Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hai Xiang

Hai Xiang is the flagship Chinese restaurant of Park Royal on Kitchener Road (formerly known as New Park Hotel) and offers an ala carte Cantonese cuisine and dim sum buffet for both lunch and dinner. Although I have a personal disdain for buffets, the one for one buffet voucher in my possession proved too alluring.

Exterior, Interior & Menu

Hai Xiang is situated on the second floor of the hotel, which is right smack in the middle of a really terrible traffic network. The restaurant's interior comes across as classy with a modern Chinese touch through its use of wood, concealed lighting and heavy carpets.

Deep Fried Soon Hock

The Soon Hock was crispy on the outside but the fish, though fresh, was rather bland and not even soy sauce could save it. Most disappointing.

Vegetables with Abalone and Mushroom

You only get one shot at this dish and the abalone turned really small and of inferior quality. But really, you get what you pay for so no complaints.

Baked Oysters in Cheese & Mustard

This dish gave me the bumps. Plain gross if you ask me. Cheese and mustard is a bad combination in my humble opinion and coupled with a soft and mushy piece of oyster, its a recipe for disaster.

Black Pepper Beef

I personally thought that the beef cubes suffered from an overdose of tenderizer. The meat was overly tender but on the upside, at least it was sweet.

Homemade Beancurd

Soft but not exactly silky on the inside (very much like supermarket grade), the beancurd had a mild savoury taste which would render it one of the better dishes that evening. I appreciated the generous handful of enoki mushrooms that came immersed in the gravy as well.

Broccoli with Crab Meat

This dish was decent but the crab meat sauce came across as rather bland. I would have expected it to be savoury.

Spring Chicken

First looks, the spring chicken appeared appetizing with its golden brown crispy looking skin. Taste wise, it was a totally different matter altogether. The meat wasn't exactly juicy and everything seemed rather bland. More salt would have been great. And it certainly didn't help that the chicken was a tad too oily.

Prawns with Salad Dressing

A perennial favourite of mine and often spotted in cold dishes, the relatively fresh prawns were thinly sliced and served atop cubes of honey dew and rock melon. As normal as it gets. To be fair though, I've never tried any that have remotely gotten close to blowing me away.

Claypot Rice with Chicken

An order for the claypot rice has to be made 30 mins in advance but from the looks of it, it probably took 15 mins max. The rice didn't stick to the bottom of the claypot and was drenched in black sauce, hence the lack of wok hei. I did like the chicken pieces though, which were tender with a moderate hint of rice wine.

Fried Pig Intestines

Another personal favourite, especially when I order kway chup, the intestines were very crispy on the exterior. However, there was an overwhelming raw taste which tasted outright gross. Add the taste of cinnamon and star anise to that and you get an awful combination. The accompanying pineapple slices did quite a good job in covering up the taste though.

Roast Duck & Soy Chicken

I almost laughed when I saw the dish. It had 4 pieces of duck and 4 slices of chicken - 2 per pax. The chicken was served warm but was very tasteless whereas the duck had more bone then meat. Gives a literal meaning to picking inbetween the bones doesn't it?

Scallops with Black Bean Sauce

The scallops were small but relatively crunchy while the vegetables were normal.

Steamed Prawns

There seems to be a prevalent trend in the food here. Everything is fresh but just not sweet. Ditto for the prawns as well.

Red Bean Paste Pancake

Choice of dessert was limited so I stuck to this dish, which sorely disappointed with its ridiculously thick skin. I felt like I was chomping down on fried flour. The red bean filling was decent though, but then again, how bad can red bean filling get?


With the 1 for 1 voucher, the total bill for 2 came up to a very reasonable $42. However, take that 50% discount away and the buffet loses its draw. To be honest, the food is average at best and portions are really tiny. Going for seconds might prove a little difficult as waiting time can stretch quite a bit and its rather difficult to get the attention of the service staff, who seem to be shorthanded.

Likes: Huge variety (about 80 dishes)
Dislikes: Food quality average, not exactly cheap

Final Verdict:

Value for money:6/10 (without the 50% discount)


Address: 3F Parkroyal On Kitchener Road, 181 Kitchener Road

Contact: 6428 3020

Opening Hours:

Lunch: 12noon - 2.30 pm

Dinner: 6.30 pm - 10.30 pm



Anonymous said...

they serve a la carte dim sum? the buffet no dim sum one eh?

fatpig said...

I should think that they have ala carte dim sum. The buffet no dim sum on weekdays. Weekends not sure.

Fen said...

I tried their a la carte buffet dinner in August and personally I thought Chinese a la carte buffet are pretty expensive due to the minimum head count.

Have to admit that the serving is small and the worse part is that orders are forgotten and serve pretty long upon ordering. I went on a Sat and it gave me the impression that they couldn't cope with the crowd.

But I didn't find the dishes as bad as what you have written, just thought that it might be better going to a Chinese restaurant and order their specialities. For the same price, bigger serving and better food. What do u think?

fatpig said...

Hi fen, the dishes as a whole are actually OK but some really make me cringe thinking about them. And yes I definitely agree with you that for the price it would be better to go to a Chinese restaurant and order their specialties.


R said...

Hmmm... Scissors-cut curry rice is just down the road. And it's tasty comfort food for only $4! Or Pu Tien is fine as well.

Either way, judging by the general consensus. It's a nay for this one. lol. What's more, I dislike buffets a great deal as well. Mostly, I think food quality and taste suffers alot.

fatpig said...

haha thats a good one rei. I don't quite fancy scissors cut though. Quality dropped quite a lot and the gravy is now full of starch :S And my plate of rice cost me $5 :S

Unknown said...

not really fantasic leh......