Posts Tagged ‘hotpot’

Quan 寬巷子 (Taiwan –Taipei)

One of the most memorable meals in Taiwan was when we went to try out this Steamboat/Hotpot restaurant near the Shilin MRT station. Seriously, I’m not really a big fan of steamboat. The steamboat restaurants I have tried in Singapore are all similar styled. You order slices of meat, you cook the meat in your chosen soup, you eat. Really, there’s nothing  differentiating the various steamboat/hot pot restaurants, except perhaps for the soups themselves, and even then, that’s just one aspect. If I had to choose a favourite in Singapore, it would have to be JPot, because at least some of their meats are marinated or prepared in a slightly more appetising way.

So, when the dishes started arriving at Quan, I was seriously completely bowled over. Really amazed at their creations. This is one blog review where the pictures will do more to describe the situation than what I could ever pen down in words.

Quan - Sichuan Style Spicy Soup and Tonkotsu Soup (3)

Sichuan Style Spicy Soup and Tonkotsu Soup

First up, the hotpot POT itself. A humongous metal tureen sized pot divided into 2 portions for the 2 soups, plus a middle portion to hold the chilli spices. The pot itself is specially designed such that you won’t burn yourself if you touch the sides. A live fire instead of a hot plate is used too. Sometimes slow is better than instant gratification.

We weren’t given a choice, but a word of warning for anyone who dares to take the Sichuan Style Spicy Soup. You might not be able to feel your tongue after eating that soup. Living in Singapore, it’s inevitable that you might encounter spicy food that is too spicy for you to tolerate. Your tongue burns for a while. The usual scenario.

A very interesting thing happened to me whenever I bit into any of the items fished from the Sichuan soup section. My tongue just started to buzz and tingle! I’ve never ever experienced such a thing before. It didn’t feel painful but it was really weird! In any case, authentic Ma La is not meant to be simply spicy. Pure spiciness is easy to achieve, just dump in a truckload of chillies! You will be able to detect nuances in the flavours in a good Ma La.

Quan - (18)

This appeared soon after our soup appeared.You wouldn’t be faulted for thinking that this is part of the restaurant’s flower decorations. How innovative is this? Vegetables dressed to look like a garden shop display.

Quan - Deep-Fried Minced Shrimp and Eggplant NT320 SGD$15 (3)

Deep-Fried Minced Shrimp and Eggplant NT320 SGD$15

This is actually seafood wrapped in eggplant for the bottom bit, and almond flakes for the “flower bit”. Simply exquisite and delicious.

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Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant at Raffles City

Watami is another one of those Japanese casual restaurants so prevalent in Singapore. Their special niche is that they offer up quite a number of interesting hot pots. They also have some Korean dishes such as Bi Bim Bap! The restaurant at Raffles City is pretty big, but you don’t find it cavernous, as it kinda occupies a long and narrow strip, previously occupied by Kushiya. It’s right next to Din Tai Fung. I find the lighting a bit too stark bright. As you can see, my photos have suffered due to the harsh lighting.

Croquette

Watami - Cream Croquette

Cream Croquette Balls $6.80 – These came piping hot and were so delicious. I loved the creamy inner core while the outer shell was crispy. They were excellent while hot. Unfortunately I left 1 on the plate while I devoured my mains. When I got back to it again, the inner core had sort of mushed together with the outer skin such that it was no longer liquidy inside.

Watami - Gyu Eringi Kushi

Gyu Eringi Kushi $4.80 – Mushroom stems wrapped in thin beef slices. Very tasty and the mushrooms had a good crunch. I wonder who first developed the idea to wrap meat or bacon around mushrooms. Seems to be a match made in heaven.

Watami - Mixed Sashimi Rice

Mixed Sashimi Rice $13.80 – This was an absolute star. Firstly, the sashimi rice was flavoured with some sweet vinegar so it was more tasty than usual. Just eating the rice alone without anything else was already quite fabulous. 2ndly, they were quite generous with the amount of seafood provided. There was salmon, squid, sweet prawn, egg and something else which I forgot. Absolutely loved the prawns, they were so flavourful and I could just taste the strong “sea” flavour in them. Still dreaming about it now actually. If there’s one thing wrong, it’s that I would have liked just a little bit more rice since it was so nice.

Watami - Unagi Pot RiceWatami - Unagi Pot Rice (2)

Unagi Pot rice $12.80 – The Partner ordered this. The waitress asked us if we minded waiting 25 minutes. It was a bit long but we said okay. After 15 minutes, they brought out this contraption. We thought, “hey that didn’t take too long after all”. To our horror, the waitress proceeded to tell us to THEN wait 25 minutes for the rice grains inside to cook from scratch! While the unagi pot rice did taste very good in the end, I wouldn’t want to have to wait 40 minutes just for this! Is this some new tactic to save on employing extra chefs?

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