It’s no secret that I’m no fan of Chinese cuisine but the family loves it so much that it’s impossible to avoid it at times. So here’s my first and hopefully last post on Chinese restaurant of 2010: Chinois by Susur Lee, which is strategically located at Hotel Michael in Resorts World Sentosa. Besides ala carte, there are a few set menus available and we settled for the 8-course menu at $80++ per person (minimum 2).
First up was Chinois’s version of amuse bouche: cucumbers wrapped with chilled sliced pork and minced garlic; chilled vegetable rolls with sesame peanut sauce; lobster and ham salad on a spring onion pancake; and egg-potato cake wth cheese. I like the last two a lot cuz of the great flavours and textures. And it doesn’t hurt that they are, well, so un-Chinese too, hah.
I love soups, though I don’t drink them often enough. Unique to the local Chinese culture, the double-boiled Ginseng consommé was a big hit! Crystal-clear and so light. Plus, the large pieces of shark’s fin and bitter ginseng sealed the deal for me.
Another deftly prepared dish was the steamed spotted garoupa on a bed of bean curd knots. The preserved vegetables and X.O. sauce were not too salty and didn’t overwhelm the natural sweetness of the tender fish.
The next 4 dishes were so humdrum that I wonder why they are even on the menu in the first place. Oven-baked tiger prawns swathed in a too heavy Asian spices sauce; so very average crispy fried chicken cutlet with mango salad and sour plum sauce; pathetic portions of sauteed wild shell mushrooms with spinach and braised egg noodles with crab meat.
Fortunately, desserts pulled the score safely back to a draw of 4 hits and 4 misses. Though I don’t like Chinese cuisine, desserts are another matter entirely. I love mango sago pomelo, yam paste, black sesame paste, and anything pumpkin is sure to get a thumbs-up from me, like this chilled purple rice topped with pumpkin and pistachio nuts. The golden liquid is very bland but eaten together with the vanilla ice cream, the sweetness is just right. Refreshing!
The complementary chocolate cake was surprisingly good! Smooth and not too dense or rich.
I like that Chinois offers a different perspective on Chinese cuisine, with a hint of European fusion. As with any restaurant, especially newly opened ones, there are hits and misses. Understandable, but I’ll learn not to go back again with such heightened expectations, just cuz of the branding “Susur Lee”.