Hunan Cuisine Restaurant (密斯湘菜馆)
8~10 Mosque Street
T: +65 6225 5968
Opens daily: 1030~2230hrs (including PH)
I was privileged to be invited to the tasting jointly organized by HungryGoWhere & Hunan Cuisine Restaurant (HCR), and in the company of Alamak Girl and Purple Taste. We were allotted the private dining room, so we can conduct photos & video taking, unabashed.
HCR is not a new kid on the block. In fact, it’s actually the flagship restaurant (established since 2009), with a mini-me branch along Liang Seah Street, by the name of Xiang Signature (湘香厨房), as well as the infamous Wah! Kungfu, along Pagoda Street.
The name is quite self-explanatory, as the menu offers authentic Hunan dishes, from the central plains of mainland China. Though, not all ingredients are available in this archipelago, the management endeavors to adhere as close as it gets to the original recipes, or so, the chefs insist.
The setting here is somewhat more upmarket, the open floor should take up to 60 diners comfortably, with 2 big private rooms that can seat 8-10 pax comfortably. The service staff are well versed with their menus, and are able to make recommendations, as well as briefly describe the dishes with confidence.
加了酸豆角的红薯粉 – this is a fiery pot of acidic chili broth, with tapioca glass noodles, served on a lit candle to keep it’s temperature going. In it, you will find generous amounts of springy glass noodles, shreds of pork, plenty of chopped long beans, dried & fresh chilies. It’s hot, spicy & acidic, so be sure to take it slow, don’t choke.
农家小炒肉 – this is Hunan style stir fried pork slices, frolicking in a bed of sliced green chilies & peppers. It’s good on its own, not too spicy, green chilies & peppers we crunchy juicy. Goes really well with plain rice.
铁板孜然牛肉 – the Hunan style stir fried cumin seasoned beef slices, accompanied with a chopped fresh chilies & scallions, served on a hot plate, shaped like a hoe (changkol). Also a round of thumbs up down the table.
孜然排骨 – dry rubbed spice seasoned pork ribs approximately 6~7” in length. Seasoning & taste is almost similar to the hot plate beef, except these ribs are grilled and has a light hue of smoky fragrance. Everyone cleaned the meat off, leaving the rib bone dry.
大盆花菜 – cauliflower stir fried with dried chilies & chives; savory, crunchy & natural juicy sweetness. I’m a meat-arian, and if I’m impressed enough to continue digging into this dish, says a lot about this dish.
酸菜跳跳蛙 – this is not very different from the ones I’ve tasted at Wah! Kungfu. Its pickled Chinese cabbage, boiled with tender spring-in-each-bite bull frog meat. Somewhat spicy, but manageable and goes well with plain rice.
密斯特制羊肉火锅 – this piping hot double boiled bowl of fragrant lamp cubes is one of my favorites of the evening. The meat is juicy tender, not at all gamey, while the soup is comforting. Within, you will also find broad sheets of 薯粉 (almost the size of monopoly bills). Jelly-like & springy. Shiok!
第二代吊锅鱼头（松鱼头） – the wok of cut up song-fish head & concoction of chopped chilies is cushioned on a bed of Chinese cabbage, suspended over a gas stove, & brought to a boil. When it comes to a bubbly boil, turn off the stove, and enjoy the layers of flavors.
Note: some parts of the cut up fish head comes with tiny bones, consume with caution
All in all, the dishes are savory, and somewhat heavy on the palates. We’re told that due to limitation of choice chilies, the spice factor is a tad milder than it originally should be. Nonetheless, there’s nothing a little ice cold Chinese brewed beer can’t solve. And since 湘菜 is also known as 下饭菜， most of their dishes go well with plain rice.