Sunday, August 30, 2009

Genting Palace Restaurant



Had dim sum while I was at Genting - a rather inevitable scenario given that I had heard fairly good reviews about Genting Palace's dim sum from my relatives. And I do have a soft spot for dim sum, which dates back to my university days.



Hidden on the second floor of the maze like Genting Hotel (maybe I'm just bad with directions), just opposite one of the casino entrances, Genting Palace Restaurant is decked out like a traditional Chinese restaurant with its hues of brown and red.



Prawn Dumpling

The Har Gao skin was a wee bit too thick but at least the fresh and crunchy prawns made up for it. I could make out the presence of water chestnut as well with a hint of ginger as well, which lent a nice crunch to the dumpling. Quite good.



Egg Tart

Personally I thought that the egg tart was quite good. Very flaky pastry coupled with quivery custard that wasn't overwhelmingly sweet. Wholesome goodness!



Char Siew Puff

Interestingly, the char siew sou had a cashew nut wedged right in the middle of it, which did seem rather amusing, to me at least. The pastry was flaky but barely fragrant. I was also put off by the copious amount of fatty char siew (BBQ pork) within.



Pan Fried Shanghai Dumpling

Otherwise known as guo tie (锅贴), this dish didn't come across as your usual pan fried dumpling. The skin was deep fried and crispy but had the usual guo tie fillings. I thought that it was quite nice without being overly oily, just that the amount of flour needs to be reduced by a fraction.



Char Siew Cheong Fun

The rice rolls were a little soft and mashed up while the char siew came across as bland. A most average dish.



Siew Mai

I thought that the siew mai was quite decent with crunchy prawns sans the overwhelming inherent strong pork taste that plagues a lot of siew mai.



Sweet Corn Bun

Actually the sweet corn bun tasted to me exactly like custard bun sans the egg yolk taste and sediment. However, the filling wasn't molten and the bun skin, though soft, was a tad too thick for my liking.



Bill

A rather pleasing dim sum lunch cost the 2 of us around $28 SGD, which is very reasonable in my humble opinion, given the decent quality of food, restaurant setting and decent service level. Ironically, the most expensive thing that afternoon was the tea.



Final Verdict:
Ambience:7/10
Service:7/10
Food:7/10
Value for money:7/10
Overall:7/10

Address: Level 2, Genting Hotel

Opening Hours:

Lunch (Daily)
12.00 noon - 2.30pm
Dim Sum available daily

Dinner (Daily)
Time: 6.00pm - 9.30pm

Website: http://www.genting.com.my/en/fb/oriental/gpalace/index.htm

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Olive



Took a trip up north to stay for a couple of days at Genting Highlands and had dinner at The Olive, an award winning western fine dining restaurant at Genting Hotel.





Exterior & Interior

Located at lobby level of the 4 star hotel, this restaurant isn't exactly my idea of posh. Sure, the touches are there but overall its more of a casual dining environment then that of a fine dining establishment. Makes me wonder about the suits that the wait staff don.




Complimentary Olives & Bread

Apparently the restaurant is named after olives, hence it is no surprise that olives are served in olive oil as a complimentary appetiser, alongside a basket of bread which consisted of focaccia, soft rolls and intriguingly, squid ink bread. It's a first for me but honestly I wasn't quite blown away by the taste as it was rather bland. Texture wise was good though - soft and fluffy.



Lobster Bisque

The lobster bisque was done quite well. Rich and creamy enough without being too overwhelming. The two chunks of lobster meat within proved fresh and crunchy, if not a little ungenerous.



Caesar Salad

I guess the caesar salad wasn't anything to shout about. Fresh greens, loads of dressing, grated cheese and croutons. Standard fare if I may say, save for the huge portions.



Black Angus Grain Fed Tenderloin

Well grilled and a little charred on the outside while maintaining a medium rare doneness inside, the tenderloin was quite good in my humble opinion. Homogeneously rubbed with salt, the beefy taste came through but didn't threaten to overwhelm. Only gripe I had was that the tenderloin came across as a wee bit too chewy and dry. The Bearnaise sauce was suppose to be flavoured with wasabi but I couldn't quite make out any though.



