Ju Xing Home, known to foodies in Hong Kong for its Cantonese stir fries and spicy Sichuan dishes, is opening its first overseas outlet in Singapore. The 80-seat restaurant will open on Dec 1 at Ngee Ann City. The Michelin Bib Gourmand-awarded Ju Xing Home on Portland Road in Hong Kong, which opened in 2011, exists in popular consciousness as the hole-in-the-wall restaurant that opens late and serves quality home-style cooking, and for this reason, is a favourite hangout of top chefs like Tim Ho Wan’s Mak Kwai Pui, Lung King Heen’s Chan Yan Tak and Ming Court’s Mango Tsang.
Founder and executive chef Ng Kong Kiu told CNA Lifestyle that to stay on top of his game in a city full of good food like Hong Kong, “I cook at the restaurant every day and always check in and listen to my customers’ feedback, to ensure I consistently maintain my quality and improve”.
On top of that, “I also enter culinary competitions to keep challenging and improving myself.” He added: “I believe in determination and consistent hard work.”
The Lobster Fried Rice Vermicelli is the favourite dish of Hong Kong actor Alan Tam, one of Ju Xing Home’s loyal celebrity regulars. “Alan Tam visited us eight years ago, when we were still a small shop. We were shocked as we did not expect a superstar to dine with us,” Ng said. He always orders the vermicelli dish and “recommends it to his friends as well. Many of them have since become our regular customers”.
Other screen stars who come to eat include Eric Tsang, Simon Yam, Nancy Sit, Law Lan, Raymond Lam and Bosco Wong.
“One of the largest orders we have received was from Jay Chou, when he spent thousands on takeaway for his entire entourage during his concert in Hong Kong,” Ng recalled.
The third must-order dish, assuming you only have the capacity for three, is Ju Xing Home’s famous Sweet and Sour Pork. “It’s a humble dish cooked traditionally, with a homemade sweet and tangy hawthorn sauce,” Ng said. “The sauce is cooked to a sticky consistency from the hawthorn, like caramelised toffee coating, before it’s coated over crispy pork chunks.” Sounds like salivation central.
Ng said he enjoys collaborating with other chefs, sharing that in Hong Kong, “renowned chefs from popular Chinese restaurants at the Four Seasons Hotel, Jockeys and Mott 32 come over after their shifts as we are open until late. Sometimes, they even step into the kitchen to cook and create dishes with me. It’s always nice when we enjoy the dishes together.”
Who’s to say he won’t do the same with Singapore chefs, too?
Ju Xing Home opens on Dec 1 at B2-36A, Takashimaya Shopping Centre, 391 Orchard Road.