Club Chinois is a modern Chinese restaurant. Think Chinese food served on big plates and individual (small) portions, ala French style. My friend Nicole went a few months back and raved about it. Since Uncle T loves anything fine, I thought it would be a good opportunity to bring him, together with my mom and sis, to try out this restaurant which I would otherwise probably not visit (I'd rather fill up my tummy!)
The unique concept is to individualize so every person can order what he wants and how many courses he prefers. There were also 2 six-course tasting menus for S$68 or S$88 but I chose to go a la carte. Again, I had the opportunity to order for all so I'll list them down somewhere but only review my own food.The restaurant was dimly lit, and the big chairs hindered my movements and were too heavy to adjust easily. But service was attentive with servers constantly refilling our teacups.
Shortly after placing the orders, we were served an amuse of either chicken or fish, that tasted like our Hainanese chicken rice, in a cute shotglass.
For starters, I had the package of mushrooms with consumme. Frankly, a soup served 2-ways sounded rather interesting and the visual presentation delivered. The morels comprised of a few common varieties, braised first and then baked in parchment paper, all held together with a piece of spring onion. The soup was flavoured robustly with mushrooms but together with the package, I had a slight sodium overdose there.
Next up was the steamed cod with fresh burdock and black fungus. The fish was really succulent, cooked through until midway, where it was left just slightly rawish. But it was sorta expected from simple and fresh ingredients so while the dish was excellent dish, it was not a gastronomic experience.
Not feeling too hungry, I chose the braised seasonal vegetables with wolfberries and fried dried scallops as my last main course. Average and not memorable.
For dessert, I ordered off the special herbal menu, double-boiled hashima with red dates and lotus seeds. Recommended to beautify one's skin, I was sold. But really, nothing extraordinary.
Since the rest of them were hungry from shopping the whole afternoon, I decided to treat them with an extra course. Mom and sis the same dishes except dessert. Starter was the foie gras with roasted duck skin and mango, which was a signature dish so I had to order that for them. All commented this was good, but not exceptional.
Next up was a king prawn wrapped in fried tofu sheet. Again, this tasted fine though the fried tofu skin was a little hard to cut through with their knives.
For the third course, I was recommended another signature dish, the marinated lamb chop with braised eggplant. The lamb came much too rare! My sister can't even finish it and that is bad as she seldoms leave meat alone.
As a tummy filler, I ordered braised ee-fu noodles with crab for them. The dish came with large pieces of fresh crab and noodles were just soft enough.
Mom's dessert was almond cream with coconut and I chose the warm egg custard with fresh fruit for my sister.
For Uncle T, he also had the foie gras. He really enjoyed it, thinking that all the various elements went well together. Instead of the prawn, I ordered his favorite shark's fin soup with crab meat. He claimed that it was the best he ever had! I don't know about that :P As if to compensate for the not-so-fresh monktail from Jaan, I ordered the same steamed cod for him. He thought it was excellent too, so that was a relief! Not a carbo-loader anyway, I chose the same ee-fu noodles for him just to make ordering easier. Dessert was an unique Asian dessert, the aloe vera jelly.
The total bill came up to slightly over S$300. This was really a unique but one-time experience for me because I find nothing compelling for me to return especially. But Uncle T really seemed to have a good time. So perhaps Club Chinois will see our return a year later, when Uncle T is in town once again.