Kai Duck Tasting Session

November 10, 2019 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Kai Duck Tasting Session
391 Orchard Road
#05-10 Ngee Ann City


Opening Hours:
Mon - Fri: 11:30am - 4:30pm, 5pm - 10:30pm,
Sat - Sun: 10am - 4:30pm, 5pm - 10:30pm



https://www.kaiduck.com.sg/

This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session, but I did pay the standard price during subsequent visits.
Attended with representatives from Chubby Botak Koala, Purple Taste, msginginly, Epicurious Caniggia, Her Pen And Fork, and Little Tiny Sun.



Poached Patin Fish Soup With Chinese Wine (SGD $38)



All About The Duck

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 8
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 7
Value for Money: 8
Budget about SGD $34++ per person.


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Opening its doors in September 2019 and operated by the Kai Garden Group, whom are reowned for their exquisite Chinese fine dining, Kai Duck is their latest restaurant concept. A fast casual dining Chinese Cantonese restaurant, specialising in Beijing style Peking Duck, Kai Duck succeeds in appealing to its target market - younger, discerning diners who are looking for affordable yet tasty dishes.

Kai Duck Signage
Kai Duck Signage


Kai Duck Logo
Kai Duck Logo


Kai Duck Exterior
Kai Duck Exterior


Kai Duck Interior
Kai Duck Interior



Ambience at Kai Duck is modern Oriental, exuding a casual yet elegant and sophisticated vibe. The spacious open area is brightly lit, with casual comfortable modern tea house furnishings. A large glass display of their roast meats greets diners at the entrance, while Oriental finishings, from the colonial style lamps to the checkered black and white floor tiles, lend a tasteful and classy feel. Up to 3 private rooms, and a sectioned event space, are available for events or large social gatherings. There's a bustling, lively atmosphere here.

Private Room
Private Room


Seating


Seating
Seating



Service at Kai Duck aspires to fine dining standards, befitting their brand. Staff are polite, but aren't as engaging or as knowledgeable on the menu as we expect them to be. Still, tasks and requests are carried out efficiently and quickly, as is cleaning up after diners. Would have liked a little more patience, attentiveness, and engagement. That said, standards here are as good as any restaurant, just that it's not as memorable as it could have been. Kudos to staff for paying additional attention to families with young children.

Table Setting
Table Setting


Chopstick Rest
Chopstick Rest



Food at Kai Duck is focused on modern Chinese Cantonese cuisine, with specialities in Bejing style peking duck and roast duck, and Guangzhou style roast pork and dim sum. Group Executive Chef, Fung Chi Keung, brings over 30 years of culinary experience, curating exquisite and familiar traditional Chinese flavours, but presenting them in exciting and eye-catching new ways. With portions sized for communal group dining, the result is novel and delicious dishes that tease, tantalise, and satisfy. Prices are slightly more expensive than other casual dining restaurants, budget about SGD $34++ per person.

Display Of Ducks
Display Of Ducks, Source Credits: Purple Taste


Order Chit
Order Chit


Order Chit


Us


Us



The Water Glass (SGD $1) is elegant and eye-catching, almost acting as a secondary showpiece on tables.

Water Glass
Water Glass (SGD $1)



A straightforward Tea Pu'er (SGD $2.20), hearty and warming with earthy notes. Good choice for pairing with the roasted meats here.

Tea Pu'er
Tea Pu'er (SGD $2.20)



The Chilled Mini Tomatoes, Aiyu Jelly, Sesame Sauce (SGD $10.80) features juicy Japanese cherry tomatoes, with their skins removed, marinated with plum juice and plated over handmade plum jelly and aiyu jelly, served with a drizzle of Japanese sesame sauce. With a bright refreshing juicy texture, each bite rewards you with a sour sweet earthy nutty flavour. Excellent palate cleanser and appetizer, rather addictive. Highly recommended!

Chilled Mini Tomatoes, Aiyu Jelly, Sesame Sauce (SGD $10.80)


Chilled Mini Tomatoes, Aiyu Jelly, Sesame Sauce
Chilled Mini Tomatoes, Aiyu Jelly, Sesame Sauce


Chilled Mini Tomatoes, Aiyu Jelly, Sesame Sauce



The Pan-Fried Radish Carrot Cake (SGD $13.80) has less flour than a traditional carrot cake, so the pan-fried cubes of daikon radish are much softer and more moist in texture. Fried till the exterior is lightly crisp, drizzled with chili sauce and served in a style similar to a pizza, this has bright sweet savoury spicy flavour, with hints of smoky notes. It does however, lack that salty edge you get from cai poh / preserved radish bits. Worth ordering!

Pan-Fried Radish Carrot Cake (SGD $13.80)


Pan-Fried Radish Carrot Cake


Pan-Fried Radish Carrot Cake
Pan-Fried Radish Carrot Cake


Pan-Fried Radish Carrot Cake



Felt the Barbecue Kurobuta Pork In Home Made Sauce (SGD $18.80) or house char siew was decent at best. The use of quality Spanish kurobuta pork ribs made the meat tender and moist, with a light satisfying chew, but the marinade and sauce lacks that smoky sweet savoury punch I like in char siew. Disappointing. Could be improved.

