Sunday, October 21, 2007

Liu San

C says:

This seems to be the weekend for casual Asian eateries. First, we tried the very good Streets at IMM on Saturday, then for dinner on Sunday we met up with A’s friends at this little joint in Bukit Timah Plaza, where R and P are regulars.

Whereas Streets sells Hong Kong cha chan teng food, Liu San serves up the Taiwanese equivalent. We took P’s lead and ordered all the stuff that she recommended, but judging from everyone’s reactions, I think pretty much everything here is good.

We ordered the drunken chicken, and were pleasantly surprised to be told that it was available immediately, because the menu did say “advance order”. This was very authentic; it was served cold, with the yummy gelatinous chicken stock at the bottom of the plate, and it was very strong. No skimpy dashes of shaoshing wine here. This is full-on, hard-core drunken chicken.

The two specialities which P recommended are the Braised Pork Rice, and Braised Chicken Rice. We ordered them to share, but A ended up having more of the pork rice. I must say the chicken rice, though very delicious, was slightly more ordinary compared to the pork rice. The chicken was just stewed soya sauce chicken (thigh fillet), albeit a very yummy version, whereas the pork was very interesting. I expected pork slices or something, but instead, the rice came topped with minced/shredded pork in lots of gravy. Trust me, this tasted way better than it looks or how I’m describing it. At first bite it was bugging me because it tasted familiar. After a few more mouthfuls it hit me – it was essentially mashed kong bak (of Westlake kong bak pau fame)! Aside from the rather liberal hand with the coriander, this dish is comfort food at its best.

We also ordered a few portions of their gyozas to share, both the steamed version and the pan-fried version. Both were very good, though naturally the unhealthier fried version had more flavour.

They have an interesting dessert of or nee, the traditional Teochew yam dessert, but a healthy lard-free version using olive oil instead. This definitely tasted healthy; it didn’t have the flavour of the lardy versions, but was yummy in its own way. The owners, upon seeing a huge table of 10, thought that R&P were celebrating something, so they were sweet enough to give all of us a complimentary dessert of a small brownie with tangerine sauce. The brownie was a bit crumbly, but with the orange sauce it tasted like a Jaffa cake, yum.

They have home-made soya bean milk here which rocks, though it’s not for people who like their soya bean milk overly sweet and processed (read: A). I loved it. This place has lots to offer – portions aren’t very big but prices are reasonable. The waitstaff mainly speak Mandarin but they’re very polite, and there are so many other dishes that I want to try that we’ll definitely be heading here again some time soon.

Note: the place always seems to be packed, so I guess other people have discovered it too; probably no thanks to people venturing to Bukit Timah Plaza for Fairprice Finest. You can play it safe by making a reservation, or alternatively just leave your name with them, and wander around the supermarket while waiting.

A says:

I only like the mains. I find the starters and sides okay only. I think if we go back in the future, we’ll have a quick main here and go down to Wishbone for a milkshake and/or dessert.

Note: The chilli is freakin’ SPICY! I’m going to drop it cause it’s too HOT!

Liu San
No. 1 Jalan Anak Bukit
#01-09 Bukit Timah Plaza
Tel: 6463-1833
Closed Mon and Tues. Wed to Sun – 11 am to 8.30 pm (or thereabouts)

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