Frozen Mango Creme Brulee

A most excellent dessert if I may say. The creme brulee's texture was reminiscent of ice cream, albeit a little softer yet tasted like creme brulee infused with mango - rich and creamy and sitting in a shallow pool of cherry ragout. Very good! Instead of the customary layer of torched caramel atop the pudding, a burnt caramel wafer is served instead. The accompanying macadamia nut ice cream was smooth and carried a nice and light nutty flavour.



Bill

1 soup, 1 salad, 1 main and 1 dessert cost about 245rm without any discount (about $102 SGD). Sure its definitely not cheap but I am inclined to think that the quality of food is well worth the splurge, especially if you are on holiday.



Final Verdict:
Ambience:7/10
Service:7/10
Food:7.5/10
Value for money:6.5/10
Overall:7/10

Address: Lobby Level, Genting Hotel

Opening Hours:

Lunch: 12.00pm to 2.30pm (Sunday only)

Dinner: 6.00pm to 11.00pm

Website: http://www.genting.com.my/en/fb/continental/olive/index.htm

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Claypot Fun



Read a rave review about Claypot Fun in one edition of the Sunday Times so made it a point to try it out one weekday afternoon (The very day the article was published, I attempted to try it out but was put off by the 45min wait for a table). Apparently the outfit is a collaboration between the Jumbo Group, Palm Beach and Seafood International.



Interior & Menu

This newest entrant to the culinary scene at Big Splash is tucked in between a ramen shop and Starbucks. The interior is tiny and can probably seat about 20 odd pax while the tiny alfresco area can take another 10 tops. You probably wouldn't want to sit outside unless you don't mind the queue forming just behind you. One thing that irks me about this place is the seeming biasness in table allocation. Apparently the booth seats are meant for 4 pax and above and we only had 3, so we didn't qualify. However I spotted 2 people sharing one such booth and when I questioned the waitress, she said that there were 4 people. Well I sure didn't see an extra 2 people when they paid up and left.



Watercress Pork Rib Soup

I thought that the watercress soup was a good start to the meal - light yet savoury. However the ribs were limited to 3 small pieces that looked more like a joke then anything else. Then again, its $5.20, so I probably shouldn't be expecting much.



Sesame Chicken

I'm no fan of sesame chicken and this one wasn't just about to change my mind. The chicken pieces, though soft, were very oily and portion size was small. Overall an average dish.



Claypot Rice with Chinese Sausage

Amidst all the hype about the claypot rice, I was disappointed to say the least. And I'm sure I echo the sentiments of my dining partners as well. Apparently the claypot rice was done (according to the waitress) HK style, which meant no black sauce. In lieu was a concoction of sesame oil and soy sauce, which had to be added by the customer himself/herself or by the wait staff upon request. I noticed that the "sauce" was segregated into 2 layers because oil floats and what went into our rice was mainly sesame oil. That obviously didn't sit well with any of us as the rice was quite oily yet dry at the same time. The Chinese sausages were alright but I prefer mine drier.



Bill

A semi filling lunch for 3 cost to the tune of $44, which sure isn't cheap for the quality of food. Sure the place utilises pseudo rooster motif bowls and other utensils from yesteryear but nostalgia can only take you so far. Having said that, I'm no expert on claypot rice so take your chances. As for me, I'm happier spending half that amount for the claypot rice at Chinatown.



Final Verdict:
Ambience:6.5/10
Service:6.5/10
Food:6.5/10
Value for money:6/10
Overall:6.375/10

Address: #01-11, Blk B Playground @ Big Spash

Contact: 6440 7975

Opening Hours:

Sun-Thu: 11am - 11pm

Fri-Sat-PH Eve: 11am - 1am

Monday, August 17, 2009

Wah Lok Part II



And the dim sum obsession continues, this time at Wah Lok, for a leisurely Sunday dim sum lunch. Expectations were high because of a prior favourable experience.