Barbecue Kurobuta Pork In Home Made Sauce (SGD $18.80)


Barbecue Kurobuta Pork In Home Made Sauce
Barbecue Kurobuta Pork In Home Made Sauce


Barbecue Kurobuta Pork In Home Made Sauce



The Braised Shredded Duck Meat Soup With Tofu (SGD $9.80 per person) is a novel modern Chinese Cantonese double-boiled soup / broth, that is warm, soulful, and comforting. The thick gloopy soup / broth has delicate eggy sweet smoky savoury flavour, from the inclusion of chewy tender shredded duck meat, wispy eggs, silky tofu beancurd, crisp spinach, and crunchy spring onions. A dash of black vinegar lends a contrast of sour notes in taste. Good!

Braised Shredded Duck Meat Soup With Tofu (SGD $9.80 per person)


Braised Shredded Duck Meat Soup With Tofu
Braised Shredded Duck Meat Soup With Tofu


Braised Shredded Duck Meat Soup With Tofu



The Crisp Fried Cereal Fish, Prawn, Crab With Black Truffle Cream Sauce (SGD $16) has a core of soft moist paste, made from a blend of fish meat, deshelled prawn meat, and crab meat, all mashed and mixed together, resulting in a grainy sweet savoury flavour. Coated in crisp cereal cornflakes, each bite has a satisfying crunch to texture. I like that it isn't too oily. Served with a robust black truffle and cream dipping sauce, which overwhelms with intense earthy milky sweet flavour. Actually, I prefer it without the sauce. Overall, an interesting dish that is lovely to look at, and only decent in taste.

Crisp Fried Cereal Fish, Prawn, Crab With Black Truffle Cream Sauce (SGD $16)


Crisp Fried Cereal Fish, Prawn, Crab With Black Truffle Cream Sauce


Crisp Fried Cereal Fish, Prawn, Crab With Black Truffle Cream Sauce
Crisp Fried Cereal Fish, Prawn, Crab With Black Truffle Cream Sauce


Crisp Fried Cereal Fish, Prawn, Crab With Black Truffle Cream Sauce



The Stir-Fried Cai Xin With Pork And Preserved Vegetable (SGD $15.80) has large, fresh cunchy stalks of cai xin / chye sim / choy sum / Chinese flowering cabbage, with delicate vegetal sweet flavour, topped with crunchy mei cai / preserved mustard greens, with bright salty savoury earthy flavour. Completed with tender juicy shreds of barbecue pork belly coated in gravy, which has bold savoury sweet salty flavour. Feels more like a meat dish than a vegetable dish. Good!

Stir-Fried Cai Xin With Pork And Preserved Vegetable (SGD $15.80)


Stir-Fried Cai Xin With Pork And Preserved Vegetable
Stir-Fried Cai Xin With Pork And Preserved Vegetable


Stir-Fried Cai Xin With Pork And Preserved Vegetable



Loved the Poached Patin Fish Soup With Chinese Wine (SGD $38), with its warm thin flavourful soup / broth of fish stock, Shaoxing Chinese rice wine, and tender vegetables (Chinese cabbage, wood ear fungus / black fungus, yam / taro, ginger, chye sim / choy sum / Chinese flowering cabbage). This has a lovely earthy sweet savoury salty vegetal herbal flavour, very enticing. The medium sized fillet of poached patin fish is tender, flaky, and moist, with bright natural sweet savoury flavour. While I felt they could have been more generous with the portion of soup / broth (the pot was really shallow), the comforting flavours make this a must-order. Highly recommended!

Poached Patin Fish Soup With Chinese Wine (SGD $38)


Poached Patin Fish Soup With Chinese Wine


Poached Patin Fish Soup With Chinese Wine


Poached Patin Fish Soup With Chinese Wine
Poached Patin Fish Soup With Chinese Wine


Poached Patin Fish Soup With Chinese Wine



While this differs from the Beijing style Peking Duck, the Roasted Duck (SGD $28 Half) here is as good as any other. The use of Irish Silver Hill ducks result in the duck meat being tender, moist, and super succulent, with a light chew to texture, and a thick gelatinous layer of fat (which is easily removed if you choose). Each bite gets you a burst of meaty salty savoury flavour, nicely satisfying. Served with a thick gloopy sour plum sauce on the side, which has fruity sour sweet flavour. Highly recommended!

Roasted Duck (SGD $28 Half)


Roasted Duck
Roasted Duck


Roasted Duck



The Crispy Mantou Bun With Sliced Peking Duck (SGD $9.80) is modern Chinese Cantonese, featuring a thin but super crisp slice of peking duck skin, laid over a smooth full-bodied cream cheese that is handmade in-house. While the house made fried mantou bun was thin and crisp, it was rather oily, which I didn't like. But I loved the contrast of milky sweet salty notes from the cream cheese, against the meaty savoury salty flavours from the peking duck skin. Worth ordering!

