Lately had been on a roll on visiting dim sum establishments and Chinese restaurants since the folks and I have a little more time at hand now — and we found ourselves going around to these places that had been in our to-visit list for a long while. Kai Duck at Ngee Ann City does not need much of an introduction these days — the establishment is brought by the same folks of Kai Garden at Marina Square; Kai Duck being more of casual dining restaurant with an interior that some would say reminds them of a HK-style tea room. Kai Duck’s menu comprises of items that are more tuned towards communal dining — there are sections that are dedicated to Duck Specials, Appetisers, Soup, Meat, Seafood, Vegetables & Tofu, Noodles & Rice, Dessert and Dim Sum; drinks available here largely includes non-alcoholic beverages as well as a good variety of Chinese tea, though those looking for alcoholic options might find themselves stuck to a few selections of canned beer.

Visiting Kai Duck without having any of their duck dishes does seem like a rather odd move, but I was once told by someone that they do serve up pretty good dim sum on their menu too — some rather special items that are offered here includes Pastry Chicken & Ham and Scallion and this Fried Siew Mai with Teriyaki; there are even signages dedicated to promoting their Baked Pineapple Buns hanging from the ceiling facing out of the restaurant as well. It seems that the inspiration behind the Fried Siew Mai with Teriyaki might have come from yakitori sticks — presented on a plate with a toothpick stuck in the middle of the Siew Mai, patrons would consume them by picking it up by the stick and eat them almost in the same way as one would eat curried fishballs. To call these fried would be a little off; these Siew Mai do seem more pan-fried than fried — the slight char over the top seemingly replicating that of the Japanese Tsukune (i.e. Japanese chicken meatball) typically served at yakitori establishments. Sinking our teeth into the Siew Mai, it is notable how bouncy the meat here is; there is no effort required to chew on these — the Siew Mai itself also being plump and juicy especially from the prawn hidden inside which was fresh and carried a natural sweetness typical of the crustacean. We liked how they weren’t too full-on heavy with the teriyaki sauce here; it’s lightly savoury — its addition to the item being a subtle reminder that it is there, and does not try to steal the limelight away from the Siew Mai itself.

No doubt the main focus of Kai Duck is pretty much on their duck dishes, but Kai Duck is more than just ducks — we left Kai Duck being pretty impressed by almost all of the items we ordered; this ranged from the more usual items off their dim sum menu such as the Prawns Cheong Fun, Fried Beancurd Roll with Prawns, and Steamed Custard Bun, to the other items such as the Chilled Mini Tomatoes from the appetisers section of the menu that features pickled tomatoes with Goma dressing atop jelly, as well as the Prawns in Laksa-infused Dressing off the seafood section of the menu in which the Laksa-infused dressing tasted like a zhng-ed version of McDonald’s curry sauce with a richer flavour profile. Whilst food quality was great, waiting times for the duck dishes may vary due to demand — felt that the staff were also rather overwhelmed by the crowd during our visit which was made on the afternoon of Good Friday where the establishment was consistently packed despite not taking in walk-in patrons (so reservations are recommended). That being said, the crowds are also probably a testament to quality of food served at Kai Duck — certainly an establishment that I would most certainly re-visit for good dim sum in the Orchard neighbourhood.