And onto the World Expo! I was there for 2 consecutive days, so that equates to two lunches and dinners at the exhibition grounds! For our first lunch, we explored the rows of Chinese restaurants that were specially handpicked to set up shop at the Expo, showcasing Chinese cuisine to the world!
We eventually settled on 得月楼 that specialised in SuZhou-style cooking. While the ingredients used and cooking method are very similar to those of Shanghai or the neighbouring HangZhou, SuZhou food tended to be on the sweeter side with heavy usage of rock sugar and natural floral scents.
The lotus roots were stuffed with glutinous rice and simmered lightly in brown sugar, creating a crunchy outer texture with sticky sweetened fillings. Takes a while to get used to, but my mom's a fan of this!
The second one was a fish dish that had undegone fermentation. Drizzled with light sweetened soy sauce and served cold, it was a rather good appetiser for the hot dishes that followed.
Like I have mentioned, eels are commonly eaten by the Chinese. Very much like the Japanese Unagi, its meat was thinner and chewier, stirred fried in a thick sweeten gravy. 茭白 is a form of bamboo shoot that is rather rare in Singapore. With a smooth and crunchy texture, it served as a good source of fibre!
The river prawns are first fried with shells on and stacked nicely before serving. While we liked its tender meat, we thought the coating of sweet gravy was a little too much, overpowering the natural taste of the prawn.
And the most unique one! The pretty cube of pork belly had been infused with the floral sweetness of cherry blossom, sinful fats melting in your mouth and lean meat soaking up the sweetened sauce. Yes, I had probably mentioned sweet umpteen times already, but that was really the one word persisting throughout the meal!
We also had a pork bun (100% savoury, thankfully) each that wasn't memorable, and ended off with desserts of sticky cakes that were similar to the ones in YangZhou Restaurant but with a more coarse texture.
Bill for 6 was about RMB600, slightly on the high side considering the few dishes we had. It was a first encounter with SuZhou dishes and while we couldn't get used to the sweet flavourings, it was still an interesting experience overall.
Seeing too much chinese food already? I will be moving on to French, Japanese and Belgian next!