Si Chuan Dou Hua
80 Raffles Place
#60-01 UOB Plaza 048624
It doesn't take much to get me excited. Mention High Tea / Dim Sum and the fact I will be eating High Tea atop one of the tallest restaurants in Singapore (60th floor of UOB Plaza), then you'll have to excuse me if my heart starts to flutter! I was lucky enough to have been invited by insing.com to partake in a review of Si Chuan Dou Hua's Imperial High Tea.
The tradition of High Tea dates back to the time of mother England which was then adopted by Chinese and later became dim sum: a concept of serving small portions of a variety of foods (an assortment of steamed or fried dumplings) which are served in succession. It's a time to catch up on world events (reading the paper) and catching up with friends. I am happy to report that although I'm not up to date with the current price of oil; I am now friends with some new people and I've expanded my girth!
As part of the event we were treated to several delectable dishes to eat; our menu for the afternoon consisted of the following:
- Steamed Crystal Prawn Dumpling
- Steamed Prawn Siew Mai
- Steamed Beancurd Roll with Seaweed
- Boiled Assorted Seafood Dumpling
- Dan Dan Noodle with Preserved Vegetables
- Pan Fried Pancake with Chicken Floss
- Steam crystal Vegetarian Dumpling
- Spring Roll with Shredded Chicken
- Pan-fried Chicken Meat Dumpling
- Pan-fried Seafood Bun with Sesame
- Crispy Green Tea Glutinous Rice Ball
- Yam Jelly with Mixed Fruit
Two people I had the pleasure of befriending, eating and review the food with Johnathan and Xavier. For the most part I found the food quite nice, though there were a few dishes where I was left scratching my head asking myself huh?
The Pan-fried chicken meat dumpling I couldn't really figure out, which Xavier share the same bemused look when taking the first bite, there was a hint of chicken but we thought for a moment it was a vegetarian dish. Another dish that raised an eye-brow for all the wrong reasons was the Dan Dan Noodle with Preserved Vegetables; be warmed if you're not one for chili, have a few cups of tea within reach as Johnathan soon found out. Sadly the noodles were a little too over cooked (they were bordering on the mushy side) while the sauce that accompanied the preserved vegetables was hot!
Another let down were all the steamed dumplings; while each of their respective fillings were scrumptious, their “skin” sadly decided not to come to the party; they were all rather thick and chewy.
On the upside there were three dishes that made me take notice and try to seek a second helping for:
Steamed Beadcurd Roll with Seaweed - from memory the menu stated it was steamed, but when I sunk my teeth into this beauty I was fried. The beancurd skin was light and crispy hiding inside it a sweet juicy morsel filled pillow of seaweed, prawn and chicken.
Pan-fried Pancake with Chicken Floss - When this dish came to the table I thought to myself "baked char siew pau" (baked BBQ pork buns). To my surprise as my teeth delved further past the crispy outer then slightly bready layer.. GOLD.. well chicken floss to be exact. The proportion of chicken floss to bun was perfect. More often than not one is left with extra "bun" to deal with ones mouth. In this instance it was a perfect marriage of proportions; so much so I ate 3!
Crispy Green Tea Glutinous Rice Ball - this was da bomb! I love green tea pack it in a deep fried glutinous rice ball and you have all three food textures; crispy, chewy and gooey..with every bite you get a different taste, a different little story in your mouth and then just like that it's gone and you're wanting more, and as in my case you pick up another and chew chew chew. The texture of the glutinous rice is perfect chewy enough to excite yet not tire your jaw, melded with the subtleness of the green tea paste.. desert nirvana! I walked out of there semi waddling!
A few notes before I go; bring yourselves a sweater. For some reason the restaurant is absurdly cold; we had to request to have the air conditioning turned off in the room we were in, also being a non Chinese speaker I found it difficult at times communicating with some of the staff, the only downside to their fantastic service.
Si Chuan Dou Hua's Imperial High Tea is something I'll be willing to come back again for.. wait.. is that the rice ball calling me back.. Om nom nom nom nom!