesh.

The next dish, Salt & Pepper Pork Ribs (SGD$14.00 ) was another palate pleaser as the tender pork fillets contained hints of crunch to it. This mini flavors explosion was exquisitely balanced between the salty-and-peppery combination.

Next up, we tried the Aromatic Pork Ribs (SGD$14.00), well-marinated ribs with juicy, tender textures and a sweet overture to its taste.

Who would've thought that even simple Stir Fry French Beans (SGD$12.00) could be so delicious? These were cooked to the right texture - soft but still maintaining the tautness of crisp freshness, with hints of spiciness to them. Oh, yes, these beans came in "original" or "spicy" versions!

Another vegetables dish - the Golden & Silver Egg with Amaranth Soup (SGD$12.00) , a local favorite anytime, anywhere. The amaranth was fresh and not limp, holding its own very well in its stirrups of three kinds of eggs. The superior broth that pooled the vegetables and eggs was delicious as well, with its complements of wolfberries and ikan bilis etc.

Then the Thai-Style BBQ Pork (SGD$15.00) was brought to the table. Pardon me if you keep seeing the words "tender" and "succulent" here in this entry, but that was exactly what the pork here were all about - juicy, tender pork that tasted great in the Thai-spiced marinated forms.

The Crispy Cereal Prawns (SGD$20.00) were generously covered in heaps of tiny cereal crumbs. Flanked by crispy shells, the flesh within was velvety soft, but with a springy texture to it while emitting fresh sweetness of its natural flavor.

Following that, we tried out the Miki Curry Fish Head (SGD$22.00) - thick, rich curry served in claypot with lots of ingredients. The piping hot curry was not too spicy, which should fit most people's preferences. Besides the buttery-smooth fish, there were some vegetables and tau pok (dried tofu) in the pot as well, all beautifully-soaked with the essence of the tasty curry. It was served with tantalising bitternut chips on the side.

Now my favorite item - Crispy Butter Calamari (SGD$16.00), chewy and flawless with a thin layer of crust. The buttery flavor was not too strong, but hints of buttery fragrance that blended very well with the slightly-charred flavor of the golden crusts.

Then we had the BBQ Chicken Mid-Joint Wings (SGD$15.00) - hints of smoky sweetness on the slicked smooth surfaces, bursting with tender flesh within.

Hotplate Beancurd (SGD$15.00) came next, generouosly flanked by lots of shiitake mushroom cubes, beancurd, etc with a thin layer of omelet covering the base. A supposedly healthy dish, with all items onboard cooked to a mellow texture, this was definitely a welcome change amongst all the meaty dishes.

Another favorite of mine would be the Thai-styled BBQ Prawns (SGD$20.00), all stretched luxuriantly out on satay sticks, sea-sweetness flesh edging provocatively with hints of charred aroma, and a fresh, bouncy texture to it.

The Prawn Rolls (SGD$12.00) came next, cut into bite-size portions with cracker-like skin on the outer layer. Nestled within its tubular form is mashed (pork) meat with shrimp fresh, melting easily in the mouth once we get past its crispy skin.

We also had the Hotplate Venison (SGD$20.00) which was succulent and chewy, with very slight gamely hints, but tastily flavorised by dried chilli, spring onion etc.

Last but not least, there was the Cashew Nut Chicken (SGD$14.00), endorsed by shiitake mushroom cubes, onions, carrot slices etc. The small chunks of chicken were tender enough, best eaten with the crunchy cashews. Every bite was packed richly with flavor; might be owing to the delectable gravy that the dish is cooked in.

Finally, we had Spicy Kung Pao Frog Legs served in a bubbling claypot of steaming sauce. As bullfrogs went, it tasted similar to chicken meat, except more taut and the flavor was sweeter.

It was a great food tasting session, the kind that leaves a good, lingering taste in the mouth long after the session was over - good, traditional zichar done right! Thank you Irene and company (of Mik's Snacks) for the wonderful recommendation, and of course Hungrygowhere for the invite.

Head on down now to give Miki's a try. They do prepare in advance if you pre-order beforehand by phone, as well as provide delivery for those residing / working in the nearby vicinity.

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