Renowned for serving some of the best Chinese food around, Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant constantly impresses with their stellar array of dishes that—while remarkable in both taste and presentation—, never wanders too far away from its cultural roots. Specialising in both Cantonese and Sichuan cooking, the restaurant employs chefs native to each respective city, ensuring that their food is kept authentic.
The ideology behind Cantonese cooking is fairly simple—ingredients have to be at their peak of freshness and the flavours of dishes should be well-balanced and not greasy. In addition, flavour components such as spices and aromatics are typically used in moderation such that it supports rather than overwhelms.
Inspired by the flavours and cooking methods of Hong Kong, Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant at PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road is proud to unveil 19 different claypot delights as part of ‘Secrets Of A Claypot’, a menu that masterfully demonstrates the age-old method of Cantonese claypot cooking. Overseen by Executive Chef Leung Wing Chung, every dish is elegantly presented and executed with finesse and expert technique, but at the heart of it, it still remains a humble claypot of food that boasts deep and pronounced flavour.
Available from now until 31 December 2018, available at S$28++, indulge in the smoky, flavourful likes of their esteemed Claypot Rice with Assorted Waxed Meat, aromatic Braised Beef Tendon with Curry Sauce, delicately prepared Double-boiled Fish Soup with Matsutake and so much more!
Our readers can quote ‘ladyironchef’ to enjoy every second clay pot at just S$8.80!
Hailing all the way from Hong Kong—where the claypot cooking and double-boiled soups are deeply etched in the country’s culinary culture—, Executive Chef Leung Wing Chung brings to the table several decades of experience and mastery in Cantonese cooking.
Ever since we had our first taste of Chef Leung’s claypot rice dishes and double-boiled soups, we have never set our sights anywhere else. A true master in the craft, he controls everything flawlessly and makes it look so easy too—from shifting the position of the claypot constantly over the charcoal fire to focus heat on specific areas to stirring and adding ingredients with nothing but a pair of chopsticks.
CLAYPOT RICE WITH CHICKEN, LIVE FROG AND BLACK GARLIC
A fairly new addition to Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant’s repertoire of claypot rice dishes is the Claypot Rice with Chicken, Live Frog and Black Garlic (S$28++).
Nutritious and believed to possess several health benefits, black garlic was a rather interesting ingredient to feature. Not only does it present a host of benefits, but it also lends the dish a sweet flavour and a fragrant complexity that perfumes the frog, chicken and rice.
For this dish, in particular, Chef Leung goes easy on the dark sauce and oil to allow the naturally sweet flavours of the frog and chicken to come through more prominently and underscoring the dish nicely was claypot rice’s trademark smokey flavour.
CLAYPOT RICE WITH ASSORTED WAXED MEAT
Featuring a medley of salted, smoked and cured meats, the restaurant’s signature Claypot Rice with Assorted Waxed Meat (S$28++) is, hands down, our favourite of the lot. The thin slices of lup cheong and liver sausage provide sweetness and richness whereas the waxed pork belly provides a sharp salty kick along with a buttery pork flavour that just contributes to a massive savoury explosion.
We are also insanely fond of their rice that is both perfectly fluffy and delicious. The crispy, burnt edges are where the money is and besides having a smoky taste to it, the crunch it provides between mouthfuls elevates the dish entirely.
Cooking solid claypot rice isn’t rocket science, but it does require a significant amount of skill. A simple composition of ingredients, it truly boils down to two things—fire control and timing—of which the chefs here are able to manipulate exceptionally well.
Making sure to tilt the claypot to a different every few minutes, Chef Leung carefully ensures that the base of the dish achieves an even layer of crust and also allows any excess water to evaporate fully. Once the lid is removed—confirming that the dish is soon to reach completion—a savoury dark sauce is poured over the top and everything is mixed together.
BRAISED VENISON WITH VERMICELLI IN SPICY CHILLI SAUCE
A dish that is both aromatic and satisfying, and great for sharing, is their Braised Venison with Vermicelli in Spicy Chilli Sauce (S$28++). Imbuing Sze Chuan peppercorns and dried chilli into the dish gave the venison strips a fragrant lift and also a slight tingle on our tongues.
Tender, tasty and straightforward, this saucy dish pairs very nicely with the various claypot rice dishes.
PRAWN WITH BEANCURD SKIN COATED WITH SHRIMPS PASTE
A saucy dish comprising larger-than-usual prawns nestled above strips of beancurd, the Prawn with Beancurd Skin coated with Shrimps Paste (S$28++) is a good alternative to consider if you feel you’ve had way too much meat.
The prawns are immensely fresh and have a nice crunch to it while the strips of beancurd act like sponges to soak up all of that glorious sauce.
BRAISED BEEF TENDON WITH CURRY SAUCE
Aromatic and complex, as any good curry should be, the Braised Beef Tendon with Curry Sauce (S$28++) is an odd side dish to have in a Chinese restaurant but one that we highly recommend nonetheless.
Allowed to simmer and reduce and served dry, the flavour is enriched and concentrated into both the tender beef, beef tendons and potato chunks. If anything, the taste largely resembles that of a rendang but possesses the same warmth and heady aroma of curry. Cooked in a claypot, the flavour was nuanced and smokier in comparison to conventional renditions.
DOUBLE-BOILED FISH SOUP WITH MATSUTAKE
We love our double-boiled Cantonese soups and few impress our palates and comforts our soul the same way that Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant can. They have a pretty extensive selection of soups to choose from but the one that stole our hearts was their Double-boiled Fish Soup with Matsutake (S$12++).
Chunks of fish are first fried to intensify its flavour before allowing to simmer along with other ingredients such as apple, snow fungus and of course, matsutake. Delicate in flavour, every slurp was a nourishing hit of umami and savoury.
‘Secrets Of A Claypot’ is available daily for lunch and dinner from now until 31 December 2018. Our readers can quote ‘ladyironchef’ to enjoy every second clay pot at just S$8.80!
Si Chuan Dou Hua
PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road
181 Kitchener Road, Level 3,
Tel: +65 6428 3170
Daily: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 6.30pm – 10.30pm
Nearest Station: Farrer Park
This post was brought to you by PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road.