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May 27, 2006 12:15 AM

Sichuan Court, Raffles City (Raffles The Plaza Hotel), Singapore

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A miniaturized Buddha Jump Over The Wall provides a abbreviated tour of Chinese culinary luxuries: firm strings of sharskfin, gelatinous fish maw (chewy in a good way), black mushroom, intense dried scallop, a tender half-dollar sized abalone, dense teeth sinking pleasure of a triangle of sea cucumber. The broth is all emcompassing and complex, but full of Cantonese lightness and elegance, rather than bearing the immensity of Fujian original.

A nod to France, a suave pate of duck liver, not as smokey as some I've had but flavourful all the same. The light brioche with an even lighter crust, a pedestal for the pate, is unexpectedly good. Lacquered skin on succulent duck breast, accented by a few judicious leaves of green and a ripe touch of (I think) strawberry jam.

Thin strips of nori are embedded in a cross hatched pattern on one side of a fried bean curd, cloud soft on the inside, the oceany touch enhancing the fragrance of the fried bean curd's exterior. Topped with slender enoki mushrooms, a thick but refined brown sauce (chicken stock?) and supported with a plump stem of asparagus.

Fried rice, suavely umami, punctated with plump bits of shrimp, edamame and a small pinch of chilli heat, is scrumptious.

Cool ripe water melon distinguish the chilled sago and coconut soup.

Have heard that the Sichuan offerings weren't as spectacular, but this more Cantonese side of the kitchen made for an exceptional dinner.

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  1. Forgot to mention:

    Strips of pork (likely the rich pork counterpart to beef shortrib) stir fried with scallion and leek, come with a thin coat for spiciness and a refined touch of black bean sauce.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Limster

      Getting frail at my age, I once again forgot to mention the exceptional eight treasure tea, gently fruitty and sweet, with the edged bitter-sweet ginseng evident but not dominant. Good tea service, individual gai-wan style brewing.

    2. p
      Passionate Eater

      Thanks for the reports for Singapore. I am going there this summer and would love to know all the definitive places to eat.