Si Chuan Dou Hua at PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road is celebrating their 1st Anniversary, and they are sharing the joy with all diners through a collection of dim sum to invoke a trip down memory lane. The third restaurant with the Si Chuan Dou Hua brand, this promotional Nostalgic Dim Sum Buffet Feast （那些年，我们吃的点心）is priced attractively at only $25++ per person. And with an extensive selection of 50 items, this makes one buffet rich in value. Ready to have a glimpse at Master Dim Sum Chef Wen Xin Wen’s creations? Read on!
Each time I come to Si Chuan Dou Hua at PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road, I always get hooked onto this little tidbits of fried anchovies, peanuts and almond flakes. Robustly salted, each piece of snack gives a delectable crunch with a satisfying aftertaste that borders the aromatic fish and the grounded earth.
Clockwise from Top Left : Honey Glazed “Char Siew”, Seaweed with Shredded Carrot and Radish in Chilli Oil, Crispy Roasted Pork, Soya Chicken
As a prelude to the range of dim sum items available on the menu, the buffet also comes with a single serving of Soya Chicken, Honey Glazed “Char Siew” and Crispy Roasted Pork for the table. I give a generous thumbs up to the Char Siew for its half fatty-meaty consistency with a lasting sweet essence that blends in very well with the savoury meat. Beautifully red, this serving of char siew would almost be enough with white rice. But hey, we are here for dim sum right! Another highlight to go after would be the Crispy Roasted Pork. Not too gamey in flavour, with a crisp slightly crackling skin, the roasted pork was decent and not excessively salted.
The soya chicken was good for a buffet, though personally I still look forward to the ones served at Crystal Jade, though that is another story altogether.
Front : Char Siew Bun with Preserved Vegetables, Background : Pork Belly Roll with Taro and Chinese Mushrooms
Begin the dim sum! This was my first time enjoying a serving of Char Siew Bun with Preserved Vegetables. Usually, the ones that I would get at restaurants or at the local food court would just be simple sweet savoury meat stuffed within the fluffy white buns. However, with the addition of preserved vegetables, the rendition of flavours in the entire dish changes. Perhaps it is the slightly saltish addition that lends a clear cut to the meat, lifting up the taste, and by gosh it worked darn well right and delicious.
The other serving of Pork Belly Roll with Taro and Chinese Mushroom （那些年烧腩要was another first for me. Pork Belly Roll is more simply put Kong Bak Pao, but this time with the creation invoking smooth velvety taro, the texture within takes a twist. Instead of a mere explosion of savoury flavours (and fat) upon the first bite, an added serving of slightly powdery textured taro puree creates a distinct impression. Smooth, yet with a firm warmth, it was traditional braised pork belly flavours complemented with that slight earthiness.
In hindsight before I forget, I really wished I ordered the Steamed Bun with Lard and Fig Fruit. The name alone sound delish, and its not every day you get to enjoy lard (at least choose not to), but this should be an exciting creation.
Next up was a portion of Chicken, Chinese Mushroom, Dried Fish Maw and Duck Web wrapped with Chinese Marrow in Black Bean Sauce. The fish maw essentially soaked in all the flavour, and though it was a little clumsy getting through each piece, it was a heartening effort that reminded me of warmth.
The traditional Siew Mai takes on a slightly different form in this dim sum buffet. Stuffed with an egg, the Siew Mai with Quail Egg was juicy at best. I still prefer the usual presentation though.
But really, one dish not to be missed is the Hakka Dumpling with Turnip. My first impression – Soon Kueh. My impression after biting into it? I was taken aback by the smooth flour dumpling skin with a generous stuffing of turnips and savoury ingredients. Very nice.
Steam spare ribs take on a slightly different form in this creation of Rice Flour Roll with Spare Rib in Yellow and Black Bean Paste. While spare ribs in this marinade has always been popular, I was more interested in the rice flour roll slices at the bottom. As it soaked up the juices from the ribs, the rice flour pieces glistened in a shine although it tasted rather neutral and resembled very closely to chilled pork belly skin slices.
