Ox-spiciously Sichuan.

It is already the 10th day of Chinese New Year. Angpows are given and received, friends and families are met and reunited. But do not just stop there, you have five days more to go before Chap Goh Meh and the end of the 2009 Chinese New Year. So, before that happens, ring up Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant over at Parkroyal Kuala Lumpur for another ox-spicious feast to finally charge through your year.

Remember a few entries back, when I said I have never been a fan of yee sang and that one cannot really do much with the fixed ingredients. Well. Si Chuan Dou Hua proved me wrong. Dead wrong.

For their Tropical fresh fruits yee sang, they have incorporated fresh juicy fruits into the platter: dragon fruit, kiwi, strawberry, rose apple, snow pear, mango and honey dew… the kind of fruits that give you a fresh reset on the taste palette. On top of that, drench your yee sang platter with Si Chuan Dou Hua’s homemade Spicy Thai chilli plum sauce to give you that special kick in the nuts. A coat of spiciness with peaks of refreshness popping about on your tastebud, it is definitely a brand new dimension brought forth to my table for Chinese New Year.

It ain’t really a proper Chinese meal if there is not a bowl of sharks’ fin soup for me at the beginning of the course. Frown as you may at me for devouring food of cruel intentions, but I like having the privilege of a bowl of sharks’ fin soup at the numbered wedding dinners I go to.

For the Braised pearl sharks’ fin soup with scallops, crabmeat and kani sticks, the chefs use sliced superior sharks’ fin and less starch so the soup is more pristine and watery compared to the ones I have before. Alas, sharks’ fin does not come cheap; there were only so many slices in my bowl, and the rest of the time I was scooping up kani sticks instead. Balance up the ingredients and I would be pretty much contented.

Next up is the Sauteed prawns with salted egg yolk and crispy prawns. Two kinds of prawns cooked with flavours from different ends of the polars. It was an instant love at first bite for the sauteed prawns. I love salted egg yolk, and to have it with my favourite seafood character was unbelievable. You could still feel the sandy texture of the salted egg yolk with every bite your take. Although the prawns are salty, which is not really a favourite seasoning among many, but I’d say bring it on!

As for the crispy prawns, it is so spicy it is ridiculous.  Fried in SiChuan’s signature ingredient, peppercorn, the spiciness creeps up on you one bite afater another until at the end of it, your tongue is sweating and pleading for mercy as you raise your hand to the waiter for another round of icy cool water to calm your senses down.

Now, for the Steamed bamboo fish with brunoisse chilli, it seems like you are going to put your tastebud for another rollercoaster ride from the looks of it, but it is not that spicy, really. After the crispy prawns, this is like a walk in the park. Cooked alongside three different kinds of chillis – red chilli, green chilli and chilli padi – they merely add a hint of heat to the fresh fish meat underneath. As long as you keep away from the chilli seeds and the fish bones, it is a pretty decent meal to chow down.

From the vegetarian set is the Braised abalone with dried oyster and black moss. A pretty honest dish considering that it was made for vegetarians. The oyster sauce mixed with black moss is like a coat of sugar on a delicious piece of cake. However, like every piece of vegetarian meat out there, there is only so much one can imitate. By the time your teeth sinks into the tender side of the abalone, the overwhelming taste of flour hits your tongue and as much as you would like to pretend it is real, it is not. The sauce played a huge part for this dish. Without it, it would be like an undisguised sheep walking into the lion’s den.

In the Fried rice with smoked duck and scallops, the duck meat was a little too heavy for me. I am one who loves duck when they are roasted, so it was something completely different for me with this. At first taste, it reminded me a lot of bacon, only more intense in the mouth. After a few pieces, I could barely stomach anymore, and I was left with the fried rice, which from my recollection, I did not find any scallops in it.

For desserts, there was the chockful Pan-fried glutinous rice cake with yam, and the refreshing Sweetened dry longan with glutinous rice dumplings. The pieces of rice cakes were like little gold blocks dressed in grated coconut shreds made to fill your tummy with sheer richness. It probably has something to do with the yam because I would prefer something lighter in the mouth to wrap up my meal. Which is why the rice dumplings were my better choice between the two. With every mouthful of dumpling I had, they just reminded me of my late grandma and how she used to make the dumplings herself for us. Those were the days.

For Si Chuan Dou Hua, it is a split down the middle for me. On the one hand, I enjoyed their versatility in traditions, but on the other hand, it did not tickle my fancy. But I would say go for it, because the restaurant has already established its name for authentic SiChuan cuisine, so though some dishes may time time getting used to, at least you are assured that nothing will probably suck there.

Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant
Parkroyal Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Sultan Ismail
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Opens daily @ 12PM-2.30PM and 6.30PM-10.30PM
T: +6 03 2782 8303
W: http://www.parkroyalhotels.com


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One Response to “Ox-spiciously Sichuan.”

  1. JustinKC Says:

    Too bad this year i didn’t had my yee sang with my family during reunion dinner. Im just too busy with my work and can’t get back home on time. Very sorry for them. seems like you are having a great time during CNY. Hehe Hapi new Year =))

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