Si Chuan Dou Hua has been at the top of UOB Plaza since 2002, but I only heard about it sometime this year through some food blog posts and Instagram pictures that were going around. Sentiments seemed pretty positive and so I proposed to try this place for a recent dim sum excursion with friends.
The restaurant is on the 60th storey and offers a great view of the cityscape – if you are sitting next to the windows. If you are seated further in but still able to see the windows (where we were), you will just get a nice view of the sky.
Established in 1996, Si Chuan Dou Hua states on its website that it is the ‘pioneer of Sichuan cuisine in Singapore’. They also have a special Tea Master display, where hot tea is poured through a long-spout kettle by a skilled master into your teacup. This was pretty cool actually, watching the water shoot into the cup and swirling the tea leaves from a height – although I am not sure if it made the tea taste any better.
As for the food, perhaps as dim sum is Cantonese and not Sichuan (their specialty), I found the quality and taste of it to be rather unremarkable. Out of my dining companions, D (a female friend) said that the food was fine, and Z said that he preferred Imperial Treasure’s dim sum.
We had quite a few items, which pretty much all had a blanket price of S$5 per basket.
As D wasn’t really supposed to eat prawns at that time, we chose to order more of the meat items on the menu, which were mainly dumplings. The Xiao Long Baos were standard, the Pan-Fried Dumplings (Wo Tie) were unusual but tasty, with a layer of crispy batter covering them, and the Meat Dumplings in Soup and the ones in Spicy Sauce were not too bad as well.
I thought that their Har Gaos (Steamed Prawn Dumplings) stood out though, as the prawns were naturally sweet and crunchy and the skin was fairly thin yet did not fall apart upon being picked up. I hate it when that happens! So I was quite pleased that these stayed intact.
The Leaf Wrapped Glutinous Rice with Pork Floss dish was a bit strange though – we expected it to be a bit like a Lo Mai Kai (a big sticky rice package with chunks of meat in it, all wrapped up in one big leaf), but it came in a basket of three little leaf wrapped sticky ‘mochi’ like rolls, filled in the centre with pork floss. These were a bit stiff and hard to chew actually.
Other items we had were the Steamed Chive Dumplings, Siew Mai, Carrot Cake with XO Sauce, Deep Fried Beancurd Skin Rolls and Char Siew Baos. These were not bad too, but nothing spectacular.
Finally, for dessert, we had the Liu Sha Baos (Salted Egg Yolk Custard Buns). I always order this at any dim sum restaurants which serve it – and of course, any respectable one should – as I totally adore this dish. To me, it is the most awesome Chinese dessert ever.
This one unfortunately did not thrill me. The liquid gold, though suitably flowing, tasted only okay and also – and there was too little of it to really hit home with the usual richness and intensity of this dish. The bun was also a bit thick.
Si Chuan Dou Hua was generally okay for me but really didn’t impress that much. Nice ambience and fairly good service, but pretty run-of-the-mill food.
Not sure if I will go back again any time soon, as there are so many other dim sum places to try!
Si Chuan Dou Hua
UOB Plaza 1, #60-01
80 Raffles Place
Tel: +65 6535 6006 (UOB Plaza branch)
Open from 11.30am to 2.30pm for lunch, 2.30pm to 6.00pm for high tea, and 6.30pm to 10.30pm.
(Their other branches in Singapore are at PARKROYAL on Beach Road and Kitchener Road. The Malaysia branch is at PARKROYAL Kuala Lumpur, and the Japan branch is at Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.)