Recently opened in December last year, Myo Restobar already has a preceding reputation for its delicious and traditional Cantonese cuisine. After all, the establishment is an offshoot of Kia Hiang Restaurant, the popular family-owned establishment that’s been operating in International Plaza since 1975. And the name Myo? It’s a Chinese play on the words miao yan (妙嚥), which means “to swallow wonder”.
After a warm welcome by Mr. Ng Kia Jin, the second-generation owner, we sat down in the middle of the expansive (it seats up to 120 people) and elegantly-furnished space. A kinetic clockwork art installation on the wall functions as an intriguing centrepiece that captures the Kia Hiang heritage quite perfectly: a contemporary ambience where tradition eminently reigns.
There’s a great mix of meat and seafood available on the Myo menu. Try the characteristic signature dish, Kia Hiang Claypot Organic Chicken ($28), and dwell in nostalgia with this traditional and personally-recollected recipe by Kia Jin’s father. Famous for its juiciness and rich, sweet herbal broth, this features organically raised farm chicken that had enough space and comfort in its lifetime, resulting in a far more tasty chicken meat.
You can go full surf and turf with the incredible Baked Hamachi Collar ($18) alongside the claypot chicken. Chef Cheng Chee Wai, who is responsible for the kitchen here, makes sure you get only the finest of cuts. The fish (a Pacific Yellowtail) is pan-fried and seasoned with just lemon, soy sauce, and a hint of ground peppers. It’s a fairly modern creation, and relatively simple, but one that’s definitely executed well.
But you think of course: what are the must-tries for yum cha? Dim sum is something that its older sister Kia Hiang Restaurant has never tackled, so what can they offer? You’ll notice that the offerings are not your usual classics – there are a lot more healthy and also vegetarian choices to choose from.
I suggest starting with the Gold Foil Dumplings with Assorted Mushrooms($4.80). Inside these treats, we can find a soft filling of finely-diced shiitake and chestnut mushrooms paired together with earthy groundnut oil and strengthened with traditional herbs and spices – lovingly packaged in a round, pink dough with fancy gold flakes. The Walnut Buns are also a must-order for your yum cha. A sound vegetarian choice, the light buns are filled with delicious lotus paste and bits of crunchy walnuts. Dim Sum Chef Billy Wong uses just a bit of glutinous flour in this, so it’s more firm and chewier than you would expect. Definitely a nice extra and subtle touch.
It might be not the most attractive of sights, but in my opinion, the best pick from the Dim Sum menu is the humble Braised Chicken Feet with Abalone Sauce ($4.80). Chef Wong captures a very charismatic and attractively sweet and spiced flavour, and you easily can guzzle the soft gelatinous meat off the bone. And the best part? The dark housemade abalone sauce that is so tasty you can just grab a spoon to drink it straight, or empty onto a bowl of steamed Jasmine rice (or the restaurant’s special blend of brown and red cargo rice, if you prefer.)
Myo Restobar offers you an excellent showcase of modern Cantonese cuisine to impress your entourage with. I’ll say bring your friends and family for lunch or dinner and see who can do better: Momma or Myo?
Myo Restobar is located at Lobby 1, #19-01 Oxley Tower, 138 Robinson Rd, Singapore 068906. Open Sun-Fri 11am – 9pm.