This restaurant in Singapore (first outside Japan) was opened by the third generation owner, whose grandfather migrated to Japan from China. They have many restaurant branches serving Chinese Sze-Chuan cuisine across Japan.
They had a special duck promotion and decided to come by. For this duck promotion, the restaurant has even flown in their very own roast master chef, who is a Japanese (who worked in Hong Kong's famous Yung Kee restaurant)
They are located at the the 35 floor of Mandarin Orchard Hotel. Ask for a table by the window, which will give you a great view while you dine!
Here are the highlights of my meal:
- Stir-fried Hokkaido Scallop with Black Truffle: Fresh scallops, coated with Japanese flour and sauteed. Great 'chewy' texture for the scallop. The dish also had mushrooms and sliced black truffle. Very O-Ishi (Delicious)!
- Shisen Hanten Roasted Duck: I asked twice to confirm that it was roast duck. This was served together with some broth. Think combination of 'braised duck' with 'bak kut teh'. The duck was indeed roasted and stewed in a special peppery broth that tasted like 'bak kut teh'. Very unique preparation.
- Osmanthus Pipa Duck: This was my favorite for the meal. The butterfly-ed duck was presented table-side and the chef chopped it up. Eat the duck by itself and you can taste the well-seasoned duch meat. Paired with the osmanthus sauce (which has a hint of plum sauce), it was divine. A must-order.
- Duo Braised Duck, Local style (Teochew style) and Hong Kong style (Cantonese Style): Two types of duck, one prepared the traditional cantonese way (whitish in color) and Teochew (dark in color) were sliced and served on a plate. I loved the Teochew style duck more and the together with the chilli pairing, it was good!
- "Chen's Mapo Doufu" - Stir-fried tofu in hot Szechwan pepper-flavoured meat sauce served in claypot: Mapo tofu (with a twist) served with rice from bottom of rice pot. The rice was semi 'burnt' and gave a unique texture to each mouthful. Try-it!
- Dan Dan Mian with Soup: A twist of the traditional dan dan mian but with soup. Looks and taste like a good bowl of ramen. Must-order!
- Deep Fried Cream with Yuzu Ice: Interesting dessert, cream was something like cheese and it was served with yuzu sorbet. Refreshing.
The duck promotion end at the end of August 2014. I hope the Osmanthus Pipa duck will be added to the ala-carte menu, so I can enjoy it any time.
Interestingly, the kitchen is helmed by 2 Japanese chefs. Overall, the food quality is good and there are some unique interpretations of sze chuan cuisine by Chef Kentaro that make the dishes unique and make them his restaurant's signature dishes.
I like the ambience of the restaurant, and if you come by around 6.45pm, you can get to see great views of the city and later the evening skyline. A good plafe to bring business guests/ family and enjoy a great dining experience!
And... No need to travel all the way to Japan to enjoy Chef Kentaro's food!