Birds of a Feather: Contemporary Szechuan cuisine in cafe settings || You should flock to this one.

Birds of a Feather along Amoy Street is anything but unassuming. What really impresses me about the store is it's depth and differing vibes with every crook and cranny. The front section is seemingly formal, similar to Bochinche; traverse your way in the direction of the kitchen and you'll find a specific zone awashed with the warm glow flooding in from the skylight above head. The ginormous mounds of wood employed as table tops flanked by tufts of greenery and lush fern. Mesmerizing. Tucked away in the space behind is a large communal table equipped with power-points flushed into corners - perfect for impromptu meetings or long mulling sessions accompanied with a good cuppa joe or perhaps a cheeky afternoon cocktail. Befitting of that restorative settings is a food menu like non-other I've seen; contemporary Szechuan cuisine served cafe style. Now, you really ought to give it a go.

If you have reason to celebrate, make sure to order the Fried Calamari ($19). For some health freaks, this one is a deal breaker, but when it comes to me, I never say no to calamari and this tender rendition is good even on its own, much less splashed in piquant flavorsome yuzu tartare sauce. It turns out that the kitchen takes its Szechuan classics seriously too, delivering the Fortune Skewer in Szechuan Pepper broth ($19) in classic form true to its nature. A little pricey if I must admit and I will be careful about the broccoli which have overtly fiery nuance adhered to it's juicy florets.

Seasoned persuasively are the Crispy Pork Trotter in a bag ($12 for 5 pcs). Give the paper bag loaded with sichuan spices and freshly fried pork trotters a gregarious shake and you'll be blessed with hunks of unctuous fatty porcine beautiful flecked in tongue tingling spices. Highly recommended.

Other starters fall in the same category of 'undeniably excellent' - the Crispy Gyoza with Truffle Soy Vinaigrette ($16) administered with the same showy cafe vibes as the other dishes. The regular dim sum elevated with its containment in a spunky cast iron pan sprinkled with colored sprouts and thinly shaved lotus roots. Despite it's pretentious becomings, this gyoza was the farthest thing imaginable from the thick-skinned insubstantiality of most mediocre pot-stickers.

My favourite had to be the Roasted Chicken and Avocado salad with Szechuan pepper ($18) - who would have thought of inverting the usual form of an chicken salad with avocado and injecting signature Szechuan 'ma' flavors into there as well?

Find the Chicken in the Chillies ($16)

For something a little more substantial, there's the Tofu Burger with MAPO Meat sauce ($22) and the Bird's Signature Burger ($30) with charcoal grilled beef patty with foie gras, cheddar and caramelised onions. Not too impressed with the overworked patties and all but the seared foie gras is top notch.

There are of course other more hefty options in the form of noodles and rice, Oriental Bolognaise ($20) and Hot & Sour Chazuke ($28) respectively. Almost alike Zha Jiang Mian, the Oriental Bolognaise delivers similar taste profiles albeit with angel hair paste and pork ragout with wilted kale for a healthy finish. Onsen tamago adds a splash of color and richness to the spicy dish. Though not quite as photogenic, I do prefer the Hot & Sour Chazuke, Niigata rice, charcoal grilled barramundi and mentaiko gets doused in a spicy pickled mustard green broth to form a porridge like consistency that is as familiar as it is comforting.

But at the end of the day, the dish that stole my heart; right from the audible crunch of my first bite down to the last gallant attempt to polish off the remnant bits of Okinawan black sugar syrup off the plate is the Deep Fried Glutinous Rice Cake with Okinawan black sugar syrup ($12). I'm not kidding you when I say that this dessert is reason enough to warrant a visit to the newish Birds of Feather. Hot sticks of pan-fried glutinous rice with just the right surface crust to chewy innards are drizzled gregariously in black sugar syrup and dusted with soy bean powder. I'm left speechless, left only with a crazy grin riddled with bunched up crumb bits at the corners of my mouth.

Birds of A Feather
113 Amoy Street
t: 6221 7449

Operating Hours:
Mon - Sat: 10am - 11 45pm
Sun: 10am - 6pm

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