Its been a good year and a half since I last visited Putien. Looking back at the article I did in November 2009, it was like a reflection of memory lane of this food blog then till now. I roughly remember that during that time, Putien was fast expanding all about Singapore, and it seemed like the new kid on the block has arrived in the halls of family friendly Chinese cuisine stalwarts. Bringing that now to 2011, Putien has an added presence in Serangoon Nex. The fare on the menu is still traditionally Heng Hwa cuisine with a slightly more modern take to it, and prices are still kept family friendly yet with a choice for those who are keen to go further.
And honestly, I was not at Serangoon Nex for dinner, I was there merely for a pair of new shoes. Still, an apt choice nonetheless.
Visiting Putien this time round is like falling in love with the cuisine at the restaurant all over again. The restaurant’s own signature Spicy Mum Chilli Sauce is probably the fondest memory I have of Putien I have till now. Tart, refreshing with a good chilli kick and a touch of sweetness, the shine it adds to any dish is almost unbridled. A definite must have when dining there. I was almost too tempted to buy a bottle home.
The family started off dinner with one of Putien’s signature starters : Braised Pig’s Intestine ($13.90). The intestines are supposedly folded “nine times” to create a layered texture while leaving spaces in between to be filled with the braising sauce as it slowly soaks everything in. The flavours are fragrantly savoury with a slight sweetness and a touch of brown earthy aroma that compels a warm enjoyment of each piece.
It might seem a little puzzling when half a Deep Fried Chicken with Garlic ($12.90) is slightly lower in price than the braised pig intestines but the dish itself speaks volumes of the flavours packed within. I find simple pleasure in this rendition of poultry and garlic that is juicy, smoky garlicky fragrant and nicely salted on the surface and within. Its not a dish that has a glamorous entrance, but it leaves a memorable ending. And even if flavours are needed to be tweaked a notch up between individuals, there is Putien’s chilli dip that adds zest and highlights.
The Deep Fried Pig’s Trotter with Pepper ($4.90 per pc. Min 2 pcs) just seems great with an ice cold beer. It deems an almost necessity to pick it up with your fingers and savour the skin and meat from there. Good for taste and flavour with a slightly fatty texture under the crisp skin, I was appreciative but needed more to be wowed.
Another dish from the Starter section arrived, and its the famed Putien Style Century Egg ($7.90). Straight up, not a dish to go for if you are a little health conscious, but for a century egg lover like me, this deep fried creation with sauce beautifully glazed all over is just so wonderful. People say that sometimes the looks of a dish can present flavours onto the tastebuds. I know certainly that I now crave this dish. Just look at it shine =D
The Putien Lor Mee (S-$7.90, M-$15.90, L-$23.90) definitely looks much better on the menu. If I’m not mistaken, the bowl I had above was a small serving and enough for 4 to share along with the other dishes. Its tasty and rich with a creamy white stock, I was easily having seconds. But somehow, there was this nagging feeling that something was missing. Was it the chilli or a certain something? Its probably a hunch.
Being a keen tofu person, I am probably a little biased towards the Homemade Beancurd (S-$8.90,M-$13.90,L-$17.90) served up. And its just gorgeous that the tofu is served so silky soft with a light braising sauce all over. The cut veggies add a nice colour contrast here and there but the tofu is just so soft. Now, if the tofu was flavoured a little more, I would have gone into a tofu eating impulse. But for that qing dan yet savoury serving, this is good.
A year and a half ago, I remembered commenting that the Hot Yam Paste with Gingko Nut ($3.90) was served with just one piece of the Gingko nut. Talk about going zen with minimalist presentation, I felt that this was really pushing it. But look the presentation has not changed. Still, grandma greatly enjoyed this dish, and I’m glad.
Strangely enough, I looked back at the dishes I had the last time (1 and a half years ago) and I roughly ordered the same type of dishes. And the menu has so much more to offer. This was definitely not scripted but I am interested to try even more. Even now as I look at Putien’s website, I can hear a certain rumble in the air. And its definitely not the thunderous rain which somehow we cannot seem to forecast.
23 Serangoon Central
Tel : 66347833
Opens From :
11.30am – 3pm