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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

[Media Invite] Dinner at Shi Li Fang (食立方) @ Orchard Central

181 Orchard Road #07-10 / 11 Orchard Central, Singapore 238896
Tel: 6238 0800

This is a media invite attended by several seasoned reviewers of Hungrygowhere, representatives from Hungrygowhere, Alvin (Epicureanscan) and myself. It was good to catch up with a couple of familiar faces once more, and meet up with new people.

Anyway, Shi Li Fang is a lovely Chinese Hot Pot / Steamboat restaurant with an open bar counter dining concept, as well as private tables by the side.  When we entered the brightly-lit restaurant, the friendly Lady Boss greeted us warmly and we spotted something interesting as well - this "Yu Xi" basin in which you rub the side hard enough and water rises up to wash your face.

I liked the relaxing, non-pretentious and welcoming settings, as though beckoning one to come in for a simmering pot of comfort food. The place was neat and well-kept, uncluttered.

There were 15 types of sauces and dips for our food, out of which there were two special sauces prepared by Shi Li Fang itself. I took a couple of them to try even though I am usually not a sauce / dips person.

This was my seat, with the cheery, colorful utensils laid thoughtfully at my place.

This is a glimpse of the menu, in which one orders their meat, vegetables and other ingredients using. The menu consisted of a huge variety of food items, in fact, ranging from different types of beef to many types of vegetables and seafood etc; everything looked tantalising and very reasonably-priced.

There were many soup base to choose from- they even have it in single soup, double soup and triple soup options. I selected the double soup option - their famous Chicken Soup and Ma La (spicy) soup. For the latter, they even have different levels of spiciness, how thoughtful again.

Most of us started with this basketful of egg, vegetables, fishball, beancurd and crabsticks - the must have ingredients for any good, homely steamboat / hotpot.

There was an assortment of meat - ramen, beef, fish paste and marinated chicken etc.

See how we donned the plastic gloves served alongside the Ramen paste and stretched / pulled / flipped our own la mien (ramen). It was a fun experience, and the la mien strips were actually springy in texture.

Some of the dips we had taken or concocted - including their special Sesame sauce, Seafood sauce and Chilli sauce. The sauce tasted good - thick and rich with flavors.

The Eel that was tender and soft and lovely.

Then we tried some very succulent Beef that nearly melted in our mouths and White Mushrooms, which went well with both the spicy and non-spicy soup bases.

I had this plate of Shanghai Greens - I must have lots of vegetables when it comes to hotpot / steamboat. The veggie was fresh and crisp and refreshing.

Then I squeezed some of these tubed Fish Paste into my steamy hot pot. The fish paste was not bad - bouncy in texture.

We thought that perhaps the Fish Skin would be crispy to eat on its own, but it tasted a lot better immersed in soup - chewy and butter smooth. The Beancurd is always a warm welcome for most of my soups.

This platter of Beef did not look and taste as enticing as the platter of paper thin Beef earlier on.

Now check this Marinated Chicken out - it was well marinated and tasted of spices and a slight tad of sweetness - I kept thinking that the flavor was familiar and akin to something I had tasted recently, but could not find the right word to describe to my dining neighbor. Now I recall - I thought it tasted like Tandoori Chicken. Anyway, despite having been soaked (and forgotten) in my soup for a long time, the chicken still managed to taste good, flavor intact, and meat tender - we were all amazed.

These springy and fresh-looking Fishballs needed no further introduction.

The Black Pork were cut into fine pieces as well, making it easy to cook and chew on. They weren't as tender or luscious as the black pork I eat at some Japanese restaurants, but still a delight to have nonetheless.

A sinful indulgence it was - this plate of Pork Liver - bouncy, juicy and soft, oh what a treat.

Finally, the Wanton Noodles - which was said to be nice because it was "soft"?? Not sure if that was a good thing or apt description, but it looked rather crispy to me. I did not taste it though.

All in all, Shi Li Fang is a lovely place to enjoy a healthy and wholesome meal complete with warm hospitality. The ingredients are fresh, affordable and the variety is rather complete.  Thank you Hungrygowhere and Shi Li Fang for the wonderful meal cum great discovery.

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