After Blue Lotus - Chinese Eating House (Quayside Isle) and Blue Lotus - Chinese Noodle Bar (Science Park Drive), entrepreneur Ricky Ng has recently launched his third restaurant, Blue Lotus - Chinese Grill House, at Tanjong Pagar Centre.
Admittedly, I wasn't familiar with any of Blue Lotus' dining concept until my recent visit to this latest addition. The dishes we tried successfully married Chinese flavors and essence with Western culinary techniques, and presented a taste that's familiar yet different with a brilliant, new-age twist.
It was a delightful dining discovery that should have been made sooner, but fortunately it's still not too late.
Blue Lotus Chinese Grill House occupies a comfortable 60-seater dining space, as well as a 36-seater alfresco area on the ground level of Tanjong Pagar Centre.
There is also a 14-seater private dining room equipped with karaoke system. If you wish to exercise your vocals after feeding your tummy, just ask for a microphone and sing away.
If my office is in the vicinity, I'd probably be making frequent trips over to the restaurant for lunch.
A 3-course Set Lunch starts at $18++ per pax, and includes starter, main and dessert.
Besides the affordable price-point, menu is attractive too with options like Claypot Mapo Tofu Rice with Onsen Egg ($18++), Oven-baked Grilled Chicken Rice ($20++), and Steamed Mee Sua with Boston Lobster Tail ($24++). Gotta eat 'em all!
Haha but of course I can't, not unless I can eat without getting fat. So this time round, we only went for the Hot Stone Pork Lard Truffle Flavored Fried Rice ($20++) and Chili Pomelo La Mian Soup with Crabmeat ($22++) from the lunch selection.
Both carb offerings were delicious!
There is an element of fun for the fried rice, as we need to exercise our wrist power first. A tray of egg fried rice, Chinese sausage, baby asparagus, pork lard butter, crispy pork lard and truffle oil were brought to us, and we're supposed to fry the ingredients ourselves at the table.
The sizzling sound and the aroma that whiffed up as the ingredients are being tossed in the hot stone bowl were intoxicating. Best to leave the rice to rest for a while so that you'd get a nice crust at the side and bottom, and add in the truffle oil last to better gauge the amount you prefer. Coupled all that with unctuous goodness of crispy pork lard, each mouthful was..... divine!
The la mian soup was delightful as well with springy housemade noodles, slivers of crabmeat, refreshing pomelo in an invigorating chili broth. If we eat according to weather, then this spicy noodle soup is the most ideal on a rainy day.
Come evening time, the menu expands considerably.
That translucently-thin crisp Chicken Skin ($9++), meltingly-tender Hickory Smoked Honey-glazed Kurobuta Pork Belly ($16++) and excellent Crab Balls ($22++) with lumps of fresh crabmeat shaped into balls, deep-fried and served with Blue Lotus' signature chilli pomelo sauce, are a few tapas which I'd recommend to go with a beer or two, or commence dinner with.
If you ask me what would be a memorable dish for me, it would be the Fried Pork Trotters ($12++).
Though braised pork trotters is known as a traditional "confinement food" for new mothers, the dish is nevertheless enjoyed by a wider audience who are fond of its pungent smell, and sweet and sour taste of vinegar.
While I'm not adverse to the classic dish, I much prefer this contemporary rendition with tender, fried meat trotter chunks in a coat of thin crunchiness. The ginger and vinegar dip wasn't too sharp either, and suited my tastebud just nicely.
For meat lovers, the Josper-grilled Australian Wagyu Beef Ribeye ($48++) served with caramelized onions, grilled ladies fingers and a red pepper chili puree was moreish and not to be missed.
The Grilled "San Bei" Pork Jowl ($26++) is prepared using the 24 hours sous-vide method, before being finished off in the Josper Grill. This is just one instance of "marrying Chinese flavors with Western culinary technique" which I've talked about earlier.
We were happy with our Fermented Tofu Barley Risotto ($28++) with a generous slab of pan-seared barramundi too. That pickled chili sauce really packed a punch, and transformed the deceptively-boring Plain Jane into a gorgeous hottie once it exploded with spicy sultriness our mouths.
Fried Broccolini with Garlic ($12++) was simple but well-executed too.
My dining companions' meal concluded with Durian Crème Brulée ($14++). Its smell was super stinky for I-cannot-stand-durian-me, so I guessed it was heavenly fragrant for them. A clean bowl suggested the crème brulée was good .
I stayed on the safe side and ended with Baked Cinnamon Apple Pie with Yuzu Sorbet ($12++).
It was all altogether a lovely meal at Blue Lotus Chinese Grill House. The union of East and West worked well without the "fusion till confusion" plight. Will certainly return to spend my time and calorie space here.
Blue Lotus Chinese Grill House
Address: 5 Wallich Street, #01-13 Tanjong Pagar Centre, Singapore 078883
Contact: +65 6996 0880
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11.30am-10.30pm / Closed on Sun
Prices are stated in Singapore dollars and subject to 10% service charge & 7% GST. Information is correct at point of published date.
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