Thursday, December 01, 2016

Putien, Kitchener Road


Earlier back in the middle of the year, the Michelin Guide for Singapore announced its very first results for whom they had bequeathed their stars. With no disparagement intended, Putien wasn't a place I had thought would make the list. We've eaten at their restaurant in Marina Square and City Square Mall. This was our first visit to the flagship branch (127 Kitchener Road, tel : +65 6295 6358). The one with the star.

This visit happened to coincide with the First Harvest Seaweed Festival which serves the first batch of harvested seaweed for the year from Wheat Island in Fujian. They apparently grow in nutrient rich and pollution free water. The first harvest refers to the limited window ideal for the seaweed harvest where the quality is supposed to be the best.

And how do I know these things? How the hell does anyone know anything these days? It starts with a 'G' and ends with an 'oogle', that's how. 


The pre-food snacks have always been fried seaweed at Putien. Together with toasted peanuts, was pretty good munching.


We had an order of century eggs. Their style. Fried with vinegar and sugar which provides that tart/sour dimension which is normally provided by pickled ginger. If I had to pick an option on how century eggs alone are to be had, the best way to eat them would be with vinegar and sugar.


Putien's braised intestines are good. They have a light chew across a taut nine layers and the flavour is almost like sausages. The braising liquid is awesome with rice/noodles and such.


Here's seaweed with dried baby shrimps. The seaweed is tossed in vinegar, a little chilled and eats well alone or with any of their starch dishes.


That's a pan fried omelette loaded with seaweed in case anyone was wondering. Something that's not part of their regular menu. This also happened to be the one of those items that looked better in the real thing than in the picture on the menu. That picture looked like it was matted hair on a scalp off someone's head. This tasted pretty good by the way.


Here's claypot rice with seaweed. The rice was cooked in a broth of seaweed and dried oysters. The dominant flavour actually came from the dried oysters that were used in the cooking. Pretty good tasting rice I would say.


Stewed seaweed - seaweed that's boiled in chicken broth with bits of pork belly and cubes of yam. 


And even more seaweed in oyster soup. This was served with vinegar on the side which honestly, took off some of the monotony of the flavours. At this point of time, we were all pretty seaweeded. This meal would also mark the most seaweed I've ever eaten in one seating.


We ordered the braised luffa because the menu described it as something slow cooked with with generous portions of dried scallop. While we liked the luffa, the portions of the dried scallops were anything but generous.


The second starch of the meal was their fried Heng Hwa bee hoon. It's only now that I actually noticed that their bee hoon were finer than general factory made ones. In spite of appearances, they are actually quite flavourful. Good enough to eat on its own.


I've never thought that Putien is great with desserts. They still aren't. This loquat with herbal jelly wasn't too bad. Wasn't the traditional herbal jelly I was thinking of because it tasted citrusy, but I'd eat this again. 

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