SINGAPORE - (THE NEW PAPER) A name should not really matter when it comes to a restaurant.
But whenever I walked past Sifu, a Hong Kong casual eatery at Bugis Junction, I never thought of going in because the name just suggested to me third-rate dim sum.
Well, I was wrong in this case. I was able to find some very decent dishes at very friendly prices. The menu is inspired by Hong Kong's quick meal dishes, tweaked to Singaporean tastes.
Do not be alarmed - it is not as bad as it sounds. The dishes I tried were acceptable, some even quite good, although the service was not remarkable.
You will get your food in a timely manner, but the servers do not have time for small talk.
It is great if you just want a quick meal. Pleasantries can wait when one is broke and hungry.
TASTY TWO WAYS
Sifu's signature roasted chicken thigh and shrimp dumpling soup noodles ($10.80) is a winner. It comes with either the recommended beehoon or flat rice noodles. I prefer the latter.
I liked it because the soup, made from pork and chicken bones and boiled for eight hours, has a lovely creaminess.
The chicken is marinated with curry powder and five spices, and served dunked in the soup, which added a new dimension.
I thought the caramelised roasted ribs ($3.90 a rib) was merely passable. The pork was too lean for my liking and the glaze far too cloying.
NEW AT SIFU
When I went for the invited tasting, we got to try a dish that debuts this month called Begger Sect Chicken Stew ($12.80). It reminded me of Macanese food.
The creaminess could be too much for some, but it was flavourful and smooth.
A must-try is the signature home-made beef stew ($10.80). It was aromatic and the taste did not disappoint.
It had a subtle sweetness and could have been more silky, but it worked.
The steamed fish paste in beancurd pockets ($4.80) was delicious.
It may be a tad salty for some, but I found it perfect.
But when I returned for an unannounced visit, the sauce was slightly floury and the colour of the beancurd was very pale, almost unappetising.
WHERE #01-69 Bugis Junction
WHEN 11.30am to 10pm daily
This article was first published on April 1, 2015.
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