It was officially the second last day of exam in NTU.
But for most of my close friends in hall, we already finished our exams or on that day itself.
We wanted to celebrate Yueh Siang's Birthday.
They decided on the place. I've decided not to look at the $$$ sign as i know it would make my heart bleed. But it has been a while since i dine out with my hall friends. So I just followed along.
We went to......
leaving poor Alvin Tong Xue in hall...
It was a Chinese Restaurant serving Si Chuan Cuisine and also ala-carte buffet steamboat. Located Tanglin Shopping Centre with another outlet at Suntec Fountain Terrace, this outlet was not a place where youngster would normally go. I'm pretty surprised that there was a good dinner crowd when we arrived.
The oriental design of the restaurant with attractive red lanterns, faux stucco walls and Oriental ornaments create the feel of a country house in Sichuan. Simple and attractive wooden chairs and tables complete the look.
There were two or three plates of Edamame or the green pea which we usually get in Japanese Restaurant on the table but none of us consume it as it didn't look fresh. We were served with The Duo-Flavoured ChongQing Hot Pot. In it were their famous "Ma La Tang" and "old faithful chicken stock". There were four different sauce on the sauce tray which were sesame oil, sesame paste, grind chilli and chilli with garlic.
The captain (is he? or he is just one of the waiter?? Not quite sure) recommended the "Eight Treasures Tea" or "Ba Bao Cha" when taking our drinks order. He mentioned it was free-flow Ba Bao Cha but actually it was just adding hot water to the cup filled with the eight ingredients. Occupational habit of mine made me looked into the cup and started counting and indentifying the eight ingredients. Hmm... The eight ingredients were some common herbs, Yong Sam Sou or "Foreign Ginseng Adventitial Roots" known to have cooling properties; Jasmine Tea Leaves; Wolfberry or "Gou Qi Zi"; Red Dates; Sugared Wintermelon; Sugared Orange Peel; Rock Sugar and last but not least, honey. The cup of tea tasted good and soothing but priced @ $4.00/cup was a little too expensive for me, especially when i can identified the ingredients and it weren't some exotic herbs or such.
We were also served with savoury dim sum before and in between meals such as fried spring roll, xiao long bao,guo tie (pan-fried dumpling) etc.
According to the "Captain Uncle", there were three magical steps to enjoy the Dup-Flavoured ChongQing Hot Pot which were:
- Eat with the Sesame Paste/Sesame Dips. It was supposed to enhance the tastes of the various ingredients cooked in the broth and also to restore the pallate after eating the fiery spicy broth (Ma La Tang).
- The savoury and sweet tid-bits (such as fried spring rolls, guo tie etc) were served to cleanse and relive the palate from the spiciness of the Ma La broth.
- The Eight Treasures Tea was recommend to restore the body's Yin Yang balance after a spicy meal.
"Orh... " was our reaction after the enlightenment from Mr.Captain Uncle.
Thinly sliced beef (for you to do shabu-shabu), fish, chicken, quail eggs and a variety of veggies, all were common steamboat spread. The only worth thing worth mentioning was each person was entitled to one serving of raw salmon and abalone which turned out to be a slice only. Good things were hard to come by...
As usual, Kerry was with his toufu diet...
We were entertained by the person (Mr. Captain Uncle in the picture) who came and refilled our cup. The kettle used was with a very very Very VERY Long spout. It required experience and precision to get the water pour into the cup without getting the spill all over the table. Amazed!
I'm pretty astonished by the amount of food one can stuffed into one's stomach! We spent almost three hours at the restaurant and the last one standing was Steph with Glennis accompanying her. Phew~ We literally ate until the electric heater stopped and we had to call the waitress to on it back for us, cos they hadn't finish eating!
Desserts were limited to one serving each too, they were: Fried Man Tou (Bun) served with condensed milk, Fried White Nian Gao and Waterchestnut Kuih. The Man Tou was fried to its perfect texture: Crispy on the outside,soft and warm on the inside. A perfect match to go with the condensed milk. Fried White Nian Gao was chewy but nothing special. Waterchestnut kuey served slightly chilled and refreshing.
The last item served before we left the place was another dessert item. We could only choose between ice-cream or "Eight Treasure Porridge" / "Ba Bao Zhou" which was served hot. Everybody else went for the ice-cream except for me. I had the hot dessert and seriously, nothing special. The ice-cream wasn't some famous Haagen-Daz, i bet it was Magnolia/Cremo/Walls.
The bill came up to almost $40/person. Personally i didn't think i've eaten that much (even after skipping my lunch) neither did i felt the value of the meal especially when you can get some decent ChongQing Ma La steamboat at Bugis area.
The Magical ChongQing Hot Pot
19, Tanglin Road,
#04-06/07, Tanglin Shopping Centre,
Last Orders :
An hour before closing
Lunch of Eve Of Chinese New Year
First day of Chinese New Year
Set Meals Served: Yes (Lunch only)
Buffets Served: Yes
Vegetarian Dishes: Yes
Private Function Rooms:
Yes, 4. Accommodate up to 50 pax.
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