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Restaurants & Bars 2

pearl villa

dchow | Mar 29, 2003 09:05 PM

ten dishes:

*malaea lobak*
there were two preparations of tofu, both deep-fried. thin layers of tofu were wrapped around a slice of meat, just crisp and a little bit of that tofu bite nearer in the middle. it looked like a flattened egg roll. the other was cubes of tofu. crispy on the outside and silken in the interior. simple and fantastic. these were served with two sauces (i only tried the hot one). we agreed that these had just come straight from the deep fryer as we nearly burned our mouths . . .

*fried squid and pork with spicy salt*
the squid was decent, but the pork was the winner. tender, juicy, even some pieces on the bone. the squid was at times chewy. could have been spicier, imho. i've had better squid at chau chow city at 2am, straight from the deep fryer . . .

*balachan watercress*
watercress cooked in a light sauce with plenty of minced garlic. we had to have at least one plate of greens among all the other plates . . .

*tofu with dried scallops and mustard greens*
delicious. it must have been a hit with everyone because it was completely licked clean (figuratively speaking). beautiful, silken tofu in a light sauce with the scallops dispersed throughout and the greens along the border of the dish. a nice light preparation.

*noodles with egg and shrimp?*
it was very much like chow foon but with thinner noodles, scrambled egg, and a slightly sweet flavor. another clean-plate finish. i think someone mentioned it was a traditional singaporean dish?

*steamed eel*
some disliked this dish because of the bones, but if you could overlook that, the eel was quite tasty. the steaming was great -- lent to a fantastic texture and was enhanced by the wine it was steamed in. i kept spooning the broth into my bowl of rice just because. oh yeah! it took a little bit of technique to get just the meat, but once you had this down, there's no stopping you. it certainly didn't stop me.

*sea conch (balachan?)*
the conch was served with a lot of bean sprouts and a light sauce (can't recall the other ingredients). the texture of the conch was like that of squid, a little bit chewy but tender. a decent dish.

*balachan chicken with curried sauce*
this was very heavy and thick. tasty chicken falling off of the bone (and at times the bone was falling apart as well). the yellow curry also included a lot of potato, half of which was cooked so long it became a thickener and part of the stewy gravy.

*claypot rice with salted fish and chinese sausage*
the pot made the rice very crisp along the contact point between the two. the salted fish was a nice contrast to the sweet, plump, and fatty sliced sausage. i thought the rice was dry, however, but this was my first claypot rice dish, so maybe that's how it was supposed to be. any thoughts? this dish was a hit as well as most of it was gone by the end of the meal.

*beef with satay sauce*
pieces of beef in a brown sauce with onions and red and green peppers. couldn't think of anything too distinguishable about it -- maybe i was thinking of my next piece of eel . . .

question: what is balachan? i didn't order (we had a lot of balachan dishes) -- i just ate whatever was in front of me . . .

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