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Cantonese and Teochew Food
This was my 2nd visit, the first being a treat by my boss and I remembered all the dim sum dishes were very good.
The décor is your typically Chinese lux décor with plenty of booth seats, which they even give to groups of 2pax but I suspect that is during non-peak hours. My 2 friends and I arrived at 6pm on a Saturday to be offered a table which needed to be vacated by 7pm due to a prior booking which was fine with us.
Roasted pork 脆皮靓烧肉 ($8.50) – This was the top dish I remembered from my 1st visit and it was still good! A lot of places’ similar dishes contain such an overwhelming pork smell / taste that is simply not edible (hint: a very popular chinese restaurant in Ion), but this was not. The skin was super crispy and comes with a mustard-y sort of spicy sauce. Served with a sprinkling of peanuts.
Roasted Chicken (half chicken) 脆皮炸子鸡 ($14) – This was sort of average for me as I don’t take the skin; the chicken was tender though. But for me, roast chicken is really hard to be excellent or different.
Seasonal vegetables poached with 3 eggs 金银蛋菠菜 ($16) – My friend wanted to order this vegetable dish which had century egg and we decided this was it – salted egg and chicken egg made up the remaining quota. The vegetables were not overcooked and the sauce was made very nicely savory by the salted egg which went very well with plain rice.
Seafood Hor Fun 滑蛋海鲜炒河粉 ($18) – This is the most expensive hor fun I have ever had. No doubt it has wok hei and very fresh prawns, fish and scallops but $18 is overpriced I think.
Service was less than average, as I have this feel that they serve families or big groups better. And they have this annoying habit of perpetually checking if we are done starting from the 6:30pm mark. I mean, I know we’ve promised to vacate and will understand that they need to make sure we do but is there really a need to check every 5mins??!! And we were seated in a booth seat so it was very obvious as they had to literally walk over to the side of our booth to sight our ‘process’. I was irritated and amused at the same time – there has to be a better way of doing it!
I feel some items are overpriced although they are nice; not sure if I will come back.
One of the best casual Cantonese restaurants
A tip is to get a private booth table, which is quieter and more spacious.
1) Crab Meat with Conpoy and Melon Soup ($7), My fave soup here. This is delicate yet indulgent and robust. I love this soup. I can drink up to 3 bowls in one sitting
2) Pork and Vegetable Wanton Soup ($4.50). The soup base had accents of chicken, Chinese ham and various seafood which lent a nice rounded flavour.
3) Steamed Egg White with Mushrooms ($10). This dazzling dish is exclusive to Imperial Treasure. Egg whites are mixed with water for a baby-bottom smooth consistency and topped with fragrant shimeji and shitake mushrooms sauteed in a tantalizing syrupy oyster sauce gravy. This was aromatic and addictive. Absolutely slurpilicious
4) Stir-Fried Hor-Fan with Sliced Beef ($16). The full-bodied beef was tender and the hor-fan had the necessary "wok-hei" flavour
Check it out at http://thehungrybunnie.blogspot.com
Was out for a birthday celebration for Andrew when he suggested having some dim sum which he had much positive feedback about. The idea was to find something affordable and tasty and he brought me and our mutual friend Mandy to Imperial in Takashimaya for the meal. According to him, its always packed, has great food and are at loggerheads with rival restaurant chain Crystal Jade. All the above is speculation by the way, nothing to back it up whatsoever.
In terms of the decor, the place is decked in slick, dark and contrasting colors to provide a high end feel to the place. The seats are available in 2 varieties, a pseudo al fresco open dining concept and a compartmentalized seating to maximize space. Both were thankfully spacious and accessible.
Service wise, the place was decent. Attendants are attentive when there's less people, but as the crowd grows, so does their attention span. So be warned. Also, as the crowd increases, you get the feeling that they're trying to shoo you out once you've finished. Minor gripes but worth noting still.
Yam Puff ($3.30) - The yam puff is aesthetically pleasing but ultimately lacks bite. In fact, the consensus is that it sadly lacks taste. To be blunt and to the point, not recommended to try.
Deep Fried Beancurd Skin ($4.20) - Their rendition was pretty decent, full of shrimp, fish paste and chopped carrots deep fried to a nice crispy golden brown before being served. Whats not to like about it?
Siew Mai ($4) - Their siew mai came in generous portions and are bigger then usual. However, it also comes with a pretty strong meat and pork taste which may not be appealing to everyone. For example, i for one didn't like it too much.
Carrot Cake ($3.30) - The carrot cake is nicely done in my opinion, hot and fresh with little bits of lap cheong embedded in with bits of mushrooms. The result is a surpringly fragrant and sweet carrot cake reminiscent of Crystal Jade's rendition. Still, it is on the oily side as usual.
Pork Rib ($3.50) - Didn't have any of this at all. The impression from my friend was that it was ok though.
Stir Fried Mixed Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce ($14 for 2 plates) - Andrew's utmost recommendation is also one of the more expensive items. The stir fried mushrooms are a rather simple dish really. Majority of the taste came from the oyster sauce instead of the mushrooms but there's just enough sweetness to make it good. Filled with hoshimeiji, golden mushroom and enoki mushrooms, its an ideal treat for mushroom lovers. Look out for the price tag though.
Xiao Long Bao ($3.60) - Their rendition of Xiao Long Bao was passable but only just. The pork taste was too much and the soup wasn't really tasty as well. Not to mention the rather fragile skin which broke easily. More work needed here for sure.
Steamed Shrimp Rice Roll ($5.20) - Their steamed rice roll was a little too thick for my liking. Otherwise, the shrimp were crunchy, sweet and fresh while the soy sauce was adequate without being overwhelming.
Prawn Dumpling With Salad Dip ($8.40 for 2) - I'd say this was the star of the day actually. Sweet, juicy and bursting with flavor. The hot dish had the 3 of us going for seconds and still feeling there can be more. To be picky, it is still an oily dish but hey, i'd gladly have another. Do note, its only average but its good enough to recommend to eat when you're here.
Roasted Pork ($8) - Another recommended dish by Andrew, the pork here pales in comparison to Royal China, but of course, the price is different as well. The sad part is that the skin isn't as crispy as it should be and the meat lacked bite. The rest was salvaged by the mustard sauce which covered everything else up so that it was actually pretty good in the end.
BBQ Pork Pastry ($3.30) - Like the buns, the pastry was average at best. The bbq pork was sweet and filling but the pastry and bun were too thick. The pastry was also not fragrant enough, probably due to the lack of butter.
Custurd Bun ($3.60) - I love custard buns actually so i'm rather biased on this. This bun however, needs improvement as well. The bun itself is alright, fluffy and light but the custard inside is of the watery variety and was overly sweet. It was sweet to the point it felt like eating sugar syrup. Even my friends couldn't find it in them to like it and this was actually my order.
Egg Tarts ($3) - Well, these egg tarts weren't anything to shout about. Dry and practically tasteless. I'd say they need to really work on the recipe for the pastry and the filling.
The final bill for 3 people at a semi decent dim sum session accrued to $92.39. About $31 each. Reasonable bill but the quality can definately improve.
Its not that the food is bad here. In fact, it was decent. Service was prompt. Selection was plentiful. Ambiance was acceptable. The problem is the quality of the food and the fact that with the same amount, we could have eaten in Royal China or even Yan Ting. (Yan Ting no longer has ala carte as of this post. They have a buffet selection at $68 per head now) Still, i think the company made the meal most enjoyable and there's nothing like a good get together of friends to catch up on their lives. And that is what's really important.
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