For the second year running, Putien brings back its International Eel Festival to all its 14 Putien restaurants in Singapore, including the newest outlet at Great World. The festival runs from 1 August till 31 October 2020, the harvesting season which yields the juiciest eels sourced from Shunde, Guangdong – the “Hometown of Eels in China”. Featured this year are three classic eel dishes, with 2 new additions this year.
Baked Eel Dressed in Garlic & Puning Bean Sauce 3.8/5
One of the new creations is Baked Eel Dressed in Garlic & Puning Bean Sauce ($39.90). The eel was lightly coated with fermented bean paste sauce, and the taste of its savoury and sweetened fats and plump meat was similar to that of eels prepared with Japanese tare sauce. The skin of the eel crisped up a little in the heat, which made every bite of the plump eel even more delectable. The shallots and garlic cloves, after inheriting all the goodness from the sauce and fats from the eel, became little gems of flavours not to be wasted as mere garnishes.
Eel Cooked in Natural Spring Water 4.5/5
One of the classics which I feel is a must-try is The Eel Cooked in Natural Spring Water ($39.90). The eel is first seasoned simply with ginger, goji berries and salt, and then prepared right upon serving. After placing the sliced eel, goji berries and ginger into a special ceramic pot, in goes natural spring water, then left to simmer for 10 minutes. I was really surprised by the soup. There weren't much ingredients or condiments that went into the spring water, but the eel itself had provided much depth of flavour and body to the resulting soup.
Starter Platter 3.5/5
Putien serves up interesting cold starters too. An excellent option to go for is the Starters Platter ($18.90), which allows you to try all four well-known small dishes - Cold Pork Trotters Jelly, Braised Homemade Beancurd, Seaweed and Mini Shrimps with sauce and Braised Pig Intestine. My favourite is the Seaweed and Mini Shrimps with sauce, not just for its taste, but for its nutrition as well! I learnt that this is made using the first batch of fully grown seaweed harvested every year within 30 days after cultivation, which has the best texture and nutrition of the seaweed.
Sweet & Sour Pork with Lychees 4/5
One of the most known dishes from Putien is this Sweet & Sour Pork with Lychees (from $14.90). I have had it a few times before and this time round I thought it tasted even better with juicier meats.
Braised Luffa with Convoy 4/5
I enjoyed this Braised Luffa with Convoy ($13.90) a lot. It was very lightly seasoned, which allowed its delicate flavours and sweetness to come through. It's a very homely dish that one can go back to again and again.
Lor Mee 4/5
PUTIEN Fujian Lor Mee (from $10.90) is one of the staples among the regulars. Braised in pork broth, the Putien noodles had a nice bite to it, and I appreciate how the accompanying ingredients such as the pork belly, prawn and clam add to the texture of the dish.
Lotus Seed with White Fungus Soup 3.5/5
Ending our meal is a bowl of Lotus Seed with White Fungus Soup ($5.90). It was light and refreshing, but I feel the white fungus can be slightly more substantial.
Photos and words by Si An. A girl who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food. Note: This is an invited tasting.
1 Kim Seng Promenade
Tel: +65 62355079
Nearest MRT: Orchard (NS Line), Outram Park (EW Line, NE Line), Tiong Bahru (EW Line)
Daily: 1130am - 3pm, 530pm - 10pm
1) Alight at Orchard MRT station. Take Exit B. Walk to bus stop opposite Orchard MRT station (Stop ID B09022). Take bus number 16 or 175. Alight 4 bus stops later. Journey time about 12 minutes. [Map]
2) Alight at Outram Park MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk to bus stop opposite Outram MRT station. (Stop ID B06011). Take bus number 75 or 970. Alight 5 stops later. Walk to Great World. Journey time about 12 minutes. [Map]
3) Alight at Tiong Bahru MRT station. Take Exit B. Walk to the bus stop at Tiong Bahru MRT station (Stop ID 10169). Take bus number 5, 16 or 195. Alight 4 stops later. Walk to destination. Journey time about 15 minutes. [Map]