Sunday, July 27, 2008

Cheng Li Yuan & Mao's Spicy Pork

Cheng Li Yuan
72 Tanjong Pagar Road

Tel: 6227-2551

We had Sunday lunch along Tanjong Pagar today and comparatively to any regular weekday or night, the street almost feels dead. The car park was one quarter filled, the streets were empty and we were the only ones in the restaurant today.

We walked in to Cheng Li Yuan for lunch. It was a quiet day and we were the only ones present. We were seated and the menus and tea was presented shortly. For the culinary daredevils there is marinated duck tongue that we debated if we should order, the consensus was yes but somehow it got forgotten when we did the actual ordering, so that’s a review for another time.

There is really nothing about the ambience to talk about. It is a Chinese restaurant with tables and chairs and nothing fancy in it really. The service was a one woman show but we were well attended to and she was gentle and nice.

I didn’t have my camera with me so there aren’t going to be any pictures with this post. Photos are an easy way for me to recall a meal but since I don’t have those I’ll share with you the clearest memory I have from lunch. After our orders had been scribbled down and shuttled to the kitchen, I could hear them fire up the wok. We literally heard them cook our lunch and from the sound of the intensity of the fire it sounded like lunch was going to be wok delicious.

One of the house specialties, Mao’s spicy pork, is a great way to eat pork. Plate piled high with chilli, there really is more chilli, a mix of fresh and fiery hot dried ones, than pork on the plate but the slivers of pork belly are shiny coated with flavoursome oil and full of flavour. Mao likes, I like too.

The braised lamb was tender and well spiced is great and pile on to your rice stir around and eat but skip the tofu on the side it was cold and I just didn’t get what it was doing on the plate.

Amongst the other dishes, I liked their version of egg white with fish and dried scallop. Piping hot and smooth bound golden ribbon of yolk and vinegar that gave it some edge, it was quickly consumed.

The menu is large, four pages long that would cater to many different taste and budgets. So I’m guessing the lack of a crowd today was due more to it being a Sunday rather than testimony to its food. I’ll check back the next time I’m on the street.



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