Executive Cantonese Chef Hoo Chee Keong officially joined Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant – Top of UOB Plaza with his refined take on Cantonese Cuisine since 1st April this year. At only 38 years old, the young executive chef brings with him solid years of experience in some of the finest Chinese restaurants in Singapore. He was most recently at Mott 32 in Marina Bay Sands. With his arrival, Chef Ho has come up with a new and highly approachable 6-course tasting menu at $88++.
Situated at the highest floor of UOB Plaza, the second tallest building in Singapore, one can catch sweeping views of the CBD and the surrounding Marina Bay while partaking in this new menu. The dishes contain no MSG and has a distinct focus on premium boutique produce.
The most photogenic dish was likewise the first on the menu. The Four Delicacies Combination ($28++ /per person), comprised an umami laden Chilled Homemade Beancurd with Century Egg, Crispy Fish Skin with Fish Roe, Pan Fried Goose Liver with Watermelon and Shredded Celtuce with Sake and Fresh Crab meat. Chef Hoo was particular as to how we should consume the appetizer – starting with the dish with the lightest profile first and ending with the heaviest.
The next dish on the line up was perhaps my favorite of the evening – the full-bodied Double Boiled Japanese Black Garlic Kanto Sea Cucumber Soup（$38++ /per person) was a star with its nourishing clear soup that was easy to drink as well as some rare ingredients within such as a specially selected Kanto Sea Cucumber, which came dried with a hefty price tag of close to a thousand dollars per kilogram. The sea cucumber required days of soaking in cold and hot water to open it up. The chicken was also a highlight. Chef Hoo had the chicken steamed with bones removed before double-boiling the soup for an hour and a half. For natural sweetness, the Japanese black garlic also featured prominently and provided for a bit of a kick .
Textures and forms take center stage in the fish course. The Deep Fried Cod can go two ways, either with cordyceps flower in homemade soybean stock or with passionfruit sauce. The cod is delightfully crispy either way but my personal preference is for the tangy passionfruit sauce which teases the palate with its sourness, serving as an apt juxtaposition to the fish’ crunch.
Meat lovers would enjoy Chef Hoo’s showcase of Smoked Spare Rib with Lychee Wood Crumb ($18++per person). Pork ribs are fried, steamed before seasoning with a blend of sauce and spice, then drenched in oil. Just before serving, Chef Hoo applies a modern approach to smoking the ribs with apple and lychee wood for an added dimension.
Alternatively, one can also choose the Pan Fried A4 Wagyu Beef served with Si Chuan Green Chilli and Soya Sauce（$40++ /per serving 120g), a rather interesting take to the succulent beef with a surprise in the form of green chili underneath.
For the carbohydrate dish, diners can opt for the Braised Vermicelli with Fresh Clam and Bittergourd ($12++ /per person or $24++ /per portion good for 2-3pax), a comforting treat which is perfect anytime but most especially during a rainy day. The magic of this dish lies in soaking the vermicelli one day ahead of cooking and shallow-frying the vermicelli before cooking with clams and soup stock for an unmissable wok hey.
However, my preference was for the Braised Boston Lobster with Pearl Rice and Crispy Rice Toppings（$68++ /per portion good for 3-4pax), a truly luxurious carb dish prepared with pearl rice in a full bodied, rich stock made from boiling crustacean shells. A hefty piece of lobster crowned a bed of fragrant pearl rice in a mini claypot while the rice crispies made for yet another dimension of playful textures.
For desserts, there are again two choices. I would personally go for the Double Boiled Pear with Peach Gum Yuzu Tea ($15++ /per person). Known to be a stress reliever, peach gum is quite expensive in Singapore and this sweet ending tasted especially good with a well-soaked pear at the center.
Si Chuan Dou Hua
80 Raffles Place
1 UOB Plaza
+65 6535 6006