“No reservations allowed ah. 6:30pm? Better come before that, because I cannot guarantee you will get a seat.”
There was a sense of arrogance over the phone when I tried to reserve a table for Joyden Canton Kitchen, which will probably become the hottest new Chinese restaurant in Singapore, if it isn’t already. Just my perception.
So I rushed the entire group down to HillV2 Shopping Centre IMMEDIATELY. “We MUST get down before 6pm, hurry hurry.” The location was not even near, somewhere towards Bukit Batok and in the middle of nowhere.
Yes, I reached in time, and asked if they could hold a table for 10 minutes. Needed to wait for a friend, needed to go washroom first. “Cannot. Cannot reserve. You better go in seat first.”
Well, fortunately I heeded his advice. True enough, at 6:30pm there was a looooong queue outside the restaurant.
I texted Veron, the PR from Sixth Sense what was best at Joyden. She should know best. In her exact words, “Hakka Salt Chicken, Claypot XO Tunghoon, Mandarin Orange Pork Ribs, Soy Sauce Chicken (my fave), Claypot Fish Soup with Chinese Wine, Egg White Vemicelli, Homemade Beancurd with Fish Paste and White Cabbage. You are making me hungry now!”
At some point in time, I was so familiar with Crystal Jade Kitchen and Putien’s menus I could rattle dishes off without referring to them. At Joyden Canton, I found myself very intrigued by their offerings, indeed very different from the usual Chinese restaurants.
There were Braised Pork Ribs in Aged Mandarin Peel ($16.80), Traditional Chicken Wings Filled with Fragrant Glutinous Rice ($9), Chicken with Fresh Huai Shan and Wolfberry in Old Coconut Soup ($12.80), and Fish Maw and Prawns with Glass Noodles in Homemade XO Sauce ($18.80).
All in all, our group enjoyed most of the dishes, and could see ourselves ordering a different set the next time we come because the menu was rather extensive.
My favourite dish was the Fish Maw and Prawns with Glass Noodles in Homemade XO Sauce ($18.80), flavoursome, fresh ingredients and complete with wok hei. The recommended Red Grouper Fillet with White Tofu Steamed in Black Bean ($16.80) tasted kind of flat and underwhelming though.
I can understand why Joyden Canton Kitchen has become so popular. It is a breath of fresh air from the tantamount of Chinese restaurants we are so used to.
The family-run business with one of its first successes with Joyden Seafood at West Coast, reminded me of the time when Paradise Group first entered the restaurant market.
Let us hope that the quality continues to remain consistent, if they continue to expand.
(Updated: We returned and food remained consistent. Joyden Canton Kitchen now allows reservations for a minimum of 8 pax.)
Joyden Canton Kitchen
HillV2 Shopping Centre, 4 Hillview Rise #02-21 Singapore 667979
Tel: +65 64659988
Opening Hours: 1130am – 930pm (Daily), 1130am – 430pm (Dim Sum)