Li Jiang Restaurant – Chinese Flavours in Omni Theatre
You mean there is a Chinese restaurant in Science Centre? Yes, I am not kidding. I cannot remember the last time I was at Science Centre. I think I brought my cousin over here to learn about planets or something. When I was asked to come to Science Centre for dinner, I was like, “What? Are you kidding?”
With zero expectations, I was in for a real treat. Located at a corner of Omni Theatre (yes, that theatre with 180 degrees screen), Li Jiang Restaurant first opened at the Singapore Swimming Club in 2003, subsequently moved to Temasek Club at Portsdown and now settled at its current location. The location may not looked impressive, but I tell you, it was almost full for dinner during my visit! Ok lah, not very surprising, considering the Yunnan Group of Restaurant was founded in 1970s, they should have a strong group of following and it’s great for family gathering!
It was raining during our dinner at Li Jiang Restaurant. All I crave for was a bowl of hot soup. My craving was satisfied when Double Boiled Chicken Soup with Ginseng and Cordycep ($18 per bowl) was served. Requiring skills and time, the clear soup has got all the essence from the ingredients. As you can see from the photos, each bowl is brimming with ingredients!
A little Thai influcence, the Deep Fried Cod Fish Fillet with Thai Sauce ($12 each) is a refreshing start with buttery cod deep-fried til golden brown and paired with tangy Thai sauce and crunchy cucumber strips. One of our dear friend’s favourite dish is the huge and crunchy Deep Fried Prawn with Wasabi Sauce ($24/$36/$48). Top is topped with pork floss, honestly I don’t welcome the spice so I was glad that the mayo was sweet and lacks the wasabi punch. But for wasabi fans, they are probably shouting “I want more wasabi in the mayo please!”
The owner strongly recommended us to try their Crispy Chicken in Spicy Sesame Sauce. Thin and crisp skin, the whole chicken is fried and served, hacked up into bite-size pieces. Instead of the usual salt, spicy sesame sauce was drizzled which makes the dish radically different, and brings up the flavour profile by a notch.
All of us were shocked when a plate of white fried rice was served to the table.”Did the chef forgot to add something?” That was our first question. Of course not, it was a plate of glistering white rice grains with egg white, scallop and fish. Calling it Imperial Fried Rice ($16/$26/$36) or in Chinese 清官炒饭, it shows how “uncorrupted” the fried rice was. Unfortunately, the imperial who cooked it that night wasn’t doing the fried rice justice because it lacked the fragrance and some of the grains seem undercooked. And it was a pity that we can’t really taste the scallops and fish because they were cut till real small pieces. I suppose it doesn’t really matter if we were to even replace with cheaper ingredients right?
If you wish to eat more imperial food (Im kidding), order the Braised Pork Ribs in Imperial Sauce with Bun ($25/$50). Tender pork ribs were drenched with the fruity red sauce, giving it a pleasant sweetness but not overpowering. Dip the fried mantou into the sauce or have it like our kong ba bao!
A classic menu you see in most Chinese restaurants is the Braised Abalone with Tofu and Mushroom which can be found in their set menus and of course, banquet. To end the meal, we were treated to a bowl of Snow Pear with White Fungus and Osmanthus. It is a refreshing dessert to end the sumptuous dinner.
Li Jiang has been an unsung restaurant for a long time. Its down-to-earth menu and generous offerings have welcome many families here and I salute its perseverance – doing what they do at best without compromising on quality and quantity. Don’t be confused by its name, it doesn’t serve yun nan dishes, but just the usual Chinese food. And don’t worry about parking, there’s lots of parking spaces at Science Centre!
Li Jiang Restaurant
Address: Omni Theatre, 21 Jurong Town Hall Road, Singapore 609433
Tel: +65 67771989 / +65 67778888
Opening Hours: 11.15am – 2.30pm, 6pm – 10pm daily
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