Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Si Chuan Dou Hua Part II

Held our annual excuse to dine out in the guise of mother's day at Si Chuan Dou Hua, Plaza Park Royal. Scarred from the barely satisfying dinner at Sun Japanese Dining last year, my family decided to stick to the traditional Chinese route this year. Expectations were high as I had a relatively good experience at Si Chuan Dou Hua UOB Plaza at the beginning of last year.

Exterior & Interior

Wood seems to be the focus for the entire restaurant, with overhanging oriental lamps capping a most traditional Chinese interior that oozes finesse through its plush carpeted floors and doorway arches. Here you can peer through the floor to ceiling windows but the view really isn't something you would want to see - tour coaches.

Menu & Appetisers

I liked the keropok (crackers) which came in the usual fish and prawn variety. Crackling with every bite, it wasn't soft or soggy and made for a rather unusual but pleasing appetiser.

Sliced Beef and Tripe in Chilli Sauce

A most appetite whetting way to start off our meal, the sliced beef and tripe was nice and chewy and not to mention very spicy from all the chilli oil. This dish has a rating of 5 chillis on the menu, probably the most number awarded. Just a side comment (please correct me if I am wrong), Szechuan chilli seems to be all about spice and no fragrance.

Shark Bone Soup with Fish Maw & Double Boiled Wild Fungi Soup

I didn't try either soup so I shall reserve my comments.

Eight Treasure Seafood Soup

My choice of soup the last time round and this time as well. The soup definitely doesn't conform to the traditional seafood soup with its greenish colour due to the addition of ground spinach to the mix. It tasted exactly like shark's fin soup, a tad starchy with tiny bits and pieces of shark's fin, scallops, fish maw etc. Overall quite a tasty soup which bears the signature dish tag adequately.

Spicy Pork Belly

Chilli oil plus fatty pork belly is a sure fire recipe for cardiac arrest. And with the pork belly this average, I would rather listen to my doctor. Sure, the pork was chewy and not too spicy but all I could taste was the chilli and nothing else. It definitely didn't help that the pork slices were a tad too dry for my liking as well.

Fried Bittergourd with Bean Paste

A terribly executed dish honestly. The whole dish was very salty and the bittergourd was very plain bitter. Cooking the bittergourd with other stuff like beef would have made it alot better in my humble opinion. So much for a $15 plate of vegetables.

Beancurd with Dried Scallop

I'm a sucker for beancurd and this one didn't disappoint. Nice and smooth with a light smoky aftertaste. Only gripe I had was that the skin seemed a tad too dry and shrivelled. The accompanying gravy was good as well, not too starchy with shredded scallops. Very nice.

Steamed Garoupa

Have you ever eaten a garoupa, or fish for that matter, that costs $300/kg? Well its definitely a first for me and probably the last. The black spotted garoupa, though extremely fresh and sweet with a firm meat texture to boot, cost a whooping $225++. How's that for a shocker? Pretty fishy business if you ask me.

Braised Pork Spare Rib

I really didn't quite take to the spare rib. For starters, it was way too fatty and the sauce was too sweet. The meat was also a tad too soft though still fibrous. Probably the only thing that I liked was the stick shaped man tou which was nice and crispy on the outside yet soft and compact on the inside. And at $10/piece, its definitely not cheap.

Peking Duck

Speechless. That was my initial reaction after popping a slice of the skin covered with a crepe into my mouth. The skin wasn't crispy and instead, tasted soft and limp with lots of fats underneath it. Adding to that was the non egg based crepe which was way too thick and chewy for my liking.
We opted to stir fry the remains for the duck with noodles and even that tasted flat as the noodles were soft and bland.

Custard Bun

Honestly I've never had custard bun for dessert before or seen it listed under the dessert section of a menu because its usually under the dim sum portion. The custard bun was seriously quite good but very sinful with all the oil in it. Biting into one releases a gush of melted butter and custard which is guaranteed to make your heart stop. Traces of egg yolk were present in the filling as evident by the sediment. However I would have preferred a slightly more coagulated filling with a stronger custard taste .

Yam Rolls

The second of our complimentary desserts, the yam rolls were essentially yam paste wrapped up in deep fried dough and coated with sesame at both ends. The yam paste tasted like a milder version of Orh Nee and actually went quite well with the dough and sesame, very much like eating dough fritters with a sweet filling.

Fine Beancurd with Syrup

As mentioned before, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out, from its name, that Si Chuan Dou Hua is known for its dou hua aka fine beancurd. At $3 a pop, this is one expensive bowl of dou hua. But I like it quite a bit. Silky smooth yet firm through the addition of egg. You get to decide how much sugar syrup you want in it as well.


The food at Si Chuan Dou Hua was a case of hits and misses but for the price, $550 for 5 pax for lunch, its pure insanity. If the desserts weren't complimentary, we would probably be paying something to the tune of $600. Would you pay so much for a meal like that?

Likes: Nice place, some dishes are quite good
Dislikes: Very expensive, some dishes are not up to par

Final Verdict:

Food:7/10 (An overall average)
Value for money:5.5/10


Address: Parkroyal on Beach Road, 7500 Beach Road

Contact: 6505 5722

Opening Hours: 11.30am - 2.30pm, 6.30pm - 10.30pm



red fir said...

holy cow! that's $225 for the garoupa? I believe it is the "spotted garoupa" and not black garoupa, right? The former I think it the most coveted breed.

geez... were you informed about the pricetag beforehand?

fatpig said...

Yep its the black spotted garoupa. There's a red spotted one as well which is more expensive I think. We weren't informed of the price before hand because it wasn't on the menu. They just told us it was their special so we ordered it.

red fir said...

gosh that is really expensive! :(

His Food Blog said...

Yeah... spotted ones along with Su Mei are premium fish coveted in HK restaurant. Usually cost a couple of hundreds Sing$.

Eaten once before few years back but can't really remember the taste... Haha, sad I must say since it was so expensive.

Anyway that's the reason why I never order fish in Chinese Restaurant. Its just not worth it. Only in Tze Char stall and some of them have 'live' fishes in tanks - but dun expect premium fish though.

Anonymous said...

I believer its call the Lao Shu Ban aka Barramundi Cod.

Live fish can be seen at Xing Hai San at tiong bahru.


fatpig said...

Hi charles, do they sell the fish at Sin Hoi San?

Anonymous said...

well, only singaporean version of peking Duck is wrapped with egg based crepe. If u had tried the real Peking Duck in Beijing, you would know what's authentic.

fatpig said...

Hi anonymous, I didn't say anything about authenticity. I merely said the crepes were non egg based and thick =)

ps: I've eaten the "authentic" version in Beijing on a couple of occasions =)