Lauded as the “Gem of the East” by many, Diamond Kitchen located at Laguna Park (condominium) gratifies diners from all across Singapore with its classic Chinese comfort fare and seafood offerings.
Young entrepreneurs Josh Chou and Lambert Chen, aged 30 and 27 respectively, are born into families in the jewellery business field, which gave rise to the name Diamond Kitchen. The cousins work hand in hand in establishing a cosy enclave offering hearty meals at affordable prices.
Superior Stock Clam Bee Hoon ($12/$18/$24)
The Superior Stock Clam Bee Hoon is comfort food with just the right attitude. An instant heart-warmer on sad or cold rainy days, this dish comprises vermicelli noodles stepped in heady stock scattered with clams. Served in a prodigious portion at downright decent bang for the buck, Diamond Kitchen also ensures that they secure the freshest clams possible. This was one of my favourite items that evening.
Gan Xiang Fried Rice ($8/$12/$16)
‘Gan Xiang’ is the kitchen’s magic formula made up of a blend of spices and aromatics including ginger, curry powder, chilli, lemongrass, fermented soy bean paste, onion, garlic and dried shrimp. This concoction is highly versatile; it is used to aromatise several dishes on the menu.
The exemplar use of gan xiang is apparent in the Gan Xiang Fried Rice –a dish that soothes the soul and awakens jaded palates at the same time. Plump grains of rice imbued with the smoky fragrance of the spice blend and tinted a tempting amber are tossed with bite-sized pieces of battered chicken and crispy dried shrimp bits. This is a dish in itself consisting of substantial portions of both rice and meat.
Sauna Prawns ($24/$36/$48)
Tiger prawns are set on blistering hot stones in a bamboo basket, and showered in herbal stock that’s laced with Chinese wine, wolfberries and dang gui (Chinese Angelica), before being enclosed with a lid that seals in all the flavours. The prawns are given several minutes to steam in this ‘sauna bath’, which happens during the transportation from kitchen to table.
Champagne Pork Ribs ($12/$18/$24)
A must-try, the Champagne Pork Ribs features de-boned chunks of meat marinated in Chef’s secret sauce overnight. The result: tender and deeply flavourful. The ratio of meat to fat is just right. Giving the thick and slightly sweet sauce a lively twist is the addition of champagne.
Golden Cereal Chicken ($12/$18/$24)
Cereal proves to be a worthy contender in the fragrance-adding sector of cookery. The popularity of one of our local favourites, Cereal Prawn, affirms that. Diamond Kitchen diversifies the use of cereal in the kitchen, with the introduction of Golden Cereal Chicken –a dish that blew us away. There was not a single crumb of cereal left on the plate. Surely that says something!
Salted Egg Sotong ($12/$18/$24)
Another highly addictive dish, slivers of fresh squid are lightly dusted with flour and flash fried before being tossed in a captivating salted egg yolk mix.
Crab in Gan Xiang (market price)
Crabs are available in a variety of cooking methods and sauces: Chef Sauce with Crispy Cheese, Stir Fried with Condensed Milk, Salted Egg, Butter, Superior Sauce, Yu Lu, Garlic Steamed, Kampong Steamed, Chilli, Black Pepper, Stir Fried with Curry Leaf, Ginger & Onion and Soy Bean Paste.
We witnessed the versatility of the Gan Xiang –here in a more intense and in-your-face brilliance.
Yam Paste ($12/$24)
If dessert is a natural extension of dinner, options include the perennial favourite Yam Paste enriched with a combination of coconut milk and condensed milk, the refreshing Lemongrass Jelly ($4.50 per pax) and the extravagant Hashima ($12 per pax) and Bird’s nest ($20 per pax).
Do make reservations in advance to avoid disappointment –the restaurant is perpetually bustling with crowd. If you’re driving, parking is cheap (something like $1 per entry) and aplenty.
5000F Marine Parade Road
#01-22/23 Laguna Park (condominium)
Opening hours: 11am – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 11pm daily