Birds of a Feather
Near Telok Ayer Station
Never a fan of Sichuan cuisine, and always as much as I could, avoid that relentless numbing and spicy mala sauce. Birds of a Feather is however, an amazing restaurant that is able to identify that addictive essence of Sichuan cuisine by simply separating the numb and the spice, and use it deftly in its food with some Western touches to it. We were, especially myself, awed at how good the mala sauce could actually be as it essentially embolden the flavours, giving a kick to her diners. Nice interior definitely with loads of luscious greens hanging around (that seems to be the current concept that most restaurants are working towards to), it was a slight pity we didn’t get to sit just below the ‘tree’ as the place was fully booked out, from 8pm onwards though.
Having had some intel already before we got to the restaurant, we kinda know what we wanted and got this Spicy Oriental Bolognaise that is a powerful combination of perfect consistency and robust flavours. Al dente angel hair over there that is beautifully coated with a light mala infused sauce, and because the proportion was just right, that subtle numbness only kicks in like an aftertaste. That was indeed a brilliant choreography. $22.
The Bruschetta though was a slight letdown as the braised beef shank promised was almost non existent. It was just a pretty good slab of savoury bread. Skip this we reckon and perhaps go for that infamous chilli chicken. $9.
Very innocuous looking bowl of chazuke as that pot of pickled mustard broth was so spicy but only kicks in at the back of the throat no matter how careful you try to drink it. It is clever though that no numbing elements were added here as that would have muted the exciting flavours greatly, the huge reason why I am so averse to Sichuan food. That soup, though was really spicy, was actually moreish with its piquant, refreshing flavour and that dollop of mentaigo added a little more complexity to the already delicious grilled barramundi. Great Chazuke here with a huge spicy twist to it. $28.
Could I call it the Burger of the night if I may. No foie gras (not a fan), no huge meaty juicy patty but a very creative Mapo Tofu burger! This fusion burger is gonna make a scene again with the dense bao bun used while the tofu patty is made highly dense too with cheese mixed into it. It has a consistency resembling my favourite paneer actually, and the entire burger flavour is lifted greatly with the mildly numbing mapo pork ragout. That light numbness is actually quite addictive. $22.
If you are local, it is really not hard to identify this Poached Pear with cheng teng as it is flavoured up with longans, white fungus and orange peel that are the common ingredients we get in a bowl of that local delicacy. What sets this apart from it is not just that poached pear but also the creamy body added to it by that citrus caramel ice cream. At the end of it, we reckon we want more of that soup! $12.
And the chocolate cake popsicle isn’t an ice cream if you are wondering over the heavy condensation over it. Sweet, creamy, caramel flavours all in one plate and cut through beautifully by that sour passionfruit scramble. We loved this too.
Apparently not the normal Sichuan restaurant, Birds of a Feather cleverly makes use of its essence to create much bolder flavours that we could really appreciate.
Verdict: An excellent restaurant. 4.2/5.