[Updated Aug 2015] The last time I went back to Hong Kong Jin Tian Eating House at Zion Road, it was closed and replaced by another shop!
Unfortunately, the few times I went back, the service standards had dropped drastically… (imagine getting scolded by staff when they got the orders wrong). Business also wasn’t as brisk as its previous location at Tiong Bahru.
Another one of our favourite local food places, gone with the wind.
[Original Entry] Hong Kong Jin Tian Eating House 香港锦田, which some fans proclaim to serve the best roast meats in Singapore, has reopened at Zion Road!
This is ironically surprising on some levels.
Flashback some months earlier, scores of customers were lamenting the loss of our heritage food – Hong Kong Jin Tian Eating House at Tiong Bahu, and Nasi Padang River Valley at Zion Road announced their closures.
Both gave up their businesses on the premise of rental hikes.
Madam Yip from the popular roast meat shop revealed that rental increased to $12k (from $8k) per month over at the old corner space at Seng Poh Road; while the Nasi Padang River Valley said goodbye after a rental increase to $11k.
Somebody work out the Maths here.
It doesn’t make sense for Jin Tian to take over the present shop space (which I think has less traffic), unless the former landlord couldn’t find anyone and lowered the rent.
I was half expecting a bistro, mid-end restaurant or some ‘hipster’ café (by a chain) to open there, because only they can absorb such exorbitant rent. Until a drive across made us all in the car exclaimed “The char siew shop took over the Nasi Padang shop!”
River Valley folks, this is probably as cheap as it gets for food (other than Zion Road hawker centre). The Roasted Duck Rice, Noodles and Porridge are at $4, Char Siew Rice at $3.50, Soya Sauce Chicken Noodles at $3.50, and Soup at $3.50. Don’t forget about their ‘Duck Leg Wrap’ ($2.80) which is in limited quantities.
“How? So cheap! Nasi Padang close down, this can survive? What are they thinking?” Unfortunate thoughts running through our minds.
If I can divide the taste of the food into two parts, their meats are still of respectable quality – tender slightly charred char siew, soya sauce chicken with such well-marinated slipper fatty skin, roasted meats with good proportion of crisp top and lean inner layer. After all, the chef was from Hai Tien Lo.
My only main gripe is that meats can be chopped to larger pieces. I like to savour chunks.
The peripherals on the other hand, were due for improvements. Noodles were soggy, rice too wet and vegetables raw-ly blanched and almost tasteless.
Take note this is a self-service concept. One of the workers was rude, kept getting my order wrong, and gave a ‘tsk’ as if it was my fault. I told myself: patience, patience.
Anyway, Hong Kong Jin Tian Eating House, welcome back! I hope you stay.
Hong Kong Jin Tian Eating House 香港锦田
55 Zion Road (Opposite Great World City)
Opening Hours: 8am – 8pm Daily (May change)