Kudos to the folks of HGW & Mandarin Orchard for including me at the table
This new establishment is helmed by a 3rd generation iron chef, Japanese national who hails from a lineage of Szechuan culinary in all of Japan, and this is their 1st joint outside of the Land of the Rising Sun. Shisen Hanten roosts atop Mandarin Orchard at Level 35, offers diners the view of the shopping belt along Orchard Road.
The chic interior design & décor offers the ambience of a luxurious dining environment, and attention to detail makes it friendly for wheelchair.
The chef & his crew pride themselves in delivering true to the taste Szechuan cuisine and sprinkle some touches of Japanese culinary techniques to up the game for diners.
In case you’re wondering what good chili & spice does? Chili is a rich source of vitamin-C while the acidity may cause burning discomfort in the oral region. Ironically, the body craves for more of the prickly sensation. The spice factor increases heart rate, unlocks the sweat glands, reduces the body temperature and has a doze of detoxifying influence too.
I’d consider it a trip to the sauna without having to disrobe.
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蒜泥牛肉 (garlic beef) in my opinion ranks high on my to-eat-list, but that’s only because I’m a meatarian, and we thank God for beef.
紅油雲白肉 (chili oil pork) the thin sliced pork belly glistening in chili oil looks feisty, but is actually very gentle on the tongue & lips.
* Don’t frown at fats since it helps to protect your palates from chili burn
蠔油和牛排 - Stir fried AU wagyu beef sirloin & oyster sauce
This isn’t spicy, but I was on the verge of tears simply because of the texture & taste. If you haven’t seen the menu, you would’ve mistaken it for veal
乾燒龍蝦 - Stir fried Lobster with chili sauce
The Boston lobster is freshly sweet & tender, with the chili sauce combined is sheer goodness. Most will find this pretty manageable, because the halved Lobster dispels the need for any nut-cracking apparatus
陳麻婆豆腐 - “Chen’s Mapo Doufu” Stir-fried tofu in hot Szechwan pepper-flavored meat sauce served with Hokkaido rice
Not to be missed… This is the real Mapo Doufu! Mellowed with the slightly starchy texture of the Hokkaido Rice is by my standards, a meal on its own!
擔擔麺 - Chen's originial spicy soup noodles
Another signature you should indulge in, the ramen technique in-house handmade noodles, served in the sesame base soup can easily be mistaken for some variant of the spicy ramen. Lo & behold, is yet another dish that boasts of its heritage & history long before the ramen variants came about.
In summary, this is a spot you could consider to impress your family, peers & business associates, have a 5 course spice factor lunch or dinner from the top of the shopping belt.
See pictures @ http://thehungrybunnie.blogspot.com
Although touted as a purveyor of Japanese-Sichuan cuisine, the fare at Shisen Hanten is very simply, Sichuan fare, made just a little more refined and nuanced by the quintessential Japanese precision.
The extensive menu is a tad daunting, and while we loved almost everything we ordered, it wasn't a 100% hit-rate, but a tip is to stick to the traditional stuff for a slamdunk meal.
1) Cold Steamed Chicken ($22) - seasoned with sesame and leek oil: incredibly aromatic, and despite subtle kick of the chilli pepper spice, was clear and refreshing. This was like Hainanese chicken, but all shredded up and given a spicy twist. Absolute must try.
2) Grilled Wagyu Beef ($30): beautifully burnished and glossed with a delicate garlicky spice blend. Sumptuous, albeit forgettable. The earlier starter really stole the limelight.
3) Hot & Sour Soup ($12): exceptional, punchy and robust, but finished with an exquisite polish
4) Braised Corn Soup with Crabmeat ($12): skip this, it was insipid and clunky.
5) Roasted Crispy Chicken ($46 for whole and promotionally half-priced on Thursday lunches): outstanding. For once, I actually only ate the breast meat, which was wonderfully moist and flavoursome
6) Sweet & Sour Pork with Black Vinegar ($26): A galfriend thought it was "too porky", but I thought it was acceptably full-bodied. The one thing we all could agree on, was that the heady, sweetish, piquant glaze was absolutely delightful.
7) Chen's Mapo Doufu ($22): hearty but restrained. I liked the complex nuance finessed into this.
8) Rice Vermicelli with Crabmeat ($28): The noodles were lush with stock, but managed a light elegance; and it was generously piled with scallops, sh!tmeiji caps, freshly shredded crabmeat and egg white scramble
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The dim sum buffet at Shisen Hanten is a little different from other hotel chinese restaurants. It's a Sichuan Chinese restaurant features a chef from Japan. Their Appetisers, Desserts and Peking Duck are served at buffet table! Complimentary 6 Head Whole Abalone was served 1 time too! You can select 3 choices of main course under the chef selections, 1 selection of rice or noodle, as well as unlimited dim sum!
Please remember to try Stir Fried Pork Collar with Superior Soya Sauce and Stir Fried Mashed Fish Noodles with XO Sauce & Seafood!
The service here was great, tea was always refilled promptly and the staff were mostly very polite. The plates that they used for the main dishes were very unique. Most of the food and dessert here were quite high quality except the peking duck needs some improvement in the exterior pancake and the mashed fish noodles a tad too salty. Other than that, Shisen Hanten is definitely one of the most comfortable places for dim sum buffet!
I'm not much of a fan for sichuan a.k.a "ma la" cuisine. Hot & spicy foods are fine with me but when the hotness/spiciness numbs the tastesbuds, I don't believe you're actually eating. I didn;t google the name before agreeing to head to this establishment initially coz it didn't sound like anything I wouldn't like hence imagine the shock when i sat down the first time and looked through the menu! Having said that I've been back a grand total of 3 times and that says a lot.
The food here is more balanced for sichuan lightweights like me. I can actually taste what I'm actually eating. The resturant is also set up nicely on the 35th floor with easy access from the mall. One thing we noted though. Service is suffering from a laspe. on my last visit, it appears they are fairly well staffed but somehow we had to always ask for tea refills or take a long time to grab someone's attention for orders. I don't profess to know what is going on here so i'll let it be a note for you to temper expectations.
Overall though, food and ambience are great. 4 stars overall instead of 5 for the service laspe.
Fantastic food, impeccable service by wait staff! I loved their Osmanthus Pipa Duck and dan dan spicy soup noodles.
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Located at Mandarin Orchard, Shisen Hanten offers authentic Sichuan cuisine in a nice hotel setting that your parents would love.
Start with the kou shui zi, a spicy Sechuan delicacy that would open up the palette.
For the soup, there is the Hot and Spicy Sechuan Soup. For something less spicy, go for the Stir Fried Australian Wagyu Beef Sirloin with Oyster Sauce.
A must try is the Stir Fried Lobster with Chilli Sauce. A creation from Japan, the chef says he has never heard of chilli crab before, but it tastes surprisingly similar.
Back to the spicy dishes, those who love their chillis should go with the Stewed Fish Fillet in Super hot Szechuan Pepper Sauce or Chen's Mapotufu.
Finally, end with the Chen's Original Spicy Soup Noodle - similar to the "tan tan mian".
Desserts to cool down the palette is recommended, and the red bean pancake will do just that.