Bistro Kai: Singapore’s hidden find!

Just the other night, I had a most delightful dinner with my buddies Adeline and Bernard at the cozy little restaurant located at Hotel Kai on Purvis Street. If you are searching for a special venue for an eventful after-work catch up or plan to celebrate a birthday/ casual social gathering in town, Bistro Kai would be it!


Fresh succulent oysters that were already sliced at the bottom for easy slurping greeted us on a dish of ice and lemon wedges; it’s no wonder that some people just come early for the oysters! They were really good and just having two each just didn’t seem enough 😉 Here’s what we unapologetic foodies had…


Kicking off the starters after our excellent fresh oysters was the crispy baby squid. Flavourful and crunchy on the outside (what satisfaction with every bite!), trendy foodies who are currently chasing the current salted egg craze would no doubt find this yummy!

buffalo wings_ningcai

If you are a spice lover who likes your buffalo wings with a kick, you are in for a treat. Coated in pepper hot sauce, these fellas were spicy and tangy, making your tastebuds dance! Trust me, you’ll definitely need the celery sticks and carrots to battle the spice!


Deep fried broccoli with 63-degree egg was next… This is a definite must try! Bernard’s eyes actually glazed over in happiness (in a super cute moment that actually reminded me of Homer Simpson) as he quipped that he’d never tasted anything like this before. After her first mouthful, Adeline shared that she was certain kids would LOVE their veggies if they tasted like this LOL


Carbs for the day were delivered via the Indonesian-style sweet corn fritters we ordered… What can I say? They were a-maize-ing 😉 Now comes the mains… After a long day at work, all of us were pretty famished (just look at my tired eyes), so dinner was something we were all looking very much forward to 🙂


Bernard order their spicy tomyum risotto, which is essentially Thai style spicy tomyum based risotto with tiger prawns, and he found it delicious! There was that right balance of sour and lemongrass, giving the dish much dimension. The tiger prawns came in a nice size and overall, the hint of tomyum made it a very tasty dish. If you’re the typical Asian who enjoys your rice, I think this will leave you feeling extremely satisfied…


Bernard’s other main, the surf and turf, was a duo of pan-seared sirloin steak with chargrilled king prawns served with potatoes, vegetables and black pepper sauce. Though he fully deserved a second main course (having cycled all the way from the office to meet us) he generously shared it with Adeline, our self-proclaimed beef lover, who found the steak to be very good. Again, the tiger prawns came in a nice size – no sad shrimps in this dish!


Adeline’s Australian grade stripling steak arrived soon after; a deliciously seared sirloin steak with brown sauce served with vegetables and potatoes. It was to her great delight, a perfect medium rare as our meat lover had requested and she relished the sauce, which was a a nice balance of buttery and peppery. The middle part of the steak was juicy and tender, just the way my friend enjoyed it so she was quite the happy bunny!


So what did I have? Yours truly picked their Indonesian style BBQ pork rib, although I was mighty tempted to order their crispy duck leg confit and truffle lover’s burger (ah decisions, decisions!)… Braised bone tender pork ribs glazed with homemade BBQ sauce infused with Indonesian spices, served with seasonal vegetables and french fries, arrived before me and was quickly scoffed down by three happy foodies!


The dish reminded me of the hearty Balinese pork ribs I’d had, bringing me back to good times at Kuta and Ubud. A generous rack, the marinate sauce was excellent and the pork ribs were certainly “fall off the bone”. It was too much for one person, so I’d invited my friends to share and soon they were licking the yummy sauce off their fingers too 🙂 I heartily recommend this if you want a substantial main!

cheers ningcai

Paulaner, anyone? Beer lovers would be happy to know that they serve up icy cold German lager and wheat beer, which goes well with dinner in hot and humid Singapore. Our server Coco was a wonderful waitress, friendly and attentive the entire night. We adjourned to comfy lounge sofas after dinner, slowly nursing our digestives and teas until it was closing time… Can you tell that I’m actually having food coma? LOL


Serving up good quality eats, with fast and attentive wait staff, in a cozy environment …there’s nothing more you need to guarantee a perfect night with friends at Bistro Kai 🙂 Check out this hidden find before it gets crowded! Remember you first read about it here on NingThing! Happy nom-ing!


Bistro Kai @ Hotel Kai

Tel: 6643 9999 (last order at 9:30PM)

14 Purvis Street, Singapore 188593


Photo credits: Bernard Sim / Magicdow Photography

Picture of ning
Ning Cai is a Singapore Literature Prize nominated author, who was also long listed for the Epigram Books Fiction Prize in 2016. A bestselling writer, she is also recognised for her illusionist/ escapologist stage character Magic Babe Ning, and recognised by Channel News Asia as South East Asia's first professional female magician.

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