Address: 335 Smith Street #02-01 Chinatown Complex, S(050335)
Tel: +65 84555229 (Mr Lim)
Opening Hours: 11:30 am – 08:30 pm (Mon – Fri); 11:30 am – 6:00 pm (Sun); Closed on Sat.
Recommendation: Ebi Curry Don Set
Ebi Curry Don Set ($5.50)
What happened to the famous Kazan Japanese Cuisine previously located at Tanjong Pagar Plaza?
Recently, SG Boy was working part-time in the Tanjong Pagar/Chinatown area and decided to explore Chinatown Complex, located behind the Buddha Relic Temple (along South Bridge Road). Although this hawker centre/wet market is often overshadowed by the nearby Maxwell Food Centre, I would venture to say that Chinatown Complex is no less a food paradise compared to Maxwell FC. In fact, it is even comparable to my all-time favourite Hong Lim Food Complex (which houses the best Bak Chor Mee and Wanton Mee in Singapore, IMHO).
So, what do people look for in a hawker centre that they have never been to? Queues. I am a typical Singaporean who loves to queue too, because prima facie, the queue is proof that the stall has its own following. However, looking for queues in Chinatown Complex is no easy feat because the hawker centre is so huge and queues only form at the Caifan stalls. While walking around, I stumbled upon Kazan Japanese Cuisine, which was a stall plastered with gourmet reviews. There were 2 patrons waiting patiently for their food while 3 other office ladies savoured their Salmon Teriyaki Don heartily nearby.
I ordered the Ebi Curry Don Set ($5.50) (picture above taken with iPhone 4S, no filter), which was a Chef’s Recommendation. The set came with 4 freshly fried ebi, a generous serving of Japanese curry and about half a bowl of calrose rice. At $5.50, the don bowl was definitely value for money. The batter was neither too thick nor starchy, while the flesh of the prawns was sufficiently soft and tender. Most importantly, the prawns were served piping hot, which explains the queue forming. The Japanese curry was also fairly decent (tasted very similar to instant Japanese curry capsules) and came with sufficient carrots and potatoes for my liking. Unlike some hawkers who use cheaper alternatives of long grain rice, Mr Lim uses short grain/calrose rice, so the whole dish felt fairly authentic to me.
You may ask, what kind of service can you expect from a hawker? It’s the million dollar smile from Mr Lim. He speaks to his customers in an utmost courteous tone and thanks them for their patronage. Thus, I’m pretty sure Kazan Japanese has earned its place in its usual patrons. And of course, for its price tag and generous servings, I will definitely be back in the near future.
Rating: 3.78/5 Piping Hot Ebi