Was in Chinatown area and remembered that I've been meaning to check out this wuxia themed restaurant, and so we did.
The deco is indeed very wuxia-fied and I was smiling to myself at the details they put up to further paint the wuxia scene.
Their menu also offers a very different spread from our local Zichar. It's even more different than Lao Beijing or Dian Xiaoer. We took a leap of faith and ordered:
1) Braised Chicken with glass noodles - its actually a little spicy and they don't have a non-spicy version as the chicken is pre-marinated with a little chill. J doesn't take spice but she loved it. She complained it being spicy but still ate two big bowls.
2) Big Bone Soup - the soup was super flavorful which led me to think that on top of the bones and vege, they must pop in some Ajinomoto lah.
3) Garlic Vege - simply fried with garlic but the vege is very sweet and fresh. Loved the taste of it!
4) Fried noodle - spicy (again) but my elder girl loved it too! We found it nice as well lah...
Problem with me reviewing this is that I failed to note the actual names on their menu and going by memory of what I ate is proving to be not very comprehensive. So in summary, we liked the food there because it's well-cooked and it's something different. Likely to bring friends there who speak better Mandarin than me to get a more awesome dining experience. Why? So I can fully understand the writings on the wall...literally. :)
A very interesting place. All waitress are dressed in ancient fashion as in Chinese Kongfu show. The decorations are all terms and stories from Chinese Kongfu Novels. All food, cuisines are named under famous Chinese Kongfu. A good place for party and gathering.
The food is very delicious and designed to cater for local style. The attractive point is that every dish has a related chinese martial arts name; specialy the waitresses behavors like the ancient people to welcome and entertain the customers. Must try.
We had dinner there..food was average but presentation was good..didn't understand the whole kunfu names thingy as I thought at first they were suppose to present kunfu moves..so was a bit disappointed...but its a nice eatery that will leave you smiling at the end.
For photos, please see Rubbish Eat Rubbish Grow.
I am always taken aback afresh how poetic the Chinese language can be. "Feng Bo Zhuang," the name of the restaurant, literally means the Mansion of Wind and Waves, but it's more poetic and metaphoric when taken in context of the theme of the restaurant. The theme is a Chinese pugilistic (wuxia) theme. So jiang-hurefers to the pugilistic underworld of strife, trouble, dog-eat-dog, of love, bad romance and revenge. The closest English translation of jiang-hu would be "society" of the Godfather's mafia world. In this context, "wind-waves" means the turbulence that goes on in jiang-hu, all that bitter animosity, all that ambition to be #1 fighter to rule the jiang-hu, and all that romance and desires. The couplet by the side of the entrance (人在江湖，身不由己) means when you're in jiang-hu, you have no choice, you either fight back or die.
The decor, as you can see, goes with the wuxia theme, with swords, spears, and signboards of names of sects hanging everywhere. The wooden tables and benches, designed after pugilistic inn, are rather uncomfortable. The waitresses are dressed in ancient waiter uniform and call themselves 小二 (the olden name for waiter) and address the customers as 大侠 (warrior). The menu is 武林秘籍 (secret fighting skills manual) and the dishes are named after fighting stances. All in all, very very fun. Remember to do the chopstick fight with your friends when you eat here! and 以茶代酒 and 干杯 (pretend that the tea is wine and toast your friends).
Besides being fun, the service was very good. Polite and prompt.
We ordered a specialty, fish in spicy soup with preserved veg ($18), and ma-la tofu (spicy) and two bowls of rice. The dishes had a distinct authentic taste of common China cuisine, but Singaporean tastebuds may not get used to it. Thefish soup serving was huge and with much meat, value for money and it was mildly spicy-hot.
When we tried to pay by card, the waitress said, "江湖中只收银两" (in jiang-hu, we only accept silver ingots), which got me laughing. Cash Only. When we left, they did the pugilistic greeting of putting palm to a fist, and chanted a long formula which ended with "后会有机" (a standard valedictory line in wuxia films, meaning "till we meet again").
In conclusion, fun theme, good service, authentic China cuisine - no wonder the restaurant was packed at 7pm on a weekday night. Come early.