Thursday, October 2, 2014

Mouth Restaurant - A Treasure Pot of Sorts and a Salted Egg Yolk Bun That is Legend

Mouth Restaurant has always been one of those places that has remained a mainstay of Chinese fine dining in Singapore. Having been a fixture at Chinatown Point for so many years, they are now located a few blocks away at China Square Central.

They continue to serve fine Chinese cuisine and have now added a brand new "Treasure Pot Feast" menu at a very friendly price meant for a party of 6 to 10.

At the same time, hairy crabs are again in season and though I am not a big fan of hairy crabs myself, I was more than happy to make a trip down to Mouth to savour the new menu and the hairy crabs.

As for the new place, little has changed. It looks refined and cosy for a Chinese restaurant, and retains the same classic look and feel. Which is fine by me, as I do find a lot of the newer boys on the block trying to hard to "modernise" the Chinese look and decor. Sometimes, keeping it straightforward makes more sense. As it does here.

Hairy Crab

As far as hairy crabs go, this was quite decent. The roe is what people go for in hairy crabs, and though I like roe quite a bit myself, there was little to excite me in terms of the crab itself. I did like the pairing of the crab with the rather excellent vinegar they served on the side. Neither too strong nor too acidic, the vinegar was perfect and really made the crab so much better.

Early Days Sharks Fin Soup

Despite a clumsy name, I really enjoyed this bowl of sharks fin soup that was accentuated by fine strands of fried wanton skin that added a delightful crunch to the bowl. The broth was flavourful and had a number of ingredients thrown within and made for a comforting bowl of soup.

HK Temple Street Claypot Rice

They really need to come up with better names for their dishes. Nevertheless, the claypot rice was spectacular to see and to taste. Large chunks of tender, moist chicken pieces adorned the pot and when paired with the garlic sauce, this was probably my favourite dish of the day. Garlic laden, the rice took on an extra depth and dimension that made me hard to stop at just one bowl.

Sautéed Grouper in 3 Cup Sauce

Another visual treat, this deep fried fish dish had an appealing mixture of soy, sesame and basil all combined to give the fish the needed flavours to complement it. Different levels of textures and sweetness, savouriness and acidity all came together in this exciting dish.

Baked Salted Egg Yolk Buns

But if there is one thing that makes it mandatory to come to Mouth, it has to be this "legendary" baked salted egg yolk buns. The crust was a crispy wonder, and biting into the bun carefully, we were told to hold everything into our mouths so that the salted egg yolk custard would flow completely into our palates.

This classic combination of bun pastry and the savoury goodness of the salted egg yolk was simply perfect. Needless to say, I was totally floored by this single little bun.

It was hardly a surprise though as Mouth is now one of the best places to have dim sum and they are both refined and innovative when it comes to conjuring dim sum dishes.

As for the Treasure Pot, there are always hits and misses and I am glad to report that the hits outweigh the misses. There are also a truffle asparagus dish, a sea cucumber in abalone sauce, pi pa tofu and a very old school shrimp on toast dish.

Whilst all these were well executed, the standouts for me have to be the egg yolk bun, the claypot rice and the fried fish. Do note that the hairy crab is not part of this menu but it can be ordered separately.

As for Mouth, it was a most welcomed and satisfying return to this evergreen restaurant.

Mouth Restaurant
China Square Central
22 Cross Street
#01-61

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