King of Fried Rice (KOFR) is one of those home-grown F&B stalls that have become so popular (with investor back of course) in the recent years that they have reached a total of 25 outlets islandwide.
Yes, 25. Huat ah!
From a standalone store at Golden Mile Tower to an islandwide chain, owner Lester Li aims to replicate his success in his newest venture – MentaiKing.
His first MentaiKing outlet is opened at a coffeeshop called City FoodCourt at 27 Bendemeer Road. It is located near Boon Keng MRT station, next to Bendemeer Market & Food Centre.
You would find another King of Fried Rice stall here, so you can get from both stalls under two different queue systems.
Unlike KOFR where they offers a variety of rice as the base, MentaiKing only offers garlic butter rice, which makes them different from the usual Japanese donburi (rice bowl) using Japanese short-grain rice.
As their name implies, MentaiKing focuses on crowd’s favourite – mentaiko (spicy cod roe) mayonnaise topped on his signature garlic butter rice.
A more streamlined menu with only 4 different rice bowls are available: Pork Cutlet ($8.90), Tiger Prawn ($9.90), Beef Cube ($9.90) or Salmon ($10.90).
Each bowl generously drizzled with their house-made mentaiko mayo dressing, then torched gently (Aburi style) to add an extra touch of smokiness.
All rice bowls are also served with slices of Japanese rolled omelette and broccoli alongside.
You can also “zhng” your bowl with additional Chicken karaage ($4.50), Gyoza ($4), Ramen egg ($1.80) and Grated parmesan cheese ($1).
My favourite is the Mentai Pork Cutlet Bowl ($8.90), a tribute and succession to KOFR.
Using the same pork cutlets as KOFR but seasoned differently, each bowl comes with 3 slabs of pork cutlets that are tender and juicy.
The thickness was just right and provided the right amount of textural bite, whereas the sweetness from marinated deep-fried pork balances well with the spicy mentaiko mayo sauce.
The Mentai Tiger Prawn Bowl ($9.90) is worth a mention, which comes with three medium-sized fresh tiger prawns generously slathered with mentaiko Mayo on top and torched on the surface.
Instead of serving their signature rice with wok-hei, garlic butter rice is used.
While the garlic butter rice doesn’t have much flavour on its own, its purpose is to create a contrast in flavours so that the components in the bowl are not too rich and overpowering.
Using Danish Lurpak butter, garlic and parsley to fry their garlic butter rice, the rice has a moist and chewy texture that doesn’t clump together.
The Mentai Salmon Bowl ($10.90) features a slab of Norwegian salmon leaning towards the dry and crumbly side.
Not quite the texture I expected, the mentaiko mayo sauce does help to elevate the overall taste.
The Mentai Beef Cube ($9.90) reminded of Taiwan night markets, with torched beef cubes and sauces drizzled on it.
The flavours tend to be more muted as the only flavour is the slightly spicy mentaiko sauced drizzled on the grilled New Zealand rump cubes.
Mentaiko lover will probably the MentaiKing concept, but If you are a fan of KOFR, you will probably be disappointed as the memorable fragrant and wok-hei taste is not so strong here.
City Foodcourt 27 Bendemeer Road, Singapore 330027
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm (Mon – Sun)
* Written by Nicholas Tan @stormscape who loves all things [NEW].