Duo Le, Orchard Central, Singapore
Never having been to Shaanxi before, my only exposure to the Chinese province's cuisine has been my beloved cold noodle shop in Geylang. And from that, I had high hopes that this upscale chain from Shaanxi (181 Orchard Road #08-09, 6509-8616) would feature similar tasting food, as I eagerly awaited its opening.
But when it finally opened, I realized that I had set the wrong expectations for myself. Not only did they not have those cold noodles, but also most of the food wasn't based on that spicy mix that I was hoping for. Case in point: the namesake Shaanxi noodles were unexpectedly white in color without a drop of chili oil to be seen.
OK, they did have some spicy stuff, such as that cold chicken above. And they did have a great sesame seed-laden chili sauce that I would easily buy if they sold it by the bottle. But I didn't care too much for their spicy crab, which was more soy sauce-based than I would like. Well, this was a very fancy table linen-adorned place that could come in handy for a business lunch one of these days. I just had the wrong expectations going in.