Tantalise your tastebuds with authentic Sichuan cuisine at the recently refurbished Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant at Parkroyal on Beach Road.
As part of the ST+ news with benefits rewards programme, 12 Straits Times subscribers and their partners will get to feast on an eight-course dinner on Nov 29, curated by The Straits Times' food critic Wong Ah Yoke and the restaurant's executive chef Zeng Feng.
Just answer a question on what your favourite Sichuan dish is and why. The contest runs until Nov 23 and winners will be notified via e-mail.
While many may associate Sichuan food with only fiery ma la (numbing spicy) flavours and chillies, the menu items have been specially selected to show that it is much more than that.
The eight dishes range from fiery to mildly spicy to not spicy at all.
Highlights include double-boiled minced chicken with beancurd and fungus soup; crispy rice bubble with braised sliced pufferfish; stir-fried Kurobuta pork with garlic and chilli sauce; and the must-have mapo tofu (beancurd in spicy minced meat sauce).
Chef Zeng, 50, a Sichuan native, will explain each dish at the dinner and demonstrate how some of them are prepared. Mr Wong will host the dinner with Ms Wee Wei Ling, executive director of the restaurant.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
1. Download the SPH Rewards app from Google Play or Apple app stores
2. Look for the Rewards section
3. Save this deal to your e-wallet
4. Press the "Go to website" button at the bottom of the "Details" page and answer the question: What is your favourite Sichuan dish and why?
While the dishes on the menu may be served in a modern way, says chef Zeng, they all showcase authentic flavours and traditional cooking techniques which he has honed for the past 34 years.
He says in Mandarin: "The double-boiled minced chicken soup requires a lot of skill as the chicken breast is minced by hand. You cannot use a machine for this and the dish is slowly disappearing from restaurant menus.
"People think Sichuan food is only about ma la flavours. But we want to showcase a whole variety of flavours for diners to appreciate."
On the menu curation, Mr Wong adds: "We made sure that there's variation in the flavours. You can't have all spicy dishes for a meal anyway. I enjoy the soup dish, something I used to have in the 1980s.
"The mapo tofu is also very authentic. You perspire as you eat it, but you still want more."
The restaurant also marks its 21st anniversary this year and Ms Wee, 65, says: "The restaurant has come a long way and I've known Ah Yoke since we opened. We always improve our food based on his comments and we treasure his friendship and advice.
"This meal will mark a memorable evening and will be a fun get-together for readers."