Weekends are the best time for dim sum, it is when everybody is free to have a long lunch, and what can be better than to yum cha?
My friend wanted to try the Beancurd prawn roll ($4.50), and I have never been a big fan of beancurd skin. Since a lot dim sum has prawns, we decided to go for the Char siew cheong fun ($4.50). The savoury light sauce always enhance the flavour of the cheong fun.
After trying so many different har gau ($4.50), it has somewhat become rather ordinary to me. I know it’s the dim sum queen; all right if you must, fresh crunchy prawns held firmly within translucent skins. But I’m indifference to it, at least for now.
I was craving for custard buns badly, and to my delight it’s listed on the menu; but the initial euphoria half evaporated when the captain said that it’s been replaced by the Baked custard buns ($3.50 for 3). So feeling half skeptical and half excited, we approached it. Judging from appearances, the baked buns look like those hard, baked pastry kind. We took a bite, and it was astonishing so soft! I would prefer those molten custard on any other day, but this was just as good!
Siew mai and har gau always come together in pairs, there isn’t one without the other. But unlike the har gau, I’m not so sick of Siew Mai ($4.50 for 4) since it has a combination of porky and prawny bite.
I’m insanely in love with Char siew sou ($4 for 3). The ones here reminded me of my old flame; the buttery crispy flakes, the oozing oh-so-sweet juice from the char siew. Delish! You know like they say, your first love is always the most memorable, if I’ve not had better before, I’ll say this is quite good. But then again, I’m biased against char siew sou.
The fragrant glutinous rice ($4.50) enveloped within the leaf; the salted egg yoke bursting through your tastebud with it’s strong and distinct taste, the little bites of chicken shreds, a pity the Chinese sausages were missing here. Almost perfect.
Pan-fried carrot cake ($3.50) used to be a favourite of mine, but after trying several half-hearted versions, I’m leaning towards some of the better steamed ones that I had. Packed the carrot cake full with relish, lots of them. Then lightly-seared it until golden brown, leaving a crispy surface with soft relish beneath it. Sounds easy? Do one for me.
I’m undecided if I will come back to Asia Grand for dim sum again. And it’s not because they are not good, the variety of dim sum available was very comprehensive. But the main reason was the existence of a better option just directly opposite them. I’ll probably drop by again for their Peking duck, which is definitely much cheaper than the one I had at Peach Garden.
Long story short, if you like my review please do come by ladyironchef . . . for the delicious in you
Event: Dinner with customer
Remark: 2nd visit to Asia Grand.
Food is nice, Service was great.
1. Dressed in polo tee-shirt attire, the dinning table assigned was at extreme corner (left end) of the restaurant.
Did not notice this isolation at start. 4 of us arrived later.
As out crowd is 5 people, we ordered a 4 person set meal at $188, another person need $47 added.
2. Fish or duck did not get bigger. (Quite standard)
Apart from 188 47 deal, we top up 1 dish, sum up to a total 9 courses if I remember correctly.
Unlike to my first trip to AGR 5months ago where I had 10person, the service was tip top and impressive. 8 person set meal ordered. The waitress was giving service as if they missed the top up, they will get a demerit point. It was very consistent service.
Similar to 1st trip, I requested for an extra Peking duck sauce.
We were rejected with answer that the sauce is added inside. (Previously, 10person, we were given almost 5~10 dishes)
3. When requested for more duck sauce today, they tactically rejected us.
Captain (from the dress code).replied: “there is sauce inside each serving of duck skin“. Luckily, my guests are not that particular about sharing, able to reach the common dish of sauce.
4. My guests are very happy to find tasty chill sauce. Request for top up once finished. The sad story and disappointment starts at the last 3 dish where we are official rejected for more chill sauce by the captain.
He told us that we have asked a few times, their chill sauce is unique; we have to pay $3 per extra dish. We did not request for it since no point wasting such money.
IMO: They could have given us 2 smaller dish to make us happier.
This chargeable requirement to be mention up front, on menu or at the entrance.
Chill is chargeable if exceed "X" quantity/
Unhappiness starts to build. We waited for our noodles with duck meat.
