Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sichuan Dou Hua Nostalgic Feast @ Park Royal Kitchener Road

entrance

The promotion probably went viral after soshiok and the mainstream media featured it, so much so, getting a table was difficult. Two weeks in advanced we booked for this nostalgic feast. I suppose the price point worked well because it’s under $30 and there’s a 4-for-3 promotion going on. Sweet on sweet…! I’ve had dimsum at Sichuan Douhua ala carte before and it left a memorable impression but the main draw of the buffet is going back in time with the old favourites.

crowds

When we arrived past noon, the place was full and a walk in customer had to be turned away. Do be mindful of the tea and appetizer chargers that they slap on each diner though and you cannot do away with both. As the promotional buffet is catered for min 4 pax, the servings for dimsum are prepared for four in advance with the exception of lotus leaf rice, the rest come in fours.

starters

Delish!

plate

I never quite learnt the tricks of folding a napkin despite dining out so very often.

sichuandouhua

Buffet menu.

soup

Daily Soup – Pork Rib Bitter Gourd

Like the Cantonese would say, every meal is incomplete without soup and Sichuandouhua does it decently well. The bitterness from the bittergourd was hard to miss but pleasant.

har gao

Prawn Dumpling with Coriander

These had diced coriander within, a different kind of har gao but I thought it was generally quite fresh and delicious.

siewmai

Siew mai with Quail Egg

The siewmai took a nosedive with a shoddy presentation and quail egg that did not do much to its overall taste.

rice dumpling

Hakka Dumpling with Turnip

My main grouse is the skin is too sticky which makes it difficult to lift and eat even!

lotus leaf rice

Glutinous rice with Chinese Sausage, Taro and Salted Egg

Rice grains were a tad too loose but the main ingredients were sufficient for a parcel of lotus leaf rice. 

rice pot

Chicken with Mushroom and Chinese Sausage Casserole Rice

Decent but not wow.

char siew

Barbequed meats!

pork belly

These are a single portion.

chicken

Honey Glazed Char Siew, Crispy Roasted Pork, Soya Chicken (1 serving only)

Of the three, personal favourite went to roast pork then barbequed pork. More than decent I’d say though at the moment I wish there were bowls of rice to go with it.

wu kok

Crispy Taro Ball with Minced Chicken and Mushroom

A tad dry but pretty good!

carrot cake

Panfried Carrot Cake

Decent!

char siew pau

Char Sie Bun with Preserved vegetable

Better than the pastry, there was an unmistakenable coconut fragrance surrounding this fluffy one. The preserved vegetable somehow did not go too well with this.

char siew sou

Baked Char Siew Pastry

Soft and mushy, the buttery fragrance was a hit and miss for me. Neither did the stuffing work.

taro pork belly

Pork Belly Roll with Taro and Mushroom

These were deceiving. Tasted soooo good, we had doubles! The taro and pork belly were so complementary, I wonder why this ain't a regular on dimsum menus. Juice spills out with every tasty bite, delicious much!

kailan

Braised kailian with oyster sauce

Nothing should go wrong with this to be honest.

brinjal

Braised Egg plant with Minced Garlic and Chilli Sauce

This chilli paste dish was interesting, I found it too saucy though.

porridge

Minced Meat Porridge with Cuttle Fish

Floored by this, each spoonful was flavourful and chockfull of ingredients of seafood. Delicious!

beef noodle

Beef Brisket Noodle Soup

Mee sua-like noodles so slurpworthy and cubes of beef brisket, hearty fare indeed.

dumpling

Rice Cake in Clear Broth

fried dumpling soup

I was told to dunk the "rice cake" into the broth before consuming it. What in essence is a rice cake was actually a fried meat dumpling. Loved the simplicity of this - flavours especially. Clean flavours without complexity, loved it!

wolfberry beancurd

Signature soyabean curd and wolfberry

Two bowls of this silken delight but each bowl varied in consistency. Without the wolfberry syrup, this bland one would still stand out for melt in my mouth.

mango sago

Mango Pomelo

Sorrily sour and put together, completely forgettable.

huge

Giant Deep Fried Sesame Ball

empty

The sheer size of it was an attraction even with air filling it mostly. The chewy sesame crusted treat was a delight to eat.

honey cake

Honeycomb Cake Topped with Chrysanthenum

Too spongey for me.

almond jelly

 Almond cake with mango sauce

The jelly was rather plain tasting and went decent with the mango sauce, just not spectacular.



mochi balls

Glutinous rice ball in brown sugar syrup (Tong Bat Laat)

These dense balls without filling were actually quite addictive! Simple ingredients without too much fanfare but that is what nostalgia is about.

fritters

Deep Fried Peanut Cake in "Teochew Style"

peanut

Surprisingly not oily, the batter was chewy but the peanut filling a tad sweet.

 fig x lard

Steamed Bun with Lard and Fig Fruit

I never quite got this. Lard starring at me in the face is just odd though these were really just jellied bits.

