Best thing I ate this week: Braised duck at Paradise Teochew

'Best thing I ate' is a series where we share the best things we have eaten around Singapore. Read more here.

What: Braised duck ($18)

Where: Paradise Teochew, #03-04 Scotts Square, 6 Scotts Road, Singapore 228209

One of the best things about Paradise Teochew restaurant is that you can get a bowl of steaming hot rice porridge even at dinner time.

As authentic Teochew rice porridge and its accompanying dishes have been fading away from the food scene, it's gratifying to know the upscale restaurant at Scotts Square offers the humble staple on the menu.

If you don't want to be seen as a cheapskate dining on just the plain porridge, which comes with smidgens of baby baits and preserved veggies, you can partner it with the most fitting star of the restaurant - the braised duck ($18 for a small portion, $60 for the whole duck).

And it's no ordinary fowl. The restaurant has upped this Teochew classic by notches as it uses tender, fatty birds from an Ireland farm renowned for producing what some have regarded as the 'wagyu of duck'.

Here, the duck has been boned and sliced, revealing the thick layer of fat below the skin. It seems off-putting until you chew an entire slice.

The fat just melts away as you nibble it together with soft, fine-grained meat. It's an easy yet fulfilling mouthfeel that most would not have encountered with a Teochew duck usually.

Flavouring the bird is an assertive but not overpowering soya-based sauce made with spices and herbs. As it's not gamey, a lighter touch of pepper might be more appropriate for a fowl that's been raised in an environment with music and space for free-roaming.

Still, it's quite something to quack about.

The writer paid for the meal reviewed

Plain rice porridge is also available for dinner at Paradise Teochew.
Photo: Chen Jingwen