Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Over the hill and not so far away …

Seleta hill restaurant
16 Jalan Selaseh
Tel:6483 0348

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ma po tofu

Over the hill and not so far away in the Seleta Hill neighbourhood lies a well loved and established restaurant. Run by a couple who are well seasoned in the restaurant business having worked in Szechuan restaurants in America, the food is good and the steady flow of customers that night was testimony.

This place has character. The pink walls and several chinese themed art pieces that hang on them seem rather random, but gives it a cosy unpretentious feel, and when you look around, there is even a sign that apologises that you have to pay $0.60 for plain water! And if you have ever wondered what the origins of some dishes are, the stories of three Chef's specials—Tung-po pork, General Tso's Chicken and Ma po Tofu—are explained.

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szechuan dry-sauteed stringbeans

From the menu, we mainly lingered and ordered from the Chef’s specialties: szechuan camphor and tea smoked duck, dan dan mian, ma po tofu, general tso's chicken (fried crispy then sauteed with dried chilli and house special sauce prepared from homemade vinegar, fermented broad bean in chilli, onion, garlic and ginger. Crispy on the outside, tender and juicy inside), szechuan dry-sauteed stringbeans with chopped mustard pickle, fermented broad bean paste sauteed until dry and tender, claypot sea cucumber hunan style (with herbs, fermented bean paste, spices, gravy extracted from scallop and duck).

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general tso's chicken

Between the two poultry dishes, the duck was a little chewy, but general tso’s chicken was like it described, crispy on the outside, tender and juicy inside and coated with a sweetish sauce, it was very addictive. I liked almost everything we ordered… the ma po tofu was silky smooth and the stringbeans was savoury and cruncy…except the dan dan mian, and with the food we ordered, rice was the natural and better accompaniment.

Although it is Szechuan food, I think it is rather child-friendly Szechuan food, I broke a small sweat during the meal, but the chilli factor in the food here is not too hot to handle. Many do bring their families here, so make a reservation if you come, that is absolutely essential.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Went there about 2 years ago. We were very amused at eating in an American Chinese Restaurant in Singapore.

10:57 AM  
Blogger joone! said...

I know what you mean! I've never seen general tso's chicken in a Chinese restaurant menu except in NYC. It was surprisingly yummy!

4:52 PM  
Blogger mingyou said...

I lived in NYC for 4 years during my undergrad days, and to be honest, I hated American Chinese Food. There's so much oil and grease in their cooking (not to mention MSG), that the vents (linked to the cooker hoods inside the kitchen) would stink up the whole block in the winter! That being said...will definitely try it out because of your post!

11:41 PM  
Blogger Fruit Seasons said...

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11:21 PM  

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