Dian Xiao Er @ Marina Square

LB and I met for lunch with the full intention of eating a healthy Japanese meal as I'd told her that I was eating way too much for my own good. LB is a real foodie too, so I was glad to have her company for lunch.

En route to Waraku at Marina Square, we passed by Dian Xiao Er. I told LB about how much I love the Herbal Roast Duck at Dian Xiao Er and how its really tough to get a table unless you're early. Well, I guess we were pretty early so there were tables available and we were also eligible for the early bird discount of 15% off the a-la carte menu. I suppose you can call this destiny? Ha ha! Ok, I admit, we succumbed to temptation. LB gave in to her curiosity to taste the roast duck that I was raving about and I gave in to my greed. A healthy Japanese meal suddenly didn't seem so appealing especially when faced with a row of glistening roast ducks hanging in the window, the waitress beckoned & so we entered the restaurant.

We started with some Lotus Root Soup followed by Ma Po Tofu. The lotus root soup was pretty tasty as the chef certainly didn't scrimp on the ingredients. It's not the best I've ever had (that honour belongs to my mum who makes the best lotus root soup) but its definitely pretty good. The Ma Po Tofu here is quite tasty but not spicy enough for my liking. I am a great lover of spices and prefer eating Ma Po Tofu which numbs my tongue. It's an invigorating massage for your taste buds, so you should try it sometime.

Then we had Dong Po Pork, a dish which was named after a Chinese poet during the Song Dynasty, Su Dong Po. He was apparently a great connoisseur of food, wine and art who created this dish because he loved pork. I do not like pork except in dishes where the "piggy" taste is masked by spices but I was game to try out this dish anyway. The meat was very soft and tender, it pulled away easily from the skin which was great for me because I throw away most of the fat in pork belly dishes. The meat had also absorbed alot of the flavours from the marinade which had the wondrous flavour of caramelised sugar. I wished I had a mantou (Chinese plain bun) to make a Chinese burger at that moment. LB said she had this dish when she was in a vacation in Hang Zhou, China (where Dong Po Pork hails from) and that it was the best she's had so far. That said, she felt that the one that we had in Dian Xiao Er was pretty good too.

Finally we had the House Specialty, Herbal Roast Duck. This has to be one of the best Herbal Roast Ducks in Singapore! It's definitely a MUST-TRY! The flesh of the duck was so succulent and so well-infused with the fragrance of Chinese Herbs that each bite was an explosion of flavours complete with a smooth texture that was a joy to chew on. The skin was crisp and not exceedingly fatty. It also contained the tasty goodness of the marinade and Chinese Herbs. I know there are probably some people who do not like the taste of Chinese herbs but not to worry, the flavour of the herbs is pleasant and not overpowering. I guess its worth a try to find out if the herbal flavour is to your liking. LB and I enjoyed this dish so much that we were planning on another visit before Christmas.