181 Orchard Road #08-09/10
To Reserve : 6509 8616
With its first restaurant in Singapore, Duo Le aims to leave an artistic impression and fine balance on taste in Chinese Cuisine.
Duo Le opened its doors two weeks ago at the newly established Shopping magnet in town, Orchard Central. Located in the aisle of food (there were many restaurants there, like Ootoya and Hangari) at the 8th floor, it seemed like a restaurant offering modern, contemporary yet traditional Chinese cuisine.
The Director, Eric Yang, and his wife Karen, are stationed at the main entrance warmly and graciously inviting you to dine at their restaurant. Duo Le, as I have been told by Eric, has three other restaurants in China and this is their first step into Singapore.
Emphasis is placed greatly on the cuisine served and dishes are recommended based on whether guests like to partake in “neutral” and light tasting dishes or the more common savoury delights.
Stewed Pig’s Knuckle with dried Chilli and homemade sauce ($23)– Simply savoury sauce goes very well with bowls of steaming white rice.
I was strongly recommended to try out the restaurant’s signature Stewed Pig’s Knuckle with dried Chilli and homemade sauce. It was well flavoured throughout, with a strong blend of umami flavours, sweetness and hints of spiciness all over, leaving that much desired hearty aftertaste. The meat pieces on the knuckles were very tender, almost gelatinous.
However, what stood out for this dish is the generous portion of young Soyabeans braised together. The beans gave a nutty texture and crisp balance to what would otherwise be an over-indulgent dish. Very good.
Sliced salmon with Sliced Potatoes and Homemade Seasoning ($10.80)
Moving on to the “neutral” or “qing dan” dishes, mom ordered the Sliced salmon with Sliced Potatoes and Homemade Seasoning. The dish itself was more of an artistic creation rather than something to be savoured. The ubiquitous potato chips are topped with a decent portion of salmon sashimi, cucumbers and carrots and thereafter drizzled with a balanced portion of seasoning.
It was easy on the palate, without feeling too guilty. Though it being a little pricey.
Pig’s skin jelly with homemade Sauce ($12)
This is perhaps a dish that is meant to start the feast. Light tasting with a cool, slightly clean texture, it goes very well with the dip of Sesame chilli oil.
Meat Dumplings ($12) in Spinach Wrapper [the green ones] and Carrot Wrapper [the orange ones]
I was very impressed as the dumplings arrived looking very beautiful. There was nice shine on the skin and the contrast of colours was appetizing. On my first bite into the dumpling, the savoury juices inside squirted out (which slightly startled me). The dish itself is very neutral in taste and not overly laden with flavours even though it uses the meat stuffing.
The dumpling skin breaks away delicately which is a major plus point if you don’t want to look like a dumpling amateur when it comes to sophisticatedly enjoying their wrapped meat. Dip each piece with the vinegar and ginger dip for a zesty tang and refreshing taste to the dish.
Duo Le is definitely a restaurant meant for those who like a good mix of both neutral tasting and sumptuous savoury dishes, presented in a style of delicate fine art. Its pricing somewhat matches the locality of the restaurant in the city and it may be more for entertaining guests and friends if you want to impress. Good food, Good art, with that journey to find that balance in the semblance of the palate. Why not?
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