Si Chuan Dou Hua : Winter Revelry of Charcoal-Roasted Delights

As the end of the year approaches when the cold rain hits, some would crave for food that is familiar and hot. Besides porridge, the first thing that comes to mind is claypot rice. Good news is that Si Chuan Dou Hua at PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road will be serving up charcoal-cooked claypot rice, created by the culinary team led by Executive Chef Leung Wing Chung.

Speaking of claypot rice, the most irresistible flavour is none other than the Sliced Pork and Salted Fish version (咸鱼五花肉煲饭). With the increase in prices of salted fish, it was a delight to find generous-sized salted fish in the pot of fluffy rice.
Assorted Waxed Meat(东莞城腊味煲饭)
But this time the Chinese sausages and salted fish have gone separate ways as there is just a pot dedicated to this winter cured meat. Perhaps due to the traditional way of cooking the rice over traditional charcoal stove, the flavours are coaxed out with the aroma of rice, though the sausages could be more evenly sliced. I chanced upon quite a chunky end piece which was difficult to tear apart.

Meanwhile there is also the Claypot Rice with Chicken, Live Frog and Enoki Mushroom (松菇双滑鸡煲饭). 一道菜讲求所谓的 “色、香、味”---Perhaps due to the cool and comfortable interiors, there was not much of the sizzling sounds or smoky scents of charred rice. Fortunately, I could gleefully scrape off an abundant amount of burnt rice at the base of each claypot and swirl in more dark soya sauce provided alongside.  If you are ordering other dishes, each claypot rice can feed about 2-3 mouths.  

The highlight of the day was the  Barbequed Suckling pig $198, which was indeed a terrific dish. Prepared by Barbeque Chef Zheng Guang Liang,  the pig from Hebei China is grilled excellently to produce a crisp, burmished crackling skin and ladies can forget about scraping the fats off the skin. Meanwhile the meat, which was sliced and re-served for easy consumption, was neither too dry nor too greasy—a culinary feat that deserves a round of applause for the chef.

Meat from the Barbequed Suckling Pig

Besides the new promotional dishes, regular items such as the Double-boiled Deer Tendon Soup with Deer Antler (上等鹿茸炖鲜鹿根汤) $18/person is definitely worth ordering. Made with good quality ingredients and herbs such as cordyceps flowers that warms your body, it is a nourishing brew that is brimming with collagen.

The Braised Spare Ribs in “Wuxi” Style with Pan-fried Vegetable Bun (无锡排骨煲配生煎香菜包) $26 is a classic southern Jiangsu dish that has been adjusted to suit the palates of the health-conscious. One can go ahead and dip the pan-fried vegetable bun in the dark reddish gravy, which does not leave too much grease on your lips. The meat is sweet and comes off in smooth chunks.

However, I found the Stewed Fish with Bean Curd Skin 枝竹火腩鱼腩煲  $22 slightly too rich with the addition of Roasted Pork. But the fish that has been deep fried before being simmered was fragrant and so smooth that it slides down the throat easily.

With the restaurant’s specialty in bean curd (dou hua), what’s better way to end of the meal other than having a bowl of Homemade beancurd with wolfberries枸杞甜豆花. Only two batches of the beancurd are made daily without adding Gypsum powder (shi gao) and no wonder it is fresh and binds together firmer than the pudding-like tau hway commonly sold nowadays. This is one of the best places in Singapore for a bowl of humble bean curd.

What forged a deeper impression was the Deep-fried Yam coated with Soya Bean Crisps (豆莊皇沙酥) $18. The yam was soft, with a crunchy exterior that triggers your sweet receptors but not too much. And the fact that it is made with soya bean gives us a very good excuse to enjoy this indulgent snack!

The Claypot rice in assorted flavours are priced at $18 while the Barbequed Suckling Pig is available at $198. For now until 31 Dec 2013, UOB Cardmembers enjoy 50% off the second order of both items. Unless you are dining in huge groups, it would be unimaginable to have two suckling pigs at one go and thus the second order of roast suckling pig can be taken away or consumed on the next visit.

Unlike some Chinese restaurants, the food here does not overburden the stomach with grease and the seasonings are done in moderation. True enough, the food may be a little steep but it is the quality and ingredients that are worth going back for more.

Si Chuan Dou Hua at Kitchener Road
181 Kitchener Road (Near Farrer Park MRT)
Singapore 208533
Lunch 11.30am-2.30pm
High Tea 2.30pm-6pm
Dinner 6.30pm-10.30pm

Special thanks to Pamela for the invite and together with Cleo for the hosting 

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