The Crispy Glutinous Minced Meat with Shrimp Dumpling was recommended by the restaurant’s marketing and it was uniquely delicious for its quaint eating style. The way to go is to take a spoonful or two of that clear stock at the back and dress it generously over each piece of deep fried dumpling. Although most of the areas of the dumpling would be drenched by then, the varying textures from crispy to a subdued softness makes it an interesting serving altogether. For a cut up on what the insides look like? Check out the main article photo at the very top!
The Chicken Feet with Bitter Gourd was good though not exceptionally fantastic. I prefer my servings to be spicier with a more gelatinous chicken feet that would leave me lip smacking all over.
A favourite, the Pan-Fried Carrot Cake makes its appearance. Closely related to the black chai tao kueh because of its slightly sweet nature, this is one serving that should be a staple.
I am a little misplaced about this dish of Stir Fried Roasted Pork with Bean Sprout. While I enjoy roast pork and bean sprouts, I cannot place my finger on why this appeared as an ordinary dish. Hmmm, maybe it has something to do with the pieces of red capsicum that I do not go for. Maybe.
I can’t really remember what this dish is, but I would guess it is the Crispy Taro Ball with Minced Chicken and Mushroom. Looks good though.
The Beef Brisket Noodle Soup presents wanton noodles with a serving of braised beef brisket on the top before the entire dish sunk in a clear soup. The brisket is delicious, the noodles long (very long, I had trouble then), but the clear soup seems to dilute the braising sauce which would have been a dish on its own.
I really must recommend the Casserole Rice. Three different varieties of Sliced Pork with Salted Fish, Spare Rib with Preserved Vegetable, and Chicken with Mushroom and Chinese Sausage are available to order. While clear favourites point towards the Chinese sausage creation, I am quite close to the pork with salted fish variant as well. Delightful harmony of flavours in each bite. Better still as you go deeper to get at the clear grains of steamed white rice, tasting the sweetness within.
A more dessert like deep fried dim sum for me is the Deep-Fried Peanut Cake in Teochew Style. Crispy, with a orange skin made from sweet potato.
The Glutinous Rice Ball in Brown Sugar Syrup (Tong Bat Lat) is a mochi-like creation that has made its reappearance after a long hiatus (at least for me, for I’ve never seen anything like this before). Chewy, very chewy, with a sticky presence, the pieces of glutinous rice ball was slickly flavoured with the syrup in mild honeyed tones.
When the Giant Deep-fried Sesame Ball appeared, I gave an audible gasp. I’ve never seen sesame balls these big. Two huge ones at that. Gosh, we had trouble finishing even one.
Perhaps for me the best dessert for the night really had to to go the Honeycomb Cake topped with Chrysanthemum. While it was not extravagantly fragrant from the ones I had at a convenience store in Japan, the freshly made cakes were warm and sweet, leaving a fuzzy feeling at the end of each piece. I could easily settle an entire serving myself, but really I was too full by then.
Master Dim Sum Chef Wen Xin Wen and Me
Discovering this Nostalgic Dim Sum Buffet Feast at Si Chuan Dou Hua was a real treat for me. I am hopefully set to revisiting this place with my friends as it is an extensive spread with quality dishes and a great value for money. Many of the dishes are only available during this promotional period and are not found in the regular menu. But highlights like the Homemade Bean Curd with Wolfberry, a traditional specialty of the restaurant, is available in the line up. The buffet is available only for lunch, and then I would say reservations are highly in order.
Thank you Si Chuan Dou Hua and PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road for the invitation
|Si Chuan Dou Hua
181 Kitchener Road
PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road (Next to Farrer Park MRT Station)
Tel : 6505 5722
Nostalgic Dim Sum Buffet Feast
One dines free with 3 paying adults for UOB credit/debit cardmembers