Chef Eugene See refreshes his Sichuan-influenced contemporary Western menu at Birds Of A Feather (BOAF).
First up are a selection of moreish snacks that go well with a cold beer or round of drinks from BOAF’s well-stocked bar. Reach straight for the charcoal grilled pork bits ($15), a nod to the barbecue pork belly skewers of Chengdu’s street stalls. See’s rendition is a dish of Duroc pork belly served with Japanese sweet potato, chunks of crispy rice pieces akin to the Chinese guo ba or crispy rice cake, and charred marinated green chilli. The savouriness of the pork belly is heightened by the punchiness of the marinated green chilli; together, their bold flavours go so well that the guo ba and sweet potato are almost unnecessary accompaniments.
Japanese eggplant with mozzarella cheese and fried mantou ($14) is another tasteful and tasty East-meets-West construction. Here, the eggplant has first been seasoned with housemade yuxiang, which literally translates as ‘fish fragrance’, a traditional Sichuanese sauce of garlic, ginger, soy sauce, doubanjiang, pickled chilli and black vinegar. It is then topped with mozzarella cheese and oven-baked. The final flavourful morsel complements the block of crisp fried mantou it’s served with.
Contrary to its name, vegetarians will be pleased with some Good Slime Shine (from $23). The elements are not so much slimy as they are silky, particularly the Chinese yam noodles, which are the star of the dish. With a tad more bite than the rice noodle ‘hor fun’, they go well with their compadres of wawa vegetables, baby bak choy, chive sticks and asparagus. This is accompanied by the loveliest tangy broth caressing the strands of noodle and vegetables, made with millet, sour vegetable, garlic, pickled ginger, green chilli and a dash of pumpkin puree for good colour. This alone adds a refreshing, palate-cleansing dimension to the dish.
If you like your pungent flavours but not of the stinky tofu kind, chef See does a rendition of the latter in his Birds Not Stinky Tofu ($16) dish, using Japanese aburaage tofu piped with a mix of vieux lille cheese and silken tofu. This is served on a bed of shallow-fried soy beans together with pickled beetroot topped with charcoal oil powder. Another one to try is the comforting bowl of Sweating Mussels ($29), a moules-frites à la BOAF featuring Scottish blue mussels, more of that tasty Chinese yam noodles, and a heavenly sour-spicy broth.
End with a frothy plate of Ice2 Baby ($15), inspired by the Sichuanese Bing Fen, or ice jelly dessert, here served with assorted seasonal fruits, crushed peanuts, burnt cucumber, lao zhao rice wine granita and red sugar caramel.
#01-01, 115 Amoy Street. Tel: 6221 7449