With a menu that lasted enough pages to form a booklet, orders were taken quite promptly and food served shortly thereafter.

$25++
Until 31 October

Sichuan Douhua Nostalgia Feast
Park Royal on Kitchener Road

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Saveur @ Purvis Street

saveur

A visit to Saveur accomplished after two revisits and this time without a queue too! Head there as early as 6pm and find the place already full. It has to say something about it, right?

interior

Filled.

angel hair

Angel Hair Pasta With Tiger Prawn And Lumpfish Caviar ($6.90)

This scissors cut pasta was easy to eat and somehow did not taste like pasta but wanton mee with a smattering of western ingredients. The texture of noodle was pretty good. It was odd that the lumpfish caviar left dark stains but overall, a delightful flavourful dish. Would not say much of the tiger prawn, the slight mush texture seemed to suggest normal prawns though. 

foie gras

Reasonably priced for the quality served. Portions are tiny though!

mushroom cappucino

Mushroom Cappuccino ($3.90)

Served just in a cappuccino cup, I suppose the places that serve soup in large bowls have spoilt the market. There was a slight bitter aftertaste which seemed to suggest the mushrooms were not cleaned properly but overall a decent soup.

duck confit

Confit Of Duck With Orange Segment And Sauté Shittake ($9.90)

duck confit torn

For its crisp skin and fall off the bone firm meat, this duck confit deserves the praise it has been garnering. Loved the mash and orange flavours, cheapest duck confit around!

pork belly

Crispy Pork Belly With 62.5degree Egg With Lentils ($10.90)

Crispy I beg to differ, this was more braised with a lightly seared skin. Most of which still stuck to my teeth as I made my way through the pork belly. It was barely marinated though but the poached egg-lentil blend was really nice.

steak

Pan Fried Tenderloin With Carrot Puree And Mushroom Ragout ($22.90)

Tender cuts of beef with a lovely sear. Delicious I say!

monkfish

Pan Fried  Monkfish With Glazed Vegetable And Shellfish Jus ($23.90)

A tad too salty and portions too small – five bites and I was nearly done. Forgettable dish.

Indeed portions are small and good for savouring only, the boys ended up famished even after the meal but the ladies thought it suffice and left enough room for dessert. But then again, for dessert, there is always a separate stomach space for. Like their slogan – Taste, Flavour, Savour. Pick wisely and be pleasantly surprised or end up unfazed by the hype.

Saveur
5 Purvis Street

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Open Door Policy Revisited @ Yong Siak Street

crowd

A revisit was quite hot on the heels of the first because the menu looks so good! A walk in only got us counter seats which proved quite uncomfortable. This place is sizzling hot with a full restaurant after 8pm. 

specials

Specials.

lamb

Lamb Shank ($24)

This was a weekly special and quite a rara was created for replacement of ingredients. We wanted to have the couscous replaced with more greens but was met with a firm “no”. I suppose our faces must have been black enough to warrant a replacement of crunchy greens – I suppose this hiccup was well worth it with a taste cut of lamb laced with a mild gameyness.

mussels and fries

Basil Braised Mussels with Fries and Mayonnaise ($25)

This smelt quite incredible with the herbs. Mussels fresh, fries were a letdown with the greasy finish. Rather pedestrian actually. 

pour away

The rara of slitting the souffle and drizzling what looked like milk.

pistachio x chocolate

Chocolate and Pistachio Souffle, Cream Anglaise ($15)

souffle

I set my eye on this during the last visit and the minimum 20 minute wait was imposed. Light as a feather and almost like foam, this soufflé had strong hints of chocolate more than pistachio. The cream anglaise was drizzled from a test flask, very novel but it hardly had any taste.

White chocolate mousse with Raspberry Headache (14)

Four petal shaped raspberry powdered chocolate mousse that tasted more like ricotta cheese instead of white chocolate. Raspberry headache had to refer to the raspberries and raspberry powder at best. One huge disappointment.

First up, the service was stinky the moment we sat down. No photography of the menu but it was found online because it was ‘copyrighted’. Then the minor run in with the waitress. Blotchy service with better food though, brunch is still hollering.

Open Door Policy Revisited
19 Yong Siak Street