Duck of distinction
The bird of the moment seems to be the duck, especially a fat juicy one.
London Fat Duck may be opening at Scotts Square tomorrow but the famed Four Seasons Chinese Restaurant, which started in Bayswater, London, in 1990, has been around since last month.
A number of us may have already eaten at its original Bayswater outlet. It also has branches in Shanghai, China, and Bangkok, Thailand.
Now, some will have justifiable concerns that the Singapore Four Seasons experience will pale in comparison to the London outlet. Can its signature roast duck be as good?
The Royal China Group, which runs the Singapore restaurant, said it is using the same bred-in-Holland ducks. And the chef here was based at the Bayswater outlet and has moved to Singapore to run the kitchen.
I ate there twice - once invited - and the experience did not differ much.
When compared to the Bayswater branch, the duck and the price are about the same, but the service here is superior.
It seems that the older the staff, the better the service.
The roast duck (from $22 a portion) is the bird the restaurant's reputation is built on. In its early days, there were rumbles online about the quality of the duck. There was even an incident with feathers. By the time I ate there earlier this month, that was resolved.
A delicious and light sweet sauce was poured over the duck, but it was never soggy. It is a must-try.
This could be one of the worst versions of this dish I have ever tasted.
Eating the kwai fei (empress) chicken (from $18 a portion) was like falling tongue first into a salt mine, and then being forced to drink seawater to wash it down.
FULL OF INGREDIENTS
I love how the seafood crispy noodles ($26) is bursting with ingredients.
When I returned, I ordered the hor fun version (above) and was given the stir-fry hor fun with prawns and eggs, which was quite blah.
The crispy pork belly was even better than the duck. I love how subtly fatty it was.
The char siew (barbecue pork) was slightly less successful in comparison, although the hint of tangerine in the meat was pleasing.
Order it as a Two Roasted Meat Combination platter at $28. That is the most cost-effective way to enjoy the meats.
CHEAP AND TASTY
One of the cheapest items on the menu turned out to be one of the tastiest.
The deep-fried bean curd ($8) was such a simple dish - just diced bean curd, deep-fried and tossed with seasoning.
But it was crispy and juicy and not too salty.
WHAT Four Seasons Chinese Restaurant
WHERE #02-27/29 Capitol Piazza (13, Stamford Road)
WHEN Daily 11am to 10.30pm