Friday 10 June 2022

Birds of a Feather – Sichuan x Modern European Cooking

The first thing that comes to my mind related to the word Sichuan is Mala, the mind-numbing spicy sensation from the Sichuan peppercorn. Following that, is an image of a dish or steamboat, filled with scary hot red chillies. However, Birds of a Feather (‘BOF’) is here to dispel that stereotype. BOF aims to showcase the real flavours of Chengdu through its refined and modern European technique, led by Executive Chef Eugene See.

Cocktail - Tian Mi Mi
After more than 2 years of social distancing and limited group gathering, our first makan session with regular makan kakis, lead us to BOF. Since we have BOF regular patrons, we leave the ordering to Purple Eats and Msginginly. There were eight of us, so we order almost half of the menu.

Cocktail - Someone Like You
Bang Bang ($14) – Cold Dressed Chicken, Mustard Green, Peanut, Edible Coaster. It is a refreshing dish, with a combination of shaved cucumber, chicken and mustard green with a touch of Sichuan oil. The best part of the dish is the peanut coaster, which you need to whack with your spoon “bang, bang”. A multi-texture and multi-flavour dish.

Bang Bang
Bang Bang
Find The Chicken in the Chillies ($19), popularly known as Szechuan Popcorn Chicken. I think the way BOF named this dish is the correct one. The popcorn chickens are buried under a pile of dried chilli and cashew nuts. Luckily the version here is not very spicy, I still able to enjoy the chicken and cashew, without gulping on lots of water.

Find The Chicken in the Chillies
Yu Xiang Eggplant ($18). The eggplant is hidden under the aromatic spring onion crumble. The Yu Xiang sauce goes nicely with the eggplant, making it looks like mapo tofu. I find the bocconcini is out of place in this dish and some of the crumble can be doughy.

Yu Xiang Eggplant
Pork Dumpling ($17) – Pan-Seared, Sichuan Dressing, Sage Foam, Butternut Puree, Fried Sage, Almond. A beautifully plated dish, where the dumplings seem to float above the cloud. The gyoza is tasty and bouncy, while the Sichuan dressing mixed with the butternut puree gives this dish a sweet and spicy touch.

Pork Dumpling
Pork Dumpling
Burratine & Tomato ($24). East meets West dish. The burratina is paired with Joyn tomato, Sichuan sesame dressing, marinated kumquat and crushed peanuts. It is also served with toasted bread.

Burratine & Tomato
The Toast
You have a creamy and milky texture, mixed with sesame sauce and join by the bursting of tomatoes and refreshing sweet tangy flavour of the kumquat. The crunchy peanuts provided the much-needed contrasting texture in the dish. When you apply it on top of the toast it helps to balance the richness of the burratina and the Sichuan sesame dressing. Reminds me of peanut butter on toast with cream cheese.

Burratine & Tomato on Toast
Barramundi Chazuke ($34). Chazuke is a simple Japanese dish made by pouring the broth over cooked rice. At BOF, they poured the Sichuan Sour vegetable fish broth over the Japanese rice. The broth is spicy, sour and uplifting at the same time. Topping the dish is a pan-seared barramundi fillet, ikura and a thin cracker. Unfortunately, once you poured the broth, the cracker will shrink and almost dissolve into the broth. Note to self, next time remove the cracker.

Barramundi Chazuke
Strange Flavour Prawn ($42). You start by squeezing the lime on the dish, especially on the smoky, firm and bouncy tiger prawns. The sauce below is slightly sweet, spicy and tangy. The chopped fried beancurd tried to soak up the sauce unsuccessfully, however, it provide a soft chewy texture to the dish. The green papaya salad on the side is just awesome. Light and tangy. Tasted more like a Vietnamese or Thai dish instead of Sichuan.

Strange Flavour Prawn
Strange Flavour Prawn
Loup De Mer ($89) – Whole European Seabass, Denise Pesto, Sweet Vinegar Joyn Tomato, Celtuce. The seabass is soft, smooth and flaky. The pesto sauce is unexpectedly light and refreshing, allowing the natural flavour of the fish to shine. Meanwhile, the tomato delivered a sweet and bursting flavour and the celtuce provided a contrasting texture to the fish. Yummy

Loup De Mer
Homestyle Pork Belly ($58) – Fried Kale, Fragrant Mushroom Garlic Rice, Egg Confit, Shaved Black Truffle. BOF interpretation of Lu Rou Fan. I got shocked by the amount of shaved truffle on the dish. The braised pork belly is fork-tender, while the bitterness from the fried kale cuts through the fats in the pork belly. The garlic rice is plump and tasty, enhanced by the umami flavour from the shaved truffle. The egg confit just binds all the delicious ingredients together. Yum Yum.

Homestyle Pork Belly
Slow Roasted Sichuan Short Ribs ($88). We were almost full when this dish arrived, having said that, we just can’t say NO to pink short rib. It is tender, succulent and you can taste the Sichuan spice rub in the background. The broccolini and fried garlic added a nice crunch to the dish, while the potato coated with morel mushroom gravy is just delicious. A very comforting dish.

Slow Roasted Sichuan Short Ribs 
Slow Roasted Sichuan Short Ribs 
The décor of the restaurant is modern yet comforting. I like the natural light coming through the glass ceiling. The furniture is a mix of sofas with dining table, or sofa with coffee table. Luckily, we were seated at the dining table section, if not we are going to have a problem dining at a shorter table. Not forgetting, one of the walls has the mascot of Chengdu, a panda painting on it. Service is knowledgeable, friendly and efficient. The service staff will give a short description of the dish, once they are presented on the table.

Birds of A Feather Panda
Overall, this is the first time I came to BOF and I totally enjoyed the food here. Instead of the overpowering spicy Sichuan cuisine, most of the dishes have been well thought out, multi-layered yet balanced, delicious and well-executed. The Bang Bang, Burattine & Tomato, Loup De Mer, Homestyle Pork Belly and Slow Roasted Sichuan Short Ribs are my pick. Cheers!!

Irish Tea
Food & Drink: 8.5/10
Value: 7.25/10
Service: 7.75/10
Ambiance: 8/10
Budget per Person: $51 - $80; $81 and above

Birds of a Feather
115 Amoy Street
#01-01. S069935

T: +65 9755 7115
Mon – Thu: 12.00 – 15.00; 18.00 – 23.00
Sat: 12.00 – 15.00; 18.00 – 24.00
Sun: 12.00 – 15.00; 18.00 – 22.00

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