While the noodles are getting served, the "assistant captain/manager" came to get feedback: Food nice etc?
We took the chance to comment that the chill is remarkable, very tasty; pity our entitlement is max out.
5. Shocking reply from manager is: "$3 for extra dish if the given dishes exceed the 1 person 1 chill dish standard, $10 for take away."
OMG...this must be the SOP in AGR.
Never hear it anywhere except Soup Restaurant where one have to pay $5 to take away the Garlic Sauce...it is posted in their menu and a poster at the cashier.
Extremely disappointed by the double attack, we cut short the feedback, manager offer more chill (talk, no action).
We rejected the generous late offer.
Posh restaurant to bring guest for dinner but such embarrassment can be saved if sauce is chargeable can be made known. Captain came to apologise before mango dessert.
6. After we completed dessert, the tea pouring frequency increased and we sensed an urge to encourage us to bill out, pack up and go. They (waitress and captain) stood near our table while we chat. I called for the bill. Surprisingly, the bill has been settled by my counterpart.
Something to share with all:
"Chill lover/ If your guest is a chill sauce or any sauce lover, check with the restaurant first or put a deposit with them first".
For those family outing and gathering, the food serving service here is impressive and unforgettable.
Asia Grand Restaurant has reopened with much fanfare at the former premises of Chef Chan at Oden Towers. Formerly from Asia Grand Hotel, Asia Grand Restaurant was set up by the original owners of the popular Tsui Hang chain of restaurants, which has since closed down.
A brightly lighted interior greets you as you step into the rather cramp restaurant, which incidentally, was packed with people. Floor to ceiling windows offer a clear view of passers by at ground level, seperated only by thin veiled curtains. The lack of privacy is further enhanced by the closely placed tables which makes it hard not to eavesdrop.
The appetizer was a mixture of Capsicum, fish cakes and bell peppers, which was rather intriguing given that I've never tried anything like it. The fishcake cubes took on a slight tinge of the bell pepper taste and proved to be a nice way to start dinner rolling.
Braised Shark's Fin Soup with Shredded Chicken & Bamboo Pith -
Honestly, for a restaurant such as Asia Grand, I would have expected better shark's fin soup. Not just quality of fins wise, but overall preparation of the soup as well. The soup was way too starchy and oily by any measure. The fins were of rather inferior quality but portions were still decent. Overall an average dish and no more.
Peking Duck - Our unanimous star of the evening - the humble Peking duck. With crackling crispy skin thats almost fat free wrapped in thin yet chewy egg crepes, you will be hard pressed to find any substitutes with similar quality at such a low price of $28 a duck (ongoing promotion).
Baked Lobster with Egg Yolk - The lobster got me all excited and was one of the reasons why we chose to order the set menu instead of going ala carte. My hopes shattered when I saw the size of the lobsters. They were tiny, weighing in at most the size of a huge prawn. The meat was barely a spoonful, which was absolutely pathetic. Berates aside, I must admit that the lobster was quite tasty, with the saltiness from the egg yolk complementing the slightly sweet lobster flesh. However, the egg yolk could have been saltier to further bring out the contrast.
Duck Fried Rice - Wondering what happened to the meat from the Peking duck? Well, you have your answer. The rice was moist and rather well fried together with the fibrous yet tender duck meat. However, it did get rather bland after a while. I mean, how tasty can it get when its just diced duck with rice and egg with no gravy whatsoever?
Steamed Pa Ting fish with Olive, Chilli & Garlic - A most forgettable dish - steamed fish at its most uninspiring. The fish was fresh but not particularly sweet. It didn't help that the fish was rather small as well.
Sauteed Fresh Scallop with Assorted Mushroom - The scallops were supposed to be the main focal point in this dish, but ironically I preferred the mushrooms better. Tasty, juicy and the direct opposite of the scallops, which were a tad too soft without much bite and rather bland. Portions are pathetic as well and we had to limit everyone to 2 scallops each. Talk about rationing.
$61.50/pax is rather expensive for such an average repertoire of food, the Peking duck withstanding. Service is excellent and all of the wait staff are attentive and friendly. After doing my math, I reckon I'll be back just for the $28 Peking duck. No more, no less.
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