[SG] Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant - satisfying Dim Sum buffet!Tuesday, August 20, 2013
那些年，我们吃过的点心。。。what a nostalgic tagline for what seems like our contemporary style of having dim sum, the buffet way. A special as part of their anniversary celebration, they have this ala carte dim sum feast during lunch daily, from 11.30am – 2.30pm.
Getting started on the food proper, hearing the word free-flow, it got all of us excited and started our order frenzy! A must-have on my companion’s dim sum meal, she zoomed in to this immediately:
We were half expecting the likes of a 流沙包 (salted egg yolk custard bun), prying open cautiously just in case the fillings overflow in our eagerness and of course getting my camera ready for that shot of the moment. Not sure if it was our heightened expectations that got us thinking that the bun was quite a dismal attempt, we opened up to find nothing flowing, just what you'd normally see if you order red bean bun or lotus paste bun.
It delivered exactly what it described though, imagine your bowl of orh nee, used as fillings and a salted egg yolk in the middle. The yam paste wasn't overly sweet and went well with the bun, while the yolk became a little too jelat for us. Aptly described by my companions, they said it reminded them of eating mooncakes, but in a bun form this time. Well, the taste indeed does match up to that especially with the egg yolk. Not exactly our type of bun, perhaps mooncake/salted yolk lovers would have a different verdict from us?
If you're the kind who loves to indulge in duck meat well roasted with crispy skin and juicy fats for that shiokness, you'd love this plate! After all, what's a dish of roast without the fats right? Glistening with fats, the meat was extremely smooth and tender, albeit a little boney for my liking. The skin could have been crispier, and the tiny fragments of the bones could have been removed for ease of consumption. That aside, it was still a dish good enough to satisfy us all, though not those who're more health-conscious!
This was just average in my opinion, with tender well-marinated chicken but too boney as well. I found it a tad too salty, probably a good one to go with rice during their usual servings. I guess I've had one of the better ones along Chinatown and have developed a pickier taste bud, selecting only those that are super fatilicious!
BBQ Pork Rib
In small cubes of ribs, this was barbequed to a tender soft meat and slightly sweet sauce to go with. It was pretty average as well, though I would have preferred lesser bones for the ease of eating!
This was quite an exotic dish in my opinion but my companion loved it so much, dipping it with the soy chicken sauce and the 红油 sauce which we ordered later on. The rice noodles tasted pretty plain but were very chewy (or q), hence went well with almost any sauce. It was slightly savory with the pieces of shredded duck, though it tasted slightly like shredded pieces of ham to me. Somewhat an acquired taste I suppose!
How could we not order this with its name of那些年烧腩卷, seeming like a signature dish
This sounded equally tempting to us and we waited for this with much anticipation after our first order got forgotten. It's like the concept of 生煎包, except that the fillings are changed to duck meat. Pan-fried to a light crisp with soft bun on the inside and a flavourful filling, this was quite a contentment. The duck meat was minced too small though, that you couldn't really figure out it was duck meat unless you'd read the menu. It was more of a cross between Char Siew Bao and 生煎包, a satisfying one nonetheless!
For the adventurous spicy-goers, this is almost an essential! We loved how it wasn't chokingly spicy at the beginning, with the spice subtly emerging from the back of your throat to give that extra kick! Definitely went well with the Rice Noodles earlier, though you'll probably be asking for more tea very soon! Would have preferred it with a bit less skin for that perfect dumpling.
Pan-fried Omelette with Silver Fish
This had quite an inkling of home-cooked flavour, pan-fried to a golden brown with lots of silver fish in it! Tasted flavourful enough, but was a pretty average dish as we all found it a tad too oily.
On to the Desserts menu where we combed almost everything and had extra servings for some!
Honeycomb Cake topped with Chrysanthemum
Some find this too sweet but I loved the fragrance and natural sweetness from the honeycomb and brown sugar used. A bit like 马来糕, it had more of the subtle sweetness that lingered in your mouth and a gradual aroma from the cake. The chrysanthemum pieces on top didn't really come through, probably a stronger dose would have made it better!
Glutinous Rice Ball in Brown Sugar Syrup (糖不甩)
Imagine your rice balls (湯圓) coated in peanut like your 'muah chee', this had finely grated peanuts and brown sugar syrup that wasn't overly sweet and complemented the dish with the varying textures all in a mouthful - sticky, chewy, crunchy, a simple combination of contentment.
Extremely fragile little pieces of jelly, it threatened to wobble and fall off our spoons while on the way to our mouths. A little too sweet with the mango sauce, it overwhelmed the favour of the almond cake itself, though the cold jelly was a nice cooling touch to our throats. The mango sauce tasted similar to what was used in the mango sago with pomelo, nice yet too strong to go along with this.
With a generous serving of mango cubes in each of our bowls, how can anyone resist the temptation of this? The sweetness of this was nicely balanced with a slight sourish tinge of the pomelo so that you won't get jelat, though I felt that it was just a little diluted with too little mango taste in it. Nonetheless, a decent one that some of us even asked for double servings!
This is a must-try for every visit to Si Chuan Dou Hua I believe. One that won me over and requested for extra servings after my first mouthful. Replacing the typical sugar syrup with honey-coated wolfberries, it gave just a slightly sweetened taste to the smooth and silky warm beancurd, a melt-in-your-mouth sensation with every mouthful you take! With cooked wolfberries in the addition, it also gave rise to a subtle natural sweetness, yet not overpowering the inherent beancurd taste and texture. Simplicity at its very best, it's legit to ask for more than one bowl of it!
With a fusion of different Chinese cuisines, it was a buffet spread that left us feeling contented and craving for more after the meal. With hits and misses, a usual for most places we visit anyway, some dishes were so memorable that it left a lingering taste and memory of how it made us feel, making us want to go back for another round soon! And perhaps this is what点心 symbolises - 吃在口里 , 点到心里.
This buffet was priced at $30 per pax, and $5 for the floral tea, topped with service charge and GST, each person came up to about $42. Best to call and check on the availability of this buffet, as it's not on its regular menu.
Overall Verdict: 8.5/10
181 Kitchener Road Level 3
Tel: 6428 3170
Online Reservations are accepted