Monday, March 02, 2009

DINNER @ SI CHUAN DOU HUA RESTAURANT, PARKROYAL ON BEACH ROAD, SINGAPORE


As gimmicky as it may seem, this 'gung-fu' form of serving tea is the main attraction of this Si Chuan restaurant, as it so proudly displays a huge poster of the tea pourer doing his routine. This place also has a quaint tea drinking sanctuary (on the outer sanctum of the restaurant) for those preferring secluded contemplation. As can be seen from the tea cup on the left, it's not a ordinary cup of tea - full of (not sun dried) tea leaves floating on top. Like seen in Chinese movies, one uses the lid of the cup to clear a path before sipping.

8 Treasures Soup

Like most places in Singapore now, most of the restaurant front-employees are Chinese imports, and our attendee was from Bejing - with all due respect, she did an excellent job serving us; being unsure of its specialty dishes, a call to the hotel's marketing manager resulted with these recommendations...


We started off with the 8 treasures soup, which comprised of fine chopped spinach in a rich broth. The 8 treasures indicated something, but the one ingredient I could make out was the dried scallops. This dinner completely had me stumped... couldn't figure out what's in the sauce. One could safely assume that hot pepper and garlic and bean paste are its sauce of inspiration. But the taste and flavor were so subtle, you couldn't pinpoint its main source of ingredients.

Crispy Duck's Skin Rolled Pancake Wrapper

The roast duck was brought to the table, carved out of its skin, beautifully wrapped in thin pancake smeared with Hoi Sin sauce, and coupled with green onion, cucumber and carrot. The rest of the duck was carted away to be used in another dish.

Spicy Eel With Celery

By the third dish, the server wised up to my antics... all the dishes from then on were rolled up in front of me, to be blessed by my camera before being served. The eel was good, but could use more spicy hotness in it; probably it was the couple of children amongst us that made them tone down on the heat.

Oil Blanched Long Beans

This longbeans dish was tasted the same as Heritage's, but only more subtle.

Marinated Beef On Sizzling Hot Plate

I think it's peanut sauce up there in the beef. The meat was soft, juicy despite its chunkiness.

Fried Asparagus With Scallops

Those menacing looking red hot chilli seeds weren't all that fiery after all... a different dimension to the usual stir-fry of the same ingredients.

Lettuce Wrap With Fried Shredded Duck's Meat

This was what had become of the roast duck's meat - diced and fried to be taken as lettuce wraps.

Braised Ee-Fu Noodle With Mushroom

The Ee-Fu nodle was quite something else - light and fluffy unlike the yellow Yu (Hokkien) Mee. In spite of its lack of ingrdients - few greens and mushroom - it was the broth that it was braised in that gave it its soul.

Tofu Hua With Wolfberries

This silky tofu fa (beancurd sweet) was slightly different from the norm in that palm sugar and wolfberries went into the works. They were complementary, and so was the bottle of red wine. Cheers!

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As the name implies, it's all about nothing! Kongkaying is like grasping in the air - more like hot air with occasional fartulence. Hopefully, something aromatic will come out of it! If not...

May the Farce be With You!

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