From Joyden Seafood (formerly known as West Coast Seafood, West Coast Recreation Centre) to Joyden Canton Kitchen (HillV2), and now Joyden Treasures (Leisure Park Kallang), this Singaporean owned family business has indeed come a long way since it was established more than 30 years ago.
The second generation took over the reins in 2013, and now manages the restaurant chain under Joyden Concepts.
Joyden Treasures is largest outlet and the latest addition to the group, focusing on time-honored traditional dishes and a selection of the family's well-loved recipes. My belly was filled with joy after the recent dinner experience there.
Double-boiled Seafood Soup in Old Cucumber ($14) made a most wholesome start and prepped us in anticipation for more delights that were to follow.
Its flavorful broth was naturally sweet from the heartiness of ingredients including mushrooms, dried scallops and fish maw, all encased and double-boiled in old cucumber. Dug deep in and found the bonus bite: a tiny nugget of meaty pork dumpling.
We were divided over the Phoenix Beancurd Skin Prawn Roll ($16/$22/$30), a melange of chopped fresh red prawns, salted eggs, century eggs and cilantro that was stuffed between beancurd skin sheets before going into the hot oil to achieve a crisp exterior.
Some felt that the chopped prawns diluted the crunch and more satisfying mouthfeel that a whole prawn would give. I have to agree to a certain extent, but most of us still enjoyed each deep-fried parcel as a whole.
What we all agreed on: The Jumbo Prawns in Traditional Dark Sauce ($26/$36/$52) was exceedingly delish! Freshness of huge, plump prawns aside, what sealed the deal was the lavish splash of savory sesame oil-based sauce that catapulted a deceptively simple-looking dish to one that had our tongues spellbound to its ambrosial taste. I would recommend you to order this dish, and bowls of steamed white rice to go with it.
Crispy Fragrant Duck with Petite Lotus Bun ($58) featured a whole duck that was simmered with herbs and spices, and then deep-fried quickly to crisp the skin before it was served.
The resultant meat was fall-off-the-bone tender and shredded easily at the gentle tug of the fork, but came across as a tad dry. Fortunately, the accompanying sambal and orange sauce provided some redeeming moisture.
Best way to enjoy it would be to stuff the shredded meat into a homemade steamed lotus-shaped bun, layer it with slices of pickled papaya and fresh cucumber, and eat it like a duck burger, Asian-style!
My favorite dish that evening went to the Steamed Red Grouper in Homemade Soy Bean Broth (market price). Okay, I must be upfront that I always have a soft spot for steamed fishes as it does the best justice to the fish's freshness, but this version at Joyden Treasures was undisputedly a notch up.
Being steamed in a soya milk broth with ginger, chives, straw mushrooms and black fungus, the fish was permeated with these flavors and yielded a silky texture. It was light and comforting, like having a bowl of fish soup with added milk but "atasified" with much refinement. Love the golden fried enoki mushrooms which provided a touch of crunchiness to the dish. This is a crowd-pleaser which I think most diners would enjoy.
Another signature item is the Traditional Salt Baked Crab (market price). A blend of different salt and myriad of spices are wok-fried together before the mix is used to completely cover the whole Sri Lankan crab and then slow-baked for an hour at a low temperature.
This method enhances the sweetness of the moist and bouncy flesh, and I love the occasional bout of pleasurable saltiness. Very different from the usual chili or black pepper crab, but is one that holds its own unique charm and nonetheless enjoyable.
Traditional Yam Puree with Pumpkin and Gingko ($16/$26/$36 per sharing portion or $6 per individual bowl) provided an old-school ending to the meal. The addition of chopped water chestnuts was surprising, and the drizzling of spring onion and lard oil, together with sugary syrup was quite a deviation from the usual Teochew orh-nee. Worked okay for me, but I'm not sure about those who prefer the more classic taste.
The restaurant also serves up a repertoire of dim sum favorites such as this brown sugar steamed cake, Malagao ($4.20) from 11.30am to 3pm daily.
Be it business lunches, celebratory gatherings or simply a lazy family meal, the 6 private VIP rooms or spacious 210-seater dining hall of Joyden Treasures would cater to any purposes suitably.
Address: 5 Stadium Walk, #02-42, Leisure Park Kallang, Singapore 397693
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 11.30am-3pm & 6pm-10pm / Sat-Sun & PH 10.30am-3pm & 5.30pm-10.30pm
Prices stated are subject to 10% service charge and 7% GST.