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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Review: Jin Sha Wan 金沙湾 with OpenRice Singapore

In case you haven't already known or heard, there's another food directive in town to rival long-standing I've been a member of for the longest time, so when the good folks of OpenRice invited me for the food-tasting at Jin Sha Wan 金沙湾, I thought it would be a good chance to make it my maiden post.

Jin Sha Wan 金沙湾 the name, maybe abit misleading. In actuality, it has nothing much to do with the Hong Kong place of the same name, but rather for its signature golden sauce dishes made from salted egg yolk. But just because it is situated at neighbourhood open-air food court, doesn't mean that the fare is any less delicious. Offering a large variety of seafood and local dishes, Jin Sha Wan sees a healthy bustling dining crowd daily.

First up, French Beans with Shrimps ($8). A decent serving of french beans stir-fried with mini shrimp morsels into a crispy savoury dish. While it complemented with the vegetables, I felt that it was a little on the salty side for me. The beans were just right without being overcooked limp.

Next up was the Lotus Roots with Macadamia ($12), a perfect dish to cleanse the palette from the rather oily (though yummy) start. This vegetarian dish is sure to whet the appetite of the hardest carnivore, consisting of a juicy light fried array of carrots, lotus roots, celery, mushrooms topped off with the crunch nutty taste of macadamia. A must have for the beauty-conscious ladies as the ingredients boast skin nourishment properties.

Alas...prawns have always been my weakness and this is no different! The Salted Egg Yolk Prawn $16 (small). I adored the fried succulent sea prawns, drenched with golden salted egg yolk which kept it from being too dry a dish. I hate salted egg in general, but this as a marinate was amazing, 

Just behold that glorious red: this is the highlight dish of the evening; the Assam Fish Head – $22. A huge platter of a single fish head, with the usual vegetable fare (tomatoes, ladies fingers, beans, pineapples) heaped on top. I would say this would be enough for 3 diners to share easily.

My mouth waters as I recall the tender fish morsels that parted easily from the bone without muc
h effort, revealing soft white flesh. Dip it into the Assam sauce (which was not as spicy as I thought) and it just goes so well with the sweet-sour and slightly zingy taste. 

 Another dish that I can never quite resist is pork ribs; especially these Fragrant Pork Ribs $10 (small). About 6-8 bite-sized pieces of pork ribs, are drizzled with sugar and sticky dark sauce. Meat flesh yielded easily from the bone, but still firm and chewy. The tastes was just right without being overly sweet. 

While local favourites are always welcomed by me, the Mee Goreng – $4 (small) was tasty with its sour-spicy flavour but I feel that the noodles were abit overdone and were on the soggy side. A bit of an ordinary dish but a good addition to complement the mains. However, one can expect a generous serving of ingredients of squids and juicy prawns.

While I found this savoury, the dish was otherwise rather ordinary for me, slightly on the oilier side as it is fried with oh-so-sinful lard. Again, like most dishes, this came in a very generous serving.

We were in luck, and given 2 types of crab dishes: firstly, Creamy Crab (2 crabs for $25). Served up piping with salted duck egg yolks, butter and milk drenched over the crabs, the dish was fragrant together with its fried curry leaves infused gravy. This dish came with small man tous (fried buns) which were perfect for soaking up each and every drop of gravy goodness. 

The second was Chili Crab (2 crabs for $25) was not overly spicy, with generous dollops of the spicy-sweet sauce, pepper with tiny shreds of shrimp and tomato puree. The texture was starchy gel-like and spread well with the man tou buns that came together. Crabs tasted fresh with surprisingly big portions of snowy white crab flesh.

Here's a dish that you don't see everyday: Crocodile Meat ($20 - $30 based on seasonal price). Served in a claypot fashion similar to braised frog legs (which personally isn't a preference of mine), the texture of the crocodile meat was surprising firm, tangy and chewy, and tastes much like pork. The dark gravy sauce was mildly salty, mixed with cut chives and parsley. Not too bad for my first time trying this exotic dish.

What Open-ricers do when they are not eating.... 
Pic credits to Open Rice
It was awesome, my first time attending a OpenRice food tasting! A good mix of both new and season reviewers were present; and each were each very friendly so the initial shyness faded pretty quickly. And oh boy, there was really a reason by the OpenRice facilitators told us to come HUNGRY, because boy was I stuffed to the brink with the wide variety of food. Truly enjoyed the great meal with even greater company :)

Jin Sha Wan is located at Kovan 212, Blk 212 Hougang St 21 #01-349, Hougang Kovan District, 530212.

Interested to get a slice of the OpenRice foodtasting pie (pun totally intended)?

Simply sign up with OpenRice today!
But fastest fingers first, slots are limited and in high demand!



  1. Hello there! This looks really delicious ! you look so pretty here :)

    1. Hello dear, thanks alot! The food, really was great and affordable omg. You look lovely yourself :)

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.


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