The new menu at Ho Jiak pays homage to the truffle – evident in an Indomee appetiser where spicy stir fried instant noodles are served with a generous coating of buttermilk sauce topped with pungent rounds of fresh truffle. This dish alone is worth a visit to Ho Jiak this winter, but there is plenty more to tantalise the palate.
We also loved the precisely stacked tower of stir fried chicken wings with a buttery salted egg yolk crumb and crispy fried curry leaves and chilli (Kiam Ah Nui Kay). A fruity Marlborough riesling is a great accompaniment to the spicy noodles and crispy chicken wing starters.
The spice dial is turned up in a rendang, fragrant with lemongrass, tamarind and spices that showcases a crispy KFC chicken rather than your usual beef.
The Kari Claypot is a creamy coconut curry with a bounty of vegetables and the catch of the day, which on our visit was barramundi; the large pieces of fish are beautifully complemented by eggplant, okra and cabbage.
Nui Choay Cim is a luxurious dish of whole blue swimmer crab set in a delicately flavoured silky steamed egg custard made from century, duck and chicken egg.
Whole lettuce cups are steamed and presented as a verdant vegetarian centrepiece surrounded by strategically placed sliced Chinese mushrooms with a garlic and oyster sauce (Sang Chye Hniau Kor). It’s a simple dish expertly executed to deliver maximum flavour with minimum ingredients.
The sweet finale is a nod to “old” and “new” with a black glutinous rice porridge (Pulut Hitam) with small globes of sweet tropical longan fruit, served warm with a side of coconut milk and sticky palm sugar syrup representing a traditional Malay dessert.
A Teh Tarik affogato cleverly introduces the flavours of a classic Malaysian pulled tea in a creamy housemade ice cream with a side of hot kopi (strong black coffee). It’s a delightful conclusion to a degustation meal that takes your tastebuds on a journey through the flavours of Nonya cooking. Traditional dishes are given a modern twist by Head Chef Junda Khoo delivering an overall exceptional dining experience.
We’d like to thank Ho Jiak for the invitation to try their new menu.
Rob and Anita (eatwithmyfoodsafari) contributors