Thursday, September 18, 2008

99. Silk Road (Amara Hotel)

The noir ambience is dominated by low-key lighting. Luckily, it was better lit at the tables. I felt the lights could have been brighter. I could not see the faces of the diners who were just at hand's distance from me. A separate glass created the VIP room with the big oriental ceiling light and framed pictures which occupied the wall. I was brought to this oval shaped table with high laid back cushion seats. Very cosy.

Bright yellow lights were lit at the bar counter, sparkles from the wine glasses created the cosy and classy feel.
There is this open concept kitchen but no chefs were seen. 2 pathetic roast ducks hung at the shelf. If you order noodles, it will be prepared in this kitchen. White lights used in the kitchen created the professional and clean feel.

Served as pickles were the Sichuan salted pickles and tofu and peanuts in chilli sauce. The chilli sauce was spicy and you will felt a tinge of numbness.

As soon as we ordered our drink - Chinese tea, this guy appeared with the long pout kettle. Here, we appreciated the ancient art of tea pouring. He is very fast. See the picture. The kettle contained hot water. It takes great skills to be able to do this. Claps*

PS. The chinese tea was priced at $3 per pax. So, this short performance came with a price. Haha. It was quite entertaining though.

Marinated venice clam Sichuan style @$12

For appetizer, we had this. It was just clams served in chilli sauce. The chilli sauce was Sichuan style. Vinegar was added in the sauce. Will feel the numbness in your tongue but it was not to a great extent, just slight numbness. I personally wouldn't have want to order this if it wasn't recommended by the waitress. It was not too worthwhile. It was actually more of chilli oil than chilli sauce. I wouldn't encourage diners to be a frequent patron of this dish, lest your blood vessels get coagulated. So "gu gu jiat yit bai" (eat it once in a blue moon) will do.

Shenyang combination dumplings @$8

This is a must-try! There was minced garlic paste and some other seasoning sauces added to the sauce that was served with the dumplings. The sauce was very appetizing. The dumplings was delicious. Generous amount of filling and the skin wasn't too thick. The sauce was an important character. Together with the sauce, the dumplings were 'wow'. It cost $1 per dumpling. I would say it was cheap considering it was a hotel's quality.

Handmade noodle with bean sauce beijing style @$10

The tasting portion was $5 and I ordered 2 portions. Usually the zhar jang mian we had were dry but what Silk Road had was a soup version. The soup was tasty but slightly oily. The handmade noodles was good. I am not sure if the green colouring was of natural source (veggies extract) or artificial colouring. At $10 a bowl, I think this is definitely not so worth while. At a lower price, you can get a bigger bowl of zhar jang mian (dry version) at Koo Kee La Mien which is also handmade noodles.

Deep fried prawn coated with wasabi and shredded potato @$23
The wasabi prawn was definitely something I called the fusion of art and food. Even though it may not be like those artistic food in fine dining or those molecular food, it was a small surprise for me to have wasabi prawn presented like tulips/poppies in a vase. ( poppies allowed in Singapore) However, the "tulips" were monotone. The vase was filled with grains of different colours which added colours to the dish. This was a much better one compared to the one I had at Bosses. The prawns used were glass prawns, akin to glass and thus the name for it. Very tangy. The wasabi wasn't too overpowering.

Pan fried cod with sichuan spicy sauce @$26

This is an award winning dish, needless to say, a chef recommendation dish. This is definitely a must-try! The cod fish were fried till crispy on the outside and yet the inner, soft and juicy. The sichuan spicy sauce wasn't exactly spicy. Instead, it was more of like the thai sweet and spicy sauce. Such big portions of cod fish at $26 is definitely very cheap. What's more, it's a hotel chef's dish.

Deep fried pork rib with fermented bean paste @$20
It was not exceptionally delicious, albeit a chef recommendation dish. It was pretty oily. I could not really taste the fermented bean paste. But one good thing about it was the pork ribs were good quality ones.

Stewed beancurd with crab roe @$26

It isn't a chef recommendation dish but it was a very delicious. Must-try! I thought the beancurd would be pretty bland but it wasn't. There was a nice fragrance. The generous amount of crab roe added colour to the dish. The beancurd was smooth. It's definitely worthwhile to eat this.

Chilled cotton cake with coconut flakes @$6

I was wondering how would the cotton cake taste like so I ordered one. You would think it is like our oneh-oneh kueh which is also covered in coconut flakes but it wasn't. It was very much like marshmallows but slightly harder. There was only a slight tinge of sweetness in the cotton cake. No inclination for this dish for someone like me who has a sweet tooth. If the cotton cake can be served with some maple syrup or coated with icing sugar, it will be a more appealing dessert.

Total bill was $181.30 but payment with UOB card comes with a 15% discount. So the final bill was about $159. Service was pretty good. There is a wide variety to choose from on their menu so there is a high possibility that I will be returning to taste the other dishes. Stay tuned!

Silk Road
Amara Hotel Level 2
Opens daily for lunch from 11.30am to 3pm
Dinner from 6pm to 10.30pm

For reservations, email

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