Following my review on the Malatang at Narati, The Tomcat family and I were also invited to sample the wares at Simmer Huang, a fellow resident of Sunnybank Plaza which I had previously tried when it was newly opened. Also being a northern Chinese style restaurant, it also had a focus on spicy foods.
Arriving at roughly 7pm, there was no wait at all, and the restaurant was roughly half full. A far cry from its initial crowds. Other than that though, decor was exactly the same as when I went a few months ago.
The menu was also the same, but this time, thankfully though, none of our selections had sold out.
Tomcat, ever the alcoholic, started his meal with a red wine.
On the other hand, I tried out some of their cocktails. This was the strawberry daiquri, which I found to be delightfully fruity and refreshing, though definitely not very strong in alcohol taste or content. Still it was a good deal for $6.
Our appetisers also started to come promptly, with the spring onion pastry first to arrive. Being a big fan of this pastry (a beloved childhood favourite), I found the pastry to be quite crispy and deliciously well layered. Unfortunately it was quite lacking in the spring onion department and the flavours weren't quite there.
Another appetiser we sampled was the spicy chicken, served chilled. As you can imagine, it was coated in a dark soy and chili paste. Whilst the dish was refreshing when chilled, we couldn't help but feel that the soy and chilli was way too strong and overpowered the whole dish, detracting from our appreciation of any chicken flavours.
Last but not least, we had a dish of shredded tofu and veges, also chilled. The tofu and veges were quite tender, and I liked the light soy sauce that it came with. The chillies gave it the slight spice hit which added some more dimension to the dish.
Starters aside, the main courses soon arrived. The setup process was exactly the same as last time.
Starting with a buttery oil base,
Fresh veges were added,
Meat was placed on top, this was the basa fish pot,
This was the combination meat and seafood pot.
These were cooked for roughly 20 mins, after which, their signature secret sauce was added to the pot and stirred through.
After another five minutes the finishing touches were added and we dug in. The basa pot was quite well received, the fish was tender and well infused with the saucy flavours in the dish. It was amply flakey and I really enjoyed it. The veges were also quite well seasoned, making for a comforting yet strongly flavoured dish.
The combination meat and seafood pot had a lot more variation than the plain basa pot. Containing chicken, calamari, prawns and some ribs, there was a lot more to choose from. Unfortunately this meant that the prawns were long overcooked by the time the chicken wings were done. Unlike the fish, I also found the chicken and pork didn't absorb the sauces as easily, leaving it slightly bland in the centre.
Once we were almost finished with the pot, our friendly waitress came to demonstrate hand pulled noodles in addition to some more veges. The noodles were definitely the highlight of my night. Served with just the right texture the edges were soft but the centre had bite. Served with the soup that evening, all I could want was more. It was without question a perfect way to round off the night.
Espresso and Matcha were invited guests of Simmer Huang, but as always, our opinions are solely our own.