Silk Road Restaurant Amara Hotel Singapore
Singapore Chinese are different from China Chinese (please get that right) and our cuisine cannot be more distinct. That said, i think that Singaporean Chinese are most familiar with the Cantonese and Teochew style of cooking. We hardly know much about provincial cuisine other than Beijing Roast Duck and Sichuan Ma La Hotpot. Well, Silk Road Restaurant at Amara Hotel Singapore endeavors to educate you a little through their fare from Sichuan, Shaanxi, Liaoning and Beijing.
Start your meal with something hot and comforting. Silk Road's Double-boiled Chicken Soup with ginseng and gastrodia root has extracted the essence of the chicken after having boiled it for over 6 hours with herbs used in sichuan cuisine. Umami yes, but a tad on the oily side though the flavors are quite nicely balanced and not too herby.
If the regular yusheng tastes too light for you, the Eight Treasures Yu Sheng will knock you out with its intense flavor. The toppings may seem more Japanese but the flavor is punchy, pungent Sichuan with their potent blend of spicy garlic sauce.
The salmon is cured in-house with special chili peppers while the silver fish and fish skin are specifically prepared as well. Other treasures include jellyfish, golden silver fish, sliced abalone, ikura roe, tobiko roe, and pomelo. Sadly, the garlic sauce overpowers everything and we could only differentiate the different textures of the ingredients and nothing else.
Our preference was for Amara Hotel's resident Thai Restaurant Than Ying's Salmon Yusheng which is of a kick-ass Som Tam style! The Thai fish sauce with lime and chili pairs\ed perfectly with the fresh veg, crispy yam strips, and green mango. The highlight for some here is the deep fried chicken skin!! To enjoy it a little guilt free, replace it with fish skin.
The Soy-glazed Baked Cod with Bonito Sauce is one of the better dishes we tasted at Silk Road. The fatty fish is seasoned with chef's special sauce of sake and mirin for over 4 hours. I'd say this dish is more Japanese, except for that strong wok hei flavor that is typically Chinese (and unnecessary).
We noted that Silk Road puts a lot of work in the preparation of their dishes. Their Braised Pork Knuckle with sea cucumber and chestnut is stewed for over 6 hour over slow fire to ensure tenderness. The sea cucumber is braised till soft separately and then braised together with the meat. We approve of the fall-apart nature of the meat and the gelatinous skin in this oneZ
The Traditional Beijing Roasted Duck is presented as per tradition Chinese style- skin served with sugar; meat and skin served in crepe; and the rest cooked your way if you wish.
We thought there was a light sourness to the crispy skin, and the crepe was a little tough for our liking. Not the best we've had for sure.
For a filling end, or as a satisfying main, the Steamed Fragrant Rice with salted fish, Chinese sausage and waxed meat is recommended. Give the rice a good pour of the light salty soy and make sure you have bits of the juicy sausage and salted fish in each bite. Love!!
At the end of the meal, we were left wondering what exactly are the representative dishes of the provinces at Silk Road Restaurant. The dishes weren't unfamiliar or new but perhaps we are quite experienced Chinese food tasters #firstworldproblem. Our takeaway from Provincial cuisine is that it's quite heavy handed on the seasoning and oil (kind of like what we expected though, you know these Chinese..). Try it for yourself but make sure you balance it with lighter dishes!
Silk Road Restaurant
65 Tanjong Pagar Road Singapore 088539
Level 2 Amara Hotel Singapore
Tel: +65 6879 2655
Daily: 11am - 3pm, 6 - 10.30pm