Sunday, May 27, 2012

Discovering Dian Xiao Er in Singapore

Duck Roasted with Ten Wonder Herbs

I must have passed by outlets of Dian Xiao Er numerous times, but I never really had any inclination to go inside, in part since it just seemed like any other Chinese restaurant around town. It was only upon looking at their menu did I get intrigued by some signature duck that was roasted with Chinese herbs. I'm not exactly a fan of Chinese herbs, but somehow this got me curious, and we came by tonight to give it a try.

I'm so glad that we did. That duck was delicious, mainly because of all of its tasty fat and crispy skin - and nary a sign of bitter herbs to be found. The dark sauce that it sat in was also much thinner and lighter than I was expecting, thus complementing the taste of the duck rather than overwhelming it with any kind of thick sweet stuff that one usually gets at other places. I got a little shot glass of huangjiu to go with it, as well as some thick geng soup, the latter of which was not as refreshing as the one at Teochew Restaurant, but still did the job.

Yes, we'll easily come back, perhaps super-sizing to a larger portion of that wonderful duck. Indeed, it was interesting to find out that these guys were actually run by the same guys who do Soup Restaurant, which not only explains why we liked the food, but also the similarity in its cozy Chinese-themed decor. I can't believe that I've been missing out on this place after so many years!


Anonymous said...

Their fried rice is good too!

munchiew said...

Yeah a lot of even locals who passed by its outlets countless times without ever trying their food, and all were pleasantly surprised by its duck.

bma said...

Update: we went to Dian Xiao Er tonight and the food was the complete opposite of what we had the first time. It was way too lean, which meant no fat and no taste. The skin was soggy, and even the veggies that we got on the side were just unnecessary calories. I'm not sure if it was because we went to a different location than last time (Marina Square instead of VivoCity), but hopefully the next time we come to this chain, it will be more consistent with the first time. If our first time was like tonight instead, frankly we'd never come back. (To their credit, at least the service here was more attentive and friendly than most other places around town.)

bma said...

Update Two: we went back to VivoCity today and the duck was yet another letdown, especially the pieces of meat without any fat. It was a little better when the skin was attached, but it wasn't crispy. Strange. I'm willing to go back another time to give it one more chance; I seriously hope that it will be more like the first visit.