Some like it hot and spicy! Here are our fave new tongue-tingling Sichuanese dishes at Birds of a Feather on Amoy Street
Hip restaurant Birds of a Feather is one of those Narnia-styles spots — pull open the door and be greeted by warmly lit interiors lush with tropical plants and soft wooden furniture. The cuisine at Birds of a Feather is contemporary Western with Sichuan influence. French-trained Head Chef Eugene See makes regular gourmet-centred pilgrimages to Chengdu and speaks passionately about the traditional Sichuanese dishes that inspire his reinvented menu items.
Probably our all-time-favourite dishes at Birds of a Feather is the aptly named Find the Chicken in the Chillies ($16). This firecracker of a dish consists of Deep-fried Chicken marinated with Sichuan seasoning, all thrown in a bowl full of dried red chilis – so addictively delicious it’s insane.
But we are here to try the new dishes, so we tuck into two new starters: Baked Eggplant ($14), and Birds Not Stinky Toufu ($16). Baked Eggplant ($14) is a modern take on the classic Sichuan dish of stir-fried eggplant. In this Western-influenced version, Japanese eggplant is baked with mozzarella cheese, bread chips, and fried mantou and served with a heady spicy house made sauce of red oil, doubanjiang, fried ginger, garlic, pickled chilli and black vinegar.
The prettily plated Birds Not Stinky Toufu ($16) just might make you brave enough to try the real deal stinky tofu! Instead of actual stinky tofu, here Silken tofu is pressed overnight, blended with the very stinky, very delicious cheese vieux lille and piped into aburaage tofu then oven baked and served with sweet pickled beetroot and crispy soy beans – a lovely marriage of Eastern inspiration with Western ingredients.
Charcoal Grilled Pork Bits ($15) is a dish derived from Chef scoffing barbecue pork belly skewers from a roadside stall. His version is decidedly higher end garlicky-spicy Duroc pork belly with crispy rice crackers, charred green chilli and Japanese sweet potato.
The people at Birds of a Feather have a great sense of humour while taking their cuisine very seriously. If you can look past the name, Spicy Good Slime Shine ($24) – springy Chinese yam noodles (the ones often eaten at Sichuan hotpot restaurants) – is a tasty dish that packs one spicy punch! The noodles are served here with hot and sour soup broth thickened with pumpkin and millet. Meanwhile the lunchtime special Red Birdie Noodle ($20) of Hiyamugi noodles with a sauce of red oil, doubanjiang, and chilli paste, topped with egg confit and served with bang bang chicken, is something we have on our list to go back to try.
If you’re looking for a little theatre with dessert – the Ice2 Baby ($15) is a dramatic take on a classic Sichuan street dessert. While it wasn’t to our taste, the dessert of ice jelly, with torched cucumber slices, berries, crushed peanuts, lao zhao granite and gula melaka caramel is certainly one to draw attention with its arrival of smouldering dry ice.
Birds of A Feather, 115 Amoy Street, Singapore 069935, Tel: (+65) 6221 7449, www.facebook.com/birdsofafeathersg