Friday, October 20, 2006
Chuan...Now in Geylang
We went on a hunt tonight to try to find the reincarnated Chuan that we were told about the other day (thanks!). We actually walked right past the place at first (81 Geylang Road near Lorong 1, 6747-7366), as it was tucked into a huge row of Sichuan hot pot places (as if there weren't enough of those already...this is getting a bit out of hand). Another reason we missed them was because these guys looked like they were serving hot pot on the outside too, presumably with origins coming from that nasty sister restaurant they used to run.
Indeed, this rundown hot pot place looked nothing like the old restaurant on Purvis Street. Only after we questioned if they were the same folks did they mention that they had a special a la carte menu for those that didn't want the hot pot. Gone were the logo-ed napkins, pre-moistened towels, uniformed servants, nicely printed English menus, and even little trays of pickles and peanuts to start. Instead, we sat out on the street where the overhead florescent lighting attracted winged ants all over our table.
But we came here for the food that we grew to love, so we ordered away with many of our usual dishes. They apparently hired a new chef, so there were some minor changes to the dishes (compare and contrast the photos here with the photos there and there and you'll see what I mean...most notably the lack of scallions on some of these). Other than that, the taste was decently close, but still not quite the same thing. And one huge disappointment was the kung pao chicken, which was oddly in a sweet and sour coating. When we asked why they did it this way, they admitted that they did it to appeal to the local palate, and that we could have asked to have it done the more traditional way instead.
Well, as glad as we were to have found this place again, this just wasn't quite the same thing, and it just ended up blending in with some of the other Sichuan restaurants around here now. Honestly, this place is probably going to fall off my Top 10 list next year as a result too. If someone were to drag me here, then at least the food was good enough at the baseline that I'd still eat it without much complaint, but it's pretty obvious that we're not going to be making as many treks out here as we did to the old place. At least their business looked much healthier here, and probably with much lower rental costs too.
Digested at 8:22 PM
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