Memorable Meal 04 | Chen’s Mapo Tofu

 

OUE Downtown Gallery #02-29

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Chen Kentaro (son of Chen Kenmin, regarded as Japan’s “Father of Sichuan Cuisine”), a Michelin starred chef, has brought us this relaxed, chilled eatery that focuses on Sichuan Cuisine with a Japanese twist.  Their signature dishes are their Mapo Tofu (麻婆豆腐) and Dan Dan Mian (担担面). 

Traditional Mapo Tofu is usually very bold with chillis and peppercorns producing a distinctive mouth numbing “Mala” flavour of Sichuan cuisine.  However this variant is more subtle, with the Mala flavour toned down a little but with no compromise to the taste of the dish.  The perfectly cooked tofu is firm and springy, and despite the strong sauce, the taste of the tofu can still shine through and adds a little complexion to the dish. The Mapo Tofu is then laid on top of a bed of slightly sticky, fluffy Japanese rice to create their signature Mapo Don.  

Their Dan Dan Mian isn’t covered in the Mapo Tofu (although that option does exist on the menu) but rather it is coated in rather wonderful peanut sauce and topped off with minced meat.  The noodles are delightfully ‘sticky’ and springy and you’ll be hard pressed to stop yourself from globbling them all up in a few minutes.  The soup version (the description above just covered the ‘dry’ version) has rich peanut soup that that is also rather tasty (and still mildly spicey) but I believe the dry noodles leave more of a lasting impression. 

Another recommended dish is the Sichuan Chicken Poppers for an appetiser.  They are beautifully crispy with a delightful amount of flavour and kick from the spice. 

As you can probably tell from the write up and the pictures, the food is definitely not light and you can definitely feel it add to your BMI (and it's a little too salty for some - I wish they could tone it down just a notch).  However, that being said, you will not eat here every day (just add a few more KM’s to your running routine).  It’s definitely worth a visit, you will not regret it.

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Tip : Go for the Super Value meal that allows you try all the signature dishes for only $16!

 

 
 
Mapo Don

Mapo Don

The Dan Dan Mian

The Dan Dan Mian

Sichuan Chicken Poppers

Sichuan Chicken Poppers

Banbanji Chicken

Banbanji Chicken

The Super Value Meal

The Super Value Meal

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$ - Inexpensive  $$ - Moderate  $$$ - Exorbitant

This all about the meals that have left an interminable impression on me.  Instead of reviewing every eatery I come across (there are more than enough websites that do that), I'll only be writing about places I enjoy, that I've repeatedly visited and personally feel that it's worth your time to check out too.  By definition, all these eateries will be 4/5 stars on my old rating system so won't need a ranking.  I will indicate the price