What do you get when you put two cooks with different styles in the kitchen? Fusion-Confusion?
Not at the Xin Jia Xiang, scene of the June makan session. The mainlander Chinese cook does his beautiful thing with typical mainland-style dishes while the local cook adds an Asian touch with, you-guessed it, plenty of hae-bee hiam.
Left: Chilled Pork and liang-fen starter.
Right: Green beans stir-fried with hae-bee-hiam. The beans were just the right doneness of crunchy and sweet. Hae-bee-hiam featured again in another dish of scallops stir-fried with more of that spicy fragrant condiment.
Another excellent local style dish was the Sum-lo beehoon. Sum-Lo is a style for three-layered dish, in this case fine beehoon (rice noodles) was fried with seafood and then crisped on the top and bottom layers. I love fried beehoon and this was very nice indeed.
The China style really shone through in the house specialty, seafood hotpot. An enormous claypot was borne to the table (see how it almost eclipses the gas burner underneath) and let to simmer till the contents bubble. Generous helpings of fresh seafoods, including crabs, live prawns, sea cucumber, fish and clams were fished out eagerly. Then a little soup was drunk- wonderful saefoody sweetness with smoky tastes of ginseng and perhaps a tad much pepper. As a final touch, the waitresses brought round plates of blanched beehoon to soak up more of the soup. No mere beehoon soup this.
More of that sure China touch in the braised pork ribs. Tasted like the ones I had in Shanghai, all tender and infused with vinegar and spices. With mantous to mop up the delicious gravy.
Dinner concluded with yam paste-eggyolk balls rolled in pastry and then deep-fried. Alternative filling was a nutty sesame paste. Not really necessary for dessert at this stage but we managed.
Weeks later, the huge pot seafood hot pot kept coming to mind whenever I pass by the neighbourhood. And the sum-lo beehoon.
Sin Jia Xiang Restaurant Pte Ltd
251/253 Outram Rd, S(169049)
Tel : 6224 7433
Fax : 6227 3191