I vaguely recalled last year also somewhere along this timing, we were here; at this Chinese restaurant with my family for my 20th birthday. The dinner was fabulous but I felt all the spiciness and numbing effect which Sze Chuan cuisine is so renown for wasn’t too my family liking.
Still it was quite an unforgettable dining experience with experts tea brewers walking around, swilling their tea kettles with abnormally long spouts around pouring boiling water into our tea cups. Quite an impressive feat and definitely something you don’t see in Singapore everyday.
Fast forward a year later and we are back at the same restaurant, different celebration (Grandma’s Birthday) and an entirely different place. To begin, there’s three Sze Chuan Dou Fu in Singapore.
Two of which are situated at the two ParkRoyal Hotels in Singapore (Beach Road and Kitchener Road) with the slightly posh third outlet at the sixtieth floor of UOB Plaza. So do take note of which outlets you’re heading because my parents went to the wrong place twice.
There’s slight variation with the menu too with the one at Beach Road having more robust dishes slanting towards authentic Sze Chuan cuisine while the eatery at Kitchener Road lean more towards to the Cantonese side. Lastly we have the one at UOB Plaza which is clearly the more expensive out of the three due to the panoramic ambiance.
For Cantonese people like me and my family who can’t go a day without something soupy or else we would feel really uncomfortable, fear not because there’s quite a few variety to choose from like Chicken Soup ($12.00) and Sheng Yu Soup both of which fortified by additional Chinese herbs were well simmered and nothing short of umami.
Anyone up for Double-boiled Shark Cartilage Soup ($16.00) too? If not opt for some of their sides dishes are quite intricate to share too. Something like a plate of deep fried Wasabi Mushrooms ($14.00) or deep fried potato fritter shaped in the form of pears.
Looking for something extra? Their Beijing Duck ($58.00) skillfully sliced by a chef before having another carefully wrapping the much-relished crispy skins with cucumbers and plum sauce in thin pancakes.
As for the remaining meat? One could either request it to be stir-fry with any greens or just toss them in noodles and served later. But there’s two dishes that my family really enjoyed. One was the Prawns in XO Sauce ($33.00) which were deep fried prawns (with shells on) tossed in XO sauce. Tossed in a handful of chopped chilies, rice cakes and almonds for a new dimensional spicy crunchy twist. Forgo peeling the shells for those fussy eaters because for someone like me to even touch prawns was already a testament of how delicious they were. Fresh enough to eat the shells and all!
Usually you wouldn’t expect an all beancurd dish to take center stage but that’s the case dining at here. I don’t recall the name of this dish from the menu but on the receipt, it’s reflected as Open Beancurd ($33.00).
Personally I think the name was a poor reflection of the actual dish comprising of deep fried toufu generously drizzled in minced meat and sauce, then resting on white silken toufu. The spinach was secondary but the two different toufu combination was good. Made exceptional if consumed together with the ultra packed umami minced meat sauce!
I read many reviews saying Sze Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant’s Tou Hua ($3.00) is really good. But I tried the same dessert twice and I still can’t find what’s so good about silken tau huay in honey and wolfberries. I guess this is the real deal if you are seeking for handmade one.
If not opt for their generous serving of Hashima ($10.00) or even their deep fried Durian Puffs which comes with recommendation from the manager.Overall, I would rate our dining experience at this Sze Chuan restaurant at Kitchener Road a notch above most Chinese restaurant on the same price tier. We were smart this time to avoid the fiery dried chilies and peppercorns this round, opting a milder ones instead.
A decisive factor for returning customers like me and my family would be their friendly and approachable staffs. That human touch does makes a difference between an enjoyable meal to a downright disappointment so I definitely recommend people this Chinese restaurant even though it’s right smack in an Indian district.
Sze Chuan Tou Hua Restaurant
PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road
181 Kitchener Road, Singapore 208533
Tel: +65 6428 3170