Bee Kia Seafood Restaurant serves quality zi char at a kopitiam
One of the few highlights of my secondary school life was staying back for my CCA and going to a nearby kopitiam for dinner. A typical order was fried rice and an iced Milo. It was simple, but filled with lots of fun and great conversations, and it was something I looked forward to three times a week, for four years of my life.
Bee Kia Seafood Restaurant is where we spent most of our time. Located just opposite Thomson Medical Centre, this coffee shop has been around for as long as I can remember.
Food at Bee Kia Seafood Restaurant
A cursory look at Bee Kia’s Instagram geotag suggests that almost every diner here orders their beef hor fun. And their Beef Hor Fun ($6) is really good. Filled with the earthy saltiness of fermented black beans, its sticky sauce is densely flavourful and came with a slightly sweet finish.
The beef slices, while generous, lacked chewiness and were so smooth I couldn’t identify the grain of the meat at all. It was also lacking the taste of red meat. In fact, the beef tasted more like pork, which was slightly off-putting for me. The hor fun could also have done with more wok hei.
We smelled the pungent prawn paste of their Prawn Paste Chicken ($8) before we saw it arrive. Unlike most other zi char places that use either mid-wings or drumlets, the chicken parts here seem completely random; we got two wings, some chicken breast, and the top part of a drumstick. There’s just something more satisfying about eating random fried chicken parts, and that’s a real big plus for me.
An even bigger plus was the intense crispiness of the fried chicken. Twice-fried, the chicken was also dusted with breadcrumbs, which helped make the crunch very satisfying.
Their Prawn Roll ($8) was highly recommended so we ordered it. Each half-cooked prawn roll was chopped up, dusted with flour, and quickly fried again so it came to the table piping hot. Beneath its crisp exterior lay a variety of ingredients that bombarded me with a collection of textures – crunchy chestnut, soft pork fat, and mushy bits of meat. Dusted with five-spice powder and dipped in a sweet tangerine sauce, this dish looked plain, yet tasted anything but.
Ambience at Bee Kia Seafood Restaurant
As a typical neighbourhood kopitiam, the ambience here isn’t much to shout about. The grey tables that dot the area look new, but you’ll still have to wave at stall owners you ordered food from to wipe your table. The fans here don’t help much with Singapore’s sweltering heat, but at least there’s a canopy that protects you from the sun.
The prawn paste chicken here is truly a masterpiece. Crisp and bursting with prawn paste flavour, it’s an unexpected gem located at Novena. I can imagine my parents being very happy at this place during a no-frills family dinner.
That being said, based on personal experience, the quality here varies greatly. At times, the hor fun comes packed with flavour and wok hei, and at others, it’s just insipid. The consistency entirely depends on who helms the wok on the day, so keep that in mind. For more zi char, check out these famous zi char dishes or zi char restaurants in the East!
Address: 1 Thomson Road, #01-326, Singapore 320002
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 12pm to 11pm
Bee Kia Seafood Restaurant is not a halal eatery.
This is an independent review by Eatbook.sg.