Silk Road at Amara Singapore is one of the Chinese restaurants I look forward to visiting. I love it because of the added dimension it gives to one’s typical understanding of Chinese cuisine. Beyond your Peking Duck or Dimsum, the food here showcases the vastness of the Middle Kingdom with specialties from lesser known places such as Shaanxi, Ningxia and even Inner Mongolia. Primarily, the venue is known for its Sichuan dishes but I love how they showcase their versatility especially with imaginative Chinese New Year menus.
Recently, Silk Road had me over to sample their mid-year promotion – a selection of dishes made from homemade wheat noodles and dumplings which they are showcasing until 31st May 2017. The dishes I had were all sample portions, with the actual serving portion being around 3x larger.
Of all the noodles I tried that day, I quite liked the chewy qualities of the Knife-shaved Noodle with Braised Pork Belly ($10). The noodles are skillfully shaved out of a knife by the chef and we were treated to an impressive demonstration of it during the dinner. The noodle comes flat and is shaped life a leaf. These are topped with pork belly, sliced into cubes and slathered with Sichuan chili paste for just the right amount of kick.
The Xi’an Spicy Noodle ($8) on the other hand features an even thicker (but flatter) type of noodle. It is then topped with minced pork but the sauce here is notable for having a slightly more sour flavor aside from the Sichuan spice.
The Handmade Noodle with Special Braised Beef ($12), also known as longevity noodles to the locals in Shanxi province, is served with tender beef brisket which has been braised with herbs and spices for over two hours. The noodle dish is not spicy at all but I particularly loved how tender the beef was.
Probably the most spicy noodle dish I had that evening was the Chilled Noodle with Sichuan Pepper Sauce ($8). The noodles are notably green due to the spinach extracts used to make it.
The Pan-fried Shanxi Dumpling ($14) came with this interesting crust. That was a result of deliberately open edges on the dumplings which allowed for some broth to flow out during the pan-frying process. The golden crust is essentially an extension of the meaty filling within so you get a bit of the intense flavor even before biting into the dumpling itself.
As I said previously, Silk Road always surprises me with pretty interesting dishes and the orange-hued Fish Paste Dumpling ($12) certainly raised a few eyebrows when it was served. The skin is orange due to the pure carrot extract used to make it. Inside, the paste is wonderfully tender and tasty thanks to a combination of ginger and spring onion used to enhance the fishy taste. Overall, I thought it made for a good counterpoint to your usual pork dumplings.
Amara Singapore, Level 2
165 Tanjong Pagar Road
Reservations: +65 6227 3848