Discovering Dian Xiao Er in Singapore
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!