I'd have a craving for Sichuanese cuisine once in a while. A relatively new player in the Orchard shopping district, Tian Bao Szechuan Kitchen opened its door in 2015. To the fifth floor of Ngee Ann City my feet led me on.
It was quite a rare occasion that my BFF and I ordered two types of dessert. My little bear was very excited about them.
While the braised peanuts were a tad too dry for my liking, the black mushrooms were juicy and crunchy enough to whet my appetite.
Cold-Stir Tender Chicken Slices with Noodle S$9.80
The first item that came to the table turned out to be the best dish for the day. The cold appetiser of moist chicken discs came with chewy noodle in highly flavourful chili oil, complementing them perfectly. What made the dish even more lovely was the aromatic duo of sesame seeds and spring onions.
Steamed Glass Dumplings with Pork and Spinach S$8.80
The website boasts a range of Sichuan style dim sum, but I wasn't impressed by the steamed dumplings of my choice that looked dehydrated. True enough, the pork meat was lacking in natural juice, not to mention that the dumpling skin wasn't adequately chewy.
Golden Stir-Fried Prawn Balls with Salted Egg Sauce S$18.80
My hope was sort of dashed when I saw that the salted egg sauce was so dry. While the prawns remained more or less succulent inside the adequately crunchy coating, the sauce could have been executed better as its balance of flavours was kinda off. To be honest, I regretted ordering that.
Rice Topped with Tomato and Eggs S$9.80
My spirit was lifted up by the sweet and sour concoction of tomato and eggs over steamed rice. The thickness of the gravy suited my palate. Besides that, there were tomato slices as well that were bursting with the goodness from the Earth as I sank my teeth into them.
Premium Black Sugar Ice Jelly with Osmanthus S$3.80
I'm not too sure as to how premium the black sugar syrup was, but the taste of the molasses was pretty good, juxtaposed by the fragrance the osmanthus exuded. There weren't that many jelly cubes and wolfberries though. Did you know that black sugar has even more health benefits compared to brown sugar?
Pearly Purple Sweet Potato Balls with Ground Peanut Filling S$6.80
As beautiful as they appeared, they were slightly disappointing little balls due to their stickiness that left me no choice but to clean my teeth afterwards. The filling was coarse ground peanut mixed with enough sugar crystals. By the way, each of the purple balls was sitting on top of a slice of carrot.
With hits and misses here and there, I don't know if I'd be interested to make another visit to the restaurant. I miss the cold appetiser though. Pika's advice: There are a few dim sum items that use black sugar. You may want to consider them.
Tian Bao Szechuan Kitchen
391 Orchard Road
#05-06/07 Ngee Ann City
(Mon-Fri: 11.30am - 10.00pm; Sat-Sun: 11.00am - 10.00pm)
*Prices quoted are subject to 10% service charge and 7% GST.
Have a nice meal,