Thursday, April 10, 2008
Shanghai's Chicken Hot Pot in Singapore
That was unexpected. After walking around the basement of the newly renovated Temasek Tower tonight to see if there were anything interesting to eat, I was nearly ready to give up. But then I spotted a "Chicken Pot" sign in the distance with a chili pepper in the middle (8 Shenton Way #B1-21, 6220-8048). Hmm...what was this? Closer inspection revealed some kind of a spicy chicken restaurant from Shanghai that had allegedly attained all sorts of praise over the past few years. OK - I figured that it was worth a try.
Now, normally the words "spicy hot pot" conjure up images of a bright red Sichuan broth swirling around in a big metal pot. But this was nothing of the sort. What came out instead was a burner-supported claypot containing what appeared to be meat cooked in a dark soy sauce. Uh oh - for a guy that doesn't really get too excited about food stewed in soy sauce, that didn't look too encouraging.
But I didn't mind the taste as much as I thought I would. The soy sauce wasn't as heavy as it looked, and as long as one specified that he wanted the spiciest version possible, then it actually got a bit more interesting. Finding cuts of daikon and cloves of garlic inside the pot were welcome surprises, and the salty/spicy mixture ended up making a great accompaniment to a couple glasses of cold beer. Once the meat was finished, they came by with a clear broth and poured it into the pot to make a soup out of the leftover spices. A quick walk on over to the refrigerator provided the opportunity to pick out some veggies for dunking.
Despite all of this, I won't make any huge effort to come back, in part due to my aversion to soy-sauce-stewed food. But if this place is really as big as it is in China, then I'm glad I tried it. Note: if you don't like gnawing on bones, I'd suggest skipping the namesake chicken version and going straight for the beef, even if the latter was a bit dry and tough.
Digested at 8:04 PM
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