Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hong Guo, Bugis Junction

Under special parental recommendation (and also because we were craving noodles after subliminal messaging from Kungfu Paanda 2) we traipsed into a strange restaurant called Hong Guo (红锅 or Red Pot) at Bugis Junction. This is one of those places that we would never have gone in as passer bys - not a huge fan of chinese restaurants in general, and given the choice we would rather be eating bugs or burgers.

Hong Guo is based on story from Yunan about this cross bridge mee sua (过桥米线) - basically this studyholic studies way too much and forgets to eat (废寝忘食). So the wife drops a chicken by accident in the pot of soup and discovers an ancient chinese way to keep warm using the layer of oil (落汤鸡).

So as our story begins in Yunan, we take a quick trip to Szechuan for their chicken!

Szechuan style spicy chicken (~$7). What a huge plate - very generous portions of deep fried chicken with more chilli than chicken, peanuts, ginger and spring onion. Spicy as alllll hellllll, soooooo awesome and it was quite value for money!

The main dish ($8) was the 'traditional' cross bridge mee sua, the bowl of chicken soup with the huge layer of chicken fat on top, with all the raw ingredients required for the dish. Supposedly the layer of oil keeps the soup piping hot, so that once you chuck the raw ingredients they cook before your very eyes o_O unfortunately I guess they didn't have much faith in this and so the only ingredient here which you can't eat raw was the eggs and fish, which don't require much cooking anyway.

Other reviews I've read comparing this place to the 'authentic' one in Yunan was that, in Yunan the soup was 100% boiling hot and the soup was also filled to the brim. While I can make do without filling the soup to the brim (since our stomaches are South East Asian and not Yunanese), the soup could have been much hotter (somehow). I also read that the bowl material was wrong (supposedly the original ceramic bowl held the heat better). Regardless ... we dumped the raw ingredients into the abyss.

We stirred for a bit to let it cook and took a bite and ... whoa the soup was actually f**king tasty! Though it was just a rather imba chicken stock. Ingredients wise, there's not much to comment - it was very simple ingredients - seems a lot but actually isn't (the illusion of tiny plates). I guess the best bits were the noodles or the dried shrimp (hebi).

We actually picked out the dried chilli bits from the szechuan chicken to go with our noodle soup - I would also recommend this combination :D

The noodles were good, but ... yea they were good! At the end of the day, it's just a bowl of noodles, I wouldn't go around and tell my friends "Oh my god, holy shiznit there's this crazzzzyyyy place you HAVE TO TRY". But yea it was good, not too expensive, and the chicken was awesome.

HGW Link :
Ratings (out of 4) :

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