***Restaurant no longer operating…replaced by Meet Fresh***
James St Kitchen is a Chinese restaurant nestled right in the middle of Northbridge. It is a decent sized restaurant and underwent a refurbishment to make it into a modern looking place as it is today. We were frequent visitors during our uni days as they were famous for their baked pork chop rice dish (a Hong Kong specialty dish) which my friend loved and capitalised on their lunch special of giving one free drink with one lunch dish ordered.
I was quite impressed with their new menu which they jazzed up nicely. I was looking to see whether they are still offering the free drink which they sorta did, the new deal is you have to pay an addition of $2 with any lunch dishes ordered (not too bad I guess). They are also licensed but with limited selection.
For drinks, we ordered a special Jelly Sago drink, Iced Lemon Tea and TsingTao Beer. The Jelly Sago looked really attractive but did not taste as it looked. It consists of layers of lime and lemon jelly, topped with coconut milk and sago. The combination did not really blend too well and tasted funny.
For food, we ordered a whole range of entree to share (practically the whole entree menu except for the french fries) and a main course of Peking Duck and Yangzhou Fried Rice.
The entrees were: Shanghai Dumpling, Prawn Toast, Spring Rolls, Deep Fried Chicken Wing, Deep Fried Maryland, Deep Fried Fish Ball and Chinese Pan Cake.
Shanghai Dumpling (Xiao Long Bao in chinese) is a unique dish, pork mince wrapped in a thin piece of dough skin, filled with soup. As the dumpling is steamed, it causes the juice from the meat filling to be caught in the skin and retain it inside the dumpling. It is served with ginger and vinegar sauce. I first tried this dish either in Malaysia or Shanghai and was blown away. It is actually very hard to make a good shanghai dumpling (I’d tried at numerous restaurants and alot turned out to be duds). The ones in this restaurant is quite nice though so that’s a plus for me.
For main course, we had the Fried Rice and the Peking Duck which consisted of two course, the duck skin wrapped in pancake and the duck meat wrapped in lettuce (San Choy Bow).
Peking Duck is a famous duck dish from Beijing that has been prepared since the imperial era, and is considered to be one of China’s national food. The dish is prized for the thin, crispy skin with authentic versions of the dish serving mostly the skin and little meat, sliced in front of the diners by the cook. It is often eaten with pancakes, spring onions and hoisin sauce. The meat is served either as lettuce wrap or stir fried as a noodle dish. For a 3-course meal, the duck bones are used to make soup.
As James St Kitchen does not specialise in duck, I did not have high expectation of the Peking Duck dish. The skin was a bit oily and was not crispy enough and the pancake was a bit hard. The lettuce wrap however faired a bit better. The fried rice was nice too (you can’t go too wrong when you order fried rice with your mains).
Peking Duck 1st course
Peking Duck 2nd course
Overall, it was quite a nice meal. The Shanghai dumpling compensated for the Peking Duck. I will definitely recommend this place for their lunch time special especially if you are after some Hong Kong specialty dishes. Servcie is average, they were quite prompt whenever we asked for something.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Rating by: N.L.
James St Kitchen
Telephone: 08 9227 1437
Address: Shop 7a/109 James St, Northbridge