One of the perks of having an AMEX card is being able to enjoy incredible offers on all sorts of dining and lifestyle categories. This particular offer I opted in for entailed a $100 cashback with a minimum spend of $300 at any Pan Pacific Hotel Group dining establishment. On top of that, I could utilize a 20% discount on the bill with my GHA Discovery membership, making the deal even sweeter. Given the easing of covid restrictions then to allow for five people to dine out, I thought it would be a good opportunity to finally have a nice dinner with my family at Si Chuan Dou Hua!
- Our order:
- Stir-fried crab with sliced pork in spicy sauce ($68++)
- Stir-fried scallops with broccoli – small ($32++)
- 500g local lobster with XO sauce ($80++)
- 800g steamed Soon Hock fish with soya sauce ($96++)
- Braised sliced pork with crispy rice bubble – medium ($33++)
- Chinese spinach and crispy fish skin in superior stock – medium ($30++)
- Bean curd in spicy minced meat sauce ($18++ waived)
- Cafe latte ($6++)
- Junshan Yinzhen tea* ($30++ for 5 pax)
- Pickles* ($5++ for 5 pax)
- Spent: SGD$366.05
It was a rainy evening when we pulled up to the hotel where the restaurant was located. After confirming our reservation, we were promptly seated and served tea by a formidable-looking tea master. The process of him pouring our tea was quite a sight to behold as he wielded his long-spouted teapot with such grace and finesse.
The restaurant was fairly crowded that evening but it still felt quite comfortable since there was substantial space between tables. Every table had strawberry-flavoured fortune cookies on them and apparently, instead of getting your fortune told, the slip of paper inside indicates the complimentary dish you can get on your next visit. My dad unknowingly ate his slip of paper as he had no idea how fortune cookies work! Completely cracked us up lol.
To place an order, we were asked to scan a QR code to submit our order online. When we enquired about ordering steamed crab, one of the staff shared that it’s best to contact the restaurant beforehand to check first as they may not have stock. Oh well, we managed to find other dishes to get anyway.
Boy, were we in for a feast! There was crab, lobster, scallops and many other dishes. Ah, I’ve missed having such a wide variety that comes with dining in a bigger group (: In addition, my mom was able to persuade the staff to allow us to claim one of our fortune cookie complimentary dishes that evening instead of on our next visit. This was a very legit-tasting bean curd in spicy minced meat sauce which my family really liked, though the sauce was too much for my non-spicy-preferring tastebuds to handle.
Everything was superbly flavourful and well-cooked that I’d be hard-pressed to play favourites. If I really had to choose some to recommend, I’d say the Soon Hock fish (tender and seasoned nicely) and the lobster (flavourful with a perfect texture). My dad’s favourite was the crab dish hands down, he really loves his crustaceans.
Portion sizes were unexpectedly huge too – when the wait staff brought out our dishes, we were a bit worried that we couldn’t finish the food (but all we packed in our doggy bag was a crab claw and other remnants from that plate).
Strangely though, we ordered a bowl of onion sauce noodles and knife-shredded noodles but for some reason, these never came and never made it onto our bill as well. Although it was kind of a blessing in disguise because we were full from the other dishes already, this was a clear lapse on their end.
Initially before we submitted our order, I enquired about the discount that comes with my GHA Discovery membership. The staff noted down my membership number and informed that the 20% discount would be accorded when we receive the bill later.
However, when the bill came, there was no sign of it so I requested for them to apply the discount. When I checked the bill a second time, it indicated a mere $20 discount instead of 20%. Finally, when the third bill came, the appropriate discount was correctly applied but really, this shouldn’t have taken that many tries to get right.
My overall rating of the experience: 4 out of 5 stars. Comfortable ambience, great-tasting food, all at a fantastic price point thanks to offers from AMEX and GHA Discovery (: I truly couldn’t pick a favourite out of all our dishes as they were equally delicious. Also, I found the novel features such as the tea master’s display of prowess and the idea of fortune cookie complimentary dishes interesting and unique. It was also very kind of the staff to allow us to redeem one complimentary dish on the spot that evening, appreciate it much! Generally, the staff here were pleasant and helpful, but there were a few notable slip-ups like completely missing out on two items we ordered, as well as requiring three tries to correctly apply the discount to our bill. Hope things can be better ironed out in these aspects as this is definitely a restaurant we’d be more than happy to come back to (: