People say Singaporeans can travel anywhere for food, as long as there is good food. True that? I found myself bussing all the way to a condominium in the east, got lost (reminder to take 36 instead of 16), and glad found some hearty zi-char fare.

Despite the distance, I ventured to Diamond Kitchen 钻石小厨 found at Laguna Park, one of those old condominium estates with huge spaces and neighbourly quietness in Marine Parade.

Why at such an uncommon location? Young entrepreneurs Josh Chou and Lambert Chen wanted to avoid the high rentals of town areas, and were scouting for somewhere charming to present affordable Chinese restaurant food.

My initial skeptical self did not feel that a new restaurant found in an old condo would be very much remarkable, but I was wrong. I could safely say that 70-80% of what was served in Diamond Kitchen was worth coming for.

Some of their signature dishes include Champagne Pork Ribs ($12/18/24), Salted Egg Sotong ($12/18/24), Sauna Prawns ($24/36/48), Crab in Gan Xiang style (market price), Superior Stock Clam Bee Hoon ($12/18/24), Pumpkin Bean Curd ($12/18/24) and Superior Chicken Soup ($18/36).

One of my favourites – fresh Sri Lankan crabs cooked in ‘Gan Xiang’ sauce (market price, about $55 per kg). The ‘gan xiang’ is a Malaysia zi-char inspired sauce, literally meaning dry and fragrant, being aromatic and sweet, salty and spicy at the same time.

While I do not usually fancy crabs in dryer sauces, I found myself sucking off the fresh crab claw meats after sweeping the leftover sauces on the table (very unsightly), while wearing a white shirt. The black (and white) pepper crab has found its competitor.

Somebody in the table said she liked salted egg anything, and this dish was also swept clean. The Salted Egg Sotong ($12/18/24) is must-have for calamari lovers, best eaten when it is served hot straight away on the table. It was lightly crispy deep fried, dusted with some spicy powder, evenly tossed in salted yolk mix, and did not taste overly rubbery or chewy.

My other favourite was the Champagne Pork Ribs ($12/18/24), as I felt myself rekindling my love with this dish once again, fully tender and well-marinated with a flavourful sauce. Tip: I added a dollop of their homemade sambal chilli sauce and the combination was almost divine.

A slight let-down was the Sauna Prawns ($24/36/48), coming served in a bamboo steamer with fresh prawns poured over with a herbal stock laced with Chinese wine, steamed over heated stones. The presentation was anticipating, though the taste and smell felt like more wine and herbs were needed for a more distinct taste.

My fellow Singaporeans friends always say the east is where you should travel for food, and Diamond Kitchen probably is that one more that list.

Diamond Kitchen 钻石小厨
5000F Marine Parade Road, #01-22/23 Laguna Park (condominium), Singapore 449289, Tel: +65 6448 0629
Opening Hours: 11am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 11:00pm

Other Related Entries
5 Favourite Zi Char Places in Singapore
5 Old Chinese Restaurants in Singapore
Kok Sen Restaurant (Keong Siak Street)
Red House Seafood (Prinsep Street)
Galley By The Straits (Admiralty Road)


  1. Food may be good but arrogant service staff. They just turn away customers without reservation without giving them the option of waiting. Not worth going to be met with this arrogant service. Got money can get good food and service elsewhere in Singapore.

  2. You are correct-I was there last Thursday at 6.30pm. There were at least 8 tables empty and I am quite sure all diners are not coming at 7PM! so it is really not tactful of the staff to just turn customers away.

  3. Food portion is miserable and selling at exorbitant prices. A near increased of 20 percent based on the prices here. Any reputable Sze Char can cook as good or even better. Now I understand why the place is so empty. Simply not worth going.

  4. Just ate there, food is really only so so…. steam prawns not fresh, smelly head, 3 yolk spinach was so so, salted chicken was substandard with tough meat and did not taste of how a salted chicken should taste.
    On the bright side, champagne pork was good, salted sotong was average. Orh nee was ok.
    Unlikely will return as there are better places honestly….


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