Yellow Pot: Six Senses Duxton's Modern Chinese Outpost

Enter Yellow Pot, nestled in the lobby of the new boutique hotel Six Senses Duxton. The menu is straightforward Chinese, with no special emphasis on particular provincial cuisine - yet it's parroting of modish ingredients and ethical sustainability practises brings it into the 21st century. As you would expect of any Six Senses project, the decor is dynamic - an eclectic little enclave that's bedecked in lavish tones of black, gold and yellow; it's marbled table tops, the pedestal for 3 yellow pots of varied height - yes, you guessed it, the fountainhead. Soundtrack is techno vibe-d, and oddity for a six senses property, and much less a Chinese restaurant.

The vibe is clearly lounge chic, but you're really here for the food which arrives each with a mishmash of surprising flavours, and a kind of hodgepodg-iness starts to surface. The gleaming orbs of Chilled Organic Vine-ripened tomatoes ($8++) are a triumphant start to the meal. They have their skins removed for lycopene extraction which is rumoured to be bad for the body, but that is the least of our worries as their nakedness proved advantageous in the "Li Hing" preserved plum infused step. That one bite evolving into an essay in the nuances of texture and fragrance. Immediately your mouth begins to water in anticipation of the courses to come.

Equally brilliant was the Seared Pork Cheek ($12++)  which caramelised surface is laced with cumin. Mango and chili sprawled over the top zaps the unctuous protein with much needed acidity and freshness. I occasionally grumble about soups being watered down representations of a kitchen's repertoire, but Yellow Pot's Hot and Sour Soup ($12++) does a good job in exemplifying what most diners would expect in a Szechuan restaurant (except that it is not strictly so). In fact, it might just be the most emblematic dish here, judging by the sighs and hisses that escaped the lips of the bewildered consumers upon taking in their first slurp. It's spicy - and I mean it in a fire-spitting, beast mode kind of way - the sichuan chili oil has a way of sneaking up on you, plundering your ability to differentiate between its serving temperature and its spiciness. By all means, keep the beverage menu close - you'll be needing the Pineapple and Ginger tonic to ward off the heat. Bonus tip: Pimp it with a shot of Cana Brava Rum (additional $9++). We hear alcohol works as an anaesthesia, as well.

As you might expect from a Chinese restaurant, there are roast meats. I like the Roast Duck ($32++ for half) which moist flesh below tanned skin possess a subtle but piercing salinity from fermented bean curd marinade. Also good is the Wok-fried Grass-fed Organic Beef Tenderloin ($36++), imbued with an interesting citrus peppered note from Tellicherry peppers. These tender little morsels submit with little resistance to the tongue, but still display a strong characteristic of meaty flavours from its grass-fed origins. Greens are shown some love here, especially with the Braised White Cabbage ($12++) and the Braised Sweet and Sour Eggplant ($14++) - the latter hogging the limelight with its quizzical semblance to sweet and sour pork; the chunks having been granted texture from a quick deep fry rendering them with crunchy edges for the sweet and sour sauce to cling on to.

Pineapple and Ginger with a shot of Cana Brava Rum
Steamed Kuhlbarra Barramundi
Braised Sweet and Sour Eggplant
And finally there is the Stir-fried Mee Sua ($18++), this version flourished with a multitude of seafood from tiger prawns to Hokkaido scallops. It's flawless execution - plump noodle strands enriched with stock, slight crisp edge from the wok and excellent seasoning - made for a starch dish that's intriguingly moreish.

Yellow Pot may be a little outlandish when it comes to design (cue the non functional wooden panel dividers that serve only aesthetic functions), but nothing about their food is a mess - walking in an almost classical vein that might even win the approval of the most fussy Chinese grandmother. In a region that's cramped full of Korean barbecue joints, we are optimistic that Yellow Pot might just do enough to qualify as 'destination dining' worthy.

Yellow Pot
88 Duxton Road
t: 6914 1420

Operating Hours:
Mon - Sun: 11 30 - 2 30pm; 5 30 - 10 30pm

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