really rather good dimsum in this quite stunning restaurant set in the idyllic compounds of the gardens by the bay (one of my favorite places).
I had rather a far-too-much spree of dimsum a couple years ago, and so I very gingerly tread my way into dimsum restaurants these days, because of the very one-ness of their characteristics – they really only differ in quality. but at least this one was pretty much worth the calories (and repetition of flavors), and that view out the window is nothing to laugh about.
it’s an open restaurant flooded with sunlight, given its floor-to-ceiling windows and river-facing location, and it’s a good example of family-traditional furnishing done up all modernlike. there’s even an alcove at the end that looks pretty impressive (see above), and looks well-good for a group dinner.
and the dimsum lives up to its environ – good, fresh, crunchy prawns in beancurd and dumpling skins, steamed buns with fluffy outsides and well-seasoned, gravied insides, and fried items that come properly de-greased. I’m not one for fried items, but the wantons here were stuffed full with delicious prawns and had a crispy, crunchy exterior – some of the best of its class.
they are famous also for their chilli-crab-stuffed buns, and these I weren’t quite enamored of – the pan-fried bun was suitably soft and tender, but the interior was an over-cornfloured orange mass of something. I would much rather have the actual dish – peeling away at the shells is half the fun.
we, of course, had some ala carte dishes – and they were pretty decent. but there’s also a bit too much cornflour action here, in the thickened sauces coating the beef and vegetables. not much issue finishing the dishes though, as the flavors were decent and we detected quite a bit of wok hei (wok’s breath, a result of repeated maillard reactions).
the cornflour-thickening brings me to a point I want to make about this place – it’s really, in all, higher-quality BUT typical cze-char served up at your corner coffee shop. very traditional cooking (none of that fanciness you’d expect at places like imperial treasure or the paradise groups), and just the kind of place your grandparents and more traditional family members would appreciate eating at.
it’s definitely worth a visit if you’ve to host the older folkies, or have friends visiting our tiny isle – the combination of comfortingly traditional food and modern environ is a commendable combination. and just one more – the prices are truly surprisingly reasonable, given the constant flux of tourists and its location – good value for a good meal.
Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant
#01-10 Flower Dome
Gardens By The Bay
18 Marina Gardens Drive
tel +65 6604 6604
$$.5: 30ish per person