Yellow Pot at the new Six Senses Singapore seems to break the mould when it comes to stereotypes about Chinese cuisine. When we think of Chinese food, we usually picture a boisterous setting filled with large families sitting in round tables having course after course of the usual meat and seafood dishes that most people of Chinese descent would have eaten a thousand times. The culinary tradition tends to be highly social where sharing is the norm. As such, elegance and subtleties aren’t elements that one would normally find when having a meal at such venues.
Yellow Pot in contrast, has a quiet elegance to its setting that one normally finds when dealing with culinary traditions where subtleties and implicit communication plays a key role (think: Japanese). By extension, the Chinese cuisine here has a distinct focus on wellness and sustainability – a type of positioning that you probably won’t find in other Chinese venues. As the flagship F&B outlet of Six Senses Singapore, this is no cookie cutter hotel restaurant as I soon came to realize when I was invited to have dinner there to check out their menu.
The menu at Yellow Pot is generally affordable and belies the luxury property that the venue is housed in. The table setup is elegant and replete with illustrations on the plate. I was offered one of the house cocktails – Escape To Kaifeng ($22) – but decided to go instead with the more citrusy Pearl Lemonade ($22) which interestingly came with barley water and whisky.
I started the meal with Chilled Organic Vine-Ripened Tomatoes (S$8). These came unusually sweet – even when comparing against its peers in the small tomato variety – and the moment it burst with juices in my mouth was pure joy to me. It was refreshing – a term which I never expected to use for tomatoes but it certainly applied here.
Next came the Seared Pork Cheek (S$12). It came with cumin, mango and a hint of chili. The cheek area used ensured that the pork was tender. However, the taste as a whole reminded me of satay which I thought did not suit the pork that well. I did however enjoy the green mango salad on top. Overall, this was my least favorite dish that evening.
The Hot and Sour Soup (S$12) suits people like me who are not into chili usually but yet have this inkling to sample spicy food when the need warrants. The soup here is mildly spicy. It’s presented in the classic style with wood-ear mushrooms and beancurd with a dash of Sichuan chili oil on top that you’re supposed to mix with the broth.
My favorite dish of the night has got to be the Roast Duck ($32 for half). Possessing a thick layer of fat and a crunchy and tangy skin, the duck was oh so tender and among the better ones I’ve tried in recent times. Curiously enough,the marination used here comes from fermented beancurd where the duck is made to sit for 2 days prior to roasting. With the plumpness of the meat, I had initially surmised that Irish duck was used but the chef later confirmed that the birds are actually sourced from Malaysia. Just goes to show you don’t have to venture that far for good duck!
When it comes to meat dishes, the Wok-seared Organic Grass-fed Tenderloin ($36) is a compelling option. It comes coated with a honeyed crushed Tellicherry peppercorn sauce and crispy garlic, giving the beef cubes a sweet flavor that goes well with its medium-rare doneness.
Among vegetable dishes, I tried the Braised White Cabbage ($12) and Braised Sweet and Sour Eggplant ($14) and would recommend the latter. The secret is in the sauce which the chef makes from scratch. Honey is again used as one of the key components along with soya sauce to deliver a rich flavor that I imagine would go well with a bowl of plain rice.
The Steamed Kuhlbarra Barramundi ($22) was another winner with its fragrant scallion-ginger pesto on top. It reminds me of the ginger that one normally puts in steamed chicken, only here it is applied to plump and soft pieces of fish. As an indicator of its freshness, the meat fibers collapsed easily upon consumption.
A carbohydrate dish, Stir-fried Mee Sua ($18) is seved near the tail-end as is the custom in Chinese restaurants. I loved the smoky flavor as well as the generous servings of scallops and prawns that came with the mee sua. I then ended the meal with a modest serving of Lemongrass and Calamansi Jelly ($8), a relatively common dessert to have but nonetheless refreshing.
Overall, I enjoyed Yellow Pot and I like how reasonably priced the food here is considering where it is and the atypical Chinese food the venue is serving. I will be back and will be sure to try the roast duck once again.
Six Senses Singapore
88 Duxton Road
+65 6914 1420
Breakfast – 6:30AM to 10:30AM
Lunch – 11:30AM to 2:30PM
Dinner – 5:30PM to 10:30PM