Monday, November 14, 2016

Birds of a Feather @ Amoy Street : Creative Contemporary Sichuan Cusine

As the saying goes, "Birds of the same feathers flock together", Birds of A Feather is a contemporary Sichuan all-day dining place where people of like mind, values and tastes congregate over good food and drinks as many times as they wish. Like a "third place" or another sanctuary nest to enjoy a moment of peace animated by the greens, beautiful Northern Chinese timber and overhead lamps "clouds". 
Opened by the same owners of successful cafe chain, 良木缘 Good Wood Coffee in Chengdu, Birds of a Feather offers modern Western food with an ostensible Sichuan influence. For instance, the Tofu Burger with Mapo meat sauce $22 is an oriental take on the western burger with a light and crisp tofu pattie in between Chinese Mantou. The overall dish leaned toward the light, healthy spectrum--a far cry from the typically gravy-laden Chinese dish but a more liberal dressing of the delicious meat sauce would be ideal.  

I prefer the Oriental Bolognese ($20), a scrumptious plate of angel hair pasta tossed in savoury pork ragout and Sakura Ebi.  It's a truly successful re-interpretation of the Zha Jiang Mian, but I would top up $2 for the spicy version when I come back next time. 
Besides the pasta, another favourite was the Crispy Panini with Pork Belly. As the name suggests, the crust is superbly crunchy but not tough. Once you sink your teeth into those wicked layers, you get a bastion of juicy flavors oozing from the Sichuan pork belly, grilled cheese and pickled cabbage. This is one great inspired dish not to be missed for lunch or dinner. Hot & Sour Chazuke ($28), a Sino-Japanese inspired dish of spicy pickled mustard broth, charcoal grilled Barramundi and mentaiko. The ensemble of flavors around the Niigata rice was just as vibrant as its colors.
As with any restaurants in China especially in the Sichuan province, there's bound to be an array of 小菜 to choose from. Here, there's the "Small Plates" section where one can find truly excellent bites such as Crispy Gyoza with Truffle Soy Vinegrette  ($16), Crispy Pork Trotters in a Bag ($12/5pcs), and the Fried Calamari with Yuzu Tartar Sauce ($19).

If you are looking for that tingling, numbing sensation, opt for the Fortune Skewer in Sze Chuan Pepper Broth ($19) that comes with Japanese noodles. It's like Harry Potter's Candies where each skewer is of an ingredients.But the highlight was the piquant and robust broth which I couldn't resist slurping till the final drip.

Those familiar with Sichuan cuisine will know that 辣子鸡 is a must-have dish and I was satisfied with the version here known as "Find your chicken in the chillies" $16. Although it didn't make me sweat out, the crisp tender chicken pops offered a good kick without being greasy. Just stay clear of the bright red chillies if you don't want to end up with a prolonged numbness on your tongue. 
Desserts were no less delicious than the mains starting from the refreshing East-meet-West Poached Pear with Longans, white fungus and orange peel ($12). First impression counts and it was love at first sight for this blossoming pear  taking center stage in this dessert.  It's as light as those Cantonese 糖水 but forged a stronger presence with the bittersweet citrus caramel ice cream and gentle citrus perfumes from the orange peel.
The Feathers Cheesecake ($9) is just as feathery light as its name while the Deep Fried Glutinuous Rice Cake with Okinawan Syrup ($12) took me by surprise with an incredible soft texture beneath the browned surface, nothing of those chewy or rubbery rice cakes that I usually come across in other Chinese restaurants. 
While fusion can often be a confusion, none of the dishes I've tried land into this situation 
From the design to the food, everything here is very well-strategized and creatively pieced together. Across the mains I've tried, the spice levels are generally well-moderated without any major compromise in flavours. With so many new restaurants and cafes opening up these days, this place is definitely one of the best places I've dine in 2016.

Birds of a Feather
113 Amoy Street Singapore 069935 Tel: (65) 6221 7449  
Nov 2016
Mon-Sat 10am-11.45pm 
Sun 10am-6pm 
Dec 2016 onwards 
Mon-Sun 10am-11.45pm 
FB: birdsofafeathersg
Instagram @birdsofafeathersg


 

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