Interior

We didn't manage to get a table in the main dining hall this time round, but was instead ushered to an adjourning dining ball room that didn't use to host any of Wah Lok's customers. Guess business must really be good even in the midst of a recession.



Bo Lo Bao

Very few places do the pineapple bun aka bo lo bao (菠萝包) well and Wah Lok belongs to that small category. Crusty at the top without being overwhelmingly sweet yet soft at the bottom, filled with a piping hot char siew and onion filling. Very good indeed. Incidentally, this dish happens to be one of Wah Lok's signature dish.



Stewed Chicken Claws

Chicken claws aren't exactly my cup of tea so I tend to avoid them hence no comments.



Prawn Cheong Fun

I thought that the rice flour was a little too limp probably due to it being immersed in the soya sauce for a tad too long. It tasted rather lacklustre and wasn't exactly silky. Crunchy prawns though.



Jellyfish

Apparently a favourite of my family members, the jellyfish was crunchy with a mild spiciness. Nice as an appetiser but watch out for the price tag ($20++).



Deep Fried Dried Beancurd

This 腐皮卷 came across as a wee bit too oily but very crispy and stuffed with crunchy prawns. Not too bad although one of the rolls did seem a little too overfried. Talk about QC.



Har Gao

The har gao skin was thin but a little too limp for my liking, probably from sitting around somewhere for a tad too long. I liked the crunchy prawns though and overall still quite a good dish.



Siew Mai

Void of the overwhelming pork taste that plagues most siew mai elsewhere, Wah Lok's rendition had a greater proportion of lean meat then fat meat, which was a plus. Nice.



Roast Duck

Crackling crispy skin coupled with tender fibrous flesh that carried a bit of bite, what's not to like? Only grip I had was that the meat tilted a little towards the dry side. It would be great if they had drizzled a little more sauce.



Roast Pork

I'm a self professed roast pork addict and I pounce at every opportunity to order this ever so sinful yet delightful meat dish. Moderately fatty with crackling crispy skin - my kind of roast pork. Pity about the apparent lack of salt. Would have preferred it a little saltier.



Shark Bone Soup

I didn't quite take to the shark bone soup though it wasn't too milky and came across as relatively light with pieces of chicken swimming in it. I just didn't like the layer of sediment it left on my tongue but its personal preference.



Pan Fried Carrot Cake

Average best describes this dish. Personally I prefer their steamed version as the fried variant was a little too mashy and not the least bit uplifting.



Boxthorn with Assorted Egg

I last had this dish at Szechuan Court and found it quite normal. Ditto to Wah Lok's version. I am just not a fan of century egg, in whatever cooking style.



BBQ Pork Pastry

The char siew sou was nicely glazed with syrup while the char siew filling was sticky and I could make out sizeable chunks of meat amidst the gravy. A pity the pastry lacked butter.



Baked Custard Pastry

This dessert has an interesting Chinese name - 美人腰, which literally translates into "pretty lady's waist". Try as I might, the meaning behind the name eludes me. Nonetheless, it's pretty good if I may say. The flaky pastry was very well baked with a nice and not too sweet custard filling stashed between. Topped with icing sugar and almond, it made for a perfect ending.



Deep Fried Ice Cream

I liked this dessert as well. The mango ice cream was coated with flour and grated coconut before deep frying, resulting in a nice semi crispy flour enveloping a scoop of ice cream. Nice! I did find the oil used a wee bit too stale though.



Bill

A satisfying lunch cum dim sum session cost to the tune of $234 for 5 pax, which is money well spent. If anything, I'll be back for the po lo bao and the baked custard pastry, both of which have cemented a place in my heart.



Final Verdict:
Ambience:7/10
Service:7/10
Food:7.5/10
Value for money:7/10
Overall:7.125/10

Address: 2nd floor, Carlton Hotel

Contact: 63118188/9

Opening Hours:

Lunch 11:30 am - 2.30 pm (Mon - Sat); 11 am - 2:30 pm (Sun & PH)

Dinner 6:30 pm - 10:30 pm


Website: http://www.carlton.com.sg/dining_wah.htm