Summer Palace

This year would be the first time I opted to visit Chinese restaurants during Restaurant Week.  I figured that it wasn’t cost efficient to visit Chinese restaurant in pairs, might as well we try the set meal designed for single pax consumption.  Summer Palace housed in Regent Hotel would be the first of the two Chinese restaurants I’ve booked.

The Restaurant Week dinner menu cost $55++ per pax comprising of 6-courses. Starting with Summer Palace Combination Platter Suckling Pig, Wasabi Prawn, Soft Shell Crab. It’s a mini size platter as each item can be finished in 1 mouthful. I enjoyed all three of the dishes. It’s interesting that the soft shell crab was served with pork floss on it. Wasabi prawn was also nicely done. What puzzled me was how did they prepare the suckling pig in a single portion…pre-made and heated up? Even if that’s the case, it takes skills to make sure that the meat wouldn’t turn too dry from the re-heating.

Summer palace_01

Double Boiled Sea Whelk Soup with Chinese Tonic and Fish Maw was probably the more costly item in the set meal with fish maw as ingredient. I didn’t quite enjoy the soup cos somehow I felt it had some pseudoginseng taste in it. 

Apparently the dish Stir-Fried Egg White with Crabmeat and Pine Nuts is a popular dish well-liked by Empress Dowager in the Qing Dynasty. Not only that, it requires great skills to cook this dish well as the temperature of the cooking oil has to be well-controlled. It was said that when well-executed the egg whites are supposed to mimic the texture of “crabmeat”. This was the first time I’m eating this dish so can’t really comment whether the chef did a good job or not. To me it was a rather bland dish, so the true test probably lies in whether the chef is able to create a fluffy egg white texture?

The Wok Fried Beef Cubes with Soya Sauce and Garden Green was perfect as the beef cubes were chewy and tender.

Surprisingly we can’t finish the Stew Ee Fu Noodles with Shrimp and Mushrooms cos we were both full already. Not sure if its partly due to the fact that the noodle dish tend to be slightly oily, hence we only managed half of it.

Lastly the Combination of Desserts – Mango Sago, Fruits cocktail and osmanthus jelly.

While the food was good, what left me with deeper impression was the service and overall ambience at the restaurant. Perhaps dining on a weekday helped as servers weren’t too busy. They were gentle when serving the dishes and took time to introduce each dish after serving to us. I hate it when servers plonk the dishes on the table in a hurried manner and were rough in handling the chinaware when collecting dishes resulting in clanging sounds. I’m fine with that if we were dining at tea-houses.

I also remembered the roomy and comfortable wooden chair, the placement of a small cushion was a thoughtful touch as it provided the right amount of back support. At the end of the meal, the staff asked if we needed a complimentary parking coupon. I guess that is the perk of dining in a hotel for RW. Although some people may feel that it is a given for any establishment housed within the hotel, my personal experience tells me not every hotel proactively offers it.

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