First of all, if you are planning to take retro photos in Kam Leng Hotel since you are eating at Enjoy Eating House and Bar ala Wong Kar Wei’s “In the mood for love” movie, don’t. The place is now a quarantine hotel for foreign workers who just entered the country. A lot of the displays have been removed and we were warned not to go near any of the rooms.

Back to the restaurant, we came at 12 noon and the place was empty. So we were wondering why there is a need to book a table and why there is a limit of 90 minutes for diners. Later we saw the place filling up.

We ordered XO white fish soup, crispy fish maw salad, grandma’s te kah bee hoon, tinpot prawn tang hoon, steamed spicy lime squid and for dessert, we ordered chendol panna cotta and Teochew Orh Ni to share. Altogether with 3 cups of Chinese tea, the bill came up to be $138.89.

The fish soup was normal. Because we ordered too much, but the time we got back to it, the soup was cold and tasted not as good. My bad.

As for the crispy fish maw salad, we liked the zesty lime, the crispy cashew nuts and onion taste of the salad but the pieces of fish maw tasted like it’s been fried for quite some time and left in the open.

The large portion te kah bee hoon was also a let down. Instead of pork trotters, mostly we got belly meat instead of collagen filled cuts. And there was no wok heat infused into the bee hoon. More like economic or vegetarian bee hoon.

The spicy lime squid was normal and serving was so small. Not sure if the three of us had more than three pieces of squid between us.

The saving grace was the Tinpot Prawn Tang Hoon or mungbean vermicelli. I personally think this is as good as those you get in Thailand. The vermicelli had a chewiness and comes infused with seafood umami. The prawns were not supper fresh but acceptable.

Dessert wise, the Orh Ni was a delight. Smooth and silky. The chendol panna cotta had a strange slight bitter taste. We finally nailed it to the green agar agar.

Did I mention the service. The one service staff was sullen faced throughout. He was not rude but his demeanour was very brusque and impatient. One customer tried hard to strike up a conversation but retreated after he found it was getting him nowhere. A female server joined at about one and first thing she did was to ask if she could clear our table while we were
still picking morsels out of the plates!

Parking is a challenge along Jalan Besar as usual. So I am not seeing many reasons for me to come back to this fusion zichar that is rather pricey. Certainly not the Kam Leng Hotel location now.

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