average-ish cantonese fine dining at the basement of the sheraton – which is to say, it fulfills at least the baseline for the sort of eating you expect at this sort of establishment.
very traditional, quite heavy, not really inspiring. we had high hopes for this place: it’s an institution in its own right, and you’ll notice from its clientele that it draws many old-school regulars. but while I have a care for tradition, our tastes run to the lighter flavours associated with modern cuisine – and we found this place a little too conservative, and might I say, a little stifling.
this post is a little late – but the flurry of CNY (chinese new year) celebrations and the closing of the financial does not make for punctual blogging.
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.
upmarket good home-style cooking at this small, but nicely-furnished restaurant in maude road. this place is located just next to ming chung restaurant, but seems more out of place than the latter: the neighborhood is pretty old – and shall we say, slightly run down – but wanhelou is air-conditioned, done up in a modern chinese style, and rather classy in a homely sort of way.
the kitchen churns out a good mix of dishes that are best described as classics done right (and with a twist), and is famous for lobster porridge, flavored with that crustacean you see peeking out there above.
make it an awesome sunday by playing tourist about your town – as we did while traipsing about chinatown after lunch.
we happened by the kong chow chui koon, founded in 1840 (though the centre’s only been around since 2013), and it’s a restored, well-maintained building with quite a few treasures. the caretakers on the ground floor are happy to pass out pamphlets and share information, and you can go upstairs to the other cultural halls.
there’s quite a bit of lion dancing paraphenalia, and a dance studio type space on the second floor where we pretty much made monkeys of ourselves.
p.s. lion dancing is this ceremonial performance held during important chinese festivals/ milestones, such as the opening of a business of during our very festive new year celebrations. you can usually catch it at your local chinatown!
this place remains a favorite (oh, hey look!, photog improvement). we eat at an imperial treasure outlet every couple of weeks or so, returning for the consistently good chinese food and the still-reasonable prices.
this place has the best of both modern and traditional chinese restaurant-ing – chefs that know how to do a serve-up of well-timed (both cooking and dishing), well-seasoned dishes that taste traditional enough to be familiar (nostalgia is that little x-factor in flavor) but are dished up in modern, minimalistic ways by wait staff that can banter like the best of your solicitous (but eccentric) aunts.
I genuinely cannot remember any dishes I didn’t like here (knock on wood!), though are some particularly stellar choices amid the above-average menu.
sometimes, it’s back to the traditionals: noodles, half a soy-sauce chicken and bits of roast pork, and a plate of vegetables for two.
have a great weekend!
p.s. the perimeter of the food court is now taken up by mainland chinese offering a wide range of indigenous foods (which I like, but haven’t had the chance to try), while the inside has a smattering of more local offerings. it’s an experience!
People’s Park Food Centre (just outside OG People’s Park)
32 New Market Road
$: less than ten per person (unless you’re greedy like me)
it’s mooncake season! for all you non-chinese out there – and I can’t imagine there are many of you, considering how quickly that nation is expanding – mooncakes are an annual confection that appear this time of year, to celebrate the mid-autumn festival (and its full, round moon).
traditionally, these were rounds of lotus paste surrounded by and baked brown with an outer pastry. like a meat pie, but with a sweet filling (the closest western reference being frangipane) and a sweet crust (reminiscent of fig newtons).
at most, there were nuts or salted egg yolks for interest.
such a gruesome shot, and yet, so delicious. just had to put it out there.
really, really surprisingly good chinese food at this dodgy-looking, super old-school restaurant in chinatown. the place definitely seems to have had better days – the exterior is just as worn and outdated as the interior, the servers are cantankerous and grouchy, but the food – the food is good.
and – I meant surprising in the sense that I didn’t actually expect the food to be good, with expectations further tempered when I saw the restaurant, and it all turned out to be decent – with some dishes actually much better than average (objectively, all other things aside).
long before we discovered imperial treasure shanghai, we had already learnt to love this place here. the dishes are different, but the accolades are the same.
while the previous restaurant was rather exotic, this place does it for us when we want truly good, refined cantonese food – which is all at once classy and nostalgic at the same time. gorgeous space, fantastic food; I’m really just repeating myself here, aren’t I?
one of my favorite restaurants, from possibly my favorite group of restaurants in singapore – I associate the imperial treasure line of restaurants (referring to the higher echelons here) with reliable, delicious, traditional cooking in sleek, modern environs and I haven’t been let down by a meal here before.
standards are consistent, even if there are occasional dashes of too-much- or too-little-salt, and service is usually quick and efficient. it’s the sort of place you’d bring your business associates or your in-laws – great for impressing and reasonably priced for it.
p.s. those gloved hands sure look professional, eh?