Crispy Mantou Bun With Sliced Peking Duck (SGD $9.80)


Crispy Mantou Bun With Sliced Peking Duck
Crispy Mantou Bun With Sliced Peking Duck


Crispy Mantou Bun With Sliced Peking Duck



Loved the Sliced Peking Duck Skin With Crackers (SGD $4.80 per piece), which features a thin egg crepe base as decoration. Each handmade morsel has a base of crispy firm corn cracker with grainy sweet flavour, topped with juicy cucumber with vegetal sweet flavour, a bright sour spicy chili sauce, and a thin but super crisp slice of peking duck skin with meaty savoury salty flavour. I enjoyed this. Good!

Sliced Peking Duck Skin With Crackers (SGD $4.80 per piece)


Sliced Peking Duck Skin With Crackers
Sliced Peking Duck Skin With Crackers


Sliced Peking Duck Skin With Crackers



The Peking Duck Salad Hand Roll (SGD $4.80 per piece) is a playful, enjoyable treat of an appetizer that allows you to savour the traditional flavours of peking duck in a non-messy, easy-to-eat manner. Each hand roll features a crisp seaweed roll, enveloping a crisp spring roll wrapper, holding a stuffing of crisp peking duck skin, tender juicy peking duck meat, juicy cucumber slice, and crisp leek, coated in sesame sauce. Bite in, and you get a bold hit of meaty savoury sweet salty vegetal flavours, and as you eat towards the bottom, you get stronger earthy grainy sweet nutty flavours. Highly recommended!

Peking Duck Salad Hand Roll (SGD $4.80 per piece)


Peking Duck Salad Hand Roll


Peking Duck Salad Hand Roll
Peking Duck Salad Hand Roll


Peking Duck Salad Hand Roll



The Mini Burger With Peking Duck Salad (SGD $4.80 per piece) features house made fluffy soft burger buns. Sandwiched between is a slice of roast duck, tender and moist with meaty savoury salty flavour, alongside crisp shredded Chinese cabbage and juicy cucumber with bright vegetal sweet notes. The sauce imparts the majority of flavour here, a bright sour sweet taste that complements the roast duck. Decent enough, but also forgettable.

Mini Burger With Peking Duck Salad (SGD $4.80 per piece)


Mini Burger With Peking Duck Salad


Mini Burger With Peking Duck Salad


Mini Burger With Peking Duck Salad
Mini Burger With Peking Duck Salad



The Wok-Fried Vermicelli Noodles With Shredded Duck In Hot Stone Pot (SGD $16) is an interesting dish that piques the palate. The soft silky cylinderical rice vermicelli noodles are infused with bold meaty vegetal salty savoury flavour, from the use of soft pickled mustard greens and tender shredded duck. Garnished with crisp bell peppers / capsicum and crunchy bean sprouts, which lend a soft crunch, vibrant colour, and vegetal sweet flavour. This dish is beautifully unique, though I can see it also being an acquired taste due to the contrasting flavours. Worth ordering!

Wok-Fried Vermicelli Noodles With Shredded Duck In Hot Stone Pot (SGD $16)


Wok-Fried Vermicelli Noodles With Shredded Duck In Hot Stone Pot
Wok-Fried Vermicelli Noodles With Shredded Duck In Hot Stone Pot


Wok-Fried Vermicelli Noodles With Shredded Duck In Hot Stone Pot



Served in an earthenware claypot, the Signature Fried Rice With Black Truffle, Mushroom, Corn, Beetroot (SGD $16.80) is a novel dish. The fried rice is infused with beetroot juice and black truffle essence, then stir-fried with tender button mushroom, juicy corn kernels, crisp rice crackers, and soft pumpkin. They've omitted eggs here. The result is a dish with moist sticky fried rice that is vibrant in colour, with interesting contrasts of textures from the ingredients. On taste, you get a wiff of wok hei / breath of the wok, followed by a robust hit of earthy sweet flavour, then some savoury salty notes. I wish there was more smoky wok hei / breath of the wok, but this is decently tasty as is. Worth ordering!

Signature Fried Rice With Black Truffle, Mushroom, Corn, Beetroot (SGD $16.80)


Signature Fried Rice With Black Truffle, Mushroom, Corn, Beetroot


Signature Fried Rice With Black Truffle, Mushroom, Corn, Beetroot
Signature Fried Rice With Black Truffle, Mushroom, Corn, Beetroot


Signature Fried Rice With Black Truffle, Mushroom, Corn, Beetroot



We loved the dining experience at Kai Duck, with its casual ambience, efficient service, and delicious food. Prices may be slightly higher than elsewhere, but their traditional flavours and modern presentation for dishes will appeal to many. Kai Duck already sees a fairly regular crowd for their speciality duck dishes, and advance reservations are recommended. We're already planning to return to Kai Duck for more!


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