Comforting mix of old and new at Ka-Soh
Residents in the Greenwood area are probably glad Bib Gourmand-awarded Ka-Soh opened its latest outlet there, as they can conveniently take away its classic dishes - along with the staple serving of pork lard on the side - now that dining in is no longer an option.
The restaurant has also put most of its items on an online delivery menu during circuit breaker month, so you can get your favourites delivered via ka-soh.com.sg
The temptation may be to order the signatures, but don't just bank on the legendary fish soup.
Try the new items too, like the prawn noodle soup ($16), which might just end up a classic.
The soup is almost orange in colour, made with umami-laden prawn head stock that is combined with the fish soup, so it delivers the best of both worlds.
I like the soup best when it is piping hot. One sip and the feeling is pure comfort.
The prawns in the soup are fresh, as are the fish slices. But the dish is all about the soup.
Also new is the Seafood Hokkien Mee (from $9), although many regulars will be familiar wiith it.
It existed previously as an off-menu item, but after so many people started asking for it, Ka-Soh decided it might as well be an official item.
If you've tasted the original version in Malaysia, you won't find Ka-Soh's innovative. But the savouriness, saltiness and creamy heft of the yellow noodles - all the reasons why I love Hokkien mee - are all present in Ka-Soh's version.
The addition of pork lard - always an ingredient to lift the dish - makes it better.
Oatmeal Pork (from $19), simply put, is for those who like oatmeal prawns.
The meat is of the same cut usually used for Sweet and Sour Pork, and the cubes of meat are coated with oatmeal for a crunchy, sweet finish.
I find the pork too dry, and oatmeal masks any sort of sweetness from the pork.
It is the same reason why I do not bother with cereal prawns. The flavours should be enhanced, not hidden.
This dish doesn't do it for me, although I can see it appealing to the masses.
The classic deep fried seafood tofu (from $15) is simple and comforting, perfect for when you need some familiarity.
AMONG THE BEST
The prawn paste chicken from Ka-Soh (from $16) ranks among the best.
It has the right amount of "prawniness", saltiness and juiciness, with a nearly crisp skin. With rice and a big tablespoon of pork lard over it, it is simply bliss.
When it comes to heritage brands, there is always the issue of how much a restaurant should change and update its dishes.
Innovations thrill, but there is also a reason why certain brands last longer than others.
The menu here has been updated, but it doesn't veer too much from the original.
The formula seems to be giving customers what they want but with extras, just in case, and I think that equation works.
Let's hope Ka-Soh will stick around for a few more generations.
22 Greenwood Avenue, Tel: 8754-7481
Open Tuesday to Sunday 11.30am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 9.30pm