Food delivery might not be your main game now that dining out has resumed, but for many of us still working from home or awaiting full vaccination status to kick in, it’s still a service we heavily depend on. For those who fall in this camp and are looking for a one-stop-shop of a variety of Asian fare—and not just noodles, for example—Katong Kanteen might just be a saviour.
Branding itself as ‘multi-concept eatery’, Katong Kanteen features Asian options ranging from Japanese burgers to familiar zi char dishes. While they do have a dine-in post at Tanjong Katong, it’s certainly one of the few delivery spots that can flex a variety of names all housed under one roof.
What I tried
Glossing over Katong Kanteen’s delivery menu, the Yuzu Karaage Burger (S$14) was the first to pique my interest. It’s fried chicken in yuzu kosho batter, with American slaw, and mature cheddar. That’s not to say fried chicken burgers are my thing, but I couldn’t help mentally pre-ordering my dinner while on an empty stomach.
When it arrived, the sight of a thiccc fried chicken patty sneakily peeking out from its buttery bun trap excited me. A clean cut with a sharp blade made me even more gleeful, but not as satisfied as I was when I took a gratifying bite of the succulent, well-seasoned burger. The slaw lent accents of tanginess, while the punchy notes of cheddar performed within expectations.
Now, the Mala Fried Shrimp (S$18) sings like a starter dish for those uninformed of the raving mala trend that’s cast a spicy spell on so many Singaporeans. And execution-wise, it’s alright; it doesn’t put me in a chokehold of fiery regret for ordering this, but neither does it make for a dish that’s memorable.
For a dish that’s brimming with a chockful of ingredients—fried butterflied shrimp with crispy ground garlic, fermented soybeans, sliced chillies and “mala” Szechuan peppercorns—it ended on a rather flat note.
Can we take a moment to appreciate the glisten of Katong Kanteen’s
Mapo Tofu (Impossible) (S$7.50)
? Done differently with “mala” numbing Impossible
meat sauce (in place of minced pork) and freshly made tofu, this is an easy side dish that you can’t fault. Sure, it doesn’t carry the same level of moreish-ness as using pork, but it’s a great vegetarian alternative that’s close to the real thing.
In fact, I would be perfectly content if I were served this as a complement to steaming hot white rice and a runny, sunny-side-up.
I had forgotten that I’d ordered the Salmon Mentaiko Aburi (S$12), a dish that doesn’t come on a bed of rice. So, please don’t make the same mistake as I did—this dish is all protein and greens only. That’s not to say it was bad; how can anyone dismiss salmon, mentaiko mayo, tobiko, and ikura so frivolously?
I was inclined to give everything a healthy toss, but I refrained out of pity of not wanting to massacre the tiny slabs of delicate salmon. But if you insist on ordering this, I recommend eating the side salad with the salmon, tobiko, and everything else (and not as an afterthought). It feels more robust, satiating, and the salad just brings a clean, refreshing bite to the richness and density of the protein.
If I had to pick just one dish from Katong Kanteen, it’d be the Yuzu Karaage Burger. But that’s not to say the rest were bad; they just didn’t evoke overwhelming joy. With that said, there’s nothing wrong with acceptable food—sometimes you need them when you seek comfort and don’t want to waste time overthinking your order. I totally understand.
I have to commend, however, on how the Yuzu Karaage Burger withstood the transportation and remained crisp, bun still fluffed, and not a soggy mess to be had.
Expected damage: S$15 – S$25 per pax
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