Sichuan Court, Raffles City (Raffles The Plaza Hotel), Singapore
- Limster May 27, 2006 12:15 AM
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.