Zi Char - Seletar Hill Restaurant

September 10, 2012 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Zi Char - Seletar Hill Restaurant
16 Jalan Selaseh


Excellent Restaurant In A Quiet Neighbourhood

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 7
Ambience & Setting: 6
Food & Beverage: 9
Service: 8
Value for Money: 7
Spent about SGD $37 per person.


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Tucked away in the quiet neighbourhood of Seletar Hills, the Seletar Hill Restaurant is an unassuming place that has been dishing out great tasting Chinese Szechuan and Hunan dishes for over 20 years.

Oddly, the Singaporean husband-and-wife owners / chefs of Seletar Hill Restaurant actually received their culinary training in Szechuan cuisine and Hunan cuisine from... America. As such, you'll be able to order American-Chinese dishes here, like General Tso's Chicken or Orange Crispy Beef, which are also among their signature dishes.

Ambience at Seletar Hill Restaurant is rather dated, with faded newspaper articles on the exterior and simple Chinese decor within. They also have a verenda for outdoor dining. The interior of Seletar Hill Restaurant is completely enclosed, without any windows, and seats about 30 people or so. Also, I noticed that some other people just came to order take-away.

Service is polite but rather unhurried, as Seletar Hill Restaurant mainly caters to the surrounding neighbourhood. Wait staff are mainly from China, and may not understand English. They are quite efficient though.

The menu at Seletar Hill Restaurant is extensive, with more than 20 signature dishes, and about 50 normal ala-carte dishes. Most of their specialties are Szechuan or Hunan dishes, but they also have house-made desserts and American-Chinese dishes. Attempting to try all their signature dishes alone would probably require 3 or more visits, without even ordering from the normal ala-carte menu.

Food is generally quite good quality and tasty, you'll be able to taste the wok skills of the chefs. The normal sized portions are enough for 4 people, and prices are quite reasonable, especially for the various set menus. If I had to pick the 3 most outstanding dishes, I would recommend:
1. Fish Maw With Shredded Chicken And Fresh Crab Meat Potage (Soup)
2. Camphor Tea Smoked Duck
3. Dong Po Stewed Pork Belly

It's best to reserve a table in advance if you plan to dine on the weekends. I'll definitely love to visit Seletar Hill Restaurant again!



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They have a few different set menus, most feature several of their signature dishes.

Signature Dish Set



They offer several house-made desserts, which you can choose as part of a set menu.

House Special Desserts



The Chef's Appetizers Platter has Ngor Hiang, Salad Prawn, Braised Jellyfish and 1 of their signature dishes, the Garlic Pork Belly Rolls.

Chef's Appetizers Platter


Ngor Hiang


Garlic Pork Belly Rolls


Salad Prawn


Braised Jellyfish



I loved the Fish Maw With Shredded Chicken And Fresh Crab Meat Potage. Basically a thick soup / stew, packed full with chunks of crab, chicken, fish maw and completed with egg. Hearty, satisfying and generous with ingredients.

Fish Maw With Shredded Chicken And Fresh Crab Meat Potage



The Camphor Tea Smoked Duck was well seasoned, with a smoky aroma, crispy skin, and not dry. Also loved the accompanying plum sauce for dipping.

Camphor Tea Smoked Duck



The Claypot Sea Cucumber With Flower Mushrooms And Bean Curd had nice savoury chunks of yam, and again, quite generous with ingredients.

Claypot Sea Cucumber With Flower Mushrooms And Bean Curd



The Dry Sauteed String Beans is also a signature dish, and you'll be able to taste the wok skills of the chef with this.

Dry Sauteed String Beans



The Sambal Kang Kong was fresh, but not very spicy, well balanced in flavour. Also liked that it wasn't too oily.

Sambal Kang Kong



The Dong Po Stewed Pork Belly is a very popular dish here, and usually served with your choice of steamed buns or deep fried buns. The pork is braised till tender, and pulls apart very easily.

Dong Po Stewed Pork Belly



The Fried Red Garoupa In Spicy Szechuan Chili Sauce is only mildy spicy, but with a full flavour. The garoupa fish is meaty and has very little bones, although the skin is a little thick.

Fried Red Garoupa In Spicy Szechuan Chili Sauce



The Crispy Butter King Prawns With Lime Mayonnaise is fried till the shell is crispy, and you can even eat it whole, shell, head and all. The lime mayonnaise was a little too weak for me though, it didn't add much depth to the prawn. The actual recipe has undergone several modifications, and the current version has a sort of cereal coating, which enhances the lovely flavour.

Crispy Butter King Prawns With Lime Mayonnaise


Crispy Butter King Prawns With Lime Mayonnaise Again



The Double Boiled Snow Fungus With Rock Sugar And Red Dates is a house-made hot dessert. Quite good.

Double Boiled Snow Fungus With Rock Sugar And Red Dates



The Mango Pudding and Durian Pudding are also house-made, with the former from Australian / Indian mango, and the latter from D24 durian. Each has full fruit flavour, and quite dense in texture.

Mango Pudding


Durian